Palin rips Michael Moore, PETA at Iowa summit

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Repeal every word': Potential GOP 2016 rivals hammer ObamaCare, IRS at Iowa summit.

DES MOINES, Iowa – Conservative heavyweights joined with up-and-comers in hammering President Obama Saturday over everything from the health care law to his immigration policies as they played to a sold-out Iowa crowd in what amounted to the opening bell of the Republican presidential campaign.Donald Trump came out guns blazing at a high-profile GOP event in Iowa on Saturday — blasting possible presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.DES MOINES – In what activists have described as the kickoff event of the 2016 Iowa caucuses, 28 speakers, including eight potential Republican presidential candidates, took the stage at an all-day political gabfest, desperately seeking the same thing: to score the one zinger that could build buzz and launch a campaign. They spoke at the Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines, held in the first-in-the-nation caucus state at a time when big-name Republicans are getting close to announcing whether they’ll seek the presidency.

The former Alaska governor recently posed for a photo with Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer who held up a sign that read, “F— you Michael Moore.” Palin, chuckling, told the Iowa audience that “what the poster said is what the rest of us are thinking.” The sign was in response to a tweet in which Moore called snipers cowards: “My uncle killed by sniper in WW2. In 20-minute bursts of staccato flirting, more than half a dozen more-or-less top-tier Republican presidential possibilities paraded across a stage in a historic theater near downtown Des Moines, their appearances interspersed with those from Iowa elected officials. We were taught snipers were cowards. “ Since then, Moore clarified his comments on his Facebook page and said his comment was in reference to snipers, but that he was not specifically commenting on the film “American Sniper.” Palin also took PETA to task for recent criticism against her for posting a picture of her son stepping on the family’s dog to reach the kitchen sink. The blandishments — over more than nine hours and from a cast that ranged from serious contenders to Sarah Palin and Donald Trump — came about a year before Iowans will cast the first votes on the road to the White House, a road that will take most candidates through nearly all of this state’s 99 counties.

They were given 20 minutes apiece to make their pitch to 1,200 of the state’s top conservative activists. “Your goal as a candidate is to show differences in style and substance without directly mentioning your opponents – especially since you don’t even know who they are,” said Tim Albrecht, an Iowa Republican consultant who has worked for Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign. Steve King (R-Iowa), whom the governor described as “a good friend.” Christie’s remarks closed out a long day of speeches at the cattle call for conservative White House hopefuls, which also featured Sen. Sarah Palin, too, after telling reporters she’s thinking about a 2016 run, laced her speech with snappy one-liners as she lit into the current president. Of Obama, she said: “America, he’s just not that into you.” The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee also knocked the idea of a Hillary Clinton run. But former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was among the keynote speakers — and delivered a rambling speech that politicos declared perhaps her most incomprehensible attempt at oratory yet. “It is good that we have a deep bench and its primary competition that will surface the candidate who’s up to the task and unify and this person has to because knowing what the media will do throughout all of 2016 to all of us it’s going to take more than a village to beat Hillary,” Palin said, according to RawStory.com.

Both are viewed with differing levels of suspicion for different reasons — Romney for his failure to win the race as the party’s 2012 nominee, and Bush for his embrace of education standards and immigration changes that drew repeated rebukes from the stage. Texas Senator Ted Cruz quoted “Amazing Grace.” He announced he was once again “seriously considering” a run for president — but argued that Romney should not run a third time because “he choked” when he lost to President Obama in 2012. “It can’t be Mitt because Mitt ran and failed. He sought to soothe such concerns on Saturday by doing what he does best — being blunt. “Being honest with the people you hope to represent about the feelings you hold deeply is never, ever a political liability, and I will never change doing it exactly that way,” he said, touting his anti-abortion record in the blue state of New Jersey. This weekend in Palm Springs, conservative donors are gathering for a regular meeting organized by billionaires Charles and David Koch; three prospective candidates — Sens. Trump also dismissed the potential candidacy of former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who he said shouldn’t run because of his support for the Common Core educational standards.

