Thursday, October 9, 2008

Palin Interviewed by FOX's Greta Van Susteren: Transcript (10-9-08)

Read the complete transcript.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So let's take those topics. First of all, take energy independence. You're in favor of drilling in ANWR, right?


VAN SUSTEREN: And I know that Senator McCain isn't. You're going to work on him, I heard you say, because you two will talk about that. How do you handle this issue? There's a lot of people in the lower 48 don't want to drill. People in Alaska do want to drill a lot. How -- as you as vice president, how do you reconcile that? Because the job as governor of Alaska is a little different. You represent people of Alaska. The vice president, it's everybody.

PALIN: Well, remember, too, as VP, you are there to support the president's initiatives and agendas. So that would be my role there, and that's why I say, you know, we'll have some healthy debate and good conversation about where drilling should be allowed.

But the nice thing is, even with ANWR, John McCain hasn't asked me to check my opinions at the door. He does want to discuss that issue and other issues. And we have the "all of the above" approach towards energy independence that we do agree on. He understands, too. We can't have just a little bit of here and there solutions plugged in to get us out of this energy crisis. It does need to be all of the above, with the drilling and offshore, the alternative sources of energy and the conservation all tied in together. And we agree on the big picture there.

VAN SUSTEREN: Why do you think we haven't had more development in the alternatives? Because I remember back in the early '70s, we had gas lines. Everybody knew it was a problem and everyone talked about alternative energy. That was what -- you know, was on every nightly news. But look where we are.

PALIN: Yes. Well, I think America kind of got lax there. Yes, remember in the '70s, when we were conserving gasoline also, and our parents were always on us to turn off the lights and quit wasting electricity. And we got kind of spoiled and lax there, but now it's time to plug in those solutions.

And this nation is so richly blessed in alternative sources. You know, we've got the hydro and the wind and the geothermal and the biomass. It's just a matter now of plugging in with American ingenuity what those solutions will be. Really, we have no choice now also. People are realizing that these non-renewable sources of energy, once they're gone, they're gone. And we do have conserve and we have to start looking at the alternative sources.

But it is still a time off before we have economic and reliable sources of energy that can take the place of the conventional sources. So all the more reason that we have that "all of that above" approach. We're working on this all together comprehensively. And we have no excuse, though, not to go forward with alternative sources of energy at this time.

[...]VAN SUSTEREN: Are you then critical of the President Bush administration because the government has grown under President Bush and the deficit has grown under President Bush? Do you completely divorce yourself from that administration or do you embrace any part of it?

PALIN: I think that there have been some mistakes in the administration, but Congress is to blame also and...

VAN SUSTEREN: What mistakes of the administration?

PALIN: Well, I think that they have allowed government growth to just be too rampant, too aggressive, and certainly, that's contributing to where we are today with this deficit. Handing this to our kids, that's unfair. We're going to stop that. And that, though, has to be a commitment to reining in government growth. And we have to have that spending freeze that John McCain is going to plug in also.

So yes, there's been problems there, but also -- there's plenty of blame to go around. Congress also, though. And the Democratically-led Congress in the last couple of years, too -- there's plenty of blame to go around there also where, you know, they hold the purse strings. They craft the budgets and vote for the budgets and the budgets have grown too drastically, and individuals like Barack Obama voting 94 times for higher taxes on Americans -- now, there's some blame to go there, too.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Special needs for children. A lot of mothers out there with children who have all sorts of extra needs. What exactly would you do for them?

PALIN: Well, as governor, I've been a proponent and successful also in getting more funding for special needs children in our schools, in public education.

VAN SUSTEREN: That's government growing.

