Palin hits Obama, GOP establishment in Iowa speech

Now that the 2010 midterm elections are over, tongues have already started wagging over who the potential Republican presidential candidates may be in 2012.
By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 18, 2010; 3:49 AM

DES MOINES - Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin came to Iowa on Friday night and left few of her opponents unscathed, sharply attacking President Obama and the Democrats, denouncing the news media and pointedly calling on establishment Republicans to get over their losses in the primaries and unite for the November elections.

Palin's first visit to Iowa this year stirred speculation about a possible 2012 presidential run, but, with the exception of a humorous quip, the former governor kept her focus entirely on the midterm elections, calling for a citizen revolt against the Obama agenda.

"It's the voters who will stop these leftist policies," she said. "The voters will stop this fundamental transformation of America that's not good for America. It's the patriots who will restore America."

Saying it is time for renewal and a restoration of constitutional principles, Palin added, "and it may take some renegades going rogue to get us there."

Obama and the Democrats, she charged, "think the answer to every problem is another federal program. . . . They think that America's future should be dictated from the top down, not the bottom up. . . . They have faith in big government. We have faith in the people."

She found agreement with Obama on some of the tax cuts he has proposed recently, but said to laughter, "I particularly liked those ideas when they were part of the McCain-Palin platform back in '08."

Turning to foreign affairs, she accused Obama of catering to America's enemies while unnecessarily criticizing U.S. allies. "That's not foreign policy, that's foolish," she said.

Palin's appearance came at the end of a week in which she once again demonstrated her sizeable influence inside the Republican Party, having backed surprise winner and "tea party" favorite Christine O'Donnell in Delaware's bitterly fought Senate primary and former state attorney general Kelly Ayotte, the establishment candidate, in the New Hampshire Senate primary.

Saying "the time for choosing is near," Palin told the audience at the Iowa GOP's Ronald Reagan Dinner that "if the goal really is to take away the gavel from [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and [Senate Majority Leader Harry M.] Reid and stop the Obama agenda and make government respect the will of the people and the wisdom of the people, then it's time to unite."

Palin's speech came shortly before Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who lost her GOP primary to another Palin pick, lawyer Joe Miller, announced that she would run for reelection in November as a write-in candidate. Palin rebuked the move in a post on Twitter, writing, "Primary voters spoke. Listen to the people, respect their will."

Palin offered in her Iowa speech scathing criticism of the media, calling on Republicans to "hold the press accountable when they're making things up and not telling the truth."

She said political figures who hide behind the cloak of anonymity to attack others in print are "cowards" and that the journalists who provide them cover are "gutless." "It's not fair to our country. It's not fair to our democracy. And it's not fair to our troops, who are willing to sacrifice all for your freedoms, journalists," she said.

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