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Sarah Palin Elaborates on "Sputnik" Criticism

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin signs her new book 'America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith and Flag,' Nov. 23, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Getty Images
Getty Images

Sarah Palin posted to Facebook on Friday elaborating on her criticism of President Obama's State of the Union call for the United States to have a new "Sputnik moment" grounded in investing to unleash innovation.

Palin said in an interview on Fox Newsthat Mr. Obama had offered a "WTF" moment (a derogatory play on his call for America to "win the future") in his speech and said the president "needs to remember that what happened back then with the former communist USSR and their victory in that race to space, yeah, they won, but they also incurred so much debt at the time that it led to the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union."

The response caused confusion because Mr. Obama was using "Sputnik moment" to describe the American response to the launch of the Soviet satellite, not celebrating the Soviet Union's ability to launch the satellite in the first place.

On Facebook Friday afternoon, Palin quoted a piece by Hoover Institution's Research Fellow Peter Schweizer defending her and criticizing a Washington Post writer, with a focus on whether the Soviet Union had a debt problem at the time of Sputnik.

She then wrote that "in a recent interview I mentioned analogies that could relate to solutions to our economic challenges, including the difference between a communist government's 'Sputnik' and the private sector's 'Spudnut.'"

Continued Palin: "The analogies I mentioned obviously aren't comparable in size, but highlight a clear difference in economic focus: big government command and control economies vs. America's small businesses."

She pointed readers to a Washington coffeeshop called The Spudnet Shop, writing, "Businesses like this coffee shop don't receive big government bailouts." Palin first mentioned The Spudnet Shop in her Fox News interview Wednesday.

"They produce something with their own ingenuity and hard work," she addsed "And here we see the former communist Soviet Union's advancement (before its government debt-ridden demise) vs. America's small businesses that are the backbone of our economy."

Palin went on to call for a "greater appreciation for the free market ingenuity of ordinary American entrepreneurs."

"Don't stifle their growth with burdensome regulations like Obamacare and cap-and-tax," writes the former Alaska governor. "Government should be on their side, not in their way."

An employee at The Spudnet Shop told Hotsheet Friday that Palin's aunt lives in the area, which may have been the reason it garnered Palin's attention.

The employee, who wanted to be identified only as Karen, said there has been an increase in customers since Palin first mentioned the shop Wednesday night, and that local newspaper and television stations have shown up as well.

Karen said there had not been much positive or negative feedback because of the Palin connection. "People are pretty civil," she said.