Palin embraces SNL sketch, dishes out her own humor
Former Alaska governor serves up Obama criticism
There are so many scandals in Washington, Sarah Palin said, they could be lumped under the name of the botched gun-running sting that landed Attorney General Eric Holder in hot water long before the Benghazi, IRS or NSA stories came to light.
"These scandals are coming at us so Fast and Furious," she quipped at an annual gathering of conservatives on Saturday.
Palin was the final speaker and star of the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference Saturday program, where she served up her criticism of President Barack Obama with her trademark witticisms.
The former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee offered no clues in her speech about her political future but was introduced by a video that culminated with footage of a roaring and rearing bear. It was a tribute to her "mama grizzly" effort on behalf of tenacious women running for public office.
Asked by CNN if she would be on the campaign trail again in 2014 on behalf of fellow Republicans, Palin replied, "Absolutely, more than ever."
"Time's-a-wasting. Things are moving really quickly and if we don't get out there and defend this republic then America will be transformed into something we do not recognize," she told CNN.
She is also returning to television, where she has been largely absent since her contract with Fox News ended last year. The network said Thursday that she is returning as a paid commentator.
At the conference, she said the Washington controversies remind her of a sarcastic sketch performed by her "really, really good friends at Saturday Night Live." (They're friends, she said, because she provided actress Tina Fey, her look-alike, "job security.")
"Our government spied on every single one of your phone calls but it couldn't find two pot smoking dead-beat Bostonians with a hotline to terrorist central in Chechnya. Really?"
"It's built apparatus to sneak into all the good guys communications, but oops-a-daisy, it missed the Fort Hood mass murder of our own troops despite this Islamic terrorist declaring his ideology in numerous Army counseling sessions and on his own business cards," she said. "Really?"
And the IRS "can't figure out how it managed to spend over 4 million dollars on a training conference because it didn't keep the receipts. Really? You try that with the IRS."
Palin swiped at a fellow Republican, too.
She appeared to reference former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's remark at the same conference on Friday that immigrants were "more fertile," made in the context that legal immigration could "create an engine of economic prosperity."
Bush is a proponent of immigration reform.
Palin responded, "I think it's kind of dangerous territory, touchy territory, to want to debate this over one race's fertility rate over another, and I say this as someone who's kinda fertile herself.
"I don't think that's where we want to go in deciding how we incentivize the hard working responsible families that want to be in the light, follow the law, and become Americans versus those whose very first act on our soil is to break the law," she said.
The former governor took what appeared to be a light-hearted dig at first lady Michelle Obama, who said while being heckled at a fundraiser this month, "One of the things I don't do well is this."
Palin said near the top of her speech, "If there's any protesters, speak now or forever hold your peace, because facing the protesters, facing the critics - that's something I do well."
She voiced her oft-stated dislike for Washington, calling it a "hot mess," and said lawmakers should listen to a senator new to the city.
"You know what I wish Congress would do - just for a week, perhaps, just put themselves on cruise control," she said.
"Ted Cruz control," she added, naming the freshman GOP senator from Texas who she campaigned for last year.
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