Update: (See what audience members thought about Palin's speech and the possibility of her entering the 2012 presidential race in our video.)
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told Tea Party members today that they need to grow their influence and “fight for what is right” in politics.
Palin spoke directly to principles touted by the Tea Party at a Tea Party Express rally in Manchester Monday afternoon, and called for a change that reflects America's past successes.
“We have been going on for a few years now in a grassroots movement that has awakened America, and we needed that awakening,” said Palin. “We don't need a transformation, we need a fundamental restoration.”
In order to have this restoration, she called for more growth in Tea Party membership. She said the Tea Party represents average Americans looking for politicians to listen to their needs.
“You shine a spotlight on what the problems are, what the challenges are, what the solutions are,” said Palin.
In an attempt to inspire Tea Party members from what she believes is mainstream backlash, she said that the public will look down on them, but history will celebrate their actions.
“It comes from you, and America's hope is from you,” said Palin. “It is not that 'hopey changey' stuff we heard in 2008. That is what has led us into the mess we are in.”
She said President Obama has not brought the change needed for the country.
“Obama's hope has changed us from a country of hope to one of anxiety, and we are at a tipping point,” she said. "They talk about the spending problem, and yet Obama keeps spending more. They talk about an out of control federal government, and yet Obama keeps growing more. The status quo is no longer acceptable, we can no longer afford politics as usual."
Palin called for presidential candidates that aren't “political cronies” to become involved in Tea Party events and listen to their views, because they will influence the elections.
Speaking to the sense of absolute patriotism among members of the Tea Party, she said that America should never apologize for its actions.
“(You are) common sense constitutionalists who love this country in good times and tough times," Palin said, "who are always proud of America and never apologize for the red, white and blue.”
She said that Obama's policies have created a “strange, fundamental transformation of the country we love.”
Palin also expressed her admiration for New Hampshire's “Live Free or Die” motto, that it encapsulates what the Tea Party movement is fighting for.
“You have the boldest motto in the entire nation, it says it all,” she said.
The former governor and vice presidential candidate continued her usual campaign against negative media attention, which she said has painted Tea Party members in the wrong light. She claimed that the media has constructed many of the problems within the party today, along with “career politicians.”
“We have already withstood the wrath and the disdain and the lies from the media and the permanent political class looking down on us, mocking us, making things up about us, telling us to 'Go to Hell.'”
She referenced a New Hampshire fishing business she spoke with during her June visit that was struggling, and used it for another one of her patented catch phrases to inspire Tea Party members to rise up.
“Those Yankee fishermen know that only dead fish go with the flow,” she said.
She called for audience members to replace Obama and return the power to “we the people.” She added that they needed to grow this movement without compromising principles.
Palin's appeal to core Tea Party values made her a favorite among those in the audience, many of them from outside of New Hampshire.
Judy Hurst came to Manchester from Maine to hear Palin speak. "It's the same as ever -- great," she said.
John McRae walked around the crowd with a sign, "Real Men Love Sarah Palin.
“Palin is the only one telling it like it is, the only one truly speaking out against government corruption in Washington," he said.
Tim Finnegan of Litchfield said that Palin has a connection to members of the conservative Tea Party.
Palin has a great touch with issues and sound bites that speak to people in the Tea Party, said Finnegan. "She's our cheerleader."
At points in her speech, audience members chanted “Run, Sarah, Run!” for Palin, but she did not give any indication whether or not she will join the presidential race this year.
(Content contributed by Dan Tuohy)