Sunday, September 14, 2008

Female Surrogates on Face The Nation: Transcript (9-14-08)

Women surrogates for the two presidential candidates debated on Face The Nation. Read the full transcript (pdf).

SCHIEFFER: Congresswoman Schultz, has she been asked to clear some bar that a male candidate wouldn't have been asked to clear?

Representative DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (Democrat, Florida): That's just utterly ridiculous. When you have a question about a female candidate's family and whether they are going to be able to, you know, balance work and family, then I think that Governor Swift is absolutely right, that that's out of bounds. I've been asked that question as a mom trying to juggle both things and, you know, typically a male--a male candidate wouldn't get asked that. But all Sarah Palin is being asked to respond to is whether she's up to the task, and it is absolutely fair game. And all I've seen is her being asked about her background, her experience, what qualifies her to be vice president and whether she knows anything. So the tough questions that have been asked of Sarah Palin thus far just have been about the fact that she doesn't know anything and isn't ready to be vice president. That's fair game and it has nothing to do with her gender.

SCHIEFFER: You're saying she doesn't know anything, or you're saying that's what she's been asked about?

Rep. SCHULTZ: Well, she's been asked what she knows. She's been asked to demonstrate her foreign policy knowledge, which she clearly has very little based on the Charlie Gibson interview. I mean, she didn't know what the Bush Doctrine was, she really had almost no grasp of America's foreign policy. She really knew very little about domestic policy. Quite honestly, the interview that I saw and that Americans saw on Thursday and Friday were similar to when I didn't read a book in high school and had to read the CliffsNotes and phone in my--and phone in my report. She's Cliff-noted her performance so far, and all of that is fair game. The American people deserve better than that. They don't deserve more of the same, which is what they're getting from John McCain and Sarah Palin right now.

Alaska Officials on FOX News Sunday: Transcript (9-14-08)

Read the partial transcript of Chris Wallace's interview of the former Governor, Tony Knowles.

WALLACE: Governor Knowles, two years ago when you were running against Palin, you campaigned against her as an untested mayor of a small town. The voters of Alaska didn't agree with you then. Why should the voters of America believe you now when you say she's not ready?

KNOWLES: Well, Chris, the McCain-Palin ticket has embraced the economics and foreign policy of George Bush. I believe that's the wrong direction of the country.

And when Senator McCain chose Governor Palin to be his running mate, it was on the basis that it was going to represent change. And he represented two specific areas that need to be reformed that he looked to Governor Palin to lead, and that was change in regards to wasteful spending and pork barrel, and also in terms of ethics.

But there are serious questions about the stand that Senator (sic) Palin has taken on so-called "Bridge to Nowhere," which she's always supported and which actually she still continues to support on...

WALLACE: Well, we're going to — we're going to get into all of those specifics. But just real briefly, Governor Knowles, why is she not ready to be president?

KNOWLES: Well, the question, I think — and most people feel that on the surface that there has been no vice president that is less prepared in modern history.

But we need to look at what a person does in office, not so — not so much how long they hold an office. And despite the brief time, the case needs to be made on the issues.

WALLACE: All right. We're going to get to...

KNOWLES: And it's on the issues...

WALLACE: Governor Knowles, we're going to get to those in a minute, but let me bring in Lieutenant Governor Parnell.

It's obviously a big jump from mayor of Wasilla to governor. It's a much bigger jump from governor of Alaska to potential president.

Governor Palin says she's never met a foreign leader. She seems not to have thought a great deal about foreign policy. Why do you think she's ready to be commander in chief in a time of war?

PARNELL: You know, Governor Palin is absolutely ready to lead. She's the only candidate who has executive branch experience.

She's the governor of the state that supplies 20 percent of America's oil. I mean, she knows what energy independence is all about, because we're working to provide oil and gas both here locally in Alaska as well as to the rest of the states. She's absolutely ready to lead.

WALLACE: Governor Knowles, one — as you pointed out, one of the central reasons that John McCain picked Palin was because he said that she has a record as a reformer.

Now, I know you're an opponent, but doesn't she have quite a history of going up against the establishment of her own party and against the interests of the big oil lobby?

KNOWLES: Well, just let me just say, again, both McCain and Palin have endorsed the economics and foreign policy of George Bush. So how do they make themselves agents of change and reform?

And they point to Governor Palin's work in terms of not accepting money for the so-called "Bridges to Nowhere." First of all, to get the record straight on that, she did not turn back the money to it.

There were two "Bridges to Nowhere," and one of them, the largest project — and regardless of the merits of the issue, regardless of the merits, she is continuing to support one of the so-called "Bridges to Nowhere," which is across from Anchorage to Point McKenzie.

So it's entirely false that she — it's misrepresentation of the record.

Second of all, ethics was also a reform issue that she has been turned to, and yet we have a situation right now in Alaska where she is under the cloud of investigation for an ethics complaint that has been made...

Maureen Dowd: Palin Like George Bush in 2000

Read the complete article from Maureen Dowd on Palin.

I’ve been in Alaska only a week, but I’m already feeling ever so much smarter about Russia.

I can’t quite see it from my hotel window, but, hey, I know it’s out there somewhere, beyond all the stuffed bears and cruise ships and glaciers and oil derricks.

