By Sandy Fitzgerald
Big government is trying to become a "church" in its own right, former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin said Saturday during a speech at a major Iowa tea party gathering.
Palin started her speech blasting the "war on Christmas," saying secular society is stripping meaning from the holiday by outlawing nativity scenes and other religious symbols.
But soon she flipped to an attack on the Obama administration, saying "the war on Christmas is just the tip of the spear in a larger battle."
Palin said "the crowning achievement of their church of big government is Obamacare."
She blasted Republicans who she says didn't do enough to defund Obamacare, saying they "waved the white flag of surrender."
"They promised that they would do everything in their power to fight against socialized medicine, against Obamacare, but when it came time to stand and defund it, they waved the white flag of surrender and they threw under the bus the good guys who did stand up and fight for us," Palin said.
Palin, whose plans for the 2016 election haven't been announced, also fired shots at the national debt, especially the $1.3 trillion the United States owes China.
"It’s going to be like slavery when that note is due,” Palin said, emphasizing that her comparison "isn't racist."
Palin also told the Christian conservative audience that it is time to "stiffen our spines" for the 2014 elections, reports Reuters.
Palin was just one of several tea party favorites at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's Annual Family Banquet, reports CNN.
Others at the event included Republicans Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Rep. Steve King of Iowa and conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly.
Lee, who along with Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was behind a push to defund Obamacare, also spoke at the Christian conference Saturday.
He compared the British government the original American colonists fought against to the current government, saying it is "slow to respond to the needs of the people," reports CNN.
But instead of being revolutionary, Lee said, today's conservatives should focus on moving forward, including replacing Obamacare with a better healthcare reform plan.
The Founding Fathers, Lee said, were "moving steadily, inexorably in the direction of the kind of government they did want."
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