Watch CBS News

Sarah Palin Concludes New York City Visit With Private Tour Of Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- After a night out with Donald Trump, former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin went on an hour-long private tour of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty with her daughter Piper Wednesday morning.

On Twitter, Palin wrote that she was looking forward to seeing the "beauty of legal immigrants' work ethic and love of freedom" at two of New York Harbor's iconic sites.

Palin said she got goosebumps as she walked through the halls of Ellis Island where millions of immigrants passed through between 1892 and 1954.

"It's wonderful to be here in New York, and to be able to see the historical sites that we are trying to highlight and bring attention to," Palin told CBS 2's Emily Smith. "It's been wonderful – great symbols of freedom all over this city. We appreciate it."

WCBS 880's Sean Adams: Sarah Palin Maintains She Hasn't Made Up Her Mind


Palin, who is possibly flirting with a run for president, didn't talk about politics but instead stopped to shake hands and take pictures with school children and their chaperones.

She told the children the importance of history and urged them to take advantage of all the sites and history that is around New York.

Palin spent about an hour and half at the Statue of Liberty before returning back to the island where she then departed to Boston -- the next stop on her great American tour.

Sarah Palin, Piper Palin, Sally Heath, Chuck Heath
Sarah Palin, center, her daughter Piper Palin, front, and her parents, Sally and Chuck Heath, pause as a band plays "The Star-Spangled Banner" while they visit Liberty Island Wednesday, June 1, 2011. (credit: Seth Wenig/AP)

On Tuesday night, Palin and Trump stepped out in New York City, chatting up fans and the being mobbed by the crush of press that follows Palin everywhere. They grabbed a bite of pizza in Times Square.

"What do we have in common? A love for this country and a desire to see our economy put back on the right track," the former governor of Alaska said.

The two appeared to be joining forces as speculation grows that Palin will soon officially announce her candidacy for president.

1010 WINS' Steve Sandberg reports: Palin Gets Goosebumps At Ellis Island


"We have both agreed that competition is good and the more folks in that primary, the better," she said.

If she does run, Trump hinted he'll back her.

"She's a great woman and a terrific woman and a great friend," he said. "I'd love for her to run."

Trump appeared on "Live With Regis & Kelly" Wednesday morning and was discussed his dinner with Palin.

"I'm not sure she knows the answer herself," Trump said about whether she will seek the presidency. "She doesn't know herself yet."

"Can you see a Trump/Palin ticket?" host Regis Philbin asked.

"That would be a really interesting ticket," Trump said.

Sarah Palin
Sarah Palin speaks to the news media - Jersey City, NJ - Jun 1, 2011 (credit: Sean Adams / WCBS 880)

If Palin runs, she will likely face stiff competition from fellow Republican Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, who plans to announce his candidacy Thursday. According to polls, he's the one to beat.

Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann was also expected to join the growing field of GOP candidates next month.

And some Republicans are still courting New Jersey Governor Chris Christie -- who's quickly made a name for himself for slashing budgets and going head to head with unions.

He's repeatedly insisted he won't run in 2012, but last night at his home near Princeton he met with a group of Iowa Republicans, still hoping to change his mind.

Iowa Conservative analyst Bill Spadea told a Des Moines newspaper that even if he doesn't run, "It doesn't hurt to position potentially for 2016.  He's a rising star in the Republican Party.  He's not going away anytime soon."

Meantime, Sarah Palin is the one grabbing headlines lately, with her bus tour that's already made several stops on the East Coast.

Trump? Christie? Palin? Is the center of the GOP universe swirling in the Tri-State? Sound off in our comments section below…

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.