Palin: I Will Decide on 2012 When the Time Is Right

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sarah Palin pauses outside a Jersey City hotel to speak with members of the press ahead of her visit to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. (Published Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011)

    Sarah Palin said she hasn't decided whether to run for president but declared her admiration for anyone willing to do it as she embarked on a visit to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty Wednesday as part of her bus tour of American landmarks.

    "I truly respect anyone willing to throw their name in the hat," Palin told reporters as she headed to Ellis Island. In a separate appearance earlier outside her hotel she said "I don't know if I'm going to be running yet."

    Palin Dons Star of David

    The former Alaska governor and one-time vice presidential candidate stopped at the immigration museum on Ellis Island and saw Lady Liberty on the New York leg of her mysterious Northeast tour, which she launched Sunday on the back of a motorcycle in Washington.

    She reiterated Wednesday that the trip is "all about America's history," although it is believed by some to be an event designed to stir buzz about a possible 2012 presidential campaign.

    "I'll decide when the time is right," she said.

    Palin met Tuesday night with real estate mogul Donald Trump, who recently decided against a presidential bid. The pair ate pizza and talked "about those things that need to be done with free market principles being applied as solutions to the challenges we're facing," Palin said.

    She said they did not discuss a possible endorsement for her, but did talk about "other candidates, potential people coming and going."

    The two Republicans are friends and the meeting had "no particular agenda," according to Michael Cohen, special counsel to Trump.

    Palin said in a blog post on her website Tuesday that she is touring historical sites because "it's so important for Americans to learn about our past so we can clearly see our way forward in challenging times."

    Palin announced her "One Nation" bus tour last week, but has closely guarded its itinerary.

    So far she has visited the National Mall in Washington, Mount Vernon, Va., Fort McHenry in Maryland, Gettysburg in Pennsylvania and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

    Follow Brian Thompson on Twitter @brian4NY, and NBC New York @NBCNewYork.