WASHINGTON--Sarah Palin, stumped when asked about what she reads by Katie Couric, told FOX News Carl Cameron on Friday--the day after the vice presidential debate with Joe Biden her reading includes "The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and The Economist."
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RAW DATA: Transcript of FOX News' Interview With Palin
FOX News' Carl Cameron interviews Sarah Palin Friday.
Friday, October 03, 2008
CAMERON: Governor Palin, thanks so much for joining us.
PALIN: Thank you.
CAMERON: Congratulations. You're not formally -- you've pulled off your first vice presidential debate. What do you think happened?
PALIN: Well, first it was a lot of fun. It was a great opportunity to get to speak directly to Americans. That's how I looked at it when I walked into there saying, you know, we're not going to be filtered.
There's not going to be the cutting and pasting and editing of any of our comments. Right on. Let me just talk to Americans.
CAMERON: How soon after the debate did you speak to Senator McCain? Did he give you the "atta girl?"
PALIN: He sure did. Yes, immediately afterwards. And I had thanked him in that phone call for giving me a pep talk before I went out there. And he had some simple advice and it was, just go out there and be yourself and have fun.
CAMERON: So, when folks were watching it through their TV screen, when they sometimes see the (INAUDIBLE) to the reaction of the candidates, what were you thinking during the course of all of this?
Did you think that you surprised Joe Biden? Did you catch him off guard? Was there eye contact between you and he that he didn't see?
PALIN: There was a lot of eye contact and it was pleasant. It was, hey, you know, we're both in this together. We both understand what each other would be going through at this time. Kind of wondering, what's coming next, what's Gwen going to ask us next? So, that connection, it was some good chemistry. And again, at least I had a ball. It was fun.
CAMERON: Democrats put out 18 news releases last night and said that you committed 18 lies. The "L" word is pretty common this time around.
Anything you want to revise from last night? Anything that you said that you think on record (INAUDIBLE) you want to --
PALIN: Oh, I mispronounced General McKiernan, called him a
(INAUDIBLE) and I apologize for that.
Other than that, nope.
CAMERON: There was a lot of criticism that you misstated when you talked about us being at pre-surge levels in Iraq. Walk us through your math and what you were thinking you were talking about.
PALIN: Just -- well, as victory's getting closer and closer, we know that we're going to be able to draw down those troops. Send them to Afghanistan, not specifically that --(INAUDIBLE) we'll have more resources to be able to put into Afghanistan, and start what I believe, and what I believe our commanders have referred to also as, the principles of a surge there also in Afghanistan, in a counter-insurge strategy that should work.
Not specifically the cookie cutter approach that had been used in Iraq, (INAUDIBLE) of course in Afghanistan. But, the principle, we're going to be able to do that with more resources and literally, more troops.
CAMERON: Folks said, wow, that was like Sarah barracuda out there last night. Because it was back and forth and you were taking on Joe Biden. Do you think you surprised him by the way in which you were prepared to sort of go after his record and Obama's?
What was the body language and the psychology between the two of you on that? Because he was sighing a lot. And some folks thought that you kind of exasperated him.
PALIN: Well, again, at least my sort of view was, it was pleasant.
And it was a lot of fun.
But, there just wasn't enough time either, 90 minutes in a debate sounds like that's going to be a heck of a lot of time to get a lot of words in and countering each other's records. And there wasn't enough time to go through everything that I wanted to go through.
Because 35 years in the Senate, he has a record. He's got that voting record. I think it really shows Americans that a very, very left-leaning liberal ticket -- he is the third most liberal senator, as National Review will report. And Obama, as the most liberal senator.
That that ticket, a lot of the reflection of the voting record shows us why that they are considered the most liberal ticket, probably ever.
There just wasn't enough time to go through the voting records that prove that. And you know, I wished that I'd have more opportunity to do that.
CAMERON: One of the things you talked about last night was the flexibility of the vice presidency (INAUDIBLE)
CAMERON: What do you mean by that?
PALIN: That thankfully, our founders were wise enough to say, we have this (INAUDIBLE) and it's Constitutional. Vice presidents will be able to be not only the position flexible, but it's going to be sort of this other duty as assigned by the president. It's a simple thing. I don't think that was a gaff at all in stating what the truth is.
And that is we've got flexibility in the position. The president will be directing in a lot of (INAUDIBLE) with the vice president does.
The vice president, of course, is not a member -- or a part of the legislative branch, except to oversee the Senate. That alone provides a tremendous amount of flexibility and authority if that vice president so chose to use it.
CAMERON: One of the criticisms of Vice President Cheney is that he is (INAUDIBLE) the power and influence of the office and that during the Bush/Cheney presidency, the power of the executive has been a standard beyond perhaps that which is good for a country that wants to make sure that we don't have an imperial presidency.
Would you change any of that, (INAUDIBLE) than the Bush/Cheney administration in terms of the power of the executive?
PALIN: Well, again, as I tried to explain last night, our executive branch will know what our job is. We have the three very distinct branches of government. You know, we might be bleeding our authority over to the Legislative or Judicial branch to do our job in the Executive branch as administers.
CAMERON: OK. A couple questions about (INAUDIBLE).
CAMERON: This morning -- last night, when you were in the Spin Room and people came flowing in there. And one of the questions that a lot of folks said was, OK, where was the Governor Palin and Katie Couric interview that just debated and arguably defeated Joe Biden in a vice presidential debate.
There's (INAUDIBLE), I know you know. What happened? Go ahead --
PALIN: Well, OK. I'll tell you. Honestly. The Sarah Palin in those interviews is a little bit annoyed. Because it's like, no matter what you say, you're going to get clobbered. If you cease to answer a question, you're going to get clobbered on the answer. If you choose to try to pivot and go on to another subject that you believe that Americans want to hear about, you get clobbered for that, too.
But, in the Katie Couric interviews, I did feel that there were a lot of things that she was missing, in terms of an opportunity to ask what a V.P. candidate stands for. What the values are represented in our ticket.
I wanted to talk about Barack Obama increasing taxes, which would lead to filling jobs. I wanted to talk about his proposal to increase government spending by another trillion dollars. (AUDIO GAP) that he's made about the war that I think make my world -- disqualify someone from consideration as the next commander in chief. Some of the comments that he's made about Afghanistan, what we're doing there, supposably, just air raiding villages and killing civilians. That's reckless and I want to talk about things like that.
So, I guess I have to apologize for being a bit annoyed. But, that's also an indication of being outside of that Washington elite, outside of the media elite, also. And just getting to talk to Americans without the filters and let them know what we stand for.
CAMERON: OK. So, at the risk of annoying you, when you are asked, what do you read? Which papers and magazines? You didn't answer it.
Or, you said, I have all kinds of resources.
PALIN: Right, right, right.
CAMERON: Well, what do you read?
PALIN: I read the same things that other people across the country read, including the "New York Times" and the "Wall Street Journal" and the "Economist" and some of these publications that we've recently even been interviewed through up there in Alaska.
Because, of everything that we're doing with oil and gas, a lot of the investment publications especially are interviewing us, asking us how are being so successful up there in contributing to our nation's step towards energy independence.
PALIN: So, my response to her. I guess it was kind of filtered.
But, I was sort of taken aback, like, the suggestion was, you're way up there in a far away place in Alaska. You know, that there are publications in the rest of the world that are read by many. And I was taken aback by that because I don't know, the suggestion that this was a little bit of perhaps we're not in tune with the rest of the world.
CAMERON: Well, the idea's not to be dodging the questions. But, you've heard the question already from Katie, about Supreme Court decisions that you disagree with.
PALIN: Oh, yes.
CAMERON: But, as a conservative, there are some in the Republican Party who would expect a vice presidential nominee to understand judicial conservatives and to have something that they might object to.
PALIN: And that's fair. Right. And on that one, truly I shouldn't have been so (INAUDIBLE) and (INAUDIBLE) that. Because that was an important question and I should have answered it.
And yes, I can cite a lot of cases that I absolutely disagree with the Supreme Court on.
CAMERON: Is there one particularly? Or a couple, or something that --
PALIN: A couple.
CAMERON: -- exemplifies or illustrates what your sort of judicial philosophy would be?
PALIN: Sure. A recent one, Kennedy versus Louisiana, where the Supreme Court will tell a state that they can't impose the death penalty, even on heinous (ph) crime of repeat child rapists. That a state, it's rights are taken away by the Supreme Court and we would not be able to decide for ourselves whether the death penalty in a case like that should be implemented or not.
That one -- I'm certainly not a supporter of that decision. The
(INAUDIBLE) case also, with imminent domain. That affects me, as a governor. It affected me as a mayor, also. Part that property rights are so precious in this nation and for the Supreme Court to have sided with government, instead of the people, the property owners on that.
That was frustrating.
And then another one personally affected me, also. The Exxon
(INAUDIBLE) oil spill. Deciding what the oil company, as they decimated Alaska's coastline and much of our fisheries and much of our coastal communities livelihoods -- the people who live there. And they sided with Exxon on the punishment, the punitive damage that was to be awarded. Exxon won on that one in a sense that --
CAMERON: Governor, people hear that answer and they're going to be mystified. They're going to say, wait a minute. That's the Sarah Palin that we saw when he first joined the ticket. That when you hit the campaign trail, that invigorated Republican.
I mean, is this going to (INAUDIBLE) one of those situations where it's Palin versus the press? And it depends on who asks the questions?
PALIN: That would be the worst strategy ever that I could think of. And I have a journalism degree, so I know how you guys work, also.
I'll tell you, what I used to do is commit to not being so annoyed and impatient with mainstream media. And I will make that commitment because I do understand that that is how I speak to the American people in a position like this. I speak to you and through you and that way, that message is received by American people.
So, I apologize for the (INAUDIBLE) response that I gave through that interview on a couple of questions. I'm going to try harder. But, I would ask also then, that the media tries a little bit harder also.
And that this is a two-way street. That there's fairness. Just objectivity and fairness and truth. That's all Americans ask for.
CAMERON: Objectivity, fairness?
PALIN: And that is all Americans ask for. As we send our young men and women overseas in a war zone to fight for democracy and freedoms, including freedom of the press, you've really got to have a mutually beneficial relationship here. With fighting for the freedom of the press and then the press, though, not taking advantage of that and exploiting a situation that perhaps that they would want to capture and abuse the privilege.
We just want truth, we want fairness. We want that balance.
CAMERON: There has been some of your supporters who've suggested that it's time to free Sarah. That you have been muggled, that your access to the media has been (INAUDIBLE). And to put it bluntly, that some of the McCain campaign's staff from the Bush administration has essentially corralled you and sequestered you away.
Go ahead. Have at it.
PALIN: I look forward to speaking to the media more and more everyday and providing whatever access the media would want. My life is certainly an open book.
But, for me to be able to speak directly to the American people through the press, I'm there. I want to do it. I'm going to do it.
CAMERON: How much prep work did you put into this debate?
PALIN: We had a couple of great days in Sedona, Arizona, where we set up our podiums outdoors so I could breathe the fresh air of the west. And it was an amazing experience to get to really be in touch with my surroundings as we were trying to get in touch with some of the very huge challenges facing our world today. It was a great combination and it was really good strategy that we took in that debate prep. Just a couple of days of it. But, it was really good.
CAMERON: So, how would you explain the balance between absorbing all of the information that you though absorbed, not getting sort of too crammed, robotic, like cramming for a final exam and spitting it all out. And yet, not appearing to say, well, I've got the central learning curve but -- I mean, you've got obviously an immense a lot of homework
to do. And that's not meant as a criticism. Because you're the
governor of Alaska and that's just one of the 50 states.
CAMERON: Those of us have been covering this, we're constantly trying to keep on (INAUDIBLE) on the vast amount of information. So, what's that balance between catching up and not appearing to have been too far behind?
PALIN: Well, this is about a candidate's ability to memorize and to be fed a tremendous amount of information. Some of it's trivial when you consider what a vice president's job actually is.
So, that balance in my mind has been (INAUDIBLE) where I understand the big picture. I understand what the challenges are. I know what our biggest threat is in America. I know how important it is to win the war. And I know how important it is to get our economy back on track.
And I know how important it is to provide Americans two good choices. A ticket that's going to lift our economy by creating jobs, decrease taxes, raising government spending and make our nation energy independent. Or, the opposite. Kill jobs by increasing taxes. Propose more government spending, more large (INAUDIBLE) from bureaucracies and say no to energy independence. It's that important that we give the choices. And then, hey, it's in the voters' hands. That's the best that we can do in striking that balance.
CAMERON: Anybody who's spent any time with you can tell that you really enjoy this. You like answering the questions in repartee and --
PALIN: I do.
CAMERON: -- and the (INAUDIBLE) that comes with it.
So, have you bridled against the inability to communicate with the press and do this sort of thing? I mean, (INAUDIBLE) a little bit?
PALIN: Well, I beg to differ with the notion that I was reigned in any way. But, if there was any of that, it's over. And we got to be out there. We get to meet the (AUDIO GAP) Americans.
What I would like to do. I wish I had four to eight hours in every day so that I could be on (INAUDIBLE) lines and I could be speaking individually with Americans. I know it doesn't work that way.
So again, we go through you and we talk to voters through you. And I'm accessible. And now that the debate is over, and also -- you know yes, I kind of feel like, all right. The wings are flying here. Let's soar, let's get out there and speak to voters and let them know what their choices are. And I'm excited about this opportunity in this last month.
CAMERON: Thanks very much, Governor. I'm going get the hook. I have one quick political question for you that if I don't ask you, I would be (INAUDIBLE).
Yesterday, just before the debate it was announced that the campaign was going to withdraw some of it's exercises in Michigan, essentially leave Michigan for Obama to win.
What's going on there?
PALIN: Well, that's not a surprise because the polls are showing we're not doing as well there, evidently, as we would like to. But, I
(INAUDIBLE) up this morning, also. I fired a quick e-mail and said, oh, come on. Do we have to call it there? Todd and I would happy to get to Michigan and walk through those plants where car manufacturers.
We'd be so happy to get to speak with the people there in Michigan, who are hurting because the economy is hurting. Whatever we can do and whatever Todd and I can do in realizing what their challenges in that state are, as we can relate to them and connect with them and promise them that we won't let them down in the administration. I want to get
back to Michigan and I want to try.
CAMERON: Thank you very much, Governor.
PALIN: Thank you.