As the Republican National Convention wound down Thursday evening, Sarah Palin said it was time for Mitt Romney to "quit preaching" to the conservative Republican base and get on with targeting the Reagan Democrats and independents he'll need to win the White House.
"Obviously the convention helps. It builds enthusiasm," said Palin, who did not attend the GOP gathering in Tampa. "But we have to, you know, beyond tonight, quit preaching to the choir.
"We need to talk to the independents out there in America, the hard-core patriotic American who wants a job," she told Fox News' Sean Hannity, adding that the Republican presidential nominee has to reach out as well to "Reagan Democrats who are not obsessed with partisanship" and want to know, as President Ronald Reagan used to say, "that our best days are in front of us."
"That's who we need to reach," she said.
The former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee also warned Romney to prepare for more negative attacks as he tries to peel off support from President Barack Obama.
"It perhaps will get even worse in these next 60-some days" before the November election, she said. "Everybody needs to hang on to their hats."
Palin, now a Fox News contributor, again attacked her favorite target, the mainstream media, which she characterized as "lapdogs" for Obama, and which she still blames for the Republican loss in the 2008 presidential election.
"The Democrats and their lapdogs in the progressive liberal media will stop at nothing to get Obama re-elected," Palin insisted. "We saw what they put John McCain and me, and other Republicans, through four years ago."
Recalling that time at the beginning of what she called the nation's "economic collapse," Palin said, "There was nothing really that a GOP ticket could do to turn around people's ideas of what the mainstream media was telling them.
"And that was that it was all the Republicans' fault, there in Washington, D.C., and don't elect a Republican ticket or we will get more of the same," she continued. "Look what happened. People got sucked into believing Obama's bogus hope-y, change-y stuff built on a fantasyland."
Despite the beating they took, Palin said she was "extremely proud and honored" to have been chosen as McCain's running mate four years ago.
"But that's a chapter now that obviously has been closed, and that was closed last night when the next GOP VP nominee took the stage and promised Americans that he would fight for the exceptionalism that many of us expect in our government leaders," she said.
"I was very proud of Paul Ryan and pleased with the words that he had to say, and just can't wait until, you know, 68, 69 days from now, when we get to turn this car around."
Palin said she believes voters this year won't allow themselves to be duped into believing the "falsehoods" of the Obama re-election campaign.
"We don't have to repeat those mistakes," she said, noting that voters are wise enough to understand more government is not the answer to their problems.
"The path to freedom and prosperity for America runs through free men and free markets," Palin said. "It doesn't run through government."
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