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Palin wows CPAC crowd with stem-winder

March 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., March 16 (UPI) -- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told a conservative political gathering conservatives don't need political consultants "if we truly know what we believe."

Palin -- the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and a popular figure among the party's activist, Tea Party wing -- castigated the party's Washington elite, urging grassroots groups to "furlough the consultants, and tune out the pollsters, send the focus groups home and toss the political scripts."

"[If] we truly know what we believe, we don't need professionals to tell us," Palin said, in one of at least a dozen lines that received sustained applause or standing ovations during her speech to the Conservative Political Action Committee, or CPAC, in National Harbor, Md.

Palin, like most speakers at the event, castigated President Barack Obama, charging the president has continued to campaign rather than govern, The Hill said Saturday.

"Now step away from the teleprompter, and do your job!" she said.

She brought a prop -- a 32-ounce Big Gulp soft drink from 7 Eleven. The massive beverages have become a conservative symbol of government overreach after Mayor Michael Bloomberg banned them in New York.

At one point in her speech Palin took a long sip, drawing hoots from the crowd, members of which at various points shouted encouragements for her to run for office.

Despite her popularity among the party's most conservative members, Palin is not considered a likely 2016 presidential candidate, though her name is included on the CPAC straw poll of potential presidential contenders.

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