Palin: GOP must spread word

Sarah Palin drew cheers as she mocked New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to impose a 16-ounce limit on sugary drinks.
Sarah Palin drew cheers as she mocked New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's attempt to impose a 16-ounce limit on sugary drinks. (CAROLYN KASTER / AP)

She urged CPAC attendees to "share our powerful message" and took swipes at consultants and Obama.

Posted: March 18, 2013

OXON HILL, Md. - Returning to the national stage, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Saturday that the Republican Party must broaden its message to grow.

"We must leave no American behind," she said in a populist speech that electrified supporters at a conservative summit outside Washington. "And we must share our powerful message of freedom and liberty to all citizens - even those who may disagree on some issues."

Palin, the GOP's vice presidential nominee in 2008, maintained a low profile during last year's election. She is expected to play a limited role in the future of the party but shared several recommendations Saturday.

Instead of focusing on rebuilding the party, she said, leaders should focus on rebuilding the middle class.

She jabbed President Obama and the Republican professional class alike, urging the crowd to reject the ideas of consultants and pollsters, taking a not-so-subtle dig at Karl Rove, a former adviser to President George W. Bush and a cofounder of the 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.

Palin saved her most pointed criticism for the president, likening him to the 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."

Palin drew cheers when she paused to sip soda from a "Big Gulp" - the type of supersize drink that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried to ban. A New York judge last week struck down the Republican-turned-independent mayor's pioneering 16-ounce limit on sodas and other nondiet sweet drinks for sale.

"Oh, Bloomberg's not around," she mocked. "Our Big Gulp is safe."

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