Sarah Palin mum on presidential ambitions during Iowa speech

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Sarah Palin said it is important whom Republicans choose to run against President Obama, but didn’t directly address whether she’ll join the 2012 presidential race during her much-anticipated speech before a tea party crowd in Iowa on Saturday.

The former Republican governor of Alaska and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee referenced the 2012 election many times throughout her remarks, calling out the “permanent political class,” “crony capitalism” and “entrenched political interests.”

“The reality is we are governed by a permanent political class,” Palin said to applause from a rain-soaked audience in Indianola, “until we change that.”

The crowd at the Tea Party for America’s “Restoring America” event ate it up. She was interrupted during her speech to chants of “Run, Sarah, Run.”

Palin has suggested she will make a decision about getting into the GOP presidential race by the end of September. The address itself resembled something you would hear from a presidential candidate.

“We’re going to speak truth today,” Palin told the crowd. “It may be hard hitting, but we’re going to speak truth today because we need to start talking about what hasn’t worked, and we’re going to start talking about what will work for America.”

At one point, Palin proposed doing away with federal corporate income taxes, something she said would create jobs.

“We have the highest federal corporate tax rate in the industrialized world,” she said. “Did you know our rates are higher than China and communist Cuba?”

Speaking from notes, Palin also mentioned how it was three years ago today that she gave her widely acclaimed speech at the Republican National Convention as the GOP vice presidential nominee.

And — in a classic Palin moment — she got a few laughs when criticizing consultants, TV pundits and polls.

“Polls,” Palin said, “are for strippers and cross country skiers.”