NEW ORLEANS — Sarah Palin repeated Friday that Republicans should go by
the bumper-sticker mantra, “Don’t retreat. Reload.”
Palin initially used the slogan in late March, but her decision to repeat it comes as a number of members of Congress have been experiencing threats of violence in the aftermath of the passage of the Democratic-led healthcare bill. Democrats have accused Republicans of inciting that violence.
Palin wasn't backing down Friday. She got big applause for the line at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference here, though she was quick to qualify that it wasn’t a literal call to arms.
“It’s not a call for violence,” she said. “Nobody is calling for such a thing and the media is so desperate to attack” us.
Later on, Palin made light of the fact that she said “shoot” in another apparent reference to what the media would do with her comment.
She also had a quick retort for President Obama’s dig at her this week. Obama said Thursday that Palin “is not much of an expert on nuclear issues.”
Palin said the president isn’t one to talk.
“The president, with all the vast nuclear experience that he acquired,” Palin said to an ovation, “there is still nuclear agreement to date with North Korea and Iran.”
In a sometimes-uneven speech full of applause lines and zingers, she picked apart the Obama Administration on its foreign policy but spent much of her speech focusing on energy.
She played off Obama’s recent announcement that he would expand offshore drilling, suggesting it was a token rather than a big step forward.
“Let’s drill baby drill, not stall baby stall,” Palin said.
She also seemed to take a shot at potential 2012 opponent Newt Gingrich, who on Thursday laid out his plan for making the GOP the “Party of Yes.”
Palin said Republicans should embrace the “Party of No” label that some in the party are wary of.
“There is no shame in being the party of no if the other side proposes something that violates our constitution and conscience,” she said.