NEW ORLEANS — Arrogant. Radical. Socialistic.
A parade of Republican critics assailed the Obama administration Friday, vowing to reverse the president's accomplishments — starting with his health care overhaul — after taking control of Congress in November.
Addressing more than 3,000 GOP activists from across the country, Saran Palin, the vice presidential nominee in 2008, seized on President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign slogan and gave it a twist: "When they say, 'Yes we can,' we stand up and say, 'Oh, no you don't!' "
The Southern Republican Leadership Conference was the first large GOP gathering since enactment of the president's sweeping health care plan — which passed without a single GOP vote — and speakers seemed to strive to one-up each other in voicing their anger and disgust.
"A socialistic time bomb," said Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council.
"The definition of arrogance," said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
"Grotesque," said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who opened the session Thursday night by calling Obama "the most radical president in American history." Gingrich said a Republican Congress can — and should — fight back by refusing to fund the program until a Republican president repeals the health care law in 2013.
The quadrennial meeting of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference has become a showcase for the party's possible White House prospects.
SUPPORT FOR STEELE: Embattled GOP chairman Michael Steele got a boost Friday from a majority of state party chiefs after a controversy over spending hit the Republican National Committee. "We stand behind Chairman Steele as he continues to lead us on the path to victory in November," said a letter of support signed by 31 GOP state party chiefs. Steele has vowed to remain in his post.