Sarah Palin, the ninth governor of Alaska, levied accusations against the press, attacked “fake feminists” and called Texas to “revitalize our identity” during Saturday night’s Lincoln Reagan Dinner, hosted by the Denton County GOP.
More than a thousand people attended Saturday’s events, which included a silent auction and a tabling event for local election candidates, as well as a dinner that honored Palin as the night’s keynote speaker. The Denton County Republican Party's 39th annual event was hosted for the first time at the new Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center.
“There's a lot of good friends here,” said Denton City Council member Gerard Hudspeth, a self-proclaimed “silent auction junkie.”
He said he was excited to be able to mingle with elected officials.
“You're guaranteed 80 to 90 percent of them will be here, so it's a good chance to hit all of them,” Hudspeth said.
Excited for the night’s keynote speaker, he donned socks with turkeys on them to commemorate an infamous Thanksgiving video interview with Palin.
Before Palin's talk, Lynda Armstrong of San Antonio sat in her motorized wheelchair at a table reserved for “Sarah Palin Earthquake Brigade #1.” As one of the members of the pro-Palin group, who call themselves the Earthquake Brigade, Armstrong was eager to hear the former Alaskan governor speak, citing her values.
“She's God, family and country,” Armstrong said, adding this would be her 12th time to see Palin speak.
Armstrong's fellow brigade member Mary Cole traveled all the way from Starkville, Mississippi, to hear her role-model politician’s speech.
“We've got to save our country,” Cole said, adding that smaller government and “integrity in the office” are some of the major values she sees upheld by Palin and, in turn, President Donald Trump.
Opening remarks began with a welcoming performance of the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance to both the U.S. and Texas flags. During an invocation, the attendees were asked to join hands and pray the “Our Father” prayer together.
And then began the dinner, where attendees were served salad, chicken or steak with asparagus and mashed potatoes, and a variety of cakes for dessert.
During the dinner, military members were honored with standing ovations, an AR-15 rifle was auctioned off alongside a seven-night stay at a Texas beach house, among other items, and state Sen. Jane Nelson handled the microphone as the night’s master of ceremonies.
“We’re going to have fun tonight,” Nelson said, opening the main event.
Palin, whose birthday falls on Sunday, took to stage with a standing ovation and the crowd singing “Happy Birthday,” led by Nelson.
Palin called the area's climate “cute,” adding, “It's Texas, and there are a lot of snowflakes surviving in Texas.”
In her speech, she berated news reporters for perpetuating “press propaganda.” Addressing the “state of the news media,” she said, “It's tragic because America's finest are fighting, and even dying, for those freedoms in the free press.”
“What the press likes to focus on is labeling us 'conspiratorial,’” she said.
She presented a motif of “identity” throughout her speech, emphasizing that the GOP ideology serves to uphold American values.
“Leftists say the stupidest things,” Palin said before aiming an attack at “pink-pussy, fake feminists” — namely, actress, writer and director Lena Dunham.
The crowd responded with enthusiastic applause and whistles when Palin condemned illegal immigration. People who have a problem with that, she said, can “take it up with Barack Hussein Obama and Chuck Schumer.”
Above all, she pushed for party cohesion and emphasized supporting Trump and Republicans, and aimed attacks at Democrats, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
“When do you think was the last time Nancy Pelosi had to fill up the tank in her own truck?” Palin asked a laughing crowd. “Or had to cook her own dinner that she had to shoot herself?”
Again, the crowd laughed and cheered.
She ridiculed Hillary Clinton's failed presidential campaign, claiming Clinton and her associates were “palling around with [Vladimir] Putin's buddies.”
To close her speech, Palin asked for Texans to unite.
"The Deep State doesn't understand our diversity,” Palin said to a white-majority filled room. “Texas, we’re counting on you to revitalize our identity.”