Palin: I Didn’t ‘Mess Up’ Paul Revere History

By Laurie Kellman, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Sarah Palin insisted Sunday that history was on her side when she claimed that Paul Revere’s famous ride was intended to warn both British soldiers and his fellow colonists.

“You realize that you messed up about Paul Revere, don’t you?” “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace asked the potential 2012 presidential candidate.

“I didn’t mess up about Paul Revere,” replied Palin, a paid contributor to the network.

“Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there. That, hey, you’re not going to succeed. You’re not going to take American arms. You are not going to beat our own well-armed persons, individual, private militia that we have,” she added. “He did warn the British.”

Palin, who again said she has not decided whether to run for president, was asked about the Revolutionary War hero during a stop Thursday in Boston on her East Coast bus tour.

“He who warned the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms by ringing those bells, and makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”

Palin’s brush with the nation’s history came toward the end of her “One Nation” bus tour that generated intense interest as she traveled from Washington to New England. Along the way, she steadfastly refused “a million times” to say whether she was running for president.

“I’m publicizing Americana and our foundation and how important it is that we learn about our past and our challenges and victories throughout American history, so that we can successfully proceed forward,” Palin said in the broadcast interview. “It’s not a campaign tour.”

And was she leaning toward or against running, Palin was asked?

“Still right there in the middle,” she said.

There’s no ambiguity about the intense interest Palin generates, a point that doesn’t sit comfortably in some quarters of a party without a clear front-runner to face President Barack Obama next year.

Palin’s closely watched bus trip is a key example. Its camera-ready events competed for coverage in the same week and region as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s entry into the race. His candidacy is perhaps the most formidable of the emerging field.

Palin’s political tease generated lukewarm reaction from members of the GOP establishment.

Asked Sunday whether he could envision supporting Palin for president, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former hopeful, told “Face the Nation” on CBS: “If Barack Obama was the head of the other ticket, I could.”

For her part, Palin was contrite.

“I apologize if I stepped on any, any of that PR that Mitt Romney needed or wanted that day,” Palin said. “I do sincerely apologize. I didn’t mean to step on anybody’s toes.”

While she continued to insist that she wasn’t competing for anything in particular, Palin said she would welcome Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, another Republican with tea party appeal, to the race.

“More competition, the better,” Palin said.

For now, Palin is clearly grappling with the downside of celebrity.

Even her otherwise successful media events can leave lingering questions about Palin’s grasp of and interest in history, public policy and other subjects of substance.

On Sunday, Palin insisted she was right about the purpose of Revere’s famous “midnight ride.”

“I know my American history,” she told Wallace.

The Paul Revere House’s website says that on April 18, 1775, Dr. Joseph Warren instructed Revere to ride to Lexington, Mass., to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were marching to arrest them. In an undated letter posted by the Massachusetts Historical Society, Revere wrote of the need to keep his activities secret and his suspicion that a member of his tight circle of planners had become a British informant.

According to the letter, written around 1798, Revere did give up some details of the plan to the British that night, but after he had notified other colonists, and under questioning by British soldiers.

Surrounded, Revere revealed “there would be five hundred Americans there in a short time, for I had alarmed the Country all the way up,” he wrote.

More downside for Palin is that nothing is private.

Looming in the week ahead is Alaska’s release of 24,000 pages of emails sent and received by Palin during her time as governor. They will provide an inside look into her rise from obscurity to a spot on the national stage.

The emails cover a majority of her short term as governor and could provide the most insight into how she governed the nation’s largest state. Her only other elected office was as a two-term mayor of her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, which has a population of about 7,000.

The emails cover the first 21 months of Palin’s tenure, ending in September 2008, after GOP presidential nominee John McCain selected her to be his running mate.

Palin resigned partway through her term, in July 2009.

“Every rock in the Palin household that could ever be kicked over and uncovered anything, it’s already been kicked over,” Palin said, noting that a lot of the emails are between staff and family members and were not meant for public consumption. The letters, she said, “won’t distract me.”

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • H.Wilson

    Please run Sarah.. The country needs you (to ensure another 4 years of Obama). He has got us going in the right direction after 8 years of bush/ know the chaney who said deficits don’t mean a thing.. He can be your keynote speaker.

    Can you see Concord from your back window ?

    • sherry

      you are so right !! go Obama

  • Cynic

    Leave Sarah alone……Everyone knows that Paul Revere rode out to warn the Eskimos that the Russians that he had seen out his window were coming.

  • cawnaw

    I really hope her children aren’t home schooled.

