NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Former Alaska governor and 2008 GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin devoted her Thursday afternoon speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference to a critique of President Obama’s foreign policy, warning of the consequences of “weakness” and “retreat,” and of the Veterans Administration health-care scandal, which has burdened the very citizens who are risking their lives for the nation’s security.
“How many have done more for America than this generation in uniform, with tens of thousands wounded and more than 1,600 dead fighting radical Islamic terrorism?” she asked.
She noted that in Iraq and Afghanistan, an initial deployment was 45 months, placing a huge burden on families.
“I realized, as so many mothers of combat veterans have had to realize, that we could pray, but we would not be there to protect them in the battlefield,” she said. “Too many come home wounded, broken in body and spirit.”
She declared: “We’re here to collect on the promises made by Washington, and we can’t wait any longer for D.C. to fix the bureaucratic messes in the Veterans Administration.”
She said the VA bureaucracy “is killing our veterans.”
“Our veterans come home and have to wait for months and years for the medical treatment they deserve to receive immediately,” she said. “With corrupt government in Washington, our veterans are losing hope the Veterans Administration will ever be fixed.”
Watch Palin’s speech:
Palin demanded solutions, including the federal government providing veterans with vouchers that can be redeemed in the private health-care system.
“Instead of illegal immigrants cutting in line to demand government benefits, we must demand the vets are first in line,” she said, drawing a standing ovation.
Second, Palin insisted veterans re-entering the private economy should be allowed to “test out” to receive certification that can be used in seeking jobs in the private economy, documenting the technical skills they achieved in the military.
Third, Palin wants Congress to restore the veterans’ benefits that Congress cut last year in the process of increasing benefits Congress voted for itself.
“We need an honorable commander in chief who can provide our troops the political will to win, getting rid of politically correct rules of engagement that put our troops in danger,” she said.
“ISIS crucifying Christians and beheading children, the only thing standing between us and barbarity is the red, white and blue, the United States of America,” said Palin. “The consequences of weakness, retreat and defeat are unimaginable in the war against radical Islam, with terrorists planning to bring their violence to our shores.”
She said pretending radical Islamic terrorism doesn’t exist won’t make it go away, “and it won’t stop ISIS from killing Christians.”
“Stop blaming the victims, Mr. President,” she said. “The State Department tells us we can’t win a war by killing the enemies. Really? Well, tell that to the Nazis. But I forgot. We can’t tell that to the Nazis because we killed them all in World War II.”
Check out WND’s extensive coverage of the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference: