GIBSON: Let's start, because we are near Russia, let's start with Russia and Georgia.
The administration has said we've got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
PALIN: First off, we're going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain's running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we've got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep...
GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.
PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals.That's why we have to keep an eye on Russia.
And, Charlie, you're in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They're very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.
GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?
PALIN: They're our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.
GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they're doing in Georgia?
PALIN: Well, I'm giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it's in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
Sarah Palin on Russia:
We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We've learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.
We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it's in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.
GIBSON: Would you favor putting Georgia and Ukraine in NATO?
PALIN: Ukraine, definitely, yes. Yes, and Georgia.
GIBSON: Because Putin has said he would not tolerate NATO incursion into the Caucasus.
PALIN: Well, you know, the Rose Revolution, the Orange Revolution, those actions have showed us that those democratic nations, I believe, deserve to be in NATO.
Putin thinks otherwise. Obviously, he thinks otherwise, but...
GIBSON: And under the NATO treaty, wouldn't we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?
PALIN: Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.
But NATO, I think, should include Ukraine, definitely, at this point and I think that we need to -- especially with new leadership coming in on January 20, being sworn on, on either ticket, we have got to make sure that we strengthen our allies, our ties with each one of those NATO members.
We have got to make sure that that is the group that can be counted upon to defend one another in a very dangerous world today.
Friday, September 12, 2008
at 1:36 PM |
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Three little words, a clue as to where Sarah Palin once stood on earmarks, scrawled in the margin of this memo to the Wasilla City Council, back when Palin was mayor: "We did well." It was June 14, 1999, when Palin wrote, "This does not include our nearly $1 million from the feds for our airport paving project." Then added those three words: "We did well."
LARRY PERSILY, WORKED FOR PALIN: She was hungry for funding from the federal government that could help her community.
KAYE: Longtime journalist Larry Persily worked for the governor for several months but doesn't believe she has the judgment or qualifications to be vice president. As to earmarks, he says...
PERSILY: When she was mayor of Wasilla from 1996 to 2002, she was in there, looking for federal earmarks from Congress just as much as anyone.
KAYE (on camera): As Mayor Palin hired a lobbyist to help funnel federal dollars to her hometown, and not just any lobbyist but the former chief of staff for Alaska Senator Ted Stevens, who at the time was chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which doles out federal cash.
(voice-over) The lobbyist helped Palin secure $600,000 for a new bus facility, $1.75 million for dispatch center technology, $2.4 million to upgrade water and sewer facilities.
STEVE ELLIS, TAXPAYERS FOR COMMON SENSE: Wasilla did pretty well, once they got into the earmark game.
KAYE: In the last four years Palin was mayor, the city of Wasilla, with a population of just about 5,000, scored $27 million in earmarks, says the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense.
The state was doing pretty well, too. Perhaps Alaska's most egregious earmark? The Bridge to Nowhere, the target of Senator John McCain.
In 2006 Palin ran for governor, promising to support the now infamous Bridge to Nowhere, but after being elected governor, she rejected it. McCain and watchdog groups were already targeting the Bridge to Nowhere by then. Palin said the price tag had become too high and the money could be better used for other projects.
GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), VICE-PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I told the Congress thanks but no thanks on that Bridge to Nowhere.
PERSILY: She is telling only half the story as far as the earmarks.
KAYE: In fact, Palin was securing earmarks just as John McCain was fighting to slash them. Years ago, he even identified some of her projects. But that was then.
Since becoming governor, Palin has cut the earmarks the state asks for. But this year, Alaska had more earmark requests per person than any other state.
Alaska's lieutenant governor, Sean Parnell, defends Palin's record.
LT. GOV. SEAN PARNELL, ALASKA: She's a fiscal hawk. I'd say that she has worked to reduce the number of earmarks.
KAYE: Palin asked for $256 million in earmarks her first year in office; $187 million her second year. Why the apparent change of heart?
PERSILY: She turned against earmarks when she saw the nation turning against earmarks.
KAYE (on camera): Did the governor change her tone on earmarks because they became unpopular?
PARNELL: I don't think so. I think she saw them for what they were. As you're in office longer, you begin to see the cumulative effect of earmarks, from Wasilla to Pensacola to, you know, all across America, the thousands of earmarks and to see the corruption that can come from those.
KAYE (voice-over): For 2008 and 2009, her office has asked for nearly $8 million federal dollars to upgrade a remote airport after it was handed over by the Navy. The FAA says it handles only eight scheduled flights a month.
Also, $4 million to research sea crab stocks.
(on camera) Why is studying sea crab and rockfish worth more than $5 million?
PARNELL: Well, because they're found in federal waters and state waters, and they impact federal commercial fishing interests, as well as state.
at 6:17 AM |