Palin says ‘room for more’ in GOP race

September 4, 2011

By Dan Balz, Saturday, The Washington Post

INDIANOLA, Iowa — Sarah Palin delivered a populist broadside here Saturday against President Obama, the entire political establishment and what she called the “crony capitalism” that she said is destroying the country. But she offered no fresh clues about whether she will seek the presidency in 2012.

Casting herself as the ultimate outsider, the former Alaska governor used a tea party rally to chastise the president and a “permanent political class” that she said has protected their powers and enriched them, their friends and their contributors at the expense of ordinary Americans and the country’s well-being.

“There is a name for this,” Palin said. “It’s called corporate crony capitalism. It’s not the capitalism of free men and free markets, of innovation and hard work and ethics, of sacrifice and of risk. No, this is the capitalism of connections and government bailouts and handouts . . . and influence peddling and corporate welfare.”

Palin has said she will announce by the end of this month whether she will join the race for the White House in 2012. On Friday night, she told reporters “there’s room for more” candidates in the GOP field and when she arrived to greet supporters at a local restaurant, she was greeted with chants of “Run, Sarah, run.”

Many of those in Saturday’s large and enthusiastic audience, who braved repeated downpours until shortly before Palin appeared, came in anticipation that she might tip her hand in her speech. She stopped well short of that, but instead offered one of the most sweeping critiques of the political system since she first appeared on the national scene.

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