Sarah Palin, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, said the U.S. is at a “crisis point” as the Obama administration pursues policies that will lead to “decline and defeat.”
“If President Reagan were alive today” the hills in California “would echo with his outrage” over the enactment of President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul, she said at the Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California.
The 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee and former Alaska governor gave the keynote address Feb. 4 at a Young America’s Foundation tribute to the centennial of former President Ronald Reagan’s birth on Feb. 6, 1911.
Palin, 46, focused on a speech Reagan gave in 1964 on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, in which he discussed the dangers of high taxes and government regulations.
“We face the same choices now as we did then, only now we are in even worse shape,” she said. She urged cutting federal spending, overhauling entitlement programs for future recipients and reducing government regulation.
“Government created the problem, now government presents itself as the solution trying to convince us that we can win the future,” Palin said, referring to a theme of Obama’s Jan. 25 State of the Union address.
Decline and Defeat
“We must look over the horizon like Reagan did,” she said. “We must see where these unsound policies will ultimately end and that’s in decline and defeat.”
In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network released yesterday conducted after the speech, Palin called the crisis in Egypt the “3 a.m. White house phone call,” a reference to a campaign ad questioning Obama’s national security credentials run by then-opponent Hillary Clinton, now secretary of state, during the 2008 Democratic primary campaign.
“It seems that call went right to the answering machine,” Palin said. “We need to know what it is that American stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And we do not have that information yet.”
Palin left the door open to a 2012 presidential bid, saying in the interview that if she ran she would “continue down that same path” of fighting for “commonsense conservative Americans.”
Kinship With Reagan
Like many Republican politicians, Palin said she felt a kinship with Reagan.
“As an Alaskan, I probably consider myself a western conservative in the spirit of Ronald Reagan,” she told the audience of about 200 foundation donors.
Republican strategist Frank Donatelli, a former Reagan White House adviser, said Republican politicians “all profess that Reagan is an important element in their political upbringing.” Reagan, who died in 2004, “was a successful conservative president in a way that previous Republican presidents weren’t,” he said.
Since running with Arizona Senator John McCain on the Republican presidential ticket, Palin has become a favorite of the Tea Party movement, a loose-knit coalition of fiscally conservative voters.
Palin was Republican voters’ second choice for the party nod in a Jan. 13-16 Washington Post-ABC News poll, receiving 19 percent of respondents and trailing former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee by only 2 points. In an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll of Republican and independent voters conducted the same week, Palin placed third, 4 points behind Huckabee and 5 behind former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s 19 points.