April 17th, 2009
08:35 AM ET
9 years ago

Palin's visit to Indiana draws sellout crowd

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In her first speech outside Alaska this year, Republican Gov. Sarah Palin praised her state, criticized the president's economic recovery plan and talked at length about her anti-abortion views.

But she didn't touch on what a lot of people wanted to know: Will she run for president in 2012?

Palin's appearance before the sold-out Vanderburgh County Right to Life dinner in Evansville, Indiana, brought in nationwide media and forced organizers to open up an overflow area for attendees.

"It's great to be here in Indiana, the crossroads of America," she said to thunderous applause.

Palin's dinner speech took her out of Alaska in the waning days of her state's legislative session, drawing harsh criticism from Democrats.

Listen: Palin proves she's still a draw. CNN Radio reports.

"They condemn anything that I do, but especially traveling outside the
state to speak in another state at a function like this," she said. "Which is ironic, because these are the same critics who would love to see me outside the state forever, permanently, you know, outside the governor's office anyway."

The state legislature on Thursday rejected her nominee for attorney general, adding more tension for a governor who many in her state see as being too preoccupied with national ambitions since she was picked to be Sen. John McCain's running mate in last year's presidential election.

Palin's reticence to request the full economic stimulus money owed to Alaska has also sparked concerns back home.

She criticized the Fed's economic stimulus package as having too many
strings attached and said states will "at the end of the day realize those dollars can actually be bad for states."

"This isn't free money folks. Our nation is $11 trillion in debt. This is borrowed money," she said. "We're borrowing money from China, and we may someday find ourselves enslaved to countries that hold our notes."

Palin dedicated most of her speech to the anti-abortion cause and her support of adoption. She became emotional when discussing her son Trig, who has Down syndrome, and the fear and concern she felt during her pregnancy.

"I had to call upon my faith and ask that my heart be filled up and I will tell you, the moment he was born, I knew for sure that my prayer was answered and my heart overflowed with joy," she said choking back tears.

Palin is scheduled to attend a breakfast Friday morning in Evansville with members of S.M.I.L.E., a nonprofit for relatives of those with Down syndrome.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (204 Responses)
  1. Robert D. Graziani


    April 17, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  2. Julie

    She needs to lose the jr. high snarkiness and grow up. That type of attitude won't take her far. She doesn't have a chance at being president – she made a horrible first impression and that won't be overcome. It takes more than image to be president and that's about all she's got. Too bad her image is also tainted – the Wasilla hillbillies.

    April 17, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  3. cathy

    Does this woman ever stop whining? It's ok for her to criticize people, like the President, but all she does is cry when someone criticizes her. Will somebody puhleeze inform her that what goes around comes around. It never ceases to amaze me that she doesn't see that. She is only getting back what she gives out. It's called karma! Perhaps if she was more constructive, her life wouldn't be so "woe is me" It's called karma!

    I am still waiting for a Republican who can step up to the plate and be cooperative. They accuse the President of not being bi partisan, however, from what I can see, whenever they step forward with a plan or want to vote on something, they do not know how to compromise. They want it their way, all the way, or no way....I have yet to see them step forward and say: Ok, President Obama, we don't like your stimuluus package, but we are willing to give you this, if you give us that. It is always you have to take ALL of what we are giving, but we don't want anything of what you want.

    However, I still have some hope that Meghan McCain will knock some sense into this party. She is the first Republican that I have seen who understands why the rest of us are abandoning the party. You go Girl!
    I am 57 years old, not a college kid, and I can not stand the divisiveness out there. I will not vote Republican, even if I like a candidate, until this Party of No becomes the Party of Let's work Together.

    April 17, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  4. Perusing-through

    NOW WHO CAN POSSIBLY BE AGAINST 'ADOPTION' and CHILDREN WITH DOWN SYNDROME'? But that is not the issue most Americans (who voted Obama) have with Palin. The people's issue with Sarah and like so many other Christian-Evangelicals is her HYPOCRISY. Case #1: Palin was 'pro-sexual-abstinence' and 'anti-sexual-protection' until Bristol got pregnant.

    April 17, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. carol

    Palin is right, people do want to see her out of Alaska permanently. Her administration is in shambles and she has made all the wrong moves. She needs to get out of politics and quit making a fool of herself.

    April 17, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. Nikunj

    Duh! Your critics in Alaska want you leaving the state for good. They don't like the fact that you leave for a couple of days right before the end of a legislative session. When you've got one foot out the door, you might as well leave.

    April 17, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  7. Ian F

    The Republicans need to launch a real challenger in 2012. As an political independent I like to see two real choices on the ballot. Also even the best of President's can go astray without real, competent & decent opposition.

    April 17, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  8. Steve in CT

    This is no wishy-washy timid female. Agree with her or not it's a shame so many people are disrespectful attack dogs. She doesn't shy away from taking on corrupt politicians of Alaska or taking on the oil industry that pretty much ran that state until she became governer. Though she needs some serious preparation on a national and international level if people would drop the mob menatality of ignorance and look unbiasedly they'd see a contender. This woman has more balls than most men and that's the leadership we'll need to get away from the socialism we'll be under by 2012.

