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Sarah Palin and Donald Trump share pizza in Times Square

at 09:34 PM ET, 05/31/2011


Sarah Palin walks with Donald Trump in New York City as they make their way to a scheduled meeting Tuesday, May 31, 2010. (Craig Ruttle - AP)
On day three of Sarah Palin’s unconventional bus tour came the most surprising moment by far. The former Alaska governor and her daughter Piper dined tonight with media mogul Donald Trump and his wife Melania at Famiglia’s a (frankly not very good) pizza place in Times Square. Palin met Trump at his apartment in Trump Tower, near Rockefeller Center; they rode from there in his limo to the restaurant, part of a New York City chain.

Asked on her way into the restaurant about Trump’s past political donations, Palin responded, “I think I’ll go change his mind and make sure he’s contributing to constitutional conservatives.’’

“She didn’t ask me [to run with her] but I’ll tell you, she’s a terrific woman,” Trump said as they walked in. Trump’s special counsel, Michael Cohen, told reporters that the pair had talked in the past about meeting up whenever Palin found herself in New York.

The group shared pepperoni, sausage, and meatball pizzas.

Palin is staying in Jersey City, where she arrived via bus this afternoon after a short trip to Philadelphia. Tomorrow, she is expected to take an early morning boat from there to Ellis Island, before the crowds of tourists arrive. Then she will greet the first ferry of visitors before taking her boat back and hitting the road.

From there, Palin’s plans are something of a mystery, although she is expected to head for New Hampshire. Details of her week-long tour of historic Northeast sites have remained secret at every step. Reporters have been scrambling to trail her at each stop.

Both Palin and Trump, who made a show of considering a presidential bid in the past few months, have contracts with Fox News. The two could be seen eating through the windows, against which surprised passerby pressed. This being New York City, not the most pro-Republican part of the country, there were loud chants of “Obama!” as the pair exited.

“Every time you go to New York, you’ve got to see Donald Trump,” Palin said on her way out. I approve of his independence.” She did an interview inside the restaurant with television reporters. Trump refused to comment as he left, saying only that he thought Palin was “good” and that they talked about “different things.”

Two members of the U.S. Navy, Daniel Delgado and Daniel Johnston in for Fleet Week and hanging out at a friend’s bar down the street, ended up being enlisted by both parties’ bodyguards to perform impromptu crowd control as the stars walked out. A clump of only about twenty people surrounded them. A pair of young women, trying to push past the former vice presidential candidate, screamed that they just wanted to touch Trump’s hand.

The first person who approached Palin outside the restaurant was Diane Barone, a union activist from Youngstown, Ohio in town for IUE-CWA contract negotiations. She shook Palin’s hand and would not let go, telling the former governor she disagreed with her positions on unions. Palin responded calmly that her father had been a union member and that making things better for working people “is something on which we can agree.” She said afterwards that she doubted she could change Palin’s mind, but you never know: “I thought she would ignore me and she did not, she shook my hand.”

 
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