TULSA — Oklahomans have an opportunity to tell an overreaching federal government to back off by voting for a state question that would allow the state constitution to forbid U.S. regulations that force people to buy health insurance, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told an appreciative crowd Wednesday night.
"It's your chance to send Washington a message that you've had enough," Palin, a Republican, told those attending the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs Liberty Gala at the Tulsa Convention Center. Close to 1,000 attended, said a spokesman for the Oklahoma City-based conservative think tank.
Palin was referring to State Question 756, which would amend the state constitution. It is on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Palin also encouraged the crowd to support U.S., Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Oklahoma City, in her bid for governor.
Palin and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who headed up the 2008 GOP presidential and vice presidential ticket that won all of Oklahoma's 77 counties, endorsed Fallin earlier this year. Fallin was among more than a dozen Republican elected officials in attendance.
About 20 protesters were outside the Tulsa Convention Center about 30 minutes before the dinner started.
But inside, the crowd showed its appreciation by applauding and cheering her.
"We love you," one man yelled after Palin finished her nearly hourlong speech.
Palin criticized Democratic President Barack Obama for his policies that she said increased deficit spending and increased the federal government's control.
"This march toward socialism changes us as a free people," she said, saying it makes people more dependent on the federal government.
Obama's health care plan, which passed earlier this year, should be repealed and replaced, she said to applause.
Obama's plan, intended to make health care accessible to more Americans when it fully takes effect in 2014, appears to be a failure, Palins aid.