Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher wanted to act as a mentor for then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), conservative pundit Ann Coulter swore in a radio interview on Monday.
According to The Daily Mail, Coulter told host and fellow Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera that Thatcher broached the subject when Palin "burst on the scene," which suggests the period following Palin's being selected to run alongside Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the 2008 presidential election.
"One thing that I know, because I know people who know her, is when Sarah Palin first burst on the scene, she wanted to have a meeting with Palin," Coulter said. "Because she saw raw political talent, but wanted to teach Sarah Palin to do what she did. I just know it from friends of hers," adding that Thatcher wanted to teach Palin "to speak proper English."
Think Progress reported in 2010 that McCain's aides discovered shortly after Palin's addition to the GOP ticket that she "had no idea" who Thatcher was.
Years later, Coulter said, Palin said during a visit to Great Britain that she wanted to meet the former prime minister, but that Thatcher "put out the word that she would not be available." In June 2010, Palin called Thatcher one of her "political heroines" on her Facebook page, though Think Progress suggested that post was actually written by Rebecca Mansour, who had been hired as a ghostwriter for Palin's Facebook account.
That same year, The Telegraph reported that Thatcher had agreed to meet with Palin during a promotional tour, a meeting that never occurred, spawning conflicting accounts as to the cause.
Some reports citing anonymous "allies" said Thatcher felt a meeting with Palin would be "belittling." But her aide Niles Gardiner, who now heads the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom at The Heritage Foundation, denied Palin was snubbed in a June 2011 column for The Telegraph, citing the "Iron Lady's" declining health.
"She has always warmly welcomed like-minded figures in the United States, and has in the past met with numerous US presidential candidates and political dignitaries when they have visited London," Gardiner said of Thatcher. "But at the age of 85 she is now able to receive very few visitors at all."
Gardiner's remarks echo statements made by Thatcher's daughter, Carol, in a memoir published in 2008.
According to The Telegraph, Carol Thatcher wrote of her mother, "The woman who had dominated discussions for so long could no longer lead debates or keep up with the thread of a drinks-party conversation. On bad days, she could hardly remember the beginning of a sentence by the time she got to the end."
After Thatcher's death was announced Monday, Palin posted a tribute note on her Facebook page, saying, "While the Iron Lady is sadly gone, her iron will, her unfailing trust in what is right and just, and her lessons to all of us will live on forever. She was a trailblazer like no other. We lost an icon, but her legacy, as solid as iron, will live on in perpetuity."
Listen to the interview between Colter and Rivera, posted by The Mail on Monday, below.