Alaska's too far? What Trump said about Palin not speaking at GOP convention

Donald Trump's campaign asked Sarah Palin to speak at the GOP convention next week, but Cleveland may just be too far from Alaska for her to travel, the candidate said Thursday.

Palin, a longtime Trump advocate who has appeared with him on the campaign trail, was not included on a preliminary list of convention speakers released late Wednesday.

"She was asked," Trump told the right-leaning weekly Washington Examiner in a phone interview Thursday. "It's a little bit difficult because of where she is. We love Sarah. Little bit difficult because of, you know, it's a long ways away."

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The statement appears to imply that the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate won't attend the convention at all, given the 8- to 10-hour travel time between Anchorage and Cleveland — a trip dozens of Alaskans will take in the next week.

Palin endorsed Trump in Iowa in January and has since campaigned for him in Florida, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and California. She also appeared with Trump at a rally in Washington, D.C., in September.

The current convention lineup includes a variety of political, business, entertainment and sports names, including Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White, freshmen Sens. Jodi Ernst of Iowa and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and actor and model Antonio Sabàto Jr.


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Trump described the list to the Washington Examiner as a roster of "winners."

The list also does not (yet) include Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan, a rumored speaking choice. Sullivan will attend several days of the convention. Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Rep. Don Young will not. Young has traditionally skipped the party's nominating event. Murkowski plans to head back to Alaska and campaign in anticipation of the August primary.

Erica Martinson

Erica Martinson is a former reporter for the Anchorage Daily News based in Washington, D.C.