PALIN: Not when you prioritize for that. And these children who have special needs, they're not a problem, they are a priority. So as long as we can prioritize, I believe and what a lot of Americans believe is right, you allow equal access to good education and you allow opportunities for kids with special needs, even if that asks to you shift some of the funding that maybe went in another area, maybe growing bureaucracy in a local school district -- instead of that, get that money into the classrooms so that all kids, not just the kids with special needs, so that all kids can benefit from those public dollars, be more accountable and prioritizing better for public dollars in our schools. That's what I've been a proponent of and have affected change there.
- Watch Greta's interview with Gov. Palin: Pt. 1 | Pt. 2 | Pt. 3

McCain Interview by ABC's Charles Gibson: Transcript (10-9-08)

Read the complete transcript:

GIBSON: Senator, we're in a global market meltdown, and the very firmament of our economy and what it's based on has had seismic shocks in recent days. And yet night before last, you guys were having a debate about spending and taxes and earmarks that you could have had three months ago. And that's frustrating to people.

MCCAIN: Well, I think that in my opening comments I made a very strong case that we are in a crisis of unprecedented proportions. And that's why I recommended strongly that we go out and have the Treasury buy up these bad mortgages, so, and arrange it as they did during the Depression.

That's exactly -- in fact, Sen. [Hillary] Clinton has recommended this. Buy up these mortgages. Let people have them in affordable payment levels. And put a floor on this continuing plummeting of housing -- of home prices. As long as that value continues down, I don't see a stabilization.

But then in answer to your question, you sort of go to, in all due respect, to where the questioner leads you. One thing that frustrates audiences a lot of times and viewers is you get asked a question and you give, you know, your own set, planned answer. So I thought I emphasized as much as I possibly could in every answer that I appreciate the depth of the crisis that we're in.

GIBSON: Let me talk about that plan. $300 billion. New money or part of the $700 billion?

MCCAIN: Part of the $700 billion, new money, if necessary. Look, in one day they wiped out $1.2 trillion when it dropped 700 points. And I'm not throwing this money around lightly. But if the housing values continue to go down, there's no floor. There's no turnaround here. We all know what was the catalyst for this catastrophe. And that was Fannie and Freddie.

We did cover that a bit during the debate, which I warned about and wrote [a] letter about and proposed legislation along with others to try and rein in Fannie and Freddie. And because of the corruption and cronyism in Washington, no one acted. And it's fascinating to me that the same people that are taking credit for the bailout, the Democrats, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank and others, were defending Fannie and Freddie and the corrupt practices they were doing. I'll tell you. Life's funny.

[...]GIBSON: Some of the reaction to your plan of $300 billion to buy up mortgages. People say, look, I've paid my mortgage. I didn't overspend. I didn't take a house that I couldn't afford. I'm paying my mortgage. Why are you going to help them and do nothing for me?

MCCAIN: Because if your neighbor's home value continues to decline, so is yours. Your life savings -- and I appreciate that you were able to make your payments and struggles that you had. But if your neighbor's home continues to plummet in value and sits empty, then it's going to affect your home as well. So we're doing this for you as well. And hopefully we reach a floor on the home values, and yours and your neighbor's homes can increase in value.

Michelle Obama on 'Larry King Live': Transcript (10-8-08)

Michelle Obama was interviewed by Larry King. Read the complete transcript.

KING: All right. Let's get to it. Let's get right to it. Many have noted that McCain last night -- John McCain never looked at your husband during the first debate. There's a lot of buzz about this moment -- this moment especially.

Let's watch.


MCCAIN: There was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate loaded down with goodies -- billions for the oil companies. And it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney.

You know who voted for it?

You might never know -- that one. You know who voted against it? Me.


KING: Do you take offense to "that one?"

M. OBAMA: No. No. I mean, you know...

KING: People are talking about it.

M. OBAMA: Well, you know, I think there are two conversations that have been going on throughout this whole election. There's the conversation that's been happening with the pundits and, you know, the polls. And then there's the conversation that's been happening on the ground. And the folks out there right now are scared. They're nervous about the economy. They don't care about the sort of back and forth between the candidates. They want real answers about we're going to, you know, fix this economy and get the health care -- health care benefits back on track.

So, you know, this is part of politics, how people praise things...

KING: So you think it's the pundits that are more interested in that term and...