But he did win over at least a few audience members, who said they didn’t mind Christie’s brash style. “What’s more important is the ideas and the way they’re implemented,” said Iowa retiree Daniel Reneker. “We have livestock out here we have to shout at once in a while.” “He says the same thing most of the time, but I just like where he’s going and I like where he’s been. While joining in on criticism of Romney and Bush, the audience for the Iowa event, organized by the Citizens United political group and conservative U.S. The governor also received a rare vote of confidence from Erick Erickson, a prominent social conservative and editor of RedState.com, who tweeted that he found Christie’s address to be “really solid and impressive.” Nick Ryan, an Iowa-based Republican strategist, said that Christie’s reputation is both a boon to his presidential prospects and a potential liability during a long campaign. “The biggest thing that he has going for him is his reputation.

It included big names like Cruz and Christie, but also some rising stars, like Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon who has reinvented himself as an outspoken conservative and won an enthusiastic following in the process. Walker, who won Republican loyalty for facing down public employee unions in his state, said he and some other governors had enacted “common sense” policies at the state level that provided a template for a national run. Drawing some of the biggest applause of the day, Carson took on the thorny subject of immigration, saying fixing the country’s immigration issues should rest on Congress’ shoulders and not the president’s – in a dig at Obama’s executive actions. Enthusiastic but reasoned, he pointed to measures that protected gun rights, defunded Planned Parenthood, limited lawsuits and cut regulations on farms and small business.

Conservatives need to send “the locusts of the EPA” back to Washington from the states, he said, and to abolish the IRS — a frequent target Saturday. Also not forgotten by future Iowa caucus voters is Christie’s alleged involvement in the George Washington Bridge scandal. “I don’t know if I want his hand on the red button if he’s willing to shut down the whole bridge,” said Ben Unander, an Illinois resident who supports famed neurosurgeon and rising conservative star Ben Carson. “He says he didn’t, but come on, if you have a staff full of people, you need to know what they’re doing. We don’t have the will.” Carson suggested adopting a guest-worker program similar to the one Canada has and said anyone applying for guest-worker employment should do so while in another country. Chris Christie, who Iowa political observers say has cultivated the state for years and built a team of supporters ready to jump in when he makes a presidential announcement. He spoke at length about his antiabortion views in what appeared to be an effort to blunt assertions that a blue-state governor was wiggly on a bedrock issue for conservative Iowa voters.

Besides speaking at the event Walker, Santorum, Cruz, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and businesswoman Carly Fiorina held private meetings with activists. He tied it to stagnant incomes that have left voters uneasy about the future. “There is uncertainty in our country, and it is a product of the failure of leadership,” he said. “And that failure has happened at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.” The event made evident the pressure on candidates to hew to the conservative line or, presumably, suffer when the caucuses come around. With the Iowa caucuses scheduled to take place in 53 weeks, local Republicans are looking to back candidates who don’t just say the right things but also explain how they will fight for causes in office even if they aren’t popular, said Republican National Committeeman Steve Scheffler. “After Obama, Republicans here are listening to all this talking, but what they are looking for is who they believe can continue to lead the fight when they win,” Scheffler said.

Party leaders have long sought to lower the volume on discussions that might further distance women, Latinos and young people from Republicans, a problem that haunted Romney and promises more trouble as those voter groups grow. Jim Gilmore told the crowd he was “ashamed” of that record and said the president should have gone to Paris to join the unity rally after the attacks in that city this month. Carly Fiorina, the 2010 California Senate candidate who is pondering a run, castigated House Republicans for tripping last week when they sought a ban on abortions for pregnancies over 20 weeks. King, in his opening remarks, called for abolishing the IRS and going after Obama’s “executive overreach,” while largely sidestepping the broader immigration issue. King’s presence meant that immigration was a certain topic; after last week’s State of the Union address, he had criticized the president for inviting someone King called a “deportable” to the event.

Before that, however, the tone had been set by the emcee, radio host Jan Mickelson, when he said that immigration would not be a big element of the campaign.

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