In a question-and-answer session before a packed crowd at a Long Island business group today, Sarah Palin criticized President Obama's budget plan, saying that it keeps the nation on “the wrong road”:
“I think that’s an overstatement to even say that we are even making a dent” in the national debt,” Palin said. “It’s not even really a dent…(it’s) a little thumbprint there.”Gov. Palin also told the Long Island Association that Congress shouldn't vote to raise the debt ceiling without reforming entitlements and slashing the federal budget:
She added, “It amazed me the other day watching the president ….tell the American public, and the press is letting him get away with saying, his new (plan)….doesn’t add to the national debt.”
She added, “That’s not true. His spending plan does add to the national debt…that is the wrong road to be on. That is not what’s going to cure the economic ills in our country.”
"All that’s going to do is create this allowance for more big spenders to get in there... It doesn’t necessarily have to result in a government shutdown.”The former GOP vice presidential candidate said that while new enrollees in federal entitlement programs should expect lower benefits, current enrollees should not be penalized.
Palin appeared to link the budget and the debt ceiling votes, saying that Congress could refuse to raise the ceiling without causing a shutdown.
"What President is doing and what this administration is supporting is America being on a road to ruin unless we do take seriously this monumental debt," she said.
Palin also criticized the White House press corps for, she said, asking soft questions of Obama.Updates...
"I had to throw in there a little criticism about the press, because that’s sort of what I do," she said.
On Egypt, via Politico:
"We also have to be very wary of who it is that is being invited ot the table to discuss how the reform in that country is taking place," Palin said. "I’m talking about the Muslim Brotherhood," she said, deploring what she saw as "almost an invitation to them to sit at the table and talk."Katrina Trinko at NRO's The Corner:
Palin also appeared to raise the specter of a nuclear-armed, Islamist run Egypt, and said that American military intervention there should be the "very last option."
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin isn’t ready to commit to a presidential run, but she indicated that she might decide soon, citing the need to connect with individual voters.Jeff Zeleny at the NY Times' The Caucus blog:
“Nothing is more effective than being actually there with the people in the diner, shaking hands,” Palin said during an interview today conducted by Long Island Association president Kevin Law at a luncheon sponsored by the group.
“I’d be the first to not necessarily recommend a short amount of time,” she remarked, citing the four days she had to prepare for the national scene as the vice presidential candidate. “Four days isn’t a whole lot of time to be prepared. It’s not even time enough to pack a bag. That’s why sometimes you have to borrow a wardrobe, and then you get crucified for borrowing a wardrobe for six weeks on the trail,” she wryly remarked, alluding to the uproar when it was discovered that clothes for Palin and her family during the campaign had cost $150,000.
But Palin cautioned that her recent decisions to appoint political strategist Michael Glassner as her PAC’s chief of staff shouldn’t be seen as a sign of presidential ambitions.
“I am still thinking about it [a presidential run], certainly haven’t made up my mind. Hired a chief of staff because, to tell you the truth, Todd’s getting kind of tired of doing it all for me,” Palin answered. “Just in the past couple of weeks we’ve been so doggone busy, that Todd has finally said look, I do have a few things I need to do . . . so we hired a chief of staff for practical, logistical reasons.”
In a luncheon appearance before the Long Island Association, which bills itself as the state’s largest business organization, Ms. Palin engaged in an animated exchange as she took questions about current affairs, her worldview and, of course, her political future. She said that she was still weighing whether to join the 2012 Republican presidential race, but said voters craved an unconventional candidate.- JP
“People are ready for our governmental establishment to be shaken up,” Ms. Palin said, adding that if she decided to become a candidate, she would campaign aggressively face-to-face with voters, not simply from a distance. “In a heated primary, it allows for some great debate – very heated discourse – all those things we need in order for those voters to decide.”
At the conclusion of more than an hour of discussion, Ms. Palin did not offer a definitive answer about whether she would be a candidate:"I’m not saying it’s going to be me offering my name up in the name of service. There is so much to be considered, but I certainly believe that this is going to be an unconventional political cycle."[...]
When asked why she opposed all types of gun control – with the moderator openly disagreeing with her – she said that the “bad guys” aren’t going to follow the laws, anyway.
And as she talked about the escalating price of gas and groceries, she said, “It’s no wonder Michelle Obama is telling everybody you better breast-feed your baby – yeah, you better – because the price of milk is so high right now!”
As the crowd broke into laughter, she added, “And may that not be the takeaway, please, of this speech.”