Sarah Palin

Address at CPAC 2013 - March 16, 2013

Sarah Palin
March 16, 2013— National Harbor, Maryland
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Thank you, Senator Cruz. Oh America, send more like Ted Cruz, please. We need ‘em. He—coming from Alaska’s little sister state of Texas—he, like a good Texan, he comes to town, he chews barbed wire and he spits out rust. That’s what we need.

And I was just thinking how much I like Texans. One reason: they don’t mess around with our Second Amendment rights. All this stuff coming lately from the White House to take away the good guys’ freedom, and the right to protect ourselves with the most naive notion that the bad guys, who ignore the laws, that all of a sudden they’re going to follow some new laws. It’s not about the bad guys. No, it’s all about the lead, like solely – that chunk of metal didn’t commit the crime. That’s like saying solely, that fork made me fat.

And background checks, yeah, I guess to learn more about the person’s thinking and associations and intentions. More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President – should have started with yours.

Well, it’s great to be back at CPAC. I’m so happy to be here and it feels like it’s coming home even though it is only my second time here, but I kinda feel like I’m getting the hang of it already, I can spot those liberal media folk here to write their annual “conservatives in crisis” story. How many of you guys are here? Raise your hands…come on, raise your hands. Be proud. You’re loud. We’re used to it. Certainly you’re not ashamed to…raise it high. Don’t worry. We would never dream of making you wait outside on the party bus.

It is an honor to be here. We can come together, folks, for an adult conversation about the future of our country and heaven knows, we need this. So much of what passes for our national conversation these days is anything but.

Remember “No Drama Obama?” If only. Now it All Drama Obama. We don’t have leadership coming out of Washington. We have reality television. Except it’s really bad reality TV and the American people tuned-out a long time ago. Entertainment TV is a good description of what is going on in DC because more than ever it feels like a put-on. Every event feels calculated to fool us somehow. Every speech feels like a con. Washington politicians, too many in both parties, have a bad habit of focusing on the process of politics instead of the purpose of politics, which is to lead and to serve. Even our guys in the GOP too often have a habit of reading their stage directions, especially these days. They are being too scripted, too calculated. They talk about rebuilding the party. How about rebuilding the middle class? They talk about rebranding the GOP instead of restoring the trust of the American people.

Now we can’t just ignore, though, that…we just lost a big election. We came in second out of two. Second position on the dogsled team: it’s where the view never changes and the view ain’t pretty.

We need to figure out then, our job. What will we do next? As we go about that, as we talk to one another, and listen to what the speakers have to say, let’s be clear about one thing, we’re not here to rebrand a party, we’re here to rebuild a country.

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 are not here to abandon our principles in a contest of government giveaways. That’s a game we will never, ever win. We are here to restore America and the rest is just theatrics, the rest is just sound and fury. It’s just making noise, and that sums up the job President Obama does today.

Now, he’s considered a good politician, which is like saying Bernie Madoff was a good salesman, the difference being the president is using our money.

You know I spend most of my time in flyover country, the heart of the heart of America and I have news for the permanent political class in Washington. While they’re busy worrying about their own political future, things are bad out here. Nearly 8% unemployment rate. It doesn’t begin to capture how bad things are. Even the dismal rates announced of .1% economic growth, that doesn’t tell the story of the pain that Americans feel.

Our president fancies himself as the champion of the middle class, yet since he came on scene, even those lucky enough to have a job, they’re working more for less. The median income for families has dropped over $5,000.00 since ’07, even as we work longer and longer hours. And job creators are being punished. Tell me, how does punishing the job creators, create more jobs?

It cost nearly 100 bucks now to fuel up your truck. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to send your child to college. Man, the price of a case of diapers today…these prices…the cost, the impacts on the American family budget, and the middle class Americans, while we’re breaking their budget, the Democrat-controlled Senate refuses to pass a budget. That was how many years ago that they did? How many trillions-in-debt-ago? All in violation of Article I Section 9, Clause 7 of our U.S. Constitution. No budget for four years? No budget for four years is not just bureaucratic bungling. Refusing to pass a budget is refusing to declare what it intends to do with the people’s money.

Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever. Barack Obama, you lied.

