Sarah Palin Says Republicans Have 'Eyes Wide Open' For 2010 Election

Palin defends being the "party of no," pushes back on Obama's nuclear remarks.

ByABC News
April 9, 2010, 3:57 PM

NEW ORLEANS, April 9, 2010 -- Sarah Palin brought her unique political star power to New Orleans on Friday to charge up a slice of the activist base of the Republican Party gathered for the quadrennial Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC).

"The Grand Old Party has its eyes wide open. Do we not have our eyes wide open? And we're realists. We know now. We know. We're getting back to our grand old roots," Palin said to a crowd of approximately 3,500 attendees.

"When the other party is wrong we're stiffening our spines and we're saying so because there is no shame in being the party of no," Palin said, " if ... the other side [is] proposing an idea that violates our ideals, our values, violates our conscience, violates our Constitution. What's wrong with being the party of no? We will oppose it.

"Party of no? Nah. We're the party of 'hell no,'" she added.

Palin emphasized Republican pride in saying no to President Obama's agenda items the party finds most offensive to its ideals. Her remarks stood in contrast to Newt Gingrich's speech on Thursday night where he urged his party to become the "party of yes."

"We should decide we are going to be the party of yes," Gingrich said. "Yes, to a balanced budget through controlled spending. Yes to more jobs through tax cuts. Republicans can say yes to stopping crooks from taking money from Medicaid and Medicare. Republicans can say yes to spending the money to help American soldiers get better equipment. Republicans can say yes to an American energy plan that produces American energy to keep American dollars at home."

Palin did give a nod to the potential political problem for Republicans if all they provide to voters is a wall of opposition.

"We're the party of Lincoln. The party of Reagan is back. We're not just the party of no, we're the party of ideas," Palin said.