Palin promotes offshore drilling in the middle of oil spill

By John Byrne
Monday, May 3, 2010 9:29 EDT
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As an oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico grows larger by the hour, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin continues to stick to “drill, baby, drill.”

In a 30-minute speech to a Republican crowd in Kansas City Saturday, the onetime Republican vice presidential nominee dubbed the gulf spill “very tragic” but added: “I want our country to be able to trust the oil industry.”

Writing in the Kansas City Star, reporter Steve Kraske summed up her remarks as, “She said the U.S. must wean itself from foreign oil in order to be truly free.”

“We’ve got to tap domestically because energy security will be the key to our prosperity,” Palin remarked.

Palin spoke as BP and military officials sought to get a handle on a leaking oil rig site in the Gulf of Mexico, which is purportedly leaking as many as 5,000 barrels of oil a day. The leak began after an explosion on an offshore rig sent the rig to the bottom of the sea and unsheathed a tube that was supposed to be carrying oil to the surface.

Kraske noted that Palin’s speech was also rich with God and “gottas.”

There were lots of “we gottas,” religious references, praise for the troops and even a trademark Palin growl or two as she outlined a conservative vision for the country that adheres, in her view, far more closely to the Constitution.

“We believe that God shed his grace on thee,” she said. “We still believe that America is exceptional.”

In response to a question from local radio talk show host Chris Stigall about her political plans, Palin punted. Although she has hinted in recent months that she is considering a 2012 run for the White House, Palin on Saturday joked that she might run next for a PTA position when her son, Trig, starts school.

Palin spoke to a group called “Preserving American Liberty.” She wouldn’t disclose how much — or if — she was paid for her speech. The former governor has been earning as much as $100,000 for each appearance.

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