Sarah Palin introduced Glenn Beck at an event in Alaska Saturday night, telling an enthusiastic crowd of thousands that the conservative commentator has been an inspiration to millions of Americans. According to an Anchorage Daily News report, the 2008 vice presidential candidate told Beck that he represents why so many citizens never have to apologize for being American:
Palin and Beck, a popular Fox News Channel personality, took turns recalling what they were doing when they heard of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.Christopher Balfe, president of Beck's media company, said Beck will donate his speaking fee from the Saturday night event to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and Gov. Palin wasn't paid for her appearance.
Palin, who was mayor of Wasilla at the time, said she got a call from the town's police chief about the attacks, then turned on her television.
"It looked unreal that this was happening to our country," she said.
She said she shut down city hall, then went over to her church to pray for the country.
Thousands of fans who paid between $73.75 and $225 for tickets gathered inside the downtown Anchorage center to see the two.
Palin and Beck joked about speculation that they would make an announcement at the event about a possible 2012 presidential run. Beck told Palin that he would not be a candidate, while Palin did not answer a similar question.
"I'd like to announce that in 2012, we will both be ... voting," Beck said.
According to Bloomberg's account of the event, both Beck and Gov. Sarah Palin told their audience that America has grown complacent about protecting itself since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001:
“I fear that we are forgetting what it takes,” Beck told about 4,000 at a convention center in Anchorage. “How do we not make the same mistake again?”ADN's photo gallery of the event is here. The leftist Alaska Dispatch has a more detailed -- but condescendingly elitist and quite snarky -- story about the event here. The AP's article is here. KTUU's coverage is here and here. That "large group of protesters" KTUU focused on in its unbalanced video package was a relatively small band of what ADN pegged as "several dozen," while the crowd of ticket holders numbered over 4,000.
Palin, a former Alaska governor and the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, pointed the blame at President Barack Obama.
“It starts from the top,” she said. “Those who kind of set the tone in our country that would lead us towards a complacency that is very, very, very dangerous. I fear that is why we are seeing the patterns we’re seeing right now, especially over the last 20 months.”
The Anchorage event, on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, came two weeks after Beck and Palin appeared together at the “Restoring Honor” rally on the National Mall in Washington, where they urged hundreds of thousands gathered there to embrace traditional American values.
The Aug. 28 rally was held on the 47th anniversary and on the site of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. While the timing drew criticism from civil rights leaders, Beck said it was a coincidence the event was held on that date.
Beck, 46, and Palin, a contributor to News Corp.’s Fox News, are both stars of the Tea Party movement, a loose-knit coalition of voters seeking limits on government spending, taxes and debt.
Palin, 46, is scheduled to speak Sept. 17 at a Republican Party event in Iowa, the state that holds the first presidential nominating contest.
After she gave a brief speech at a Sept. 11 commemoration in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, several in the audience approached her to encourage her to run for president in 2012.
“Bless your heart,” she told one man.
Palin said she was entertained by media speculation before the Anchorage event that she was going to announce a presidential bid with Beck at her side. If she did make such an announcement, Palin said it would be on an Alaska radio show.
“I laughed about some big 2012 announcement because, hey, if there’s going to be some big national announcement, I am going to do it where it is most worthy,” she said. “It’s going to happen on the Bob & Mark Show.”
Beck later asked Palin whether she planned to run for president. “Are you going to run, Glenn?” she responded, without answering his question.
Beck, 46, said the Anchorage event was not specifically designed for Sept. 11. Organizers had originally considered Sept. 4, and decided against it because they did not want to compete with the Alaska State Fair.
One woman was removed from the hall after she shouted during the program, “Both of you are imbeciles.” Audience members were scanned for weapons as they entered the building.