'Stiffen our spines,' Palin tells conservatives

Sarah Palin called on conservatives to prepare to engage in the 2014 elections to fight back against politicians who voted for an end to the shutdown and "threw under the bus the good guys."

It's time to "stiffen our spines," she told a gathering of Christian conservatives in Iowa on Saturday, for the upcoming election cycle.

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"I want to encourage you to make your voice heard, to hold politicians accountable," Palin said, according to Reuters.

Speaking at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's annual fall banquet, the former Alaska governor lambasted Republican lawmakers who voted to end the shutdown last month.

"They promised that they would do everything in their power to fight against socialized medicine, against ObamaCare, but when it came time to stand and defund it, they waved the white flag of surrender and they threw under the bus the good guys who did stand up and fight for us," Palin said.

The conservative-led strategy to shut down the government in order to defund ObamaCare ultimately failed to accomplish its aims and caused widespread backlash against the Republican Party, whom polling shows bore the brunt of the blame for the tactic.

Many establishment Republicans criticized the strategy and its leaders, but conservatives haven't backed down, despite the polling.

Some conservative groups — notably the Senate Conservatives Fund super PAC, which has engaged heavily in GOP primaries in past cycles — have become more active post-shutdown, attacking lawmakers who voted to end it and endorsing primary challengers.

After Republican Steve Lonegan, who Palin endorsed in the New Jersey Senate special election, lost, Palin warned that "we're going to shake things up in 2014."

She suggested Kentucky, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi are all in her sights. In each of those states, the incumbent senator is facing a primary challenge.