Despite no-show, Palin wows conservatives
September 3, 2008
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Conservative Phyllis Schlafly criticized John McCain’s campaign Tuesday for canceling Sarah Palin’s appearance at a sold-out Republican National Coalition for Life reception.
The Alaska governor accepted an invitation to attend the $95-per-head reception and receive an award from the anti-abortion group two months ago. But all of Palin’s previously scheduled public appearances were scratched this week after she joined the GOP ticket.
“I don’t think it was a smart thing to do because this is the cream of the pro-life movement,” Schlafly , the coalition’s founder, said in an interview before the event. “All they wanted to do was cheer her. So I think it was a mistake.”
But when Schlafly told the crowd at the Crowne Plaza Hotel that Palin couldn’t come because she was preparing her acceptance speech, cheers went up.
“It is really just stunning the way she has invigorated the grassroots across the board,” Schlafly said.
If anything, the disclosure that Palin’s teenage daughter is pregnant, will keep the baby and marry the father has caused conservative Christians to tighten their embrace of her.
A few speakers at Tuesday’s reception lit into the “liberal media” and bloggers for fanning the story.
“We have a Republican ticket this year that is all about life.” U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, R-Minn., told the crowd.