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McCain and Palin in Pennsylvania on Sept. 9. Transcript


Courtesy of Federal News Service.

GOV. PALIN: (In progress.) Let me introduce to you my husband, Todd Palin. (Cheers, applause.) He's a commercial fisherman. Todd's a commercial fisherman. He's a production operator up in the oil fields up in Alaska. He's an Iron Dog champion. That's the four-time champion of the world's longest, toughest snow machine race, 2,000 miles across Alaska. (Cheers, applause.)

He's a proud member of the United Steelworkers Union. And up in Alaska, they call him the "first dude." Todd Palin! (Cheers, applause.)

Thank you so much for allowing us to be here. This is absolutely overwhelming and spectacular. Thank you so much. We know that it's going to be a hard-fought battle here in Pennsylvania, but John McCain and I, we are ready, and with your help, we're going to win. (Cheers, applause.)

First, let me tell you something about the choice in this election. Here in Pennsylvania, we just don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they're listening, and then turns around and talks kind of how bitterly they cling to their religion and their guns when those people aren't listening. (Boos.) We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Lancaster and then maybe another way in San Francisco.

As for my running mate, I can assure you, I promise you, wherever he goes and whomever he is speaking with, whoever's listening, John McCain is the same man. (Cheers, applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: John McCain! John McCain! John McCain! John McCain!

GOV. PALIN: Now, to win, to reform Washington, to help reform our country, Senator McCain and I are going to take our case for reform to voters of every background, in every party, or no party at all. And with your vote, we're going to Washington to shake things up. (Cheers, applause.)

See, John McCain is a guy who's been through a few tough battles before, and he has served America in good times and in bad. (Cheers, applause.) He knows what it takes to overcome great challenges. And for the job of leading our country, he's the only man in this race who's got what it takes. (Cheers, applause.)

Remember it was just about a year ago when the war in Iraq looked very bad.

And the consequences of failure would have been terrible for our country, for our troops. Defeat at the hands of al Qaeda in Iraq would have left millions to a violent fate and would have left our own nation much less secure.

Some in Washington at the time said that all was lost. All was lost in the war, they presumed -- they assumed. There was no hope for victory. (Boos.) And they said there was no hope for the candidate who had said he would rather lose an election than see our country lose a war. (Cheers, applause.)

But the pollsters and the pundits, they forgot one thing when they wrote him off. They forgot the caliber of the man himself, the determination and the resolve and the sheer guts of Senator John McCain. (Cheers, applause.)

But you all knew better. You all knew better, Americans. The American people understand that there is a time for politics and a time for leadership, a time to campaign and a time to put our country first. (Cheers, applause.)

AUDIENCE: (Chanting.) Country first! Country first! Country first! Country first! Country first! Country first! Country first!

GOV. PALIN: John McCain is a man who wore the uniform of this country for 22 years. (Cheers, applause.) He refused to break faith with the troops who have now brought victory within sight. (Cheers, applause.)

And as the mother of one of those troops, that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief. (Cheers, applause, chanting.)

Now, for his part, our opponent, he still just can't bring himself to acknowledge the coming victory in Iraq. He couldn't just the other day in an interview. He says he's for change, but look there in Iraq. Change happened, and that's a great thing for America, Senator. (Cheers, applause.)

Here's how I look at the choices that we have in this election. In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers, and then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change. (Cheers, applause.)

Americans, this is a moment when principles and political independence and those things that this man will bring to the office -- those things that are going to matter a heck of a lot more that a party line --


GOV. PALIN: He doesn't run with the Washington herd. He's willing to shake things up in Washington, and that is only one more reason to bring the maverick of the Senate -- put him into the White House. (Cheers, applause.)

Senator McCain has called the two of us a team of mavericks, and he knows that we've done some shaking up up there in Alaska. As mayor, I shook up the old system and took on the good old boys. (Cheers, applause.) I reminded people that government is not always the answer. In fact, too often government is the problem. (Cheers, applause.)

So -- so we got back to basics, and we put government back on the side of the people.

What I did was eliminate taxes on personal property and -- (cheers, applause) -- I eliminated taxes that were hurting small business. And property taxes were too high, so every year in office, we cut the mill levy. We cut that rate. And these reforms worked and our community took off. We started prospering.