    • unclesmrgol

      Aside from the fact that she’s absolutely right about what happened during Revere’s abortive ride to Lexington, and the reporter was wrong, what else do you have to tell her children that Palin can’t more authoritatively and more correctly relate? Revere had been detained by British soldiers en route to Concord from Lexington, and was being transported by those soldiers back to Lexington when guns went off and bells started chiming. The British asked Mr. Revere what was going on, and he told them that the call to arouse the countryside was going out. They took Revere’s horse (because it was fresher), gave him the British sergeant’s horse, and skedaddled back to their troops to tell them they were expected. Remember, at this point in the Revolution, the intent wasn’t to kill the British, but to make them back off from their acts of tyrrany.

  • Joan Shipman

    Seriously??? Perhaps she could team-up with Bozo The Clown as his VP!!
    Are there really people with a brain who would consider voting for this wannabe??

  • John Sweet

    Sarah: It was a secret ride……remember the lanterns hung in the North Church?
    Or was that the stroke of twelve and you left a shoe in your yap? LOL
    Paul Revere would have you in irons…..for warning the British!!! Idiot!!!

  • d

    She really should learn to just keep her ignorant mouth shut. She can’t even speak the language properly. What is scary about this troglodyte is that there are people all over this country who really think she’d make a great leader. That’s the truly scary part. They are the same ones who voted for Bush for two terms. “Stupid is as stupid does.”

    “He who warned the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms by ringing those bells, and makin’ sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be sure and we were going to be free, and we were going to be armed.”

  • JimD, Boston, MA

    Well, thank God the Palins are LEAVING Massachusetts !!!

  • IcanseeRussiaromNH

    Americans, To arms to arms, Palin is coming Palin is coming!!!!!!!!!

  • Btt

    Ms. Kellman, your attempted smearing of Sarah Palin is transparent and distasteful. Shame on you. Take a in-depth history lesson yourself before implying that Ms. Palin misspoke. Make no mistake lib media we’re ready for you this time.

    • Jack Beldops

      Morons like Palin are the ones that make Republicans look bad. Please, Sarah, go back to Alaska.

  • Ken

    The sad reality is that there are so many Americans who take Palin’s politics seriously and that they would actually support her or anything she stands for. And it’s sad because it speaks for how just how many MORONS that are utterly incapable of thinking through the simple concepts of cause and effect actually live in this country.

    It’s high time the media stops paying attention to this bimbo and do exactly what it should do, and that is tell the whole world she is patently unfit for any political office, list the obvious reasons why and then embarrass her out of public life, though I doubt she’s smart enough to ever get embarrassed about any blunder she makes, which amounts to anything and everything she says in public whenever she opens her mouth.

    Without the media editorializing it’s also becoming more and more patently clear that the only reason the media does pay any attention to her is because they know she’s a sure-fire cash cow to bring in ad revenue or sell newspapers. All it has to do is publicize anything she says and it’s a guarantee to sell; and then they have the audacity to call it “news”. NEWSFLASH: we all know she’s an idiot. Let’s move on to someone else who actually has something intelligent to say about the state of American life with concrete ideas about how to fix what’s wrong in the American economy and say to hell with foreign wars, Arab oil and cheap Chinese goods being dumped on American shores at the expense of either over-worked and over-taxed or unemployed AMERICANS struggling to make ends meet, while we watch the value of our houses plummet and see our hard earned retirement savings decimated by corrupt bankers and corporate executives.

  • justsayin'

    Good lord she sounds like a moron. She really needs to give it up. Please I have had enough of her. I have an idea for all news programs….stop putting her all over the news. Maybe if we ignore her she will go away. If she shows up some where don’t go to see her.

  • Wake Up America

    Did she mention the the South won the Civil Wat, Macann is President, Obama is the world’s president (wait he does act like cause he is NEVER in Washington, DC but all over the World on AMERICAN tax payers money and paying for his wife with it too – I want Hime to pay it back likat Edwatds is doing now], or the world ended May 21, 2011. She sounds as bad as Obama saying the economey is rich and our unemployment is the lowest ever.

  • jaygee

    When you listen to her speak or read the words she has spoken, one has to wonder how she every passed an English course in Alaska. Her bus trip across America which “wasn’t about me” must have given her some idea of how America doesn’t like quitters and she is the queen of that group. I wish someone would ask the mute husband a question for a change so we could have an idea of his intelligence.

  • decol

    Where does she come up with this C#*P!!!!!!

  • JG

    Guess Palin got her information from the same place that Michelle Bachmann did when she told a group of school children in New Hampshire “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord”. Neither of these two should be allowed anywhere near a microphone where they can spread their stupidity to the planet; and we wonder why Americans are mocked in the foreign media?

  • Linda

    What an absolutely STUPID woman! I knew she would twist this somehow to defend what she said, but this is unbelievable!

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