Former Gov. Sarah Palin
Susan B. Anthony
List's "Celebration of Life" Breakfast
Building and International Trade
May 14, 2010
DEMOCRACY IN ACTION TRANSCRIPT
or see C-SPAN video
Oh I appreciate so much that warm welcome. Thank you all; it is
great to be here. Good morning sisters, and I see some brothers
out there too. Glad you made it. First I'd like to thank
Jane and Marjorie for their wonderful work and for their boldness,
their courage. They're not backing down when they take
heat. Sometimes--I know that if my name is associated with
something you take a little bit of extra heat. I appreciate so
much that you take it anyway and thank you Emily Buchanan for all of
your hard work with this organization and Marie, the most beautiful
song--that was gorgeous. Thank you so much for your talent,
And then the founders and the members of Team Sarah who are here, I
can't tell you how much I appreciate you, and I would ask that you
stand up so that I can put some faces out there to names, and I thank
you so much. Thank you. Whew, talk about courage and
boldness, you all. Thank you for the great work that you did in
'08, during the campaign, and since then even, continuing to support
and advocate for good common sense solutions and helping me get the
message out there. I appreciate you so much.
You know what I would always like to do when I'm in any kind of group
is acknowlege those who allow us to be here free and secure, the
members of our United States military. I know we have a lot of
spouses of military members and moms of military members and daughters
Those of you who are serving today in uniform or who perhaps have
served in the past are veterans, you are who we want to thank and
salute, and I would ask that members of our military past or present if
you would stand up we're going to thank you, salute you, say God bless
you. Thank you sir. Thank you. America's
finest. Our men and women in uniform who are a force for good
throughout this world, and there is nothing to apologize for
that. God bless you, veterans. Thank you.
And we do have these good candidates. I know that they have been
listed today, but Robin Smith and Pam Bondi and Jane Norton and Kelly
Ayotte, so happy that you are here today and that you are bold and that
you are standing up for what is right and you're putting it all on the
line, too. And I thank you for the courage that you're showing in
running for office.
This afternoon I'll be with Nikki Haley in South Carolina doing an
endorsement there and of course Carly Fiorina, it was, you know the
credibility there that SBA allows a candidate to have knowing that,
okay I'm safe there endorsing Carly Fiorina. You all have
endorsed her, you all get it. You understand that there in deep
blue California anyone who's running for office bold enough to declare
their pro-life stands or pro-NRA; they're pro business and development
and anti tax, anti-big government principles that they stand on.
Here she proudly proclaiming that and yet some kind of wanting to
accuse her of being a RINO. I say no no no no. There in the
deep blue California if she's unabashedly pro-life and all of those
other common sense conservative things that she stands for, she's the
real deal. And I appreciate you to being bold enough and strong
enough to take a stand in that race and to take a stand in so many of
these races across the country.
I'm especially glad to be here celebrating life and doing it under the
banner of one of my heroes, Susan B. Anthony. It's an honor to
speak in the building named after another one of my heroes, and many of
yours, Ronald Reagan. This is an honor.
President Reagan of course was always so supportive of women
leadership. In fact he often liked to tell a story about his good
friend--and another heroine--Margaret Thatcher. Reagan first met
Thatcher before she became prime minister, and it was during a trip
that he took to England while he was still governor of
California. Reagan loved to tell a story about that trip.
Apparently he was the guest at a reception hosted by members of the
British Conservative Party. And to use Reagan's own words, he
said, Lord Somebody or Other came over to him and asked, well what do
you think of our Mrs. Thatcher? And Reagan said, I think she'd
make a magnificent prime minister. And the British lord said, Oh
my dear fellow, a woman prime minister? And Reagan replied, well
you had a Queen named Victoria who did pretty well.
And of course Reagan was right about what a magnificent prime minister
Margaret Thatcher was, and I admire the fact that Mrs. Thatcher, she
never set out to be a woman prime minister, just a prime
minister. And one of the greatest ever to have served, perhaps
because she was a woman of action.
Thatcher liked to say, in politics, you want something said, ask a man;
you want something done, ask a woman. That was her quote.
So folks, in 2010, we'll remember this year because we're going to
accomplish a lot together this year. This year will be remembered
as a year when common sense conservative women get things done for our
All across this country, women are standing up and speaking out for
common sense solutions, and many of them are grassroots activists,
leading, like the tea party movement, which I'm excited about because
it's a beautiful movement. It's a movement of the people.
