Palin mum on plans during visit to NJ sites

Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin exits the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Wednesday, June 1, 2011 in Jersey City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin exits the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Wednesday, June 1, 2011 in Jersey City, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) (AP Photo)

Sarah Palin's tour of the East Coast's historic sites passed through New Jersey on Wednesday, and the former 2008 vice presidential candidate did nothing to tamp speculation that she is considering a shot at the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

A day after meeting with real estate mogul and reality show host Donald Trump in New York, Palin visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island with her daughter, Piper, and parents Chuck and Sally Heath.

When the group returned to their hotel, Palin said her "One Nation" bus would head next to Boston to visit the Freedom Trail, a tour of Revolutionary War landmarks. She didn't say whether she would proceed north to New Hampshire, the state with the nation's first primary.

The tour sites were chosen "not in terms of what states have primaries and on what schedule, just states that have historic values that we really want to highlight," Palin said.

Palin described the Statue of Liberty as "overwhelming" and said, "It's so symbolic and it makes us remember the unity that we have and also the relationships we have with other countries." She had earlier announced on Twitter that she looked forward to seeing the "beauty of legal immigrants' work ethic and love of freedom" at the two iconic sites in New York Harbor.

Millions of immigrants passed through Ellis Island between 1892 and 1954.

Palin said she didn't have plans to visit New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has been the target of efforts by national Republicans to recruit him for a 2012 presidential run.

"He's very busy being governor, so I'm not going to bug him," she said.

Her visit drew about 150 people to the entrance of the waterfront hotel across from lower Manhattan, about a third of them members of the media. She posed for pictures in front of the bus with police officers, hotel workers and other supporters.

"I adore her," said Beth McCrink, an office worker who happened to see Palin's bus sitting outside her customary breakfast stop Wednesday morning. "She's your politician who's not polished but just says what she believes in, regardless of what constituents want to hear."

The bus tour started Sunday with the 2008 vice presidential nominee and her family riding motorcycles from the Pentagon to the National Mall with thousands of others. She spent Memorial Day at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and also stopped by Fort McHenry in Baltimore and George Washington's home at Mount Vernon, Va., according to her website.

On Tuesday, Palin, her husband, Todd, and several family members toured the Gettysburg Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia's Independence Hall.

Questioned by reporters Monday at the Archives, Palin said she was "still kind of contemplating" a GOP primary run.

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