SANTA BARBARA (AP) — America is on a “road to ruin” because of misguided policies in Washington and needs to get back in step with the values of Ronald Reagan, Sarah Palin said at an event honoring the former president’s legacy.

The 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee delivered a stinging critique of Washington during her speech Friday, part of the national celebration marking the centennial of Reagan’s birth on Feb. 6.

Revisiting themes familiar from her 2008 campaign, she said the nation was being shackled by high debt and taxes, dense government regulation and rising spending, often for programs that don’t work. She said a rush toward green energy was overlooking the nation’s oil and natural gas reserves, a choice that will cost jobs and drive up pump prices.

She blamed Washington leaders — an apparent reference to the Obama administration — for doing “everything in their power to stymie responsible domestic drilling.”

“This is dangerous. This is insane,” she said. “This is not the road to national greatness, it is the road to ruin.”

She alluded to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last month, saying it amounted to a statement that “the era of big government is here to stay.”

Palin was asked to talk about Reagan’s 1964 speech, “A Time for Choosing,” which he gave on behalf of then-Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. In it, he talks at length about the dangers of high taxes and encroaching big government, as well as the necessity of strong national security.

She said the stark choices the nation faces are not unlike those Reagan talked of in the 1960s, only the economy of today is worse, from home foreclosures to high unemployment.

She said Reagan saw the danger of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs, and “he refused to sit down and be silent as our liberties were eroded by an out of control, centralized government that overtaxed and overreached in utter disregard of constitutional limits.”

“We could choose one direction or the other, socialism or freedom and free markets,” Palin said.

Palin received a roaring ovation, but Reagan’s son told The Associated Press in an interview that he doesn’t see anything in common between his dad and the former Alaska governor, who was invited to speak by the event’s sponsor, the conservative Young America’s Foundation.

“Sarah Palin is a soap opera, basically. She’s doing mostly what she does to make money and keep her name in the news,” Ron Reagan says.

“She is not a serious candidate for president and never has been,” said Reagan, a political independent whose politics lean left.

But former Reagan speechwriter Kenneth Khachigian praised the choice of Palin to discuss Reagan’s legacy.

Palin was a teenager when Reagan took office in 1981 and like many young people “their lives and philosophy and political fortunes were shaped by the Reagan era,” Khachigian says. “She can reflect on that as well as anyone could.”

Palin was introduced to the nation at the Republican National Convention in 2008, and her folksy, wisecracking style sometimes earned her comparisons to Reagan, who was known for his wit and appeal beyond the traditional Republican base, especially with blue-collar Democrats.

She frequently referred to Reagan on the campaign trail, and in her debate with Vice President Joe Biden reprised Reagan’s famous rejoinder from his 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter, “There you go again.”

But Palin, now closely aligned with the tea party movement, has become for some a polarizing political figure.

Tea partiers rail against soaring public debt and sprawling government programs like Social Security and Medicare. But public debt roughly tripled on Reagan’s watch and he did not attempt to dismantle Social Security or Medicare during his term, says Reagan biographer Lou Cannon.

“He was no tea partier,” Cannon says.

The Young America’s Foundation was founded in the 1960s to promote conservative ideas on college campuses, and it purchased Reagan’s former ranch in 1998. The foundation is not connected with the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 

Comments (33)
  1. SarahISdumb says:

    is she thinks america is on the road to ruin…..what road would it be on if she ever got in to office? she needs to put the crack pipe down

  2. Mike says:

    Here she goes again with the same old generic cries of doom. I hope they didn’t pay her for that speech.

  3. fran says:

    when did palin become the spokeperson for americans. you need to stop hating.what this country needs is positive leaders and you are not one of them.instead of you putting this country and the pres. down why don’t you work with him. you lost.

  4. Ben Hoffman says:

    What we’re experiencing is EXACTLY what we had with Reagan: tax cuts for the rich that put us deep in debt, deregulation that resulted in scandals and bailouts, failed economic policies, and disastrous foreign policies.

    1. can'tgetbloodfromastone says:

      Tax cuts for the rich don’t put the country deep in debt. I think spending more than you take in is what puts the country in debt. As a business owner and one that this administration would consider “rich” I know that every month I have to operate to a balanced budget, why should our government be any different?

      Just to clear the air about taxes on the rich….between my business and personal taxes, I pay about 70% of my income to the government (in one form or another). I think that the majority of americans feel like the rich don’t pay any taxes. The fact is 10% of americans pay over 90% of the taxes in this country.

      The tax burden in this country rests very heavily with the rich and upper middle class.

      De-regulation is not a bad thing in itself. It was the poor financial decisions (and in some cases un-ethical) of individual companies that led to their failure. Our government chose to bail them out. You can’t blame de-regulation for that, it was a choice made by our legislators and supported by the president.

      1. Ben Hoffman says:

        [Tax cuts for the rich don’t put the country deep in debt.]

        We had a balanced budget before the tax cuts. Republicans can’t name any major domestic programs they’re willing to cut, and they won’t even talk about cutting defense spending. Therefore, yes, tax cuts put the country deep in debt.

        [I pay about 70% of my income to the government]

        You’re a liar. I’m sure you worked out a real clever way to make that point.

        [The fact is 10% of Americans pay over 90% of the taxes in this country.]

        Not even the most conservative sources make that lie. The Heritage Foundation claims that the top 10% pay 70% of all taxes, which is probably skewed.

        [Our government chose to bail them out. You can’t blame de-regulation for that, it was a choice made by our legislators and supported by the president.]