These women are getting involved because the want a better future for
their kids, for all of our kids. And these policies coming out of
DC right now, this fundamental transformation of America that we were
warned about in the campaign--well a lot of women who are very
concerned about their kids' future are saying we don't like this
fundamental transformation of America, this road that were on towards
national insolvency. We being beholden to foreign countries in so
many respects now. We being under the thumb of big government,
with more of a disrespect for life, for the sanctity of life. We
don't like that transformation,
And to me it seems like its kind of a mom awakening in the last year
and a half, where women are rising up and saying, no. We've had
enough already. We're going to turn this thing around; we're
going to get our country back on the right track no matter what it
takes, we're putting all of our efforts into these mid-term elections
to turn things around and put government back on our side. To
respect the will of the people, not allowing government to make us work
for it, but for our government to again work for us.
The policies coming out of DC are allowing us to feel empowered really,
allowing us to rise up together because moms kind of just know when
something's wrong. It's that mother's intuition thing, I
think. We can tell when things are off base, off course or not
right, and we're not afraid to role up our sleeves and get to work and
get the job done, set things straight. Moms can be counted on to
fight for their children's future.
Now again part of that fight has to do with the grassroots movement
that is full of tea party Americans, those who are saying, no, enough
is enough. And what has amazed me about the tea party movement is
how the media has reacted to the people who are involved and just want
their voice heard, and say, no, government, you're overreaching.
You need to abide by our Constitution and you have limited powers,
federal government. And we're going to kind of explain to you and
remind you what the Constitution's all about. That's what the tea
party movement is all about.
So there the media is--they just kind of crack me up because they embed
themselves in the tea party rallies and they try to figure out just who
are these creatures who are a part of this? These moms, these
grandmas, these teens and college students, these doctors and lawyers
and such, all walks of life, both genders, people of all races being a
part of this movement and yet the media has tried, but I think they've
failed because Americans are smart enough to start holding the media
accountable. But people there in the media trying to portray tea
party Americans as racist and violent and all those things that they
are not, that we are not. Just average, every day, hard working
patriotic, liberty-loving Americans who again have said, that's enough,
federal government, that's enough of your overreach, and we're going to
do something about it.
Now it's been clever, too, being a part of these tea party rallies,
seeing some of the signs in the audience, and some of your signs today
too. You can learn a whole lot about what the sentiment is out
there in the American public just by reading the signs in some of these
I think one of my favorite was a mom carrying a sign saying, My kid is
not your ATM. I do like that billboard too though, that billboard
that the college kids have up, that was just recently unveiled.
It says, Mr. President, I need a fricking job. Period. That
was a good one there in Buffalo. And, oh of course I always like
seeing though too the sign of the billboard George Bush saying, miss me
yet? I love that one. We do.
Because when Washington goes on a spending spree and starts borrowing
money to take over and bail out insurance companies and financial
institutions and the banks, the auto makers, and keeps spending
endlessly and running up dangerously unsustainable debt and deficits
[inaud.when?and] expect that our kids and our grandkids are going to
pay the bills for us, for our overspending today. I think that's
immoral, it's unethical, it's not right, and I think that all of us
agree on that. And when that happens, I think a whole lot of moms
were concerned about government handing our kids the bill. It's
generational theft, too. We're stealing opportunities from the
future of America. We rise up, and moms say, come on, now, that's
enough. That is enough, and we're going to do something about
And Washington, let me tell you, you no doubt don't want to mess with
moms who are rising up. There in Alaska I always think of the
mama grizzly bears that rise up on their hind legs when somebody's
coming to attack their cubs, to do something adverse toward their
cubs. No, the mama grizzlies, they rear up and, you know if you
thought pit bulls were tough well you don't want to mess with the mama
grizzlies, and I think there are a whole lot of those in this room.
And that's what we're seeing with all these women who are banding
together, rising up, saying no. This isn't right for our kids and
for our grandkids. And women leading the grassroots people's
movement--many of the tea party leaders, most of them are women.
So some common sense constitutional conservative women--taking to the
streets right now, organizing on that grassroots level--this is so good
for our republic, it's so good for a republic within a democracy to
have this rising up, this awakening. It's very, very healthy for
Others are putting it all on the line, as I say, running for office,
being so bold. And those who are endorsed and nurtured by the
Susan B. Anthony List, we so appreciate you.
When I see how many great women candidates are running, kind of reminds
me of that campaign button that we had in 2008. It showed a pink
GOP elephant on it, and it said, it's a girl. And maybe that was
a single girl reference then, but this year look out Washington because
there's a whole stampede of pink elephants crossing the line, and the
ETA, stampeding through, the ETA is November 2nd, 2010.
Lot of women coming together, going to take this country back.
