Donald Trump: Sarah Palin won't speak at RNC because Alaska is too far away

Story highlights

  • As the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2008, Palin made a star turn at that year's RNC
  • Many observers expected her to have a speaking slot in Cleveland

(CNN)It's a long way from Alaska to Ohio -- a bit too long for Sarah Palin, apparently.

The former Alaska governor was a noticeable absence from a partial list of speakers announced to speak at next week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
    In an interview with the Washington Examiner on Thursday, Trump said that Palin was asked to speak, but that the distance ultimately precluded her from making the trip.
    "It's a little bit difficult because of where she is," Trump said, referring to Palin's home state of Alaska. "We love Sarah. Little bit difficult because of, you know, it's a long ways away."
    As the GOP vice presidential nominee in 2008, Palin made a star turn at that year's RNC in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a speech that had conservatives and pundits gushing.
    But she was absent from the party's convention in Tampa, Florida, four years ago, saying it was a "good opportunity for other voices to speak" there.
    Many observers expected her to have a speaking slot in Cleveland, given her early endorsement of Trump, but her name was not included on a list that includes Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel and Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton. A Trump adviser told CNN earlier Thursday Heisman-winning quarterback Tim Tebow would be speaking, but the former Denver Bronco later posted a Facebook video saying it was only a "rumor" -- though he did not unequivocally say that the rumor was false.
    Anchorage is roughly 3,000 miles from Cleveland.