(CNN) – An aide to Sarah Palin downplayed reports Tuesday about the former Alaska governor's use of a private jet during certain legs of a national bus tour to promote her memoir, "Going Rogue."
While it's not unusual for political figures to fly from state to state before hopping on a bus to head to events, Palin is taking heat for using a private jet for some of her travels, with one report claiming that the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee flew in style while leaving her staff behind to ride the bus during long journeys.
But Jason Recher, who is traveling with Palin and coordinating logistics for the tour, said that's not true.
Palin was joined by her family and a handful of staffers on each flight leg, said Recher, who noted that the jet was paid for by Palin's publisher, Harper Collins. He said the publisher originally wanted all of the book tour travel to be by plane, but Palin lobbied for a bus tour.
The private jet transported the Palin entourage for several legs of the tour, including from New York City to Grand Rapids, Michigan for the beginning of the tour last month. The bus then took them to book signings in Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania before the group boarded the plane to Rochester, New York. The private plane was also used for flights from Rochester to Roanoke, Virginia; from Fayetteville, North Carolina to Birmingham, Alabama; and from Birmingham to Jacksonville, Florida.
Palin also took to the skies to visit with Billy and Franklin Graham in Montreat, North Carolina on November 22, but not on Harper Collins' dime. Instead, she was picked up in Roanoke on Franklin Graham's provate plane and flown to Billy Graham's mountaintop home. That plane took Palin on to Fayetteville after the private visit.
Recher calculated that Palin and the people traveling with her spent about 24 hours total on board the "Going Rogue" bus during the first seven days of the book tour.