There is a direct correlation between the Senate stubbornly refusing to pass a budget, and the Senate selfishly agreeing to go ahead and spend our children and our grandchildren’s money. No budget is no leadership. It is time for America to get more outraged about this. Never before have our challenges been so big and our leaders so small.

Now when we were here last year, the words on everyone’s lips and the wish in your heart was for Barack to pack-her up and bubble wrap the Nobel and the clubs and the high-tops and head on back to Chicago.

Well, the election came and went but the campaign never stopped, at a time when our country is desperate for leadership, we get instead a permanent campaign, but here’s the thing, 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 create 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.

The permanent political class is in permanent campaign mode, so where do we go from here? One of my idols, Lady Margaret Thatcher, she offered this advice after her party lost at the polls. She told fellow conservatives not to get lost in abstract debates and green-eye-shade accounting. Mrs. Thatcher advised conservatives to focus their concerns 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 can use a leader like Maggie Thatcher today.

But just think about it. At a time when Washington is so powerful that seven of the ten highest income counties in the country ring the city, allow yourself to imagine leadership that deems to understand us little people, us clinging to our god, our guns, our Constitution and the grassroots – imagine leadership that actually takes seriously the idea of government of the people, by the people, for the people. Imagine leadership that knows how to prioritize to ensure national security and to stop government waste. That’s leadership that would have as its guiding light, its great North Star, our U.S. Constitution.

Friends, it’s no accident that its opening words are We the People, and while you are dreaming, imagine leadership that respects the Second Amendment to the Constitution. The majority of Americans want this.

Is it any wonder there was such a run on guns and ammo for Christmas presents a couple of months ago, considering the attack on the Second Amendment? Oh, you should have seen what Todd got me for Christmas. Well, it wasn’t that exciting. It’s a metal rack, a case for hunting rifles to put on the back of a four-wheeler, then though, I had to get something for him to put in the gun case, right? So this go-round, he got the rifle, I got the rack.

(Pulls out her Big Gulp and takes a sip while the crowd cheers) Oh, Bloomberg’s not around. Our Big Gulp’s safe—we’re cool. Shoot it’s just pop, with low-cal ice cubes in it. I hope that’s okay. What did you think was in it? Yeah, you Young College Republicans, especially you who went Greek – I am so proud of you guys, all of you. College Republicans, there on campus. You are so bold, in your…well [crowd screaming]. All right. You guys keep your courage up, and my only piece of advice, because I’m a momma, my only piece of advice to our young College Republicans is, ya gotta be thinking Sam Adams, not drinking Sam Adams. And that’s just a joke. I don’t want to hear from the CEO of some brewery accusing me of being an anti-beerite. It was joke. You guys just keep up your good work, though.

Seriously, though, friends, when we do see harm, when we see life snuffed out through violent, evil acts, imagine leadership that doesn’t seek to exploit such tragedy. Imagine leadership that seeks real solutions to the violence, not cheap political games. That would be leadership worthy of its name. That would be leadership worthy of those words “We the People.” Creating government of, by, for the people. It also means ending the poisonous practice of treating Americans of different social, ethnic, religious groups as different electorates to be pandered to with different promises. If we truly believe the words of our other founding document, the Declaration of Independence, with its world-changing assertion that, yes, all men are created equal, then there are no Hispanic issues or African-American issues or women’s issues. There are only American issues.

Now CPAC, in order to be effective, though, in order to have any power to change things for the better, as conservatives, we must leave no American behind and we must share our powerful message of freedom and liberty to all citizens, even those who may disagree on some issues, because there is solid common ground in fighting against government overreach and for independence. And those who may disagree with us on some issues, they’re not our enemies. They’re our sisters and our brothers. They’re our neighbors. They’re our friends. It’s imperative to reach out and to share that conservative message of liberty and less government and lower taxes and individual responsibility.

It’s time we all stopped preaching to the choir and let’s grow. America already has one party that’s expert at pitting groups against one another. We’ll never win a contest of identity politics. We shouldn’t even try. If “Believe in America” is more than just a catchy campaign slogan, then we have to believe in America’s exceptionalism, and her greatest achievement: that no one is guaranteed success but everyone is guaranteed an equal opportunity at success.

