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Palin: America Out of Step with Reagan Values

Ronald Reagan prepares a speech
WASHINGTON - APRIL 28, 1981: (FILE PHOTO) Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office for a Joint Session of Congress on April 28, 1981. Michael Evans/The White House/Getty Images

Speaking Friday evening at the conservative Young America's Foundation, celebrating Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, Sarah Palin warned that big government is menacing America and that the country is out of step with the values of the former president. America, Palin said, is not on the "road to national greatness" but on the "road to ruin." (Watch the speech below)

The former Alaska governor offered her view of the world, in what could be construed as a presidential campaign speech, telling the audience that America must reconnect with the "steel spine and moral courage of our grandparents' generation." Palin said, "They put their faith in God, not government."

She maintained that the current administration is freezing the size of government, but "historically high, unsustainable levels," stifling the U.S. economy and competition.

She made her familiar call for more limited government and the kind of tax cuts promoted by Reagan, who is an icon for the conservative movement.

She added that government over-regulates, over-reaches and over-taxes, leaving the "little guy out in the cold."  

However, the President Reagan she honored in her speech did not exactly live up to the tax-cutter label he acquired.

The reality is that Reagan raised taxes 11 times during his presidency.

"Ronald Reagan was never afraid to raise taxes," presidential historian Douglas Brinkley and editor Reagan's diaries said on NPR. "He knew that it was necessary at times. And so there's a false mythology out there about Reagan as this conservative president who came in and just cut taxes and trimmed federal spending in a dramatic way. It didn't happen that way. It's false."

As campaign 2012 gets into high gear, the campaign speeches will need to offer more specifics about how to run the country, create jobs, lower taxes and reduce the deficit than homilies about the little guy versus big government and the road to ruin versus the road to greatness .

See also:

Brian Montopoli:Ronald Reagan Myth Doesn't Square with Reality

Ron Reagan: No Link Between Palin and My Dad

Reagan: The "60 Minutes" Interviews, 1975-1989

Reagan: The "60 Minutes" Interviews, 1975-198... 22:40

CBS News Correspondents Remember President Reagan

AP contributed to this story

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