Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin spoke before a large crowd at the Mendel Center in Benton Harbor Thursday night. (Daily Star photo/JESSICA SIEFF)
Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin spoke before a large crowd at the Mendel Center in Benton Harbor Thursday night. (Daily Star photo/JESSICA SIEFF)

Archived Story

Palin: ‘Michigan is where I went rogue’

Published 10:32pm Thursday, May 13, 2010

Niles Daily Star

BENTON HARBOR – “Michigan is where I went rogue,” former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin said Thursday night, referring to the 2008 campaign trail when one Fox News reporter characterized her as such. “Michigan is America… Yes, we will endure, because it’s what we always do. We’re Americans.”

Palin was rumored to have spent Thursday afternoon shopping in St. Joseph before taking the stage at Lake Michigan College’s Mendel Center to speak to members of the Southwestern Michigan Economic Club.

More than 3,000 people gathered at Lake Michigan College to hear the 2008 vice presidential nominee speak.

The most highly requested speaker this year said the state had always been good to her and her family.

“Michigan, let me just ask you a quick question – don’t you just love your freedom?” she asked a still applauding crowd.

“It’s good to be here in a place that can appreciate good hunting and fishing and hockey and people who aren’t afraid to cling to their guns and religion,” Palin said.

The bestselling author made a stop at Killwin’s chocolates in St. Joseph, and said meeting people from the area was “inspiring.”

“These connections make our world a nice, intimate, small place,” she said.

Referring back to the 2008 campaign trail, when she was asked about Michigan “closing up shop and moving out,” she said her crew “took it pretty hard we couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to leave…

“The campaign’s decision to give up on Michigan was almost symbolic of a bigger problem,” Palin said, adding that people shouldn’t give up on any place in America.
The “genesis of economic challenges here seem to have a lot to do with the unsustainable costs with doing business in Michigan,” she said.

Saying she isn’t anti-union, Palin said some union bosses created costs that led business to other states.

Palin compared Michigan to New Jersey and the $10 billion deficit its governor recently inherited.

“Of course the economy here can be fixed, but it’s going to take tough decisions,” Palin said. “Change can happen.

“A lot of Michigan folks provide the great example though of what the rest of the nation is fighting for, and it’s why we should never give up,” she said.

“America is keeping its eye on this state,” Palin said, adding that she knows many small business owners are struggling to keep doors open and some workers are carrying the burden of even more than one job.

“Washington’s way is not the right way” she said to get the country’s problems resolved. “It’s out of touch, it’s out of date and those running the show, I think, are running out of time.”

Government is growing, “breaking faith with the people it’s supposed to be serving,” she said.

She attacked President Obama’s stimulus bill, which, she said, “put us on track to quadrupling our deficit.”

Palin said the left is setting up future generations to be “left with the bill” which she said was virtual “generational theft.”

She also described Obama’s healthcare bill as “Obamacare” and said it was a European style bill that would lead to more problems than it would create.

“In Europe it seems as though in some cases work has become almost an option,” Palin said European practices as a “socialist paradise” and a “utopia for it’s people” has resulted in a bill that it seemed America might be left to clean up and she said there was a threat that America could be on the same road.

Touching on the financial crisis currently facing Greece, Palin said some leaders in American “think they’re marching us toward a utopia but they’re marching us toward the edge of a cliff,” Palin said. “We need to learn a lesson from what we see.

“The debt is not just a domestic concern you guys,” she said. “Without an economically strong America able to fight and take a predominant position in the world, where will we be?”

Turning to national security, Palin criticized the Obama administration for making a point to read Miranda rights to Faisal Shahzad, who attempted a deadly terrorist attack in Times Square in New York.

“The terrorist that attack us, yes they’re certainly violent but they are certainly motivated by a radical” belief in Islam.

“We are in a war and we must be in it to win,” she said.

A new type of terrorist has emerged, Palin said, saying Americans have seen evidence of that in the Times Square bomber.

“If an American citizen either born here or naturalized chooses” to fight with terrorists against America “who want to fight this country because they hate this country, should we questions their rights?”

Doing so, Palin said, “is in my opinion what you call treason.”

Solutions, she said, begin at the ballot box in November.

“We need to elect leaders that understand that the government works for us,” Palin said.
“Then we need to change course, by electing these new leaders and start doing things the common sense constitutional way” of doing things, she said.

The economy can’t be grown by growing government, Palin said, but rather by one small business, one entrepreneur at a time.

“Washington needs to lower taxes for small business,” she said, and support innovation and a strong work ethic.

“We’ve got to just get businesses out of the way and let our businesses do what they do best,” Palin said. “They will get our economy back on track.”

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