Mount Vernon, Virginia (CNN) - The politically charged battle over entitlement reform briefly interrupted Sarah Palin's tightly scripted bus tour on Monday, when a tourist visiting George Washington's historic home at Mount Vernon told Palin to "protect our Medicare."
A middle-aged woman who said she worked in the health care industry approached Palin while she was signing autographs and posing for pictures with tourists at Mount Vernon, the second stop on Palin's closely watched "One Nation" bus tour.
"I work in health care," the woman announced. "Please protect our Medicare."
Reporters covering Palin's Mount Vernon visit were positioned too far away to hear the remark, but a CNN microphone picked up the audio.
It was not clear if Palin responded. She was swarmed by starstruck tourists and drawn in multiple directions, so it is possible she did not hear the comment.
The exchange comes as Republican presidential candidates like Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty have been forced to answer for a controversial budget passed by House Republicans that would dramatically alter the popular health care program for seniors.
The cost-cutting budget, designed by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, would replace Medicare with a voucher system that would let patients buy health insurance on the private market. Democrats, meanwhile, are accusing Republicans of trying to abolish the program.
Palin's visit to Mount Vernon was her second bus tour stop of the day, before heading to Fort McHenry in Baltimore and the battlefield at Gettysburg.
Palin and her family were escorted through the Mount Vernon grounds by John Marshall, the manor's designated tour guide for special guests. They entered the historic grounds on the "One Nation" bus - which features yellow Alaska license plates - through a back entrance.
The tour lasted about 45 minutes, according to a Mount Vernon official who guided members of the media to an outdoor position about 100 yards from the Washington home, where they could take photographs of the Palins.
Once in view of the press, Palin and her daughter Piper were seen listening to a handful of Mount Vernon employees in period dress.
Daughters Willow and Bristol walked ahead, while husband Todd lagged behind and chatted with John Coale, an informal adviser and the husband of Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren. A handful of staffers were also present.
Also joining Palin were her parents, Sally and Chuck Heath. Chuck Heath was wearing a purple T-shirt emblazoned with "ALASKA" and excitedly snapping photos.
The family posed for a portrait in front of the Washington home, and then shook hands and took pictures with the group of tourists. They also visited Washington's tomb before departing.
Everybody knows that question was too hard for her. she has to hear someone else answer first. LOL! I don't think that dumb bell will run for president. she is to busy chasing that almighty dollar, just like all the other repugs. they are all about the money.
All 100 people of the "huge" crowd that showed up were just overjoyed to see her. Someone should do a check of mental institutions in the area to see how many escaped over the long weekend.
It is a DISGRACE to see CNN running around this woman. It is so obvious nothing else of consequence is happening in America. Come on CNN do better than this!!!!! It is news anchor like CNN helps put her where she is – a millionaire. Don't you have anything else to cover?
I watching John King show just now and I turned off my television because all he was reporting on was Sarah Palin and had a line up of guests to discuss her. Do better than this John King!!!! Shame on CNN!!!!
THis IDIOT couldn't handle Alaska so we all know she can't handle the USA.
@ Four & Door.....your posts land on deaf ears here, yet you keep on trying to push your total hatred of Obama. It's almost laughable if it wasn't so pathetic. If you have any inkling that Palin is at all equipped to lead this country, you need help. Do you live in a fairlyland somewhere where reality just doesn't seep through to you?
Please, oh please, let her run. In fact, let's have all of the nasty, nasty republican woman cat fight it out. Could it get more vile and stupid than a debate among Palin, Bachmann, Coulter, Ingraham and whatever else they've got? Are they part of a right wing plot to prove to America that men are superior to women? We know the right's stand on all that. I'd love to see them pontificate on the evils of any health care for women and children, then expect the women's vote. Please, please, please–I want to see Trip, Track, Truck, Willow and Oak play out this election. They're a democrat's dream team, save for their whiny, screechy voices. Ohh,my ears! By the way, before you start, I am a woman. Palin and her ilk insult my gender.
Hey,guess what i saw sarah palin last book at the dollar tree store1 in case you don'T know dollar tree is a nation wide chain of stores ,where everything cost a dollar.you can even buy in bulk online.
Maybe aftter the releare of her next book we can all pick up a copy at dollar tree.Since that is what it should be sold for.
Gee, what did Palin say about the fallen Service men & women today? After all they didn't start Memorial day so she could start her "bus tour". She could care less about the Vets and fallen heroes. She turned a day of rememberance into a circus. I couldn't think of a more disrepectful thing to do on this day. Smiling, signing autographs – that's like dancing of the graves of our fallen heroes.
"A middle-aged woman who said she worked in the health care industry approached Palin . . . . .Please protect our Medicare." BTW – she heard the comment but she is not about to comment outside of the faux news nest. You kidding?
Can somebody please explain to me and the world why this woman would ask or mention Medicare to somebody who is NOT a politician? Maybe what she should have asked what are your plans on Medicare (as if she has any) and what does she think of the ryan death panels for that "empowered" grandma. People are really and truly dumb to ask this bimbo anything except how much more she hates President Obama today. The second black person to beat her hands down (beauty contest and then 2008).
CNN and other news outlets really need a new category... Political Entertainment. That way readers can separate the Paiins, the Trumps and what-have-you from the serious newsakers. Please, please CNN, at least think about it!
Why all the talk about Palin running for president? Neither Sarah nor Michelle Bachmann can run. It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! Article II, section. 1. .....HE shall hold HIS office during the term of four Years..... doesn't say he/she. Clearly states HE. They love the Constitution and want to follow it to the letter of the law? Makes me wonder if either one of them hasw actually read it?
I agree with 48dave – this is all about promoting Palin's financial interests, the lecture circuit, the books, now and a movie? She didn't quit as Governor to cash in and then cut that off to take a 200K job. She just wants to think she’s' influencing the GOP selection. Just like she claims responsibility for the Congressional swing back to the GOP last year. Very few Tea Bag candidates won. Voters traditionally vote against the party that's in the White House the mid-term election after a new party takes the White House. More for checks and balances. The only exception is during time of war, that's why Dems didn't take over in 2002, that was delayed until 2006 because of 9/11 and coming war in Iraq.
@mark – "seniors must simply learn to live with less. America is in a huge budget crisis. exercise, diet, pray, and go to church. less government the better for future generations. tax breaks for the wealthy will create jobs for our children. God Bless."
Why don't you take your god and the bimbo you seem to idolize and go inhabit another planet. Tax breaks HAVE NOT CREATED JOBS IN THE LAST 10 YEARS!!! Wake up dumb dumb!
I used to live near Mt. Vernon ... makes me want to puke, hearing that she visited that beautiful, historic site ...
@GI Joe: I don't pity Todd. Palin's his sugar-mama, and he's laughing all the way to the bank with her...