“There is a name for this,” Palin said. “It’s called corporate crony capitalism. It’s not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts . . . and influence peddling and corporate welfare.”
Palin has said she will announce by the end of this month whether she will join the race for the White House in 2012. On Friday night, she told reporters “there’s room for more” candidates in the GOP field and when she arrived to greet supporters at a local restaurant, she was greeted with chants of “Run, Sarah, run.”
Many of those in Saturday’s large and enthusiastic audience, who braved repeated downpours until shortly before Palin appeared, came in anticipation that she might tip her hand in her speech. She stopped well short of that, but instead offered one of the most sweeping critiques of the political system since she first appeared on the national scene.
Palin sought to tap into the deep disaffection with Washington, as well as the widespread anxiety over the economy, by attempting to set herself apart from those in power and even those in her own party seeking the presidency. Palin decried the policies Obama has put in place as she called for an American restoration that would return power to the people.
“Folks, the truth is Barack Obama is adrift with no plan because his fundamental transformation is at odds with everything that made this country great,” she said. “It doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t make sense.”
Crony capitalism, she said, represents “the collusion of big government and big business and big finance, to the detriment of all the rest.” She said she fought and defeated that kind of collusion as governor of Alaska.
Saturday’s appearance took place on the same date as her speech to the Republican National Convention three years ago, when she accepted the party’s vice presidential nomination, and she noted that she had predicted then that candidate Obama was not to be trusted. In strong terms, she urged his defeat in next year’s election, but made clear her belief that that that alone will not turn the country around.
At that point, she was interrupted as the audience rose to their feet and began to cheer and applaud and chant, “Sar-ah! Sar-ah! Sar-ah!”
Though Obama was the only person she criticized by name, she called for a thorough vetting of those seeking the White House to determine whether they are real reformers. She also said Republican candidates “who raise mammoth amounts of cash” should be asked what their donors “expect in return for their investments.”