And as governor, then, I brought that same agenda of positive change. We took on the old politics as usual in Juneau and we broke the monopoly that had controlled our state. And that was the lobbyists and the special interests behind Big Oil. (Cheers.) We came to office promising major ethics reform to end the culture of closed doors and self-dealing and today that ethics reform is the law of the state. (Cheers, applause.)

And you know, as mayor and governor I tried to lead by example. As mayor, I had taken a voluntary pay cut, which didn't really thrill my husband. (Laughter.) And then as governor, I cut the personal chef position from the budget, which did not thrill my kids. (Laughter.) And I put the state government's checkbook online for all to see, and that didn't thrill some of the bureaucrats. (Cheers, applause.) And that luxury jet that came with the office, I put it on eBay. (Cheers, applause.)

You see, I had come to office promising to control spending by request, if possible, but by veto, if necessary. And today, our state budget is under control and we have a surplus. I had to put the veto pen to nearly half a billion dollars in wasteful spending, though.

And what we did also, we suspended our state fuel tax. We have a surplus. So what I've done with a chunk of that surplus is return it back to the people of Alas because the people can spend it better than government can spend it for them. (Cheers, applause.)

So we gave a chunk of their money back to the hard-working Alaskans, and in these tough times across America, I'm ready to help John McCain bring tax relief to all Americans, to all of you. (Cheers, applause.)

We championed earmark reform up there also, to stop Congress from wasting public money on things that didn't serve the public interest. I told Congress "thanks, but no thanks" for that bridge to nowhere; that if our state wanted to build a bridge, we would ourselves. (Cheers, applause.)

Now, just the other day our opponent, he brought up earmarks. And considering his record of earmark spending, I was surprised that he would even raise the subject. I didn't think he'd want to go there. In just three years, our opponent has requested nearly $1 billion in earmarks. That's about a million dollars for every working day. (Boos.)

In our state, we reformed the abuses of earmarks. While our opponent was requesting nearly a billion dollars in earmarks as a senatorial privilege, I was vetoing half a billion (dollars) as an executive responsibility. (Cheers, applause.)

And now -- and you're going to hear more about this from our good senator -- I'm ready to help President John McCain end these corrupt practices once and for all. (Cheers, applause.)

As governor, I used competition to get agreements to build a nearly $40-billion natural gas pipeline that will help free America from foreign suppliers that do not have our interests at heart. (Cheers, applause.)

I can promise you, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to expand nuclear energy and expand our use of alternative fuels and help you conserve. And we're going to drill now to make this nation energy-independent. (Cheers, applause.)

It is a matter of national security and it is for our prosperity. We need American energy sources, brought to you by American ingenuity and produced by American workers. (Cheers, applause.)

You know, our opponents, they've been going on quite a bit lately about how they always, quote, "fight" for you. But since my running mate, he won't say this, on his behalf, let me say it for him. There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you. (Cheers, applause.)

Friends in Pennsylvania, please know, he is the only great man in this race, the only one in this election ready to serve as our 44th president. I am honored to get to introduce to you the next president of the United States, Senator John McCain. (Cheers, applause.)


SEN. MCCAIN: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for this marvelous turnout. Thank you all, every one of you.

And you convince me more and more, we will win the state of Pennsylvania -- (cheers, applause) -- and we will win this election and -- (inaudible due to cheers) -- thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

And I'm happy -- I cannot tell you how happy I am to be introduced by Governor Palin today. But I can't wait -- I can't wait to introduce her to Washington, D.C. (Cheers, applause.) (Inaudible due to cheers.) We'll drain the swamp. (Cheers, applause continue.)

AUDIENCE: (Chanting.) Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah! Sarah!

SEN. MCCAIN: Let there be no doubt, my friends, I want to offer a little advance warning to the old big-spending, do-nothing, me- first, country-second Washington crowd. Change is coming! (Cheers, applause.) And it's coming in next January to Washington, D.C., and we're going to reform government. We're going to fix things.

And my friends, we're the ones who will change Washington. She is the one who's changed Alaska. She's the one that took on -- that took on the old bulls in the Republican Party, that cleaned up the state of Alaska and she'll clean up Washington. And we'll restore trust and confidence in government and again on the part of the American people. (Cheers, applause.)

That's what we'll do. (Cheers, applause.)

