April 17th, 2009
08:35 AM ET
12 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. Eric

    This woman is an embarassment to REPUBLICAN POLITICS. She's an opportunist whose career will end with her current position. Her speech last night about considering ambivalent about abortion was just to play to a friendly crowd. Maybe she can see her hypocritical opinions rom her house.
    Regards to the first dude; I think he's her senior advisor, LOL

    April 17, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  2. Marcus

    So why is her son never with her. lol

    April 17, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  3. bruce morningstar

    She needs to go to a legitimate high school and a legitimate college and get her degrees and then she can possibly think about being President. Her husband is a do nothing, her daughter has no values, so they cannot be Christian, She cannot talk to the press except for the extremists (also uneducated) like Hannity. Katie Couric who is a raging Republican was fair with her and she had no clue as to what she was being asked. She was mayor of the meth capital of the world, which is about her only qualification. We need people like her in government like we need Boehner, McConnell, Blagoyevich, Rove, Cheney, Backman, and both Connecticut Senators.

    April 17, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  4. David

    Its so nice to hear someone with the courage of their convictions. Not this soft rhetoric we hear from liberals.

    April 17, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. Chandra Simpson

    Sarah Palin is a joke and a hypocrite who is self serving! She paraded her pregnant daughter and special needs child like stage props. The woman cannot even run her household. I believe that Bristol and Levi did share a bedroom and Sarah knew it; she was too busy promoting her own career. No wonder all the self respecting Republicans ( e.g., Susan Eisenhower and Buckley) have jumped ship.

    April 17, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Cande

    This woman is a walking tabloid article. How dare anyone call her the 'voice of morality'.

    April 17, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Bill

    She is against abortion, Yet she has vetoed programs that would help single mothers raise their babies. So, as far as I am concerned, if she is going to force women to have babies that resulted from rape or incest, then she also needs to support funding for programs that will help these women.

    I do hope she runs for President in 2012. Can you imagine how divisive she'll be in the Republican primaries? It'll be another Republican debacle.

    You go girl!!!!

    April 17, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. gl, Pittsburgh

    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."

    There she go whining again. It is all about Sara Palin show and it go on and on and on. She is not fit to be no where near the WHITE HOUSE BECASUE SHE IS ALL ABOUT HER AND HER FAMILY. She is the one that keep her family in the new not the media. She still continue to parade around her baby, but don't what the new media to say any thing about her family.

    April 17, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  9. HouseDiva

    what was the number of the crowd CNN?

    and how can a woman who shoots and kills animals from a helicopter speak at a right to life dinner (which i'm sure they were serving meat.) and not be seen as a total hypocrite?

    She wants to destroy the wilderness to drill for OIL.. Imagine all the life that dies with doing that?

    everything living has the right to life...people, plants, and animals....did she not learn this in Sunday school?

    the only people who were there were her brain dead supporters...she's not winning anyone new over.

    April 17, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. Frozone

    I'm glad Governor Palin took a break from bashing her daughter's baby daddy to engage in some good old fashioned Republican self-pity.

    April 17, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. steve

    She can never deliver a positive message. First she has to create an enemy, then explain why she is morally superior, smarter, or better informed. She feeds on divisiveness.

    April 17, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. chelle

    Sarah Palin really doesn't understand the English language...there is nothing ironic about the fact that people would rather she was not Governor but would like her to attempt to do the job while still in office.... There is no irony in that at all.

    April 17, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. ryansawrie

    Since when is a Right to Life dinner a "GOP" event?

    April 17, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Expat American

    Of course she drew a sellout crowd. She was among those she considers 'one of us'. She was speaking to the same Palin mob caught on video during the election; i.e. the hateful yet laughable mob who clung to their guns and religion as much as they clung to their racial and religious bigotry, 1950s isolationist ignorance and their appreciation for the simple folksy unintelligent manner through which Palin stumbled through her grasp of international relations, political science, economics, geography, etc....

    Place a Koran at the front door. You’d clear the place out in 2 seconds.

    April 17, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Bemused

    Hmm, interesting how it was her own party members in Alaska who threw a big hissy fit because she was leaving the state to make money speechifying yet the author here . . .blames the Dems.

    It would behoove journalists to read the news from time-to-time so they could report the news instead of attempting to create their own wet dream realities.

    April 17, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. andrew

    I think we all forget that the Clintons had problems like Sarah Palin does. It didn't affect Clinton when he ran, and I would like to add our current President had much worse problems like buying a house illegaly, and was a member of one of the most racist churches in america. So let Sarah Palin do her job which she has done quit well according to the people of Alaska.

    April 17, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  17. Robin in Tampa, FL

    I do not share Palin's views on banning abortion and ending stem cell research. It's nice that she chose to keep her child, but do not take away other parents right choose if it's not financially feasible for them to support having a child. This is why I feel stem cell research is extremely important, because if we can cure diseases such Downs Syndrome before birth it will save a lot of children lives.

    April 17, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  18. Eric M

    Naturally, the Governor makes an lengthy speech regarding abortion, and her experience carrying a pregnancy that many would have aborted to full term...but the media chooses to cherry pick the comments that readers might find objectionable.

    Newsflash folks, there are a lot of people who oppose Governor Palin politically, and are actively looking to find fault with anything she does. Read the comments section on this story, and tell me that I'm wrong.

    She is correct that in many cases, stimulus money has strings attached for the states. In some cases, the stimulus initiates programs and projects that will need to be picked up by the states after the stimulus money is gone. This isn't a matter of opinion, it's fact.

    Additionally, she makes an observation that too many are choosing to ignore. Obama's spending plans will create record deficits, even worse than those the Democrats railed against under Bush. The difference? This time Democrats like what the money will be spent on. Namely, entitlement programs and their special interests. Governor Palin is correct that continuing to borrow from China at this pace will eventually come back to haunt us. Record deficits were a bad idea under Bush, they're a bad idea under Obama.

    But I won't hold my breath waiting for anyone here to acknowledge that Governor Palin makes some good points, or to take note of the fact that these are two brief comments out of a lengthy key-note address.

    April 17, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. Andy

    Another wasted exercise of first ammendment rights.

    April 17, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. pam Eugene OR

    Sarah appeals to a small minority of bible pounders and will never be a mainstream candidate. Take heart Democrats and Independents she is not a threat. She is a walking, talking advertisement for abortion.

    April 17, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Joyce Becker

    Of course a 'right to life' group would like her a lot, well they can keep her and her soap opera family, even John McCain doesn't want her around any longer, she is TOAST..

    April 17, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    She attends a "right to life" dinner in Indiana and uses it as a forum to trash the Alaskan legislatures (as if Indianians can solve that problem for her), the President of the United States (as if the needed money for her constituents is somehow his fault), and democrats. She then gets down to the business of the night. @Catina, if you were able to find an emotional and beautiful speech in all of this, then I'll be first to admit, you are a much better person than I am.

    April 17, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  23. Sam

    Any group or cause that chooses Sarah Palin as a spokesperson/key-note speaker has done themselves a MAJOR dis-service. They are completely discredited.

    April 17, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. Jeff

    "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."

    Hey Sarah, our nation was slightly above $5 trillion in debt when you know, what's his name, George W. Bush took office. But, by golly, why weren't there protests say 6 years ago, you betcha!

    April 17, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. Jackie from Durham, NC

    Newsflash for Sarah Palin
    The women of America will NEVER elect an anti- abortion candidate

    April 17, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
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