Sarah Palin Lashes out at Obama during Luncheon, Takes a Swing at Michelle

At New York luncheon, Palin criticizes Obama for poor leadership.

February 17, 2011, 3:08 PM

Feb. 17, 2011— -- Sarah Palin seemed to give a timeline today of when she will decide whether to run for president, and that timeline is soon.

Answering questions before the Long Island Association, a business group in New York, Palin discussed the Republican primaries. She said potential candidates "need to start making up their mind pretty soon." She cited the need to get prepared and also visit the key voting states, "but nothing is more effective than actually being there." It was an interesting choice of language, because generally speaking Palin hasn't been a large presence in primary and caucus states.

Palin has yet to build an organization for a national campaign.

She downplayed the significance of hiring a chief of staff recently, Republican operative Michael Glassner, suggesting it had less to do with Presidential ambitions than life in the Palin household: "Todd's getting kind of tired of doing it all for me."

Palin echoed the words of former President Ronald Reagan while repeatedly lashing out at the Obama administration: "President Obama thinks big government is the answer, and I think big government is the problem."

She lashed out at the president's current $3 trillion-plus budget proposal, saying that it lacked true Presidential leadership, because it did not tackle entitlement reform.

When asked what she would have proposed, she said that the government needs to tell people that things are going to change, "certainly with Medicaid and Social Security."

She touched on the threat of a government shutdown if the debt ceiling isn't raised by praising lawmakers who refuse to rubber-stamp the president's proposals.

"The people of America are saying enough is enough. Tone-deaf politicians are going to be fired if they don't listen. That's what going rogue is all about. People want our government establishment to be shaken up. No more pre-ordained candidates. I think it will be an unconventional political cycle."

She said the Obama administration offered no clarity during the Egyptian Revolution.

"We now need to trust but verify that the Egyptian protestors want democracy."

Palin said, "The U.S. government needs to be wary of the Muslim Brotherhood and we need to make sure that our interests like Israel and our energy supply are protected."

She reiterated her stance that the current healthcare law needs to be repealed. But when asked, she refused to say if there were any parts of the bill worth saving.

Palin stuck by her slogan made famous during the 2008 campaign, "Drill, baby, drill," when asked if her opinions on energy had changed because of the catastrophic BP oil spill. She said the United States domestic oil supply is not being tapped properly, creating a potential security risk.

She also accused the Obama administration of using "snake oil science" as it deals with potential climate change.

"I live in Alaska. I don't want to mess up the environment. But we don't have to tax energy to get there."

Palin said she has never received as much criticism as she has during the last month because of the Tucson massacre. Her listeners, who spent $300 a plate to hear her, applauded when she said the massacre has not changed her stance on gun control.

"There are already on the books gun control legislation that I support. I don't support hurting the good guys. The bad guys aren't going to follow the laws on the books today or new laws."

She said adding new gun control legislation would not have stopped accused gunman Jared Loughner.

During the question-and-answer session, Palin's use of Twitter repeatedly came up. She responded by pointing out how social media during the Egyptian uprising was another example of private enterprise doing a better job than the federal government.

Palin said the government's fiscal policy is dangerous. "This administration supports America being on the road to ruin."

Palin's sharpest comments were reserved for President Obama and his wife.

"No wonder Michelle Obama is saying you better breastfeed your baby. I say yeah, you better, because the cost of milk has gotten so high."

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