6,000 cheer Palin, Beck
BY SHANNON MUCHMORE World Staff Writer
Sunday, March 14, 2010
3/14/10 at 10:21 AM
Conservative superstars Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck called for Americans to demand a smaller government that adheres to the principles of its founding fathers during a rally in downtown Tulsa on Saturday.
In front of about 6,000 enthusiastic fans, they criticized President Barack Obama's administration, Washington politicians, progressives and journalists while advocating for average people who they say aren't being heard by those in power.
The duo spoke at the Tulsa Convention Center for the kickoff of the "Taking Our Country Back Tour." They were joined by country musicians John Rich and Gretchen Wilson, who played after the speeches.
Palin and Beck adhered to the themes of having a limited government, reducing the federal deficit and relying on individual responsibility.
Palin said Americans should remember that government works for them and not the other way around.
"There's a growing movement across this country," she said. "It's beautiful, and you're a part of it."
Regular, everyday citizens are standing up to Washington politicians who don't listen to what the people want, she said.
"We understand what they're trying to do to this country," she said. "We understand it, and we don't like it. That's why we're taking our country back."
The former Republican vice presidential candidate and ex-governor of Alaska took a few shots at Obama — whom the crowd booed — and congressional leaders.
Expanded government and continued federal spending will hurt the country, she said.
"There is no need for a fundamental transformation of America," she said. "No thank you, Mr. President, you can keep that change."
She repeated her 2008 campaign mantra of drilling for oil in America and said the country shouldn't be dependent on foreign regimes for fuel.
During his speech, Beck said that if the country doesn't change its direction, Americans will be remembered as greedy, corrupt and riddled with debt.
"If we don't change our course, that's what will be written into the history books," he said. "The winners write the history books, and if we don't change, we are losers."
With the aid of his ever-present chalkboard, Beck took the audience through a brief history of American politics, saying that looking to Europe for ideas is and was a mistake.
"Americans have the idea of the rights of you, not the collective rights," he said.
An animated Beck attacked progressives, saying they are for revolutionary government intrusion and they misinterpret the Constitution as a living document.
"They hide everywhere," he said.
He called on Americans to look at the country's history and resurrect the pride of the founders. He implored the audience to stand up to today's government and learn from the mistakes of the recent past.
A small group of protesters stood outside the convention center holding American flags and signs. One read "Say no to hate and fear-mongering." They called their demonstration "Taking our Country Forward."
Palin resigned as Alaska's governor in July and has since become a political commentator for the Fox News television network. Since her bid for the White House as John McCain's vice presidential nominee failed in 2008, she has been mentioned as a possible candidate for president in 2012. She didn't discuss her political future Saturday.
Beck is host of the daily Fox News show "Glenn Beck" and is also a nationally syndicated talk radio host.
Palin and Beck received speaking fees for their appearances, but the amount was not disclosed. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to a veterans' organization, event planners said.
An April 10 rally is planned in Kansas City, Mo.
To see all of the Tulsa World slide shows, go to tulsaworld.com/photos.
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Sarah Palin: There is no need for a fundamental transformation of America.
During the "Taking Our Country Back Tour" stop in Tulsa on Saturday, Fox News TV show host Glenn Beck said America needs to change course. ADAM WISNESKI / Tulsa World
Sarah Palin speaks to a crowd at the Tulsa Convention Center as part of the "Taking Our Country Back Tour" Saturday. ADAM WISNESKI / Tulsa World
Buffy Edwards cheers as Sarah Palin enters the stage at the Tulsa Convention Center as part of the "Taking Our Country Back Tour" Saturday. ADAM WISNESKI / Tulsa World