Armed with cheeky jokes, digs at the assembled media, and a Super Big Gulp soda, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) riled up the CPAC crowd and urged the conservatives to look within their own communities for candidates.
And she advised those potential candidates to eschew any advice of political consultants and strategists.
Though Palin was introduced, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) walked out on stage to give a list of lawmakers he believes were the beneficiaries of Palin as kingmaker, including himself. Cruz is the final keynote speech of CPAC later today.
“He chews barbed wire, he spits out rust,” Palin lauded the senator.
She brushed off November’s election loss as just coming in second, and put in copious plugs for the 2nd Amendment. Saying the audience should see what her husband, Todd, got her, she quipped, “he got the rifle; I got the rack.”
Despite a strident orthodox conservative message, Palin noted “those who may disagree with us are not our enemies.”
“It’s time we all stop preaching to the choir and let’s go,” she said. “…The next election is 20 months away. Now is the time to furlough consultants.”
Palin hammered at the point of not relying on political professionals “if we truly believe what we believe.”
She encouraged conservatives to go out and have “actual conversations with actual hard-working Americans… looking to our communities … for people who are willing to lead.”
“Encourage her — or him — to run for office,” the 2008 vice presidential candidate said.
“Don’t let the big consultants, the big money men and the big bad media scare you off,” Palin continued. “The last thing we need is Washington, D.C., vetting our candidates.”
Digging at the “cocktail parties of power across the river” from the National Harbor, Md., convention site, the former governor said the message from “the little guy” to Washington is “get over yourself — it’s not about you.”