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Sarah Palin, Joe Biden talk to Katie Couric



"Vice Presidential Questions" with Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin debuts tonight (1) on the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC. Following is the transcript from tonight's broadcast. The series continues tomorrow (2) on the CBS EVENING NEWS.


COURIC: Joe Biden and Sarah Palin have put in some very long days, preparing for tomorrow night's debate. Tonight, to give you a better sense of who they are and their views on a number of issues, we're beginning a new series, "Vice Presidential Questions." We begin with an issue that's divided this nation for decades.

COURIC (to Biden): Why do you think Roe v Wade was a good decision?

BIDEN: Because it's close to a consensus that can exist in a society as heterogeneous as ours. What does it say? It says in the first three months that decision should be left to the woman. And the second three months where Roe v Wade says well, the state, the government has a role. Along with the women's health They have a right to have some impact on that. And the third three months they say the weight --of --of the government's input is on the fetus being carried. That's sort of reflected as close anybody is ever going to get in this heterogeneous, this multicultural society of religious people as to some sort of not consensus but as close it gets. I think the liberty clause of the 14th amendment is--offers a right to privacy. now that's one of the big debates that I have with my conservative scholar friend that they say you know unless a right is enumerated unless it's actually, unless uses the word privacy in the Constitution, then no such constitutional right exists. Well, I think people have an inherent right.

COURIC: (to Biden): What are the Supreme Court decisions you disagree with?

BIDEN: You know, I'm the guy who wrote the Violence Against Women act. And I said that every woman in America if they are beaten and abused by a man should be able to take that person to court. Meaning you should be able to go to federal court and sue in federal court the man who abused you if you can prove that abuse. But they said no that a woman, there's no federal jurisdiction and I held, they acknowledged, I held about 1,000 hours of hearings proving that there's an effect in interstate commerce. Women who are abused and beaten and beaten are women who are not able to be in the work force. And the Supreme Court said there is an impact on commerce but this is federalizing a private crime and we're not going to allow it. I think the Supreme Court was wrong about that decision.

COURIC (to Palin): Why, in your view, is Roe v Wade a bad decision?

PALIN: I think it should be a states issue not a federal government--mandated--mandating yes or no on such an important issue. I'm in that sense a federalist, where I believe that states should have more say in the laws of their lands and individual areas. Now foundationally, also, though, it's no secret that I'm pro life that I believe in a culture of life is very important for this country. Personally that's what I would like to see further embraced by America.

COURIC (to Palin): Do you think there's an inherent right to privacy in the Constitution?

PALIN: I do. Yeah, I do.

COURIC: the cornerstone of Roe v Wade

PALIN: I do. And I believe that --individual states can handle what the people within the different constituencies in the 50 states would like to see their will ushered in in an issue like that.

COURIC: What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?

PALIN: Well, let's see. There's --of course --in the great history of America rulings there have been rulings, that's never going to be absolute consensus by every American. And there are--those issues, again, like Roe v Wade where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So you know--going through the history of America, there would be others but--

COURIC: Can you think of any?

PALIN: Well, I could think of--of any again, that could be best dealt with on a more local level. Maybe I would take issue with. But you know, as mayor, and then as governor and even as a Vice President, if I'm so privileged to serve, wouldn't be in a position of changing those things but in supporting the law of the land as it reads today.

COURIC: Thomas Jefferson wrote about the First Amendment, building a wall of separation between church and state. Why do you think that's (so) important?

PALIN: His intention in expressing that was so that government did not mandate a religion on people. And Thomas Jefferson also said never underestimate the wisdom of the people. And the wisdom of the people I think in--in this issue is that people have the right and the ability and desire to express their own religious views--be it a very personal level, which is why I choose to express my faith in a more public forum. And the wisdom of the people, thankfully, engrained in the foundation of our country is so extremely important. And Thomas Jefferson wanted to protect that.

BIDEN: The best way to look at it is look the every state where the wall's not built. Look at every country in the world where religion is able to impact the governance. Almost every one of those countries are in real turmoil. Look, the founders were pretty smart. They had gone through -- you know-- several hundred years of wars. Religious wars. And they were in the midst of religious wars in Europe. The best way to do this is to keep the government out of religion. They took religion out of government. But they didn't mean religion couldn't be in a public place. In the public square.



I hope Joe "Six-pack" Biden kicks some "you know what" tonight.

I think Katie Couric is a biased liberal and trying to paint Palin as incompetent, which she is not. Katie should keep her facial expressions as flat as her bulldog face when she is interviewing two opposing parties so her partisan views won't distract or influence the audience.

I feel so uncomfortable and embarrassed for Sarah Palin when I listen to her interviews. Her ignorance and rambling responses are shocking, given the office for which she's running. I expect that she'll do better in the debate with Joe Biden, but only because she's been tutored by the best and will have some scripted comments to make. I'm almost afraid to watch!

I hear that someone leaked her preparation flash cards:

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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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