Updated: ROUNDUP: Governor Palin’s 2013 CPAC Speech
Posted by Dr. Fay on March 16, 2013
Governor Palin’s exceptional speech at CPAC 2013 was well-received, with loud applause and repeated standing ovations from the audience. CSPAN has posted an archival video of her speech, and you can practically get a transcript by reading the many articles that have been written about it. Here are excerpts from a few of them.
Mytheos Holt at the Blaze writes:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin delivered a barn-burning, hyper-folksy speech to conservative activists Saturday, bringing the entire audience to its feet multiple times.
Palin’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference started in an unconventional way: After she was first introduced, the crowd was shocked to see Texas Sen. Ted Cruz walk out onstage. Cruz said he was there to introduce Palin himself ahead of his keynote speech later in the afternoon.
“The mainstream media wants us to be timid and hide in a corner. And the mainstream media is absolutely convinced that women cannot be conservatives, and if they are, they especially cannot shoot really big guns and hunt grizzly bears,” Cruz said. “That’s why Governor Sarah Palin drives the mainstream media batcrap crazy.”
Cruz directly attributed his success to Palin, a key backer of his, saying: “I would not be in the U.S. Senate today if it were not for Sarah Palin.”
When Palin herself entered, the entire crowd surged for the first of many times. Palin waved energetically as she was welcomed, then immediately thanked Cruz.
“The senator is the keynote speaker and he would lower himself to do an introduction for a hockey mom from Wasilla,” Palin said in faux-wonder. “Ted Cruz, he chews barbed wire, he spits out rust. That’s what we need.”
“That chunk of metal did the crime? That’s like saying, ‘that fork made me fat,’” Palin joked about the idea that guns are responsible for violence. “Background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President. Should’ve started with yours.”
Palin wasn’t close to finished. She moved on to attack the calls for “rebranding” of the Republican Party.
“Let’s be clear about one thing: We’re not here to rebrand the party. We’re here to rebuild a country,” Palin said. “We’re not here to dedicate ourselves to new talking points coming from DC. We’re not here to put a fresh coat of rhetorical point on our party…We’re here to restore America, and the rest is just theatrics. The rest is sound and fury. It’s just noise. And that sums up the job President Obama does today.”
“If you don’t have a team of lobbyists in D.C. or a canceled contribution check, well, you’re not at the table. You’re on the menu,” she said. “The last thing we need is Washington, D.C. vetting our candidates…If we had one message to send to Washington, it would be this: Get over yourself. It’s not about you.”
But when Palin left the stage, for those few moments, it was all about her, leaving the audience roaring on its feet for several minutes straight.
From an Associated Press article posted at Newsday:
“We must leave no American behind,” she said in a populist speech that electrified supporters at a conservative summit in suburban Washington. “And we must share our powerful message of freedom and liberty to all citizens — even those who may disagree on some issues.”
Instead of focusing on rebuilding the Republican Party, she said that party leaders should focus on rebuilding the middle class.
She jabbed President Barack Obama and the Republicanprofessional class alike, urging the crowd to reject the ideas of political consultants and pollsters, taking a not-so-subtle dig at Karl Rove, a former adviser to President George W. Bush and a co-founder of outside group Crossroads USA.
“The architects can head on back . . . to the great Lone Star State, and put their name on some ballot, though, for their sake, I hope they give themselves a discount on their consulting services,” she quipped.
But Palin saved her most pointed criticism for the president, likening him to Ponzi-scheme felon Bernie Madoff. Taking a shot at the president’s call for universal background checks on gun owners, she said, “Dandy idea, Mr. President — should have started with yours.”
Alexandra Jaffe at The Hill writes:
Sarah Palin called for the conservative grassroots to avoid consultants in a fiercely anti-establishment speech that received the strongest response yet from a packed auditorium at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday.
“The next election is 20 months away. Now is the time to furlough the consultants, and tune out the pollsters, send the focus groups home and toss the political scripts. Because if we truly know what we believe, we don’t need professionals to tell us,” Palin said, one of at least a dozen lines that received standing ovations and sustained cheering from the crowd.
Palin pleased the crowd with a number of punchy one-liners that drew laughter and widespread applause.
She criticized President Obama for claiming to want to have the most transparent administration ever, charging “Barack Obama, you lie!” a reference to a House member shouting the same thing at Obama during a 2009 joint address to Congress.
And she lambasted the president for, she said, continuing to campaign instead of govern.
