Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin mocked President Obama’s response to the political upheaval in Ukraine on Saturday during her keynote speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside of Washington, D.C.
The former Republican vice presidential nominee jabbed the president for threatening Russian President Vladimir Putin only with his pen and phone, blasting Obama for “gutting” America’s arsenal while allowing enemies to increase their own.
“Mr. President, the only thing that stops a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke,” she said, a line inspired by National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.
She continued, “He promised to heal the planet and stop the rise of the oceans, but the planet’s not listening to Dr. Obama, and the only thing rising in his la-la-land is the Russian empire.”
“Who could have seen this coming?” she said, drawing sustained applause from the audience. The comment was a reference to her prediction, in 2008, that Putin would eventually set his sights on Ukraine. Earlier in the week, Palin boasted that she foresaw the current crisis, writing on Facebook, “Yes, I could see this one from Alaska.”
Palin offered up several slabs of red meat to the conservative audience during her 30-minute speech, which closed the conference, hitting on the Benghazi attack, the IRS scandal, and taking time to defend the embattled “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson.
Palin also praised Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, cheering about “Congress on Cruz control,” and lauding the conservative firebrand for bringing an “awakening” to America with his anti-Obamacare filibuster last fall.
Palin brought out a copy of “Green Eggs & Ham” to the stage, which Cruz read from during his filibuster, and did her own take on the Dr. Seuss classic.
“I do not like this Uncle Sam,” she said to big cheers from the audience. “I do not like his health care scam.”
“I do not like these dirty crooks, or how they lie and cook the books. I do not like when Congress steals, I do not like their crony deals,” she continued. “I do not like this spying man. I do not like ‘oh yes we can.’ I do not like this spending spree. We’re smart, we know there’s nothing free. I do not like reporters’ smug replies when I complain about their lies.”
She ended the rhyme with, “I do not like this kind of hope, and we won’t take it, nope, nope, nope.”
Palin dedicated a significant part of her speech to the women in the audience. She implored the “sisterhood” in attendance to champion conservative ideals to less politically inclined women. “We know better than to fall for that victimization line from the president and his party. I know you know better, but if you have a friend or a sister or a roommate falling for this hooey, you’ve got to set them straight,” she said.
While Cruz got big praise from Palin, he finished a distant second in the CPAC straw poll, losing to Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who got 31% of the vote. Cruz got 11%, while rising conservative star Ben Carson came in third with 9% of the vote. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who spoke at the conference earlier in the week after being snubbed last year, came in fourth.
Palin’s speech received a warm response from the CPAC crowd, but she wasn’t the only conservative to deliver a fiery speech Saturday.
Carson, who is a professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University, drew a solid crowd during his remarks, with some attendees waving “Run, Ben, Run” signs. Carson called out his critics and the “P.C. police” during his remarks for misconstruing some of his more controversial comments.
“They say Carson said that gay marriage and bestiality are the same thing. Well, that’s preposterous,” he said. “Of course they’re not the same thing. Anybody who believes that is a dummy. But anybody who believes somebody who says that somebody said that is a dummy, and that’s a problem.”
He added: “Of course gay people should have the same rights as everyone else, but they don’t get extra rights. They don’t get to redefine marriage.”
Like Palin, Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann spoke about the importance of conservative women in the party, taking a swipe at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by noting, “we will have a woman for president, just the right one.”
“The other party talks a lot about nominating a woman in 2016, and that’s fine, but she’s going to have a lot of tough questions that she’s going to have to answer,” Bachmann said, launching into an extended critique of Clinton’s reaction to the attack in Benghazi.