The proximity of the country from which William Seward bartered to buy Alaska for $7 million — Seward’s icebox — is so illuminating that I suddenly realize that we would commit a grave error by overestimating Russia’s economic strength. After all, it represents only 2.8 percent of the world’s G.D.P., even though its gross domestic product has ballooned from $200 billion in 1999 to $1.7 trillion this year.

But I overanalyze.

An Arctic blast of action has swept into the 2008 race, making thinking passé. We don’t really need to hurt our brains studying the world; we just need the world to know we’re capable of bringing a world of hurt to the world if the world continues to be hell-bent on misbehaving.

Two weeks after being thrown onto a national ticket, and moments after being speed-briefed by McCain foreign-policy advisers, our new Napoleon in bunny boots (not the Pamela Anderson kind, but the knock-offs of the U.S. Army Extreme Cold Weather Vapor Barrier Boots) is ready to face down the Russkies and start a land war over Georgia, and, holy cow, what business is it of ours if Israel attacks Iran?

The trigger-happy John McCain has indeed found a soul mate. Trigger squared. In Fairbanks on Thursday, at a deployment ceremony for her son who is going to Iraq, Governor Palin followed the lead of McCain and W. in fusing Osama bin Laden’s diabolical work on 9/11 and the mission in Iraq. She told the departing troops, “You’ll be there to defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the deaths of thousands of Americans.”

Asked by Charlie Gibson what insight into Russian actions her Alaskan proximity gave her, Sarah blithely replied: “They’re our next-door neighbors. And you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.”

Meet The Press Transcript (9-14-08)

Obama and McCain surrogates Rudolph Giuliani and Charles Schumer were on Meet the Press this week. Also appearing was Bob Woodward talking about his book critical of George Bush's conduct of the Iraq War. Read the full transcript.

MR. BROKAW: Here's some of the internals in the Newsweek poll. For example, white women. John McCain has a commanding lead among white women, 53 to 37 percent.

We want to take you now to the AP poll. This is the latest poll from the Associated Press and GFK. McCain has a 13 point lead on senior citizens, and he has the same lead among males. Among rural voters, he's up by 23 percent. These are middle-class voters in rural areas, and a large part of the Obama strategy is to try to win in areas like North Dakota and Montana and the Rocky Mountain West, including the state of Colorado. He has significant work to do--to be done there.

SEN. SCHUMER: Yes, but I think the McCain campaign, which did, did a good of sort of turning around the battleship at the convention, going from experience to change, there's a fundamental flaw. John McCain and Sarah Palin do not represent change. They are, particularly on domestic issues but also on foreign policy, a continuation of George Bush's policies. And as the voters learn that--they'll learn them in the debates, they'll learn them now as the excitement of the conventions subsides--I, I think Barack Obama is going to--he's even now in the overall polls--he will break into a substantial lead. The kind of sort of nasty, small-bore, little attacks, they work decently well when America's happy, when America's satisfied, as it was in 2004 and 2000. They're not going to work now because the average middle-class person in America wants change. McCain and Palin do not represent change. Obama and Biden do. And we're glad. Actually, the critics will look back a month from now and say a big mistake of the McCain campaign was to switch the battlefield to change because that is Obama-Biden's strong suit.

[...]MR. BROKAW: Senator Obama, who had an Ivy-league education and could've gone to Wall Street, went back to Chicago on the South Side. As you know, his supporters have defended him for working with poor families, many of whom lost their jobs when the Gary steel mills closed. In that mocking fashion, it seemed to a lot of people that you were belittling the role of a community organizer, and it led to this button. It was addressed to Senator Palin, because she also talked about it. "Jesus Christ was a community organizer. Pontius Pilate was a governor." In retrospect, do you think you had too much sport with his role as community organizer, Mr. Mayor?

MAYOR GIULIANI: No. No. I think he had too, too little of a record of a community organizer. The point is that Senator Obama's record as a community organizer is a very sparse one, as is his record as a state senator. Education Week said that he basically had no record on education, which is why maybe Senator McCain's idea of an accomplishment in that ad goes a little bit too far.

What I was talking about is how little a record he had, how so, how so many of those programs have failed, how little it's been really looked at by the media. This is--and also, the group that recruited him was a Saul Alinsky group that has all kinds of questions with regard to their outlook on the economy, their outlook on capitalism. I think it's at the core of Senator Obama's belief that the tax system should be used for a redistribution of wealth, rather than really for gaining revenues for the country. When, when Senator Obama was asked about his increase in capital gains tax and was told that if he does that, he would actually deprive the federal government of revenues, his answer was, "Well, it's only fair." Which gets you to a very core Saul Alinsky kind of almost socialist notion that it should be used for redistribution of wealth.

I think what we haven't done adequately in this, in this campaign, meaning Republicans, is maybe some of the emphasis on some of these other issues, it should be on the fact that Senator Obama is the most left-wing candidate the Democratic Party has ever had, the most liberal member of the Senate, much more liberal than Senator Schumer, than you just had on. And his running mate, Senator Biden, is the third most liberal member of the Senate. So these are the things we're talking about. And the community organizer thing was consistent with that kind of very left-wing approach. Sure community organizers do good work, and some don't do very good work. Just like lawyers, everybody else. The question is what kind of work did, did Barack Obama do and how effective was it long-term? A lot of those housing projects failed.