“Now step away from the teleprompter, and do your job!” she said.
From the FOX News Insider:
In a jab at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s recently defeated plan to ban large sugary drinks, Sarah Palin brought one with her onto the stage at CPAC! In a moment that drew a huge response from the crowd during her address, the former VP candidate unexpectedly pulled out the huge beverage and took a sip.
“Oh Bloomberg’s not around, our Big Gulp is safe,” she quipped.
“Shoot, it’s just pop! With low-cal ice cubes in it. I hope that’s okay.”
James V. DeLong at Conservatives for Palin writes:
It started with a very nice introduction by a young woman from the NRA emphasizing Palin as an example to young conservatives, especially women. (I will post a transcript when I find it.) Then, just as the crowd began to roar in anticipation of Palin, out walked, instead, Ted Cruz. He delivered a short introduction reminding the audience of Palin’s importance in recent elections, including a comment that without Palin, Texas would not have Ted Cruz as a senator. Then Palin did come out, to an even greater roar than the first abbreviated one.
She has become an excellent speaker. You can tell from the leftist media that the current equivalent of Journolist has sent out the talking point for the day — “she’s just an entertainer.” The line was repeated too often in the early commentary for it to be an accident. Well, she is an entertainer, just as Reagan was an actor, Franklin Roosevelt was a radio personality, and Winston Churchill was a writer. She entertains her audience with humor and wit, using them as tools to get across serious messages.
Her style choices were interesting, too. She was dressed in casual but elegant black pants and shirt. Her hair was also casual, but disheveled in a way that takes considerable skill. She is tanned and looks very healthy. She is too thin, but that probably comes from the need to be in front of TV cameras, which add pounds. She spoke to the audience as friends, with lots of expression and gesture, and throughout the talk she was clearly enjoying herself, especially when she delivered the one-liners. The look was casual, but the presentation and packaging were not. I have seen some good speakers, and she is formidable, in way that meshes with her person, her history, her message, and her target audience.
After grudgingly admitting that “the ‘Mama Grizzly’ can work a crowd better than almost anyone else in the GOP,” Grace Wyler at Business Insider posted these as Gov. Palin’s 10 best one-liners:
Here are the 10 best lines:
1. “More background checks? Dandy idea Mr. President. Should’ve started with yours.”
2. On her husband, Todd Palin: “He’s got the rifle, I’ve got the rack.” [Pulls out Big Gulp]
3. “Mr. President, we admit it. You won. Accept it. Now step away from the teleprompter and do your job.”
4. “We can’t just ignore, though, that we just lost a big election. Yeah. Came in second. Out of two … Second position on a dog sled team is where the view never changes and the view ain’t pretty.”
5. “We don’t have leadership coming out of Washington. We have reality television.”
6. To College Republicans: “You’ve got to be thinking Sam Adams, not drinking Sam Adams.”
7. “If these experts keep losing elections, keep raking in millions, if they feel that strongly about who should run in this party they should buck up and run or stay in the truck. The architects can head on back to the Lone Star State and put their name on the ballot.” [Clearly this is a reference to Karl Rove]
8. “The next election is 20 months away. Now is the time to furlough the consultants, and tune out the pollsters, send the focus groups home and toss the political scripts. Because if we truly know what we believe, we don’t need professionals to tell us.”
9. To Washington consultants: “Get over yourself. It’s not about you.”
10. “Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever. Barack Obama — you lie!”
Governor Palin’s speech was a mixture of substance and humor, packed with many quotable quips and statements. This was definitely one of her best speeches yet.
One remark that has somehow escaped notice is the one she made at the end of her remarks about Margaret Thatcher. Gov. Palin said “we could use a leader like Maggie Thatcher today!” 2016 anyone?
Governor Palin’s remark is at the 17:30 minute mark on the CPAC video. Here are her Thatcher remarks in their entirety (from minute 16:30 in the video):
The permanent political class is in permanent campaign mode. (Sigh.) So where do we go from here? One of my idols, Lady Margaret Thatcher – she offered this advice (applause) after her party lost to the . She told fellow conservatives not to get lost in abstract debates and green eye shade accounting. Mrs. Thatcher advised conservatives to focus their concern first and foremost on the people. She said, “Look at every problem from the grassroots – not from the top looking down.” She also cautioned conservatives not to go wobbly on their beliefs, to which I offer a hearty “Amen, sistah!” We could use a leader like Maggie Thatcher today!
