Palin delights CPAC crowd with string of Obama one-liners

March 16, 2013

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) delivered a blistering attack on President Obama on Saturday, using a string of one-liners to rile up a raucous crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington.

Palin hit Obama on everything from gun control to transparency and likened his administration to a TV reality show. At one point, she even alluded to a years-old controversy over a House member shouting, "You lie" at Obama during a major address before Congress.

"Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever. Barack Obama: You lie!" she said.

Palin's jabs were met with a series of standing ovations reminiscent of the period when Palin was perhaps the preeminent figure of the tea party. The response made clear that she maintains huge political capital with the conservative base.

She also hit Obama for his and the first lady's many appearances on television.

"Remember no-drama Obama? If only. Now it’s all-drama Obama," Palin said. "We don’t have leadership coming out of Washington. We have reality television. Except it’s really bad TV, and America tuned out a long time ago.”

Turning to guns, Palin criticized the background-checks bill that passed through a Senate committee this week and Obama's push for more gun control.

“More background checks?" Palin said. "Dandy idea, Mr. President. Shoulda started with yours.”

Palin reserved some of her jabs for other politicians, though, focusing specifically on New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's (I) ban on sugary beverages over 16 ounces -- she paused to take a sip of a Big Gulp midway through her speech, mugging while the crowd applauded -- and Karl Rove's effort to find more electable Republican candidates.

Without naming Rove, Palin said that the architects of the GOP's nascent electability effort should "come back to the Lone Star State and put their name on the ballot." (Rove is from Texas and got his start in that state's politics.)

Obama was the biggest target of Palin's speech, though, and she got her biggest applause lines when she took on the incumbent president, often addressing him directly.

“You won. We get it. Now step away from the teleprompter and do your job," she said.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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Aaron Blake · March 16, 2013