WASHINGTON — Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin had a message to deliver that the nation was at a dire crossroads, and thousands showed up Saturday at the National Mall to receive it. But Sunday, Beck reiterated that the pair would not join forces in 2012, leading a national ticket for president and vice president.
“Not a chance,” Beck said in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” on the same network that broadcasts the radio and TV host’s daily show. “I have no desire to be president of the United States. Zero desire. I don’t think that I would be electable.”
He added: “And there are far too many people that are far smarter than me to be president.”
Palin, whose appearance on the National Mall came nearly two years to the day after she was introduced as John McCain’s running mate, told Politico in a brief interview that she and Beck “like what we’re doing now.” However, Palin, who resigned after two years as Alaska’s governor, is widely presumed to have national political ambitions.
Estimates of the crowd size at Saturday’s “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial vary. A CBS News count based on aerial photography pegged attendance at 87,000. Organizers said it was closer to 500,000, and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., chairwoman of the congressional Tea Party Caucus, argued it approached 1 million.
Beck stirred controversy with his choice of date and location for the rally, which coincided with the anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Beck called it a coincidence and “divine providence.”
He continued to downplay the notion that Saturday’s demonstration had political intent. Still, he said a mass gathering like that spoke to the fact that Americans were concerned over the direction of the nation.
“You don’t get that many people to come to Washington and stand there and have that kind of a moment without signs, without any political messages, for no reason,” he said in the Fox interview. That’s “the first message” that politicians should get, he said. “People aren’t really happy with things.”
Beck also said he regretted but would not retract his controversial statement from 2009 saying Obama had “a deep-seated hatred for white people.”
“It was poorly said. I have a big fat mouth sometimes and I say things,” he said, “and that’s just not the way people should behave. And it was not accurate.”