Organizations like the Susan B. Anthony List are leading the charge
too, thankfully. You play such a crucial and unique role in the
pro-family, pro-woman, pro-life movement because you support pro-life
women candidates. And that is a group that must continue to grow
in numbers. You sponsor candidates who will not vote present on
those issues of life, and your support for the culture of life, you
know that it's not above anybody's pay grade.
We proudly stand up and we speak out for those most in need of our
protection, those most vulnerable, and we're not shy about doing
so. And being a pro-life politician is more than just a
convenient title come election time. It means making tough
decisions, even if that means bucking your party once in a while on
these issues of life. Even if it means standing up against that machine
that's running a party.
The Susan B. Anthony List was front and center during the Obamacare
debate and we were all so grateful for your leadership in finding that
public funding that was in the bill during the Obamacare debate.
We were saddened to see so many so-called pro-life Democrats cave on
the issue though. But we're not discouraged. Far from being
discouraged, we need to be energized, we need to be really fired up,
and not be demoralized, but get organized.
Elections have consequences. And we've seen the manifestations of
that already in the recent elections and in some of the recent polls,
we've seen the consequences of those who said that they were something,
get into office, cast their votes and prove that they're something
else. We won't forget those who promised to hold firm against
government funding of abortion, but caved at the last minute in
exchange for a non-binding executive order promised by the most
pro-abortion president to ever occupy the White House. We will
We won't forget, come November our new pro-life, pro-woman majority
will actually be pro-life when it counts, when those votes are needed.
But your work is more than just candidates, SBA. You act as a
representative for all feminists who believe in the culture of
life. Organizations like the Susan B. Anthony List are returning
the women's movement back to its original roots, back to what it was
all about in the beginning. You remind us that the earliest
leaders of the women's rights movements, they were pro-life, women like
your namesake and like Elizabeth Cady Staton, Sarah Norton and Alice
Paul, who of course was the author of the original equal rights
amendment back in 1923, who said, she said abortion is the ultimate
exploitation of women.
Today polling shows that more young women agree with these feminist
foremothers than ever before, and believe in that culture of life,
empowering women by offering them a real choice. In fact a Gallup Poll
showed recently that for the first time in 14 years there are more
Americans proudly proclaiming themselves as pro-life, understanding the
sanctity of life and the need for a culture of life, than ever
before. The majority of Americans, and that's a huge victory.
Together, our pro-woman sisterhood is telling these young women that
they are strong enough and smart enough, they are capable to be able to
handle an unintended pregnancy and still be able, in less than ideal
circumstances no doubt, but still be able to handle that, give their
child life, in addition to pursuing career and pursuing education,
pursuing avocations. Though society wants to tell these young
women otherwise. Even these feminist groups want to try to tell
women, send this message that no you're not capable of doing
both. You can't give your child life and still pursue
education. You're not strong enough; you're not capable. So
it's very, very hypocritical of some of those pro-life groups--I mean
pro-women rights groups out there who would claim such a thing.
And that's as opposed again to Susan B. Anthony List and other pro-life
women groups who are saying, no, women, you are strong enough, you are
capable of doing this. And if motherhood isn't an option, raising
that child, after you allow it life, well then adoption is a beautiful
choice, and we need to pursue more opportunity in that arena.
Even in less than ideal circumstances these pro-life groups are
empowering women and letting them understand that, yeah, there's going
to be some help and some support and resources out there for you in
order to give your child life.
And I understand those challenges in less than ideal
circumstances. I've been there. You know I had never
ordered up, planned on being the mom of a son with special needs.
You know I thought you know God will never give me something that I
can't handle. And when I found out that, at about 12 weeks along
through an ultrasound that my baby would be born with Down syndrome I
thought immediately, okay God, remember you promised us you will never
give us anything that we can't handle. I don't think I can handle
this. This wasn't part of my life's plan. I had no idea how
I was going to handle the situation in raising a special needs child as
a very busy governor, busy with four other kids, husband away quite
often commercial fishing and up on the North Slope in the oil fields,
working there. And just the circumstances, and not knowing if my
heart was ready, not knowing if I was patient and nurturing
My sister has a child with autism and we've always said, see God knew
what he was doing. The autistic child would be for Heather, my
sister Heather, because she is the more nurturing one, she'd be able to
But when Trig was born then, I understood that no, God does know what
he's doing and what seemed like would be such a challenge has turned
into our greatest blessing. And I believe that one of the
whispers in my ear during, after that ultrasound and the weeks of the
pregnancy, the months of the pregnancy was God kind of whispering in my
ear saying are you going to trust me? And are you going to walk
the walk or are you just going to talk the talk. And he so
preparing my heart though I didn't know that preparation was even being
done in our family and in my heart, but the minute that Trig was born
and they lay him in my arms and he just kind of melted right on into my
chest and he looks up at me and it was just like he's saying see God
knows what he's doing and this is going to be good, and mom he gave me
to you and he gave you to me and this is going to be a wonderful
journey and truly God so overwhelming us with joy and the recognition
of his perfection, Trig's perfection, has been nothing but blessing
and I so want to help other women who are in that situation, thinking
these are less than ideal circumstances, what am I going to do about
this? Maybe I can change those circumstances. Maybe this
can all just go away and we'll pretend it never happened.