        Most economists believe that the bailout was necessary to prevent the total collapse of our economy. The way Henry Paulson implemented it that was horrendous.

  5. gotcha says:

    Ah shut up already you attention hog! Look at me!! Look at me!! Grow a brain….

  6. walter says:

    She is a complete moron and she should be feared. How can we be on a train to ruin, when the economy is doing well, nuclear weapons treaty, healthcare, etc….oh, I forgot we are on way to ruin because we did NOT invade Egypt but their own people decided to change their own government unlike Bush and Iraq

  7. swhitS says:

    Never thought I would hear myself say this but she is right but not because of Reagan. She will never get in office though unless she is bought and paid for by the powers that be and then she will be another puppet just like Bush and Obama taking the US on the road to ruin!!
    Just wish she would go away.

  8. Doyle says:

    Dear CBS, Why don’t you do your job and report the news accurately? You were so quick to point out the politically estranged Ron Reagan (from the rest of his family because of his Liberal Politics) that he’s against Sarah Palin. Of course he is because he doesn’t agree with her Conservative Politics. It is disingenuous of You, CBS, to report as if Ron is a family spokesman which he is not! Your obvious omission of the facts just shows Your Liberal Bias and I find your actions PATHETIC!

  9. Ricky says:

    If she wants to run for President for it Girl I hear Eygpt going have an opening soon!

  10. duh says:

    There isn’t a Republican alive who hasn’t trotted out Ronald Reagan’s name to pad their platform. It’s sad that the Republican Party only has one true modern-day icon, and all the rest just enjoy the shade under his shadow. Somehow, I hardly think any Republican running for office 20 yrs from now are going to attach themselves to either Sr or Jr Bush. Sad fact is, they’ll probably still need to exhume the effigy of Reagan 20 yrs from now, too.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Democratic Party lover. Both of these platforms deserve to die into 20th Century history, but unfortunately will hang on awhile longer. I’d wager by 2100, this 2 party system will be history book fodder, but since we’ll all be gone by then, you can just pay me now.

    1. djtal says:

      so true, the comment about Reagan. Oh how I wish there was a true conservative and supporter of the constitution out there (alive today) that we could rally behind and would pull this nation out of the partisan bog we are in.

      Is it Pailn? doubtful… is there a candidate out there in our near future? one can hope!

  11. Jenny says:

    It is the “trickle down” garbage that came from Reagan and continues now with the extension of the Bush tax cuts that created the economic situation we are crawling out of now. She is Pathetic!!!!!

  12. go home Sarah Palin! says:

    Evidently she knows nothing new but her tired old rhetoric. No new message, just bash bash bash.. No effort to unite the’s the “us versus them mentality–” How is that maverick?
    Sarah Palin is the same tired dog with the same ol’ trick!
    Go back to your fishing pond!

    1. ES says:

      But i get a kick when the Palin circus comes to town. Its free entertainment and we all could use a good laugh.

  13. Robert S. says:

    Sara Palin is correct in her asumption tha t we are headed for the “Land of Doom!” Crackpot guesses on how to run the country is taking it’s toll on our future!

  14. Robert S. says:

    There have been so many bad decisions in the last couple of years, that it is down right shameful!

    1. ES says:

      Yes, just ask John Mcain.

  15. Robert S. says:

    Ronald Reagan thought the way to a better America was jobs, and letting people reward themselves through hard work, and that would take care of our hopes and dreams.

  16. Robert S> says:

    It would also lead to an ample tax base, so everyone would not have to fear going under. The way we are going with “bailouts” for the banks, and failing business is just plain stupid!

  17. Robert S. says:

    Lets get America back on the tracks to a sound recovery and forget socialism!

  18. Robert S. says:

    Ignorance can be repaired through learning, but stupid is forever!

    1. Sarah Failin' says:

      Yeah! Sarah Palin! Take that!
      Stupidity IS forever!!! I guess there is no hope for you!

  19. Robert S. says:

    Banks are holding money back for home loans, after we bailed them out. What does that do for all of our futures?

  20. Robert S. says:

    Trying with a lot of effort, the country is trying to avoid a massive depression, but is using yesterdays tactics to attain an avoidance of one. Now what does that tell you?

  21. Robert S. says:

    The Dems told us we will change the country for the better, but sadly not a thing they have tried to change will tend to drive us to being “insolvent”!

  22. nadoman says:

    Why does the media continue to give this nobody any ink? She is a nothing with less than nothing to contribute.

    1. ES says:

      It makes for good sunday morning funnies.

  23. socalmal says:

    For crying out loud. What a bunch of whining Palin haters on here. Afterall this is a solid blue Dumiocrat voting welfare state – still attached to the Governent tit, birth to grave, of course. As if California would support Palin to run, haters can and will hate but if she runs, she’ll have a lot more support throughout this nation.

    1. Sarah Is Failin' Palin says:

      We are not haters, merely people like yourself expressing our right to opine.
      However your only response is to attack those who consider the human conditiion more important than greed, being at war, and raping other country’s resources. it’s a fact that conservatism is laden with
      corporate greed that benefits and lines the pockets of some well known politicians and CEOs–connected to the conservative party. Of course you don’t like public programs–it’s money that is being diverted from your ravenous conservative–teabagger greedy hand!!
      Slice it, dice it anyway you can–you AINT taking it with you when you die!

  24. captian crunch says:

    we should spend more and show other countries that we got guts

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