Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin came Sunday, Nov 22, to Buncombe County to meet with the Rev. Billy Graham and his son Franklin Graham to express appreciation and seek guidance on how to spread a positive message. Palin, the former GOP vice presidential candidate, said she wanted to discuss at dinner with the Montreat-based evangelists how she can contribute to messages that “can be sent to give some hope and some opportunity to people who may be hurting right now.”
“It’s a once in a lifetime honor to meet Rev. Billy Graham, who has contributed so much to our world,” she said at the Asheville Regional Airport.
Palin made the surprise stop in Asheville while on her tour promoting her new book, “Going Rogue: An American Life.” She greeted a few fans and supporters with a handshake and smile before making brief remarks with the Rev. Franklin Graham. He greeted her and some family members when her private jet landed.
“I, like many people, have been impressed with her strong commitment to her faith, to family and love of country,” the Rev. Billy Graham said in a statement released after dinner. “We had an opportunity to pray together. Life in the spotlight is not easy and I pray that whatever lies ahead for this family that their faith in God and his son, Jesus Christ, would remain strong and that God would put a hedge of protection around her and all those she holds dear.”
Although she did focus her public remarks on gratitude for the Graham family, their work and their invitation to meet for dinner Sunday, Palin didn’t shy away from an opportunity to discuss her opposition to the health care reform bill.
When asked if she had advice for candidates in the upcoming midterm election, she said, “If any of them are incumbents, my advice would be to kill that health care reform bill because constituents are not pleased with that government takeover … . I think a lot of constituents are keeping tabs on what their Congress members are doing right now and in 2010, I think there may be some changes.”