Live

Watch CBSN Live

Army to Block Media at Palin Book Signing

The U.S. Army plans to prevent media from covering Sarah Palin's appearance at Fort Bragg, fearing the event will turn into political grandstanding against President Barack Obama, officials said Thursday.

Fort Bragg spokesman Tom McCollum told The Associated Press that Bragg's garrison commander and other Army officials had decided to keep media away from Palin's book promotion. He said the Army did not want the Monday event to become a platform to express political opinions "directed against the commander in chief."

"The main reason is to stop this from turning into a political platform," he said. "There are Army regulations that basically prohibit military reservations from becoming political platforms by politicians."

He said only one politician can use that platform, "and that person does it as our commander in chief."

Palin, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, has already agreed not to give a speech at Bragg, McCollum said. However, since other members of the public would be permitted to attend, the spokesman worried that Palin's supporters might make the event political and use the media to express opinions from the base.

"Criticism of our commander in chief could be expressed by anyone there," McCollum told CBS News producer Mary Walsh. He also said that reports of such statements taking place on the grounds of Fort Bragg would be counter to Department of Defense regulations.

A spokeswoman for Palin's publisher, HarperCollins, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Palin began her promotional tour this week for a new memoir, "Going Rogue," with plans to travel through several states that were key to the 2008 election, including North Carolina.

McCollum said it's not clear if Palin is considered a politician but noted that she has been critical of Obama while promoting the book. She said in an interview with ABC News that Obama should provide more troops to Afghanistan.

"It frustrates me and frightens me - and many Americans - that President Obama is dithering around with the decision in Afghanistan," she said.

Palin doesn't appear to be using her book-signing events to explicitly promote her politics, however. She spoke briefly to supporters outside an event in Michigan on Wednesday, saying it was great to be there and not mentioning Obama.

At least one person in the crowd yelled: "Palin power. 2012, yes."

More Coverage of Sarah Palin:
Hundreds Line Up for Palin Book Signing
McCain Aide Nicolle Wallace: Sarah Palin's Claims are "Fiction"
Fact Checking Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue"
Marc Ambinder: Palin Needs to Take Herself Seriously
CBS News Poll: Fewer Than 1 in 4 Have Favorable View of Palin
Is Palin Selling Books or Settling Scores?
Exclusive: Palin Accounts Disputed by McCain Aides
Fact Check: Palin Seems to Misrepresent Timeline on Daughter's Pregnancy
Fact Check: Palin Contradicts Her Own Version Of Events With Oprah
Sarah Palin Calls Newsweek Sexist