I want to encourage these women, oh my goodness, give this life a
chance. You will be blown away, overwhelmed. Your life will
so change for the better in allowing the life of someone even with
special needs, especially someone with special needs. Todd and I
know that, in our family we know that Trig will teach us more than
we'll ever be able to teach him. He allows such awesome
perspective on what really matters. And I think too in this
political arena is, oh all the stuff on the periphery that just wastes
time and doesn't matter, does it at the end of the day the things that
are said in the media and the political potshots. They don't
amount to a hill of beans. Not when Trig is there in our life,
showing us this golden heart that I believe God would want all of us to
embrace and to emulate, the child with special needs. I tell you,
truly, Trig has been the best thing that has ever happened to me and
to the Palin family. Yes. [standing ovation] Thank
you. Thank you very much.
Let me share quickly something that Trig does too that I think the
rest of us can learn from. He of course, having challenges--and
he'll have challenges his entire life, probably greater challenges than
the rest of will have, but Trig, you can already see sort of his
perspective in this child that I think the rest of us are supposed to
understand and emulate to. Trig, in the morning, he'll wake
up--he's two years old now--he'll wake up and he pulls himself up on
the, up to the top of the crib there. He looks around and he rubs
his sleepy little eyes and even though the day is going to be
challenging, he starts applauding. First thing in the morning he
looks around clapping like whoho!, whatcha going to do to me now.
I mean shouldn't we all? Shouldn't we all? That's what
we're learning from our boy.
But my daughter Bristol, too. She didn't expect to become
pregnant at 17 and those were less than ideal circumstances.
There Bristol having to endure you know some public humiliation.
It was an embarassing time for her and bless her heart, they're out on
a national stage and she and the rest of the family saying, you know
this wasn't supposed to happen. You don't think that it will
happen in your own family. Bristol though, being so strong and
independent and knowing that choosing life was the right road, the
right choice, she knew it wouldn't be easy. And it hasn't been
easy, and society, culture sure hasn't made it easy on her. And
her message now being, hey other teenage girls, don't do what I
did. This is not easy. You know it was a premature ending
of her adolescence, and it was, you know, the beginning of a whole new
life absolutely living now for someone else. She living for her
son. But, wow, our culture and the media has made it rough on her
and they're kind of sending the message I think to other girls that,
hey, it'd probably be easier if you just abort your child and not have
to go through what Bristol's going through.
Bristol too saying, no. These are less than ideal
circumstances. Her message now is don't do what I did.
Abstinence is the only 100% foolproof way, of course, of preventing
pregnancy. She though kind of getting clobbered for that message,
and she's kind of new to all of this too, obviously. And she's
like why would I get clobbered out there in our society for using
myself as a lesson? is what she's saying, and just warning other
teenagers. I think that the phrase she uses is pause before you
play, which is, you know, that's good for them too. But Bristol,
knowing too that it was the right choice. And she now seeing and
the rest of us seeing that there again, what seemed like life's
greatest challenge, an impossible situation to get through, right out
of the chute when you hear the news. No. Her baby, having
turned into such an awesome blessing. And we, here, you know a
year and a half later, looking at this child, saying what would our
life be like if he were not here in our life. Again not an easy
road for Bristol, not an easy road, but the right road, and I'm very
proud of her decision.
It's important to know that I am and always have been unapologetically
pro-life, so when I talk about Trig and when I talk to other groups
about kind of what went through my mind and the feelings that I had
when the doctor was telling me about what could be the results of the
tests with the Down syndrome tests and all that, I have to be really
careful in how I explain my feelings, because some people say oh, you
know, she considered abortion or she, you know, how can that validate
her pro-life position? And I say, no, what Bristol and I both
have been through has not changed that belief, but it has changed my
perspective on the whole situation.
Our experiences gave me tremendous empathy for the woman who does find
herself in less than ideal circumstances. I now understand why a
woman would be tempted perhaps to think that well it might just be an
easier way out to try to change the circumstances, to take the
situation in my own hands and change this. I understand what goes
through her mind, if even for a brief moment, a split second even,
because I've been there.
