"Our faith keeps us strong."*
In her first public appearance after announcing earlier this week that she would not seek her party's nomination for president, Sarah Palin told a crowd of thousands in St. Charles, Missouri Friday night that today's federal government is a threat to individual freedom:
The former Alaska governor spoke on a wide range of topics, ripping President Barack Obama's economic policies and faulting the "permanent political class in Washington, D.C." in both major parties for overspending and increasing the nation's debt. She also decried "crony capitalism."Gov. Palin was introduced by Big Journalism editor Dana Loesch to a standing ovation. She received another standing ovation after her speech, and then Loesch engaged her in a Q&A session with questions submitted by members of the audience.
She complained that Obama and others had supported bailouts for Wall Street and big business and favored political contributors with economic stimulus funds. She said the middle class was paying the bill.
"It's government picking winners and losers," she said.
She also said: "The only solution is sudden and relentless reform."
Palin, who gained national fame as the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, on Wednesday cited family concerns as the main reason for her decision against running next year. She also said she would help support other candidates with similar views.
About 5,000 people attended Friday's event, and Palin got standing ovations. After speaking for about 50 minutes, she answered questions suggested in advance by listeners of KFTK-FM - the local conservative talk radio station that sponsored her appearance.
The event wasn't a typical political rally with people allowed in for free. Instead, it was promoted like one of the arena's entertainment events, with tickets priced at $26 to over $100. The arena bill also featured commentator Glenn Beck.
Asked what she would do to increase domestic oil production, she said "Drill baby drill" with a reminder that U.S. oil, gas and coal resources are abundant.
On the question of whether she preferred a fair tax or a flat tax, Sarah said that tax reform is important, and we should all pay a fair and equal rate.
In response to a question about how she would adjust monetary policy, Gov. Palin said we should not engage in it because it is devaluing the dollar. She used an analogy about how children want milk in their cereal. If there's not enough milk, their mother can add water. "Did I make more milk? No, I watered it down," she explained. That's what the Fed is doing to the money supply -- watering it down. She added that though people say we can't politicize the Fed, the president appoints the members of the Fed, so it is already politicized.
Asked what keeps her family strong after the Palins have taken so much heat from media, Sarah Palin replied, "Our faith keeps us strong." She added that she had read the local newspaper, so she can relate to that question. The audience booed following the reference to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which has a very liberal editorial policy.
The final question was what would she do differently if she could go back to 2008? Sarah Palin said she would call her Democrat opponents out on their records more than she did. Though many say it's negative campaigning, Gov. Palin said it's about fighting for the things we believe in, and added that she would assert myself more as a candidate and say enough is enough. She pointed out that the Democrats had no problem speaking negatively about a war hero, her running mate John McCain.
After the Q&A session, Sarah Palin was enthusiastically cheered as she left the stage.
h/t: Joe & Kalen
Related - StCharlesPatch: Sarah Palin Criticizes Obama, Media in St. Charles Event
Update - Dana Loesch has photos and a link to a full video of the event here