    April 17, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  9. Palin Alaska work to be done

    that is nice to hear, I wasn't sure she knew that she was supposed to be working in Alaska

    Palin is such a critic of other people, and complains about criticism of herself

    she is a big selfish baby that does to others before they do to her, and if they do it back to her, she whines

    April 17, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  10. Ron Howerton

    Does anybody other than ultra-conservatives REALLY care about Palin at this point? She clearly did more harm to McCain's campaign than good, so much so that even he is now distancing himself from her. Scandals are rocking Alaska due primarily to her her butting in where she should not. Her stances on abortion and the environment are offensive to even moderates. Even if Obama blows his chance (as so many conservatives apparently hope), she still won't get elected because it's clear she is not ready for prime time now, nor is it likely she will be in four years. The GOP needs to find another viable condidate with a more centrist position if it wants even a glimmer of hope to win the next election.

    April 17, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  11. Wood


    April 17, 2009 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  12. Jim El Paso Tx.

    People who hang on Palin's every word worry me.....they really should be taking ALL their meds:)

    April 17, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  13. u2canfail

    Speaking on her views on abortion. At least she is a SHE. She should speak her mind on this. I think MEN should stay out of this debate, until they can get pregnant. On the stimulus, Alaska, her state, has been the recipient of more federal dollars per person than any other state for years. If she had turned down some of that $$$$, maybe her opinion would count. And taking credit for turning down "the bridge to nowhere" is simply political folly, or rewriting history. Glad her state has oil money! Wish we all did.

    April 17, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  14. zippy29

    Just fluff.


    April 17, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. Edward Blake

    Sarah Palin is the Paris Hilton of politics. She refuses to leave the spotlight. And while we keep watching – it's not because we actually want her there.

    April 17, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. ross berg- Buffalo, NY

    I think Sarah is the best thing to happen to the Rep. party since Ronald Reagan!!! She's hot........... and delivers a wonderfully interesting speach!!

    I'm sure she'll be in the race in 012 and I'm equally sure she'll make it more interesting!!!

    April 17, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  17. CranialRectalLoopback

    I wonder if these so called pro-lifers realize that anti-war IS A PRO-LIFE position.

    April 17, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  18. nate

    hopefully she'll stay mum for the rest of her political career and give a chance for the republican party to rebuild and change for the better.

    April 17, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  19. Concerned Citizen

    A sellout crowd? Must be morbid curiosity........

    April 17, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  20. Grace Needed

    It is understandable that Republicans and especially women in the party, would want someone to represent their views. Gov. Palin was at her best in this venue, where her folksy, vulnerable, common concerned values show through and make an impression on others. Heck, it is what got her to lead the P.T.O., then become mayor of Wasilla and Governor of Alaska, even though she has limited skill and knowledge in finance, state matters and governing. Her husband has proved to be a true 'helpmate' here. What is maddening to me, is how anyone could trust her after the nasty, lying campaign she ran which encouraged the masses to be so much less than they could be, appealing to racism, sectionalism, even religious bigotry just to gain their votes. This isn't God honoring nor Christian. That kind of behavior is just plain disingenuous and manipulative.

    April 17, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  21. Mike

    I wonder if the Governor has an issue with the "free money her State redistributes to its citizens every year by taxing the oil companies for pumping oil in the State and then being forced to redistribute their wealth to people who didnt help produce the product ?
    Holy Cow Batman, wasnt that her basis of the Obama socialism criticism during the campaign?
    Are you sure she wasnt at the "right to lie" meeting and not right to life?
    Can we just for a while not take her seriously and just let her fade into whacko obscurity? She not news anymore. Shes an embarrasment.

    April 17, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  22. Carol Fechtmeister

    This was not a GOP dinner. It was a Right to Life function.

    April 17, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  23. Denise

    "Palin's dinner speech took her out of Alaska in the waning days of her state's legislative session, drawing harsh criticism from Democrats."

    The state Republicans objected to her leaving the state as well as the Democrats. She has some unfinished business in her state.

    April 17, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. SHIRLEY "60"

    Once again failin palin is in complete denial because of her driving ambition. Woman please grow up and do what is right by the state that stupidly elected you, because if you think you can change enough people's minds to elect you to high office in the "lower 48's" in the next elections, you will need a complete mental and personality makeover. You should be working on that every minute of everyday if for no other reason than self-improvement . This country is made up of nicer, more intelligent people than that radical group that worships your every move, and I have faith that they at least know where you are coming from, and would never allow you to be elected to any prominent position here.

    April 17, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  25. Marie

    As a republican, I would not turn around to see Sarah Palin much less pay to see her.

    If she is the future of the GOP then I am going Independent.

    I would vote for Hitler before I would even consider voting for that thing.

    April 17, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
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