ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin rallied Republican candidates in Florida on Saturday by pillorying President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms and economic policies -- and she also used her speech to plug her new TV reality show “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”
At a Republican rally in Orlando, Florida, the Tea Party favorite and former vice presidential candidate invoked former Republican President Ronald Reagan as an example of the kind of conservative policies she said America needed.
“What this great country needs is a little bit of good old Reaganism -- lower taxes, less government intrusion and overreach, smaller, smarter government,” Palin said, drawing cheers of approval from the partisan crowd.
With many ordinary Americans still feeling the pain of the recession in their daily lives, Obama and the Democrats face the prospect of big losses in the November 2 midterm congressional elections.
Many pollsters predict Republicans will win enough seats to take control of the House of Representatives, which could put the brakes on Obama’s legislative agenda. Surveys show Democrats are also likely to lose Senate seats but could keep a slim majority in the chamber.
Palin, who is widely thought to be weighing a run for president in 2012, repeatedly pressed the idea of the November 2 vote being a referendum on Obama’s performance in office, calling the upcoming ballot “the election of a lifetime”.
“Our government and our country have really gotten off track ... but nothing we can’t fix with a good old fashioned election,” she said, speaking after addresses by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Florida’s Senate candidate Marco Rubio.
Against a background in Florida of a more than 11 percent jobless rate and a high number of home foreclosures, Rubio is comfortably leading independent Charlie Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek in the Sunshine State, an influential swing state in elections.
Playing up the country’s economic woes, especially at the level of the “little guy” ordinary citizen, Palin said Obama and the Democrat leaders “have created for us a blueprint of things that don’t work in this country”.
Blasting Obama’s healthcare overhaul and economic stimulus spending, she said America wanted “a fiscally and physically secure nation” and said the president should apologize for millions of Americans who were out of work.
At the beginning of her speech, Palin suggested Floridians watch her upcoming “docu-series” reality show, “Sarah Palin’s Alaska”, which will debut next month and focus on the northern state’s outdoor attractions.
“You’re lucky, you’re going to get to learn a little bit more about my state here in the coming weeks,” she said.
In a joking reference, she predicted defeat for Obama in the 2012 presidential election, saying her TV show would be followed by a sequel called “Barack Obama’s Golf Courses”, which she said would start up “sometime November 2012”.
Editing by Pascal Fletcher and by Philip Barbara
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