But what my family has experienced in the last few years has really
reaffirmed and strengthened my unwavering support for life at every
stage, and choosing life may not be the easiest path, but it's always
the right path. And I've had that confirmation. The timing
or the circumstances may not be perfect, but God sees a way where we
cannot, and he doesn't make mistakes.
So Bristol and I both putting our faith in that belief, and we're
learning together again that what seems like life's greatest challenges
at the moment turn out to be life's greatest blessings. And
though it took me time to get my arms around being the mom of a special
needs child, as I say, the moment that Trig was born was truly the
happiest moment of my life, and things came together for me then.
It was life changing and truly teaching us more than we'll ever be able
to teach him.
So I thank the SBA List for allowing women to receive that message
about the sanctity of life, about giving life a chance. And being
a pro-life, pro-woman organization that has this growing voice because
more and more Americans are looking to the SBA. They're looking
to see it is you endorse. They're looking to see what the message
is coming from the SBA because there's a craving, there's a yearning
out there in our society, out there in a culture for truth and for
people who are those with that stiff spine and won't shy away from
talking about the issues that some want to kind of consider off base or
too controversial or they're too politically correct and they don't
want to engage in the conversation about the sanctity of life.
SBA is bold enough, courageous enough to empower other women to have
that stiff spine and talk about these issues.
And I thank the SBA List too for being a home to a new conservative
feminist movement is how I look at this. It's an emerging
conservative feminist identity. Far to long when people heard the
word feminist, they thought of the faculty lounge at some East Coast
women's college, right? And no offense to them; they have their
opinions and their voice and God bless them, they're just great.
But that's not the only voice of women in America.
I'd like to remind people of another feminist tradition, kind of a
Western feminism. It's influenced by the pioneering spirit of our
foremothers, who went in wagon trains across the wilderness and they
settled in homesteads. And these were tough, independent
pioneering mothers, whose work was as valuable as any man's on the
frontier. And it's no surprise that our western states that gave
women vote, the right to vote, way before their East Coast sisters in a
more gentile city perhaps, got it right. These women they had
dirt under their fingernails, and they could shoot a gun and push a
plow and raise a family all at the same time. These women, our
frontier foremothers, they loved this country and they made sacrifices
to carve out a living and a family life out of the wilderness.
They went where no woman had gone before. I kind of feel a
connection to that tough, gun-toting pioneer feminism of women like
Annie Oakley and them. Maybe its that upbringing in Alaska.
Maybe too it's because later on today I do a speech at the NRA, and I'm
getting in the groove.
I'm proud to call myself a Western conservative in the tradition of
Ronald Reagan. Ronald Reagan, understanding those Western values
too, those small town values. And as an Alaskan woman I'm proud
to consider myself a frontier feminist like those early pioneering
women of the West.
Now maybe my jumping on a national stage was a bit of a shock to some
people. Some people may not have considered what an independent
pioneering spirit, having that was what I was brought up with, what
that could look like. Maybe there was a lot of shock out there
jumping on that national stage, but I know that some left-wing
feminists they sure didn't know what to make of an Alaskan chick out
there talking about the Second Amendment and talking about raising
family and kids, the more the merrier. Some of them refused to
even admit I was a woman. Geez.
That's one of the reasons why I'm so grateful for the support of this
organization. Oh my goodness, the hard work, the graciousness,
even the diplomacy, how you're able to engage in the issues in the
debate with healthy debate and so diplomatically, so professionally,
with so much wisdom and intelligence, and again with grace. I'm
grateful to have a place like this full of sisters who are not put off
by a gun-toting, pro-life mom of a fun, full family. Never
dull. And I so appreciate the support that you all have shown.
So our work together, together with Susan B. Anthony is to grow and
expand this organization so that it too will be a foundation in our
work to build a culture of life. Because America's going to be an
even more exceptional place as that culture of life is embraced and as
we make manifest the efforts and our intentions and our commitment to
kind of open the eyes of others to let them see the importance of
protecting life. Really it all comes down to life, and how we're
going to take a stand on protecting innocent life and deciding that
nobody is beneath the protection of our laws. A better America,
in this most exceptional country, still we're going to be able to do it
better, we're going to be even more exceptional with that culture of
life being ushered in. It too must be a foundation for a new
revival of that original feminism of Susan B. Anthony. Together
we're showing young women that being pro-life is in keeping with the
best traditions of the women's movement.
And this year the Susan B. Anthony List and its great women candidates
are going to prove Margaret Thatcher right. If you want something
done, ask a woman. We're getting the job done, sisters. One
life, one activist, one election, one vote, one American Dream at a
time. So thank you, keep up the good work, God bless you, God
bless the United States of America. Thank you, guys.
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