You know, the greatest lie that the government tells is that government is the way to realize this guarantee. There is a simple reason why Washington, D.C., is an island of prosperity in a nation mired in near recession. Whenever government expands, it’s the well-connected that benefit. The more government intrudes into our lives and our businesses, the more it picks winners and losers. The more crony capitalists win, the more the rest of us lose. Whether it’s green energy or free Obama phones or prophylactics, if you don’t have a team of lobbyists in D.C. or a cancelled campaign contribution check, you’re not at the table – you’re on the menu.

If Mrs. Thatcher were with us here today, she would remind us, there’s a big difference between being pro-business and being pro-free market. On this there can be no mistaking where conservatives stand. It’s time for We the People to break up the cronyism and put a stake through the heart of “too big to fail” once and for all.

That includes in these resource-rich states like Alaska, my home state. Read your Constitution, Alaskans. Realize that the natural resources that God has created for man’s use are not owned by the big multi-national conglomerates and the monopolies. They’re owned by the people. They don’t own them, so don’t let them own you. You have a right to those resources to be developed for our use.

Now, ending the top-down approach of D.C. also means changing our top-down political process. 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 throw out the political scripts, because if we truly know what we believe, we don’t need professionals to tell us.

And if we truly seek to know the hearts and minds of the American people, there is no substitute for going out and asking them – being one of them with real world experience, actual conversations with actual hard-working Americans, and that goes for finding candidates as well. Creating a government by, for the people. It means looking toward our communities, our PTAs, our service clubs, small businesses, Tea Party rallies and city halls – for people who are willing to lead. Do you know someone whose judgment you trust, someone who doesn’t just preach common sense, but actually lives it? Well, encourage her or him to run for office.

Are you mad as hell and think that you have a better way? Then run yourself. Don’t let the big consultants, the big money men and the big bad media scare you off. Don’t let them invalidate you when you no doubt have more real-world, practical experience with family and real work—that’s real life—than those in the political bubble who try to tell you who’s worthy, who just doesn’t fit their bill. The last thing we need is Washington, D.C., vetting our candidates.

If these experts—who keep losing elections and keep getting rehired and raking in millions—if they feel that strongly about who gets to run in this party, then they should buck-up or stay in the truck. Buck up or run. The architects [Karl Rove] can head on back to the great Lone Star State and put their name on some ballot – though for their sakes, I hope they give themselves a discount on their consulting services.

Friends, you have heard a lot of different voices, offering a lot of different ideas the past few days. I am just humbled. I am so grateful to be just one of them. I have been so blessed to spend so much of these past years getting to know even more of America, not from the top down, but from the heart looking out, and this I know: there is more wisdom, more character, more grit and common sense in the soldiers and the moms and the teachers and the laborers and the firemen and the fishermen and you students and the cowboys – and other extraordinary Americans that I’ve met along the way, than will ever be found in the cocktail parties of power across the river.

And if they…us...We the People..the little guy…have one message to send to Washington, I’m sure it would be this: Get over yourself. It’s not about you. It’s about families struggling to find half a million dollars in college tuition. It’s about Americans working longer for less. It’s about small business—our backbone—not knowing from one day to the next what taxes, what regs, what new government mandates they’re gonna get hit with next. It’s about citizens forced to give up more of their hard-earned money and more of their independence and power, all in exchange for broken promises from a rigged system. It’s about grave concern regarding a president claiming power to direct drones to kill whomever and whenever without accountability, but no power to open up the White House for the school kids to get to go visit over spring break. It’s about concern over a president who would prioritize, not being able to afford to keep the White House open for those students, but to send $250 million and our weapons to the Muslim Brotherhood. Priorities.

America, you deserve better than that. We deserve better than the people who call themselves our leaders. But we won’t get it unless we’re ready to fight, and this is one fight that is worth it. If we have faith in We the People, if we teach America’s foundation of work ethic and development of our natural resources, if we believe in the charters of freedom that guide us, if we trust in the promise of opportunity that binds us, if we know the providential hand that made America exceptional and respects the innocent life that He creates, then we will save our movement and then, with hard work, humility, and the grace of our loving God, we will save our country.

God bless you, CPAC, and God bless the United States of America.

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