[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/05/art.oprahbo0905.gi.jpg caption="Winfrey campaigned with Sen. Obama and his wife, Michelle, in New Hampshire late last year."]
(CNN) – Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is denying a report of division within her staff over booking Republican vice presidential nominee Gov. Sarah Palin as a guest.
“The item in today’s Drudge Report is categorically untrue,” Winfrey wrote in a statement issued Friday. “There has been absolutely no discussion about having Sarah Palin on my show.”
Citing sources that had spoken to the news Web site, a story posted Friday morning on The Drudge Report said “Oprah's staff is sharply divided on the merits of booking Sarah Palin.” “One executive close to Winfrey is warning any Palin ban could ignite a dramatic backlash!,” the story also says.
But Winfrey, a longtime and outspoken supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, is flat-out denying the report. “At the beginning of this presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates,” Winfrey wrote in the statement. “I agree that Sarah Palin would be a fantastic interview, and I would love to have her on after the campaign is over.”
In addition to holding a fundraiser for Obama, the media mogul has appeared on the campaign trail for the Illinois senator and she attended the recent Democratic convention where Obama became the first African-American to be named the presidential nominee of a major political party. “It filled us with a sense of hope and possibility that, you know, I never even, sort of, been able tap into,” Winfrey said about the convention. “It was beyond anything I’d ever experienced. It really was. It was a transcendent moment.”