Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin had blunt words for President Barack Obama and the GOP establishment upon re-emerging to the national spotlight on Saturday.
“Remember No Drama Obama?” the 2008 nominee told an enthusiastic audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington. “Now it’s All Drama Obama.”
“It’s not leadership coming out of Washington. It’s’ reality television. Except it’s really bad reality TV, and Americans have tuned out a long time ago.”
Palin, the former governor of Alaska, emerged at CPAC for her first major public appearance since she parted ways as a contributor for Fox News Channel in January.
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She laid into Obama for continuing to mount a permanent campaign, canceling White House tours over foreign aid and golf outings, and expanding background checks for gun purchases.
“More background checks?” she said. “Dandy idea, Mr. President. Should have started with yours.
“Mr. president, we admit it, you won, we accept it. Now step away from the teleprompter and do your job!”
She also didn’t mince words for Beltway consultants and strategists, most notably former President George W. Bush advisor Karl Rove, who recently formed a new organization dedicated to electing establishment candidates.
“The last thing we need is Washington, D.C. vetting our candidates,” she said to loud cheers. “The architect(s) can head on back to the great Lone Star State and put their own name on the ballot.
“If we have one message to Washington, it’s get over yourself. It’s not about you.”
At one point she took a sip from a Big Gulp and reassured the audience: “Michael Bloomberg’s not around. We’re safe. It’s just pop with low-calorie ice cubes.”
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who was scheduled to provide the keynote address to CPAC later on Saturday, stepped to the stage for a surprise introduction of Palin.
“The mainstream media wants us to shut up. The mainstream media wants to accept defeat. The mainstream media wants us to be timid and hide in the corner.
“‘The mainstream media is absolutely convinced that women cannot be conservative, and if they are, they are not big enough to fire guns and hunt caribou.”
Party activist Sue Smith of Ohio said that Palin’s performance was refreshing after not seeing her in public in recent weeks.
“She nailed it,” the retired teacher said upon filing out of the auditorium. “I’d love to see her more. I’d love to see her back in politics, as a spokesperson for the party.”
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