And my friends, my opponent, Senator Obama, has never, ever gone against anyone in his own party. We're proud of the fact that for the good of the American people and putting our country first, we have. (Cheers, applause.) And that's a matter of record.

And what "maverick" really means, what this team of maverick really means is we understand who we work for. We don't work for the party, and we don't work for a special interest, and we don't work for ourselves. We'll work for you and the American people -- (inaudible). (Cheers, applause.)

Let me -- let me talk to you about a couple of issues very quickly, my friends, and one is that I commit to you that we will stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much, and some of that money winds up in the hands of terrorist organizations. (Cheers, applause.) We will stop it. We will stop it. And some of that money ends up in the hands of terrorist organizations, my friends. And it's going to stop.

And it's going to be "all of the above." It's going to be wind and tide and solar and -- and natural gas. And it's also going to be nuclear power. (Cheers, applause.) Nuclear power has got to be part of our solution.

And yes, in the meantime, yes, we're going to drill offshore, and we're going to drill now. (Cheers, applause.) And we're going to drill.

And we'll fight for energy independence.

We're going to get our economy moving again, and it will create millions of jobs, millions of new jobs in America. And it'll be clean coal technology, which will help so much here in the state of Pennsylvania. (Cheers, applause.) We will develop it, and we will invest in it.

So we can do it, my friends, and nuclear power has to be part of it. Senator Obama opposes nuclear power. He opposes offshore drilling. (Booing.) And my friends, we can't get there from here.

And let me talk to you just for a minute about spending.

It's out of control, my friends. It's become evil, and it has corrupted -- it has corrupted Washington, D.C. My friends, I've got an old ink pen, and I'm going to take that ink pen and I'm going to veto every single pork barrel big spending bill -- (cheers, applause) -- (inaudible). And I'll make them famous and you'll know their names. (Cheers, applause.) You'll know their names. And we'll shame them. We'll shame them, my friends.

We're never going to spend $3 million again to study the DNA of bears in Montana. (Cheers, applause.) I don't know if that was a paternity issue or a criminal issue, but it's not going to happen again. (Cheers, applause.) Then -- we've got to stop it.

My friends, that money takes away your ability to fill your gas tank and to make your mortgage payment, and it hurts us. It hurts us. And it erodes our trust and confidence in government. We can restore that, my friends, because America's best days are ahead of us. (Cheers, applause.) And we can restore confidence in government.

But I mention one more word about Todd Palin. Not only -- (cheers, applause) -- 2,000 miles in sometimes 40 degree below-zero weather in a snowmobile across northern -- across Alaska in the dead of winter. My friends, he's not afraid of Washington, D.C. (Chuckles.) We can take them on. (Cheers, applause.) Four-time world champion. And a wonderful father. A wonderful father. (Cheers, applause.)

I'd like to give you a little straight talk, if I could. These are tough times. These are tough times in Pennsylvania. We know that. These are tough times. You're worried about keeping your job or finding a new one.

You're struggling to put food on the table and stay in your home. And this week we're looking at a costly government-led restructuring of our home loan agencies. (Boos.)

We need to keep people in their homes, but we can't allow this to turn into a bailout of Wall Street speculators and irresponsible executives by taxpayers. (Cheers, applause.) My friends, I want to tell you, this action was required because of the cronyism and special interests influencing Washington, D.C. That's why we're in the fix that we're in.

So all you ever asked of government is to stand on your side, not in your way. And that's just what I intend to do, stand on your side and fight for your future. (Cheers, applause.) My friends, I'll keep your taxes low. I'll open new markets to our goods and services. I'll cut government spending. And my opponent believes in big government, bigger spending and higher taxes -- (boos) -- and we're not going to do that.

So the differences are very clear. And we're going to create jobs in America and we're going to get this economy going again, but we've also got to reform the way we do business in Washington, D.C., and we'll reform it, my friends. We'll reform it. (Cheers, applause.)

The problem in Washington is not Republicans. It's not Democrats. The problem in Washington is that everybody in Washington is working for themselves and not you. I'll reach across the aisle. I'll work with anyone to help this country. I have a record of that. Senator Obama does not. He does not. (Cheers, applause.)

My friends, tomorrow -- tomorrow will mark a year since General Petraeus first came back and testified before Congress about the surge.

