WASHINGTON--Sarah Palin, talking about domestic policy with ABC's Charles Gibson in his second day of exclusive access on Friday, seem confused about entitlement programs--and unaware that Congress cannot significantly cut Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.
When she seemed to equate these entitlement programs to agencies "where we can find efficiencies in every department" Gibson lectured her that agencies are not involved in entitlements. Palin--who as governor of Alaska should be well versed in Medicaid--it is a joint state and federal program-- did not skip a beat, just plowed on about the growth of government.
Other points of the Palin interview--in the segment shown on the ABC Nightly News on Friday, and not including what will be on 20/20 later Friday-- suggested that a Vice President Palin was not going to crusade on the hot button social issues of abortion, embryonic stem cell research and homosexuality and would embrace John McCain's positions. She referred to the Arizona senator as "McCain" several times in the interview.
*For someone running against Washington--an act of Congress helped define Palin's life. Palin, 44, a high school basketball player, said, "I am a product of Title 9," a reference for the section of the 1972 act of Congress to force female sports equity.
* On earmarks--McCain is on a crusade to ban them--Palin did not make full use of an opportunity by Gibson to persuasively explain why she was for the infamous Alaskan Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it--after it was dead in Congress.
She said she just read the "writing on the wall....that project is going nowhere... circumstances have so drastically changed," she said. "You call an audible, you deal with reality and you move on."
*She justified an earmark for an Alaskan study on the "mating habits of crabs" because it was done, she said, in the open.
*The anti-abortion Palin said Roe v Wade should be reversed and the question of abortion be decided by states. She said she wants to reach out to other side on this issue to work to reduce abortions and find "greater support" for adoptions. No mention in question or answer of her teen unwed pregnant daughter.
*Palin differs with McCain on abortion. John and Cindy McCain would allow abortions for victims of rape and incest. Palin would only allow an exception if the life of the mother was in danger. "This is my personal opinion," she pleaded. Would she change her position on rape and incest? "Please understand me on this. I do understand McCain's position on this. I do understand others who are passionate about this issue who have a different view."
*On stem cell research, the McCain campaign released a radio ad Friday touting his support for stem cell research the Bush White House--and Palin opposes. Palin said she "owes it to Americans" to explain her personal opinion which "may end up different than what the policy in an administration might be."
*She's not a gay basher. Gibson asked Palin if homosexuality was genetic or learned and she said it's not for her to "judge" people.
*Palin said Barack Obama may regret not tapping Hillary Clinton to be his running mate.
"I think he's regretting not picking her now, I do. What, what determination, and grit, and even grace through some tough shots that were fired her way -- she handled those well."