Although not declaring she was entering the 20102 election race, former governor Sarah Palin's talk before Long Island Association members on Thursday touched on all of the points potential candidates and political strategists are buzzing about: economic challenges, health care reform and gun control. Some of what she discussed in her unscripted question-and-answer session with Long Island's business community at the Crest Hollow Country Club is below.
The Budget Battle Palin's position on American finances was firm: Obama is doing it wrong, and the Administration is primed to spend money, and touched on three financial factors such the budget, the deficit, and raising the debt ceiling. On the budget, Palin said Obama's major failure is that his plan does nothing to reduce the deficit. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution's Frank Eltman notes that Palin's criticism of the budget went beyond the numbers; Eltman writes that Palin blamed the media, saying it "had been complicit in allowing Obama to claim that his budget did not add to the national debt," when in fact it increases it.
Health Care Reform Standing by her claim that the Affordable Health Care Act would usher in rationed care and death panels, Palin asked the audience "who are these faceless bureaucrats on a panel who will decide? Will it be my baby with Down syndrome, who maybe somebody may judge him as not having that level of productivity somebody else may have. So maybe if rationed care is part of this, maybe he wouldn't receive the care." She also said that funding and eligibility for Social Security will need to change because "we're going bankrupt."
Gun Control Despite Gabrielle Giffords' shooting and the attention it brought down on Palin for literature that placed targeted election districts in cross-hairs and used hunting terminology, Palin remained unbowed over gun control. Describing Giffords' shooting as "a tragic, tragic, event," Palin said adding more gun laws will only infringe on the rights of responsible citizens. "I do not support taking away more freedom from the good guy," Palin says, because "the people who have no intention of using that weapon to harm another person so, no additional gun control measures could be supported."
The Debt Ceiling Although Timothy Geithner has urged Congress to raise the debt ceiling to avoid having the US default on its debts, Palin told Long Island's businessmen that allowing the US to borrow more money would “create the allowance for big spenders to get in there." Further, The New York Times quotes Palin as telling the 1,000 attendees that "the government receives so much revenue," that a showdown over the debt ceiling wouldn't crimp critical government operations. Or, as Business Week describes it, Palin "welcomes a government shutdown in the fight over government spending."
2012 Election The former governor wasn't committing one way or another to running in 2012, but says she expects 2012 to be an unusual election season, saying "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." Palin also noted that should she run, she has a clear advantage, saying, "No one is more qualified, really to multi-tasking and the things you need to do as president than a woman, a mom."