Sarah Palin was in the zone during her well-received remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday. In front of an electric crowd of conservative activists, the 2008 Republican candidate for Vice President slammed President Obama’s ideology and called for a united GOP front against the Democrat in the general election, argued that the drawn out primary is good for whoever becomes the nominee, and insisted on a return to traditional values.
“The president says small Americans, small-town Americans — we bitterly cling to our religion and our guns,” Palin said. “You say, I say, we say — keep your change. We’ll keep our God. We’ll keep our guns.”
Palin said that members of the Tea Party rose up over the last three years because “Americans woke up.”
CNN reports that Palin said after serving time in Washington, elected officials decide that the nation’s capital is not a “cesspool,” but rather say it is “like a hot tub and they’re hoping in and join the jacuzzi.”
“It’s time to drain the jacuzzi … throw the bums out with the bath water,” she said.
During the event’s keynote speech Palin took aim at one of her favorite targets; the Environmental Protection Agency, and called on conservatives to push whoever the GOP nominee is across the finish line in November:
Palin predicted that in his reelection effort, Obama will try to “reinvent himself,” like “carhartts and steel toed boots are us.”
Palin did not endorse a candidate Saturday to challenge Obama in the general election. The New York Times notes that the former Alaska governor has repeatedly praised the candidacy of Newt Gingrich, saying a month ago that she would vote for him if she lived in South Carolina. When asked if Gingrich should step aside to allow conservative to coalesce behind Rick Santorum, Palin told the Times, “Not yet.” She said that there was “room for more debate, for more discussion, adding: “I wouldn’t encourage anyone to drop out.”
Protesters disrupted Palin’s remarks, the first such disturbance during a speech at this year’s conference. ABC News reports that the response from Palin’s loyal supporters was fierce:
“As protesters chanted at her from the back of the room at the Marriott, a man in the back row leaped over his chair, ran toward them and screamed, ‘Get the hell out of here, you asshole!’
The protesters were kicked out as others in the room began chanting ‘USA! USA!’ followed quickly by ‘Sarah! Sarah!’
‘See, you just won,’ Palin ad-libbed to more cheers.”
Chris Field posted video of the protest and subsequent chants as seen from the crowd on The Blaze Blog earlier in the day. Occupy CPAC protesters have been outside the Marriott where the conference is being held since Wednesday, and have been coordinated by Washington D.C.’s AFL-CIO.
Video of CPAC attendees drowning out the mic check Saturday: