AP Photo/Scott Sady
Published Monday, Oct. 18, 2010 | 12:16 p.m.
Updated Monday, Oct. 18, 2010 | 2:53 p.m.
RENO -- Kicking off the Tea Party Express’s final nationwide tour of the campaign season, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin urged a Reno crowd to help conservatives retake Congress in November.
“Tea Party Americans, you’re winning,” Palin shouted to a crowd of more than 1,000 cheering supporters upon taking the stage in the parking lot of a vacant shopping mall.
But despite the Tea Party Express naming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as its “top target,” Palin spent less than two minutes of her 25-minute stump speech encouraging the crowd to go out and vote for his Republican opponent, Sharron Angle.
Indeed, when asking for the crowd to support Angle, she included her in a list of other conservative candidates the Tea Party Express has backed so far this cycle.
“We need people like Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul,” she shouted.
Palin thanked the crowd for being “so bold in your support of Sharron Angle,” noting that Reid has spent months attacking her.
“Yet she’s still standing,” she said.
Palin hammered Reid throughout her speech.
“Unemployment here is 14.4 percent,” she said. “The highest in the nation. It’s Harry Reid who is calling the shots, making the policies that so adversely affect you, why the heck wouldn’t you fire him?”
She also unleashed her vitriol on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and the “mainstream media.”
In a possible foreshadowing of her own 2012 plans, Palin issued this warning: “Mr. Obama, you’re next, because now we can see 2012 from our house.”
Angle did not appear at the Tea Party Express rally. That organization and its sister political action committee Our County Deserves Better are running an independent expenditure campaign against Reid.
Angle’s spokesman said she couldn’t attend their events.
Campaigning in Las Vegas, Reid issued a humorous rejoinder to Palin’s repeated call for voters to use common sense to elect conservative candidates.
“I agree with Sarah Palin, for once in my life,” he said. “I hope the people in the state of Nevada do use common sense.”