We were one vote away in the Senate from Congress and the Senate cutting off funding, which Senator Obama voted to cut off funding for our troops in Iraq. (Boos.)

And my friends, I'd like to tell you a very brief story. Fourth of July, not this one but the one before, I was in Baghdad with my friend, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

General Petraeus, that great and outstanding leader, invited us -- (cheers) -- invited us to attend a ceremony where 688 brave, young American men and women, wearing the uniform of the military, had reenlisted.

They could have gone home. Their enlistment, it was up. They could have gone home. Instead they stayed to fight, for freedom of the Iraqi people and our security. (Cheers, applause.)


SEN. MCCAIN: And you know, I was deeply moved. I was deeply moved to be in the presence of brave, young Americans who were willing to continue to serve because they knew it wasn't just for the freedom of the Iraqi people but our security.

My friends, the consequences of failure would have been devastating. We would have had a greater Iranian influence, a base for al Qaeda, expanded possibility of wider war. And these young men and women knew that.

And so on the plane, on the way back and by the way, the temperature, I think, that day in Baghdad, was around 117 degrees. These young people put on 40 pounds of body armor, pounds and pounds of equipment and go out every single day, defending the Iraqi people and freedom. (Cheers, applause.)

So on the way back, I was talking with my friend Senator Graham, and I said, we can't allow America to surrender. We can't afford to lose this war. And yes, I'm running for president. But the fact is that we have to put America first.

So we went on a little tour around America. We called it the no- surrender tour. And we talked to large groups of people and small groups of people. And we tried to explain to them the consequences of doing what the Democrats and some Republicans wanted to do, and that was set a date for withdrawal from Iraq, which would have deprived us of victory.

And my friends, as Governor Palin just mentioned, a lot of the pundits said we were finished. And I'll repeat to you again, I would rather lose a political campaign than see America lose a war. (Cheers, applause.) (Inaudible.)

And why do I feel that way? Why do I feel that way? Because I've had the great honor of serving in the company of heroes. I know what the threats are to America and our security are are today, and they're significant. And every time I'm in the company of our veterans, I'm honored. And they're here today. Please raise your hands. Please raise your hands, all of our veterans. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank you for your service. (Extended cheers and applause.)

Let me promise you this. We will fulfill our obligations to care for those who have served in our nation's defense, and we will give them the health care they need and the benefits that they have earned. (Cheers, applause.)

And that's what America is all about. And we will do that. We owe you that.

So, my friends, after I came back, I was at a town hall meeting in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. A woman stood up, and she said, "Senator McCain, would you do me the honor of wearing a bracelet with my son's name on it, Matthew Stanley?" He was 22 years old. He was killed in combat outside of Baghdad just before Christmas last year. I said I would be honored.

Then she said, "But Senator McCain, I want you to promise me one thing: that you'll do everything in your power to make sure that my son's death was not in vain."

I take that charge seriously, and all the families, those who have served and those who have sacrificed. (Cheers, applause.)

So yes, I want to be president of the United States, but I also want to tell you I believe that I can motivate and inspire another generation of Americans to serve a cause greater than their self- interest. (Cheers, applause.) I believe I can do that, my friends.

And I want to assure you -- I want to assure you that my entire life I've had the great honor of serving this country and putting -- and putting my country first. With the help of this great running mate and this stalwart and great American, we will always put our country first. You can count on it. (Cheers, applause.) And I won't let you down. I won't let you down. Thank you, and God bless you. We need your vote. We need your support. Thank you, and God bless you, and God bless America. (Cheers, applause continue.)




Thanks for printing transcripts of candidate speeches.

I read this one twice; I'm informed and inspired. It tells me how McCain & Palin think and feel about America.

I also read the transcript of Obama's speech yesterday (the one where he spoke about Muhammed the cab driver.) I read it twice; I'm informed and enlightened. It tells me how Obama thinks and feels about America.

It's OK to spend trillions in Iraq, but any money for science should be questioned, according to McCain, who doesn't understand wildlife biology. DNA studies on populations of animals that are under stress (bears in Montana) are important. You must know the genetic relatedness between the different populations of a species, for management decisions. As populations of a species decline, inbreeding becomes one of the biggest threats to the survival of that species. This is money for basic science. The lack of understanding of basic science by the politicians, of both parties, is shameful.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 9, 2008 5:27 PM.

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