What Sarah Palin Did in Iowa Left Democrats Saying Two Words: ‘Thank You!’

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘I’m the only one who can make this country great again’With a list of speakers as distinguished as you’ll see at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), most of the people who have spent at least five minutes thinking about being the 2016 Republican presidential nominee were there.The number of potential Republican candidates for the White House continues to grow and grow with billionaire Donald Trump being the latest to say he may throw his hat into the ring.

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.At a summit of conservative activists that served as a starting line to next year’s Republican presidential caucuses here, the rabble-rousing Texas senator and the steady-handed Wisconsin governor distinguished themselves from a crowded line-up of ambitious politicians by delivering a pair of animated, meaty speeches.The Wisconsin Republican governor delivered a pitch-perfect speech to a room packed with influential Hawkeye State conservatives on Saturday, walking them through his robust resume and ideology with a passion that surprised many. “It was a clear Walker victory. With the exception of Jeb Bush (conservatives are not his crowd), Bobby Jindal (he was hosting a spiritual revival event in Louisiana), Marco Rubio (“Gang of 8” amnesty and Mr. Mr Trump, 68, who said he may make a run for the presidency only to decide against it both in 2008 and 2012, said over the weekend he was “seriously thinking” about 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. Cruz, who already has established a reputation in Washington for fiery rhetoric, sounded a notably optimistic tone by professing to lead a coalition of those “who want to believe again in the miracle of America.” Yet he also appeared ready to fiercely challenge rivals who will attempt to claim the conservative mantle. “One of the most important roles that the men and women in this room, the men and women in Iowa play, is to look each candidate in the eye and say, ‘Don’t talk. He had expectations coming in here, he was on everyone’s shortlist and he had to meet those expectations and I thought he far exceeded them,” said former Iowa Republican Party political director Craig Robinson. “I thought his speech was just perfect, and I thought his delivery was perfect.

Although Mr Trump is not a serious candidate for president, his remark revealed the depth of feeling among conservative grassroots against candidates like Mr Romney, who earlier this month indicated he was seriously contemplating a third run of president. “You can’t have Bush, the last thing we need is another Bush,” added Mr Trump earning more roars of approval, for daring to ding Jeb Bush, the younger brother of President George W. 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. Walker used the opportunity to introduce himself and boast about his resume of hard-fought political and legislative victories over public sector unions and other Democratic interests in the neighboring Badger State. All of the speakers, including Ted Cruz, the Tea Party darling from Texas, Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas Governor turned television host and Chris Christie, the straight-talking New Jersey governor, shared an apocalyptic vision of “Obama’s America”. Marco Malagon, a Texas resident who came to the country illegally when he was young and benefited from the Obama administration’s “dreamer” reprieve, shouted: “Governor, do you stand with King, or do you stand with us and our families?

As all move toward a decision on a 2016 bid in the coming weeks and months, the event showed battle lines being drawn in what is likely to be a crowded and competitive contest. 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. He presented himself as a “fresh, bold and proven” leader in the Republican Party and did so with uncharacteristic vigor, ostensibly to squelch a wafting notion that he lacks charisma. “We need to make the case that we’re going to promote policies that promote and support and defend hard work in this country once again,” Walker said.

Do you think I’m deportable?” A dozen other protesters stood up with signs that read, “DEPORTABLE?” The signs were in reference to the event’s organizer, Rep. Some of the toughest criticism came from real estate mogul Donald Trump, who fired up the crowd by declaring there’s “no way” Bush or Romney could win in 2016. Barack Obama was roundly mocked for suggesting in his State of the Union that the greatest threat facing America was not the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) or the Chinese economy, but climate change and the oceans. “Mr President. Steve King, R-Iowa, and the conservative group Citizens United — featured speeches in a crammed downtown auditorium by as many as a dozen potential GOP presidential candidates. Though he faced an icy reception at first, Christie appeared to win over the crowd, particularly after cracking a joke when an immigration protester started heckling him. “I didn’t expect him to be funny,” audience member Lisa Caldroon told FoxNews.com afterward.

Reuters said that perhaps the warmest reception was given to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who survived a recall attempt over his conservative policies in 2012 and won re-election in November. Senate from northwest Iowa who has strong ties to the conservative movement in the state, says Walker’s performance solidified the governor as a top flight player for the caucus crown. “His delivery was extremely good and he has a great story. John Bolton, the national security hawk and former US ambassador to the UN under George W Bush, went further, accusing Mr Obama of failing in his duty to protect Americans. “Our president has drained the moat and he’s left the gates open and undefended,” he said. He was withering in his criticism of Mr Obama for not attending a march of world leaders in Paris two weeks ago to show solidarity for the French after attacks there. “We need leaders who will stand with our allies against radical Islamic terrorists,” he said.

The former governor of Alaska, and running mate of John McCain in an unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign, said: “When you have a servant’s heart, when you know that there is opportunity to do all you can to put yourself forward in the name of offering service, anybody would be interested.” Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania ahead of the 2012 caucuses. “He can appeal to the moderates and is a strong enough advocate on fiscal conservatism, the constitution and smaller government. 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.

Christie, more than anyone else, took the biggest risk in taking the stage, due to the perception that he’s a moderate who has been too chummy with President Barack Obama. But whereas Cruz and Walker roamed the dais comfortably and delivered their speeches without notes, the often bombastic Christie stuck close to a script, carefully reading prepared remarks from the podium. 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. He pushed back on the narrative that he didn’t share the values of Iowa conservatives, highlighting his anti-abortion credentials and citing his repeated visits to the state on behalf of GOP candidates, including King and Gov. Terry Branstad, who is said to be fond of Christie personally. “If I’m too blunt, too direct, too loud and too New Jersey for Iowa, then why do you people keep inviting me back?,” he asked, eliciting howls of approval.

While the customary bashing of Obama still took place, there was a common thread of optimism weaved throughout many of the speeches, as well as a recognition about the party’s need to embody a positive message in order to grow. “Look for that message that could bring us together. Trump said Romney should not be allowed to run a third time and criticized Bush as being weighed down by concerns over his immigration and education policies.

Because as good as it feels to hear the bad stuff, as good as it feels to beat up on the other side for the damage they’ve done to this country . . . pointing a finger and condemning somebody doesn’t win you a whole lot of hearts,” said Santorum. 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.

King, in his opening remarks, called for abolishing the IRS and going after Obama’s “executive overreach,” while largely sidestepping the broader immigration issue. Assuming the establishment is eventually able to winnow it down to just one, history shows this candidate has a floor/ceiling of 18 percent to 25 percent depending on environment. It’s pretty hard to win Iowa when you don’t show up for either of the last two mega events hosted by the state’s two most influential conservatives — Bob Vander Plaats and Mr. But an unfocused meandering speech earned her widespread scorn not only from the media, but many Republicans who see her and Trump as unhelpful distractions. Despite the media speculation surrounding their potential candidacies, there is nothing substantive happening in Iowa so far that would indicate either is seriously contemplating mounting a run. (Steve Deace is a nationally syndicated talk show host and also the author of the new book “Rules for Patriots: How Conservatives Can Win Again.” You can “like” him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @SteveDeaceShow.)

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