Palin pressed on Medicare during bus tour stop
May 30th, 2011
04:19 PM ET
12 years ago

Palin pressed on Medicare during bus tour stop

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.

Filed under: 2012 • Medicare • Sarah Palin
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. grammy11

    She does not travel very far in the bus. She travels by jet and a limo to the bus location. I wish a reporter would photograph her getting off the plane and into the limo. I saw an earlier segment of CNN today where the reporter said he was waiting for her to get off the bus. Suddenly the limo and a white van pulled into the space on the opposite side of the bus. Was she in there? You betcha! She only got into the bus so she could be photographed getting off. Just call her Sarah P.T. Barnum Palin. She has a fool born every minute to feed this cash cow.

    May 30, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Minnesota woman

    As a side note, George Washington was reported to be spinning in his grave.

    May 30, 2011 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. thomas the social worker

    After excitedly snapping photos and talking to staff in period dress the Griswalds got back in their RV and headed for the neares Wal Mart parking lot to spend the night...

    May 30, 2011 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  4. 48dave

    Palin will not run for president. Right now she's in a "win win" situation. Shes' making the big bucks, she's setting the agenda for the tea baggers and is having all the fun without taking any of the risk. To actually run for president, she'd have to enter into a "win or lose" situation. She's too savvy for that. She certainly doesn't know how to advance America but she's an expert on advancing herself.

    May 30, 2011 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  5. Rico

    "Tightly scripted?" Do you say this about every single time the President uses a teleprompter? CNN is a joke.

    May 30, 2011 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. Seattle Sue

    Her politics would be hard to take but imagine listening to that screeching voice of hers would be torture.

    May 30, 2011 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    Four And The Door (I'm telling you now, you're DREAMING

    You are also DELUSIONAL to think that Paul Ryan cares about the people on Medicare.
    He is anxious to do two things, and two things only, get it of the Government books and make sure that Private Corporations can make LOTS of money when he does.

    May 30, 2011 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  8. john

    Oh she heard it!!!! She just did not have a clue what the woman was talking about!!!! This is such a joke and to think thta people still see her as someone competent, intelligent iand prepared is beyond me!!!!

    May 30, 2011 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  9. 16halo

    The sideshow continues, this time she has brought mom and dad. I think everyone in that family is somehow beneiffting from her rape of the Republican party.

    May 30, 2011 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  10. once upon a horse

    so I guess now anytime someone ask Sarah Palin a question it will be reported here as her being PRESSED!! Come on CNN you have to be better than this!

    May 30, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. BinFL

    This is just another stunt for the $$$$$! Americans should never forgive McCain for what he did to us. I was really hoping since the crosshairs incident that crazy Sarah would fade away for good and go raise her kids but the media that she claims to hate so much just can't let her go. They are pressing for her to run just to boost their ratings as they think she can still draw our interest but here's a newsflash for the media – we want Sarah & her crazy family out of our lives!!

    May 30, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  12. oldsoldierboy

    I don't know about medicare but Palin will sure protect those de@th panels.

    May 30, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  13. Terry Gloege

    People People People!!!!!! The woman has taken a play from PT Barnums playbook and getting rich off of your fears and prejudices. Why can't you see her for what she is – a shameless self-promoter/huckster.

    May 30, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  14. Robert Lang

    The woman took the Tpublicans for a cool 17 million dollars for the first six months after her failed election try for BP. All she is after is the money so why don't they just give it too her and save us all from listening to that voice.

    May 30, 2011 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  15. Four and The Door

    Palin will not run for president. ... She certainly doesn't know how to advance America but she's an expert on advancing herself.
    The only risk for Sarah Palin is if she can get the Republican nomination. Yes, there are some other very capable, intelligent and popular candidates stepping up. Otherwise, she would win a general election. The real question is, who do the Republicans pick to beat Obama?

    May 30, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  16. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    why didn't Sarah put her bus trip to good use and go visit the folks in Joplin like President Obama did? That might have been an even BETTER photo op for her showing that she might even care for some of the American people. And she has already sided with Ryan on his budget and people in her new income bracket don't have to have Medicare, they can afford to pay their health bills.

    May 30, 2011 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  17. sharon

    Why is CNN wasting resources on following around the Palins on a family vacation.

    Greta Van Susteren even says, on her blog today, that Palin's on a family vacation.

    May 30, 2011 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  18. teena

    "seniors will just have to learn to live on less"

    Shame on you Mark–what about making the corporations live on less? The corporations were classified as individuals by the SCOTUS so why do they not have to suffer along with the rest of us?

    May 30, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  19. liberal christian

    Has her husband joined the Republican party yet? Last I heard, he was still in the Alaska secessionist party.

    May 30, 2011 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  20. Flaming Moderate Wacko

    Does anyone know if Sarah is flying first class on American Airlines, or on a BP or Exxon corporate jet on her 'bus' tour?

    May 30, 2011 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  21. Berneita

    You (CNN) and the rest of the media should be ashamed! This is Memorial Day, a day to pay tribute to veterans who have fought and continue to fight for this country. This is newsworthy and should be covered by more than snippets of what this day means. As a veteran, I expected better coverage than CNN and other mainstream media aired today. This is so disrespectful to those who give so much to this country. You spent more time reporting on Sarah Palin guessing her political aspirations; I guess that veterans are old news....sometimes it what you don't say that speaks loudest!

    May 30, 2011 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  22. Steve, SC

    I have just finished watching CNNs 30 minute long commercial for Sarah Palin for president "live from Gettysburg PA and the Sarah bus tour". I understand that Fox or MSNBC are biased networks – apparently, CNN has sided with FOX, lost its legitimacy as unbiased news source and frankly, lost my viewership. The reporting by John King, who cynically relocated the 7 PM EST news to Palin’s “bus tour stop of the day” while claiming not to be giving cover to the politician/TV personality is beyond the pale. The evening news monopolized by and shot live from an undeclared candidates “bus tour” is not only partisan it is insulting to the fallen soldiers of all political leanings who have given so much for this country. Goodbye CNN, it’s a pity.

    May 30, 2011 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  23. Bill

    Why is this even a story? CNN says they don't even know if Palin heard the comment.

    May 30, 2011 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. nintex

    This new Biker Bimbo Barbie persona is just too much. She looks like such a slut on the back of that motorcycle. What a phony! Who is she trying to impress now? And how dare she steal the "thunder" from the organization at the Mall in Washington – all I saw on the news was her on the bike waving at everyone – nothing about the people who came to pay respects to the war dead. So tired of this woman hogging all the attention to herself.

    May 30, 2011 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  25. JR

    "I think he would be a fine candidate," Palin said about the moron Perry that wants to secede from the United States, that tells you all you need to know about Palin and her concern for America.

    May 30, 2011 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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