Transcript courtesy of Federal News Service
REMARKS BY GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN (R-AK), REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE FOR VICE PRESIDENT, AT A MCCAIN-PALIN "VICTORY 2008" RALLY
CARSON CITY, NEVADA
5:00 P.M. PDT, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2008
GOV. PALIN: Thank you so much!
To your good lieutenant governor, I thank him so much for that warm introduction.
And it is so great to be here in the beautiful town of Carson City, Nevada! (Cheers, applause.) What a warm welcome!
We were in Alaska this morning, just some hours ago. And our campaign staff, a few of them, it had been their first time to Alaska. And not that there was any whining about the weather, but I promised them they'd thaw out once we got to Nevada. And you guys gave them that warm welcome. Thank you! (Cheers, applause.)
Really, really good to be here, also, knowing that this is the home of the national championships for the air races and the air show. That's really neat. (Cheers, applause.)
My husband is a pilot. He loves flying his little Piper "Super Cub." (Cheers, applause.) In fact, he loves his Piper Cub so much that when our third daughter was born, he got to the birth certificate before I did, and he named her Piper. (Laughter.)
But it's a good place to be here if you're an aviation lover. Speaking of which, too, I'm honored to hear that we have with us in our midst, so many of us who admire, Chuck Yeager, and I hear that he may be here. (Cheers, applause.) Now, he is a true American hero and maybe the first man to break the sound barrier. Hopefully he has a good idea maybe how that first woman can break the glass ceiling once and for all! (Cheers, applause.)
Oh, it's so good to be here. Hey, look, before we begin our remarks as we promote and support a new team in Washington, DC, I want to take just a second here, and I know that I can speak on behalf of all of you and all Americans when I express our concern and our support for the people of Houston and the Texas coast today. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you. (Applause.)
Folks, many of them are going to need the help of their fellow citizens in rescue and relief and in the works of charity. Our campaign website, johnmccain.com, it provides a central point to contribute directly to relief efforts, and I urge you to do so.
As we've seen in other disasters, crisis on this scale really bring out the best in America. They show the good heart of America. And today, once again, it's time for all Americans to pull together and help where that greatest need is. So again, I thank you for being concerned about Texas and helping them out, too. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you.
So great to be here in the state that Congresswoman Barbara Vucanovich and Assemblywoman Heidi Gansert call home. Thank you! (Cheers, applause.) These two leaders made some cracks in the glass ceiling. And the women of America aren't finished yet! This November, with your help, we're going to shatter one glass ceiling once and for all! (Cheers, applause.)
So it's good to be here celebrating with them and all of you in this beautiful facility. And they tell me that on any other day here, maybe here in the Pony Express Pavilion, we'd be watching a pickup game of roller hockey. (Cheers, applause.) You did that just for me, didn't you? I think I'm looking at a whole lot of other hockey moms for McCain also out here! (Cheers, applause.)
I want to introduce you to my husband, Alaska's "First Dude" Todd Palin. (Cheers, applause.) Todd is a commercial fisherman and a production operator up on the North Slope in Alaska's oil fields. (Applause.) He is the four-time Iron Dog champ, that's the world's longest and toughest snow machine race 2,000 miles across Alaska. (Cheers, applause.) And Todd is a proud member of the United Steelworkers Union. And I'm very happy that you in America have welcomed him to the campaign trail! (Cheers, applause.)
Now, I am really honored to get to be with you this evening to talk about John McCain, the next president of the United States of America! (Cheers, applause.) It's going to be a hard-fought contest here in beautiful Nevada, but John McCain and I, we are ready. And with your help, we are going to win. We are going to Washington, DC to shake things up! (Cheers, applause.)
We're going to take our case for reform, that needed reform in DC to voters of every background in every party -- or no party at all. And with your vote, we're going to Washington, not embracing status- quo-politics-as-usual again, we're going to shake things up! (Cheers, applause.)
John McCain is a guy who has been through a few tough fights before. He wore the uniform of our country for 22 years -- (cheers) -- five of those years as a POW. He's served America in good times and in bad and he, like you, like me, always proud to be an American. (Cheers, applause.)
John McCain knows what it takes to overcome great challenges. And for the job of leading our country and winning the war, he is the only man in this race who's got what it takes. (Cheers, applause.) At a decisive moment in the course of the war, remember it was John McCain who refused to break faith with our troops who have now brought victory in Iraq right within sight! (Cheers, applause.)
And as the mother of one of those troops, that's exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief. (Cheers, applause.)
I know I'm not the only one, either. I want to applaud our moms over here, the Blue Ribbon moms. Our hearts are united. Thank you so much for serving our country in your special way. Thank you, moms! (Cheers, applause.) Thank you! And our hearts are united.
Nevada, this is a moment when principles and political independence mean a heck of a lot more than a party line. John McCain doesn't run with the Washington herd. He's willing to shake things up in Washington, and that's why we need to take the maverick of the Senate and bring him to the White House! (Cheers, applause.)
Senator McCain has called the two of us a team of mavericks because he knows that we've done some shaking up up there in Alaska. As mayor, I shook up the old system and had to take on the good old boys. I reminded people there that government is not always the answer. In fact, too often, government is the problem! (Cheers, applause.) So we got back to basics, and we put government back on the side of the people.
What we did up there -- I eliminated taxes on personal property, and I eliminated taxes that were hurting our small businesses, like business inventory taxes. (Cheers, applause.) Property taxes were too high. We already had a sales tax. Property taxes were too high, so we cut rates every year that I was in office. And those reforms worked, and our community took off. Wonderful economic indicators of success when you let the people keep their own money! (Cheers, applause.
As governor then, I brought the same agenda of positive change. We took on the old politics-as-usual in Juneau. The old oil company monopoly that had really controlled our state, we broke it. And the good-old-boy network of lobbyists and special interests that used to run things, whatever they're running now, it's not the state of Alaska! (Cheers, applause.) And nearly half a billion dollars in wasteful, excessive spending, well, that's what vetoes are for. (Cheers, applause.)
And major ethics reform -- I had promised that we would get in there, and we would clean things up. Major ethics reform -- we promised to end the culture of closed doors and self-dealings. And today, ethics reform is the law of the land in Alaska. (Cheers, applause.)
We did other things up there also, like the luxury jet that used to come with the governor's office, I put it on eBay. (Cheers, applause.) You know, as mayor and governor, I did try to lead by example. As mayor, I took a voluntary pay cut which didn't thrill my husband. (Laughter.) And then as governor, I cut the personal chef position from the budget, and that didn't thrill my hungry kids. (Laughter.) And I put the state's checkbook online for all to see, and that didn't thrill bureaucrats! (Cheers, applause.)
It didn't thrill all the bureaucrats, but see, I had come to office promising to control spending, by request if possible, but by veto if necessary. Today, our state budget is under control, and we have a surplus. We suspended our state fuel tax. And I'm returning a chunk of our surplus straight back to the people because they can spend it better than government can. (Cheers, applause.)
In Alaska, we're trusting the people with their money. And in these tough times across America, John McCain and I are ready to do the same across the nation for all of you. We're going to bring tax relief to all Americans! (Cheers, applause.)
As governor, I've championed earmark reform to stop Congress from wasting public money on things that don't necessarily serve the public interest. I told Congress thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere, that if our state wanted to build that bridge, we would build it ourselves. (Cheers, applause.)
We reformed the abuses of earmarks in our state. I vetoed nearly half a billion dollars of wasteful spending in looking at it as an executive responsibility. And now I'm ready to join President John McCain to end and stop all corrupt practices once and for all and help make America a more prosperous and more secure nation MINUS those corrupt practices! (Cheers, applause.)
Nevada, in a McCain-Palin administration, we're going to expand opportunities for new energy development. We're going to expand our use of alternative fuels, and we are going to drill now to make this nation energy independent! (Cheers, applause.) Yes!
(Audience chants, "Drill, baby, drill! Drill, baby, drill! Drill, baby, drill!)
You're right! You are right! Drill, baby, drill!
Through competition, as governor, I got agreements to build a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline that's going to help free America from foreign suppliers who do not have America's interests at heart. (Cheers, applause.)
Folks, it's a matter of national security. And for our prosperity, we need American energy resources brought to you by American ingenuity and produced by American workers! (Cheers, applause.) And that's something that your Congressman Dean Heller he understands. He came up to Alaska for a visit to our energy-producing areas with some of his House colleagues in July. He's a smart guy. He knows what needs to be done to secure our energy independence. And John McCain and I share his belief that both Alaska and Nevada are going to be important leaders in those efforts. Thank you, Nevada! (Cheers, applause.)
Ladies and gentlemen, today and in the days ahead, the American heart will be on display, especially for those who are facing tough times. Americans will stand shoulder to shoulder, for example, supporting the victims of Hurricane Ike. We're going to pull together and assist them because America is an exceptional country, and you are all exceptional Americans! (Cheers, applause.)
And out of all of our exceptional Americans, I want to take the time for all of us to join in honoring those who have served our country in uniform, either today or our veterans from the past. (Cheers, applause.) If you can raise your hands -- thank you, veterans! (Cheers, applause.) Yes!
(Audience chants, "USA! USA! USA!")
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
This is so inspiring to be here. You can just feel it that you guys get it and you understand the need for reform. And you understand the need to put the pride back into America and into Americans because we can do this. Again, we are an exceptional nation! (Cheers, applause.)
Before we go, I want to say that joining the ticket with John McCain is a great privilege. And to serve beside him as vice president of the United States will be the highest but really the most humbling of honors. I would ask you, Nevada, to please join me, join us on November 4th. Let's elect John McCain the next president of the United States of America! (Cheers, applause.)
Thank you and God bless you and God bless America! Thank you! (Cheers, applause.) Thank you, Nevada! (Cheers, applause.)