INDIANOLA, Iowa â€” Sarah Palin delivered a populist broadside here Saturday against President Obama, the entire political establishment and what she called the â€œcrony capitalismâ€ 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 â€œpermanent political classâ€ that she said has protected their powers and enriched them, their friends and their contributors at the expense of ordinary Americans and the countryâ€™s well-being.
â€œThere is a name for this,â€ Palin said. â€œItâ€™s called corporate crony capitalism. Itâ€™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 .â€‰.â€‰. and influence peddling and corporate welfare.â€
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 â€œthereâ€™s room for moreâ€ candidates in the GOP field and when she arrived to greet supporters at a local restaurant, she was greeted with chants of â€œRun, Sarah, run.â€
Many of those in Saturdayâ€™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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