M. OBAMA: That's my sense of it, you know. I mean, I have traveled around this country. I was in a few states just in the last day-and-a-half. And no one asks about this kind of stuff. I mean, they want to know about the positions that the candidates have on the issues -- you know, what are we going to do with this war, how are we going to get our education system on track. And people really want to understand, you know, how this economy is going to really affect their bottom line.

KING: Did it in any way offend you?

M. OBAMA: No. No. I have to say that, you know, I -- in these debates, I am so focused on what Barack is saying, you know, and how he is, you know, phrasing his words. And I'm really trying to listen to the substance of what he's saying to make sure that I understand what's going on that these little, you know, sound bites don't register with me. A lot of times I'm looking around at the faces of the undecided voters in the room and I'm trying to see how they're reacting.

So there's so much going on in a room that a phrase here or there just doesn't -- you know, it just doesn't resonate.

[...]Do you know William Ayers?

M. OBAMA: Yes. Yes. Yes. Barack served on the board of the Annenberg Challenge with Bill Ayers and...

KING: That was started by the Annenberg family, right?

M. OBAMA: Absolutely. And Mrs. Annenberg, in fact, endorsed John McCain. So I don't know anyone in Chicago who's heavily involved in education policy who doesn't know Bill Ayers. But, you know, again, I go back to the point that, you know, the American people aren't asking these questions.

KING: You don't think it affects the campaign?

M. OBAMA: You know, I think that we've been in this for 20 months. And people have gotten to know Barack. He's written books. Books have been written about him. He, like all of the other candidates, have been thoroughly vetted. And I think people know Barack Obama. They know his heart, they know his spirit.

And the thing that I just encourage people is to judge Barack and judge all of these candidates based on what they do, their actions, their character, what they do in their lives, rather than what somebody did when they were eight or six years old.

KING: When someone calls and says he's running for vice president, that your husband associates with terrorism, that upsets you, I would think.

M. OBAMA: You know, that's part of politics. But...

KING: It doesn't -- it blows...

M. OBAMA: ...the thing...

KING: goes right off of you?

M. OBAMA: You know, these issues have come up before. But the one thing that I'm proud about with Barack is that one of the things he's been talking about is our tone. And it's the notion that he says we can disagree without being disagreeable. And that's, you know, where he's trying to get to in this campaign, the notion that we can disagree on some fundamental issues in this country, but we have to do it without demonizing one another, without labeling one another, because we're in some tough times now.

And what we can see from the fall of this economy is that when we fall, we all fall. And when we rise, we all rise. And whether we're Republicans or Democrats or Independents or black or white or straight or gay, that we're in this together. And that there are times that we will disagree, that we won't share the same policies. But we're going to rise and fall together.

And that's the tone that I like. And I think that's where Americans want their elected officials to be.

The Surge is Failing

There goes McCain's last argument. You can bet the Republicans are livid this report leaked to the press.

A nearly completed high-level U.S. intelligence analysis warns that unresolved ethnic and sectarian tensions in Iraq could unleash a new wave of violence, potentially reversing the major security and political gains achieved over the last year.

These leakers should be considered patriots.
More than a half-dozen officials spoke to McClatchy Newspapers on condition of anonymity because NIEs, the most authoritative analyses produced by the U.S. intelligence community, are restricted to the president, his senior aides and members of Congress except in rare instances when just the key findings are made public.

McCain is toast.
The new NIE, which reflects the consensus of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies, has significant implications for Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama, whose differences over the Iraq war are a major issue in the presidential campaign.

The findings seem to cast doubts on McCain's frequent assertions that the United States is "on a path to victory" in Iraq by underscoring the deep uncertainties of the situation despite the 30,000-strong U.S. troop surge for which he was the leading congressional advocate.

Even Petraeus admits victory is elusive.
The findings of the intelligence estimate appear to be reflected in recent statements by Army Gen. David Petraeus, the former top U.S. commander in Iraq, who has called the situation "fragile" and "reversible" and said he will never declare victory there.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice echoed that tone on Monday during a State Department awards ceremony for Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker.

"Ladies and gentlemen, nothing is certain in this life. And success in Iraq is not a sure thing," Rice said in an uncharacteristically downbeat comment.

The NