Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin promoted conservative values, which she says would change California for the better, during a speech in San Jose today.

Palin gave an hour-long speech to an energetic crowd of several hundred at the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts that at times resembled a rally. At one point, a man in the audience yelled, “Palin for president!”

Palin derided the “leftist elite,” the “mainstream media,” and the policies of President Obama and his administration. She also discussed issues that plague California, such as unemployment, and taxes.

“We’re here for a reason. We’re here because we’re concerned about the direction of the country,” Palin said. “We are ready to take our government back and become that exceptional America.”

She said unemployment is the biggest problem in the country and especially in California, which has a 12.3 percent rate.

Nevada is the only state that has lost more jobs in the last five years, Palin said. She said California would need to create more than 4 million jobs in the next 10 years.

“California needs strong, disciplined leaders to bring life back into this state,” Palin said. “I want you all to yell ‘Eureka!’ You deserve better.”

She urged the audience to vote for new elected officials in the upcoming general election.

“November 2 is right around the corner. I can see it from my house!” Palin joked.

Following the speech, she had a conversation with Victor Cocchia, director of the Liberty and Freedom Foundation, which sponsored the event, and answered questions from the audience–some of which came from school children.

Afterward, supporters stood around chatting and taking photos outside the auditorium.

One Pittsburg couple, Jesse and Carol Vera, said they were pleased with Palin’s speech.

“I’m an admirer of her,” said Jesse Vera, a 53-year-old security officer. “Being a father, raising a family–I respect her values.”

Carol Vera, 52, said she would vote for Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman in the upcoming election.

“I’m looking forward to a Republican victory,” Vera said. “I think she’s the right person to clean up California. She’s head and shoulders above Jerry Brown.”

The Liberty and Freedom Foundation believes there is a “liberal agenda” attacking American businesses and values, according to its website, and the organization “was formed to promote and defend conservative fiscal, moral and security ideals.”

A reception and dinner were scheduled to follow at the San Jose Marriott, where Palin was expected to deliver another speech and take photos with attendees

Palin said she and her husband Todd were traveling to Los Angeles in a motor home afterward to see their daughter Bristol perform on “Dancing with the Stars.”

Khalida Sarwari, Bay City News

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