Emily Schultheis and James Hohmann at Politico wrote a fairly comprehensive description of Governor Palin’s speech, filled with quotes but laced with snarks and swipes.
Taking the stage to Shania Twain’s “She’s Not Just A Pretty Face” and pulling out a Big Gulp mid-speech — a dig at Republican New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s crackdown on oversized sugary soda — Palin served up almost 30 minutes of uninterrupted red meat and left the crowd of activists more than satisfied based on their response.
In her typical boisterous and confrontational style, Palin delivered an unapologetic defense of conservative principles, asserting that the GOP doesn’t need to “rebrand” itself but instead needs to fight back against President Barack Obama and establishment Republicans.
As for Palin, who dominated the day’s headlines out of the conference, she had one overarching message for Washington politicians of both parties: “Get over yourself.”
“Let’s be clear about one thing: we’re not here to rebrand a party, we’re here to rebuild a country,” she said, getting a standing ovation from the crowd. “We’re not here to dedicate ourselves to new talking points coming from D.C. We’re not here to put a fresh coat of rhetorical paint on our party. We’re not here to abandon our principles in a contest of government giveaways, that’s a game we’ll never ever win.”
She quoted former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in insisting that conservatives stand strong in their principles even in the face of defeat.
“Mrs. Thatcher advised conservatives to focus their concern first and foremost on the people. She said look at every problem from the grassroots, not from the top down,” Palin said. “She also cautioned conservatives not to go wobbly on their beliefs to which I offer a hearty, ‘Amen, sistah!’”
Palin accused Obama of introducing a state of permanent campaigning in the country.
“The election came and went but the campaign never stopped. At the time when our count is desperate for leadership we get a permanent campaign,” she said. “Mr. President, we admit it, you won. Accept it. Now step away from the teleprompter and do your job.”
Ultimately, she said, politicians in D.C. are “too scripted” and conservatives need to fight for new leaders.
“America, you deserve better than that,” she said. “We deserve better than the people who call themselves our leaders, but we won’t get it unless we’re ready to fight.”
The authors go on to say that “Palin was by far the crowd favorite of the day.”
Evan McMorris Santoro at BuzzFeed noted (h/tp C4P):
They like her, they still really like her. Sarah Palin had the CPAC crowd on its feet Saturday afternoon with a speech full of folksisms, one-liners about President Barack Obama, attacks on Karl Rove, and a couple wildly popular sips from a Big Gulp stashed in the podium before she came on stage.
“Bloomberg’s not around,” Palin joked as the crowd went wild, “our Big Gulps are safe.”
For members of a conservative movement shuffling from lecture to lecture about what they’re doing wrong at this year’s CPAC, Palin’s speech to the faithful was clearly refreshing. She laid the blame for the Republican Party’s problems at the feet of men like Karl Rove, who she referred to as “the Architects.”
Tom Tillison at BizPAC Review wrote:
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin lit up Conservative Political Action Conference 2013 Saturday like only she can.
Easily receiving the loudest and most frequent ovations from CPAC 2013attendees over the three-day period, Palin came out swinging at President Obama. Starting with remarks about gun control and her opposition to background checks, Palin drew a thunderous applause when she said:
“More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President — should’ve started with yours.”
Palin said Obama may have won re-election but his “campaign never stopped at a time when our country is desperate for leadership.” She continued:
“Leaders take risks for the good of our country. Campaigners make promises they can’t keep. Leaders reach across political differences, campaigners double-down on those differences. Leaders seek to bring Americans together to confront our challenges and campaigners seek to divide and to conquer and to orchestrate crisis after crisis after crisis to exploit. Mr. President, we admit it, you won. Accept it. Now step away from the teleprompter and do your job.”
Twitchy reported on an apparent hacking of the Comcast channel in Nashville, Tennessee after reports on Twitter that Governor Palin’s CPAC speech was the only fare available on that channel:
We know that Sarah Palin can drive people “bat crap crazy” just like Ted Cruz said, but when some Comcast customers were treated to an all-Palin channel lineup in place of their regularly scheduled programming, well, this happened.
Is the culprit the Emergency Alert System? We know the country’s in trouble; is Comcast suggesting viewers stay tuned for further instructions from Sarah Palin?
Twitchy also reported on a new fad that surfaced after the CPAC conference:
Sarah Palin’s wildly popular CPAC speech, punctuated by the Big Gulp swig heard ’round the word, has sparked a new late-night, post-CPAC trend:
Time to raise a super-sized plastic cup and get your gulp on. To freedom!