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Although it is already September and the presidential election is just 14 months away, Sarah Palin has still not announced if she intends to join the Republican field of candidates. The former governor of Alaska and reality TV star spoke to tea party activists on Saturday in Iowa. She did not make any major announcements but did appear to lay some groundwork for a potential campaign bid.
“This is why we must remember the challenge is not simply to replace Obama in 2012. The real change is who and what we will replace him with,” Palin said in a rural area south of Des Moines. “Folks, you know it’s not enough to change the uniform.”
The audience of about 2,000 supporters from all over the country erupted into chants of “Run, Sarah, Run!” Palin gave no response to the chant and did not mention the candidacy in her 40 minute speech.
Palin talked about her experience as the governor of Alaska and stated she confronted powerful corporations, instead of coddling to them like the current administration. Although she did not specifically name any from the GOP field, she did say that Republicans are also to blame for repaying campaign donations with perks. Similar to what Texas Governor Rick Perry has been accused of in recent weeks.
“There is a name for this. It’s corporate, crony capitalism,” she said. Asked later if she was referring to Perry, she said it was to all GOP candidates. “I want all of our GOP candidates to take the opportunity to kill corporate capitalism that is leading to this cronyism that’s destroying our economy,” Palin said, while in a crush of hundreds of supporters asking for autographs and posing for pictures.
Palin also said her remarks should not be construed as a campaign address, telling reporters: “It was a thank-you-tea-party-Americans speech.” Palin reported she would announce any potential political plans late in September. However, her speech in Iowa and another speech in New Hampshire have fueled speculation.
Her speech on Saturday was also different because of instead of criticizing only; Palin actually offered a plan on how she would boost the economy. She proposed expanding oil drilling and loosening regulations on it. She called for pared down business regulations. And she suggested eliminating the corporate income tax.
“It’s not just fear of a double-dip recession, and it’s not the shame of a credit downgrade,” she said. “This is a systemic crisis due to failed policies and incompetent leadership.”
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