Union Supporters Boo Sarah Palin At Wis. Appearance

Originally published on April 18, 2011 6:18 am
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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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As Wisconsin Public Radio's Shawn Johnson reports, Palin said Republicans in Washington could use a little of Walker's courage.

SHAWN JOHNSON: This was not an altogether friendly crowd for Sarah Palin. While Tea Party supporters cheered Palin up front, they were flanked on three sides by union supporters who booed throughout her speech. But Palin told the crowd she was here because it was where the battle for the country is being fought.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOOING)

SARAH PALIN: This is where the line has been drawn in the sand, and I am proud to stand with you today in solidarity.

JOHNSON: Palin says Governor Scott Walker and Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature deserve credit for standing up to public employee unions and curbing their bargaining rights.

PALIN: That's courage, and that's integrity.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOOING)

PALIN: And, you know, that's something that's sorely missing in the Beltway today.

JOHNSON: Sarah Palin attacked President Obama for what she labeled his big government agenda. But she saved some of her sharpest words for Republican leaders, blasting them for reaching a deal with the president to cut $38 billion in spending.

(SOUNDBITE OF BOOING)

PALIN: That is not courage. That's capitulation.

JOHNSON: Rebecca Congo of Madison was among the counter-protesters chanting: Go Home, Sarah. While Tea Party supporters cheered Palin on, Congo called her an outside agitator.

REBECCA CONGO: I don't really understand why she was here. This is kind of our issue, not Alaska's issue.

JOHNSON: For NPR News, I'm Shawn Johnson in Madison. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.