Republican Sarah Palin said on Friday an explosion of government spending and debt under President Barack Obama and his fellow Democrats had put the United States on “the road to ruin.”

In a tribute to former President Ronald Reagan, the potential 2012 White House contender said leaders in Washington had lost sight of the values that made Reagan a Republican icon and a hero to conservatives — a belief in limited government, low taxes and personal freedoms.

“This is not the road to national greatness, it is the road to ruin,” Palin said of the growth in government spending, budget deficits, joblessness and housing foreclosures under Obama. “The federal government is spending too much, borrowing too much, growing and controlling too much,” she said.

Palin said Obama had revived the era of big government, and she ridiculed the infrastructure spending and investment he outlined in his recent State of the Union speech.

“The only thing these investments will get us is a bullet train to bankruptcy,” the 2008 vice presidential candidate said in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Ranch Center in Santa Barbara, California, part of two days of festivities marking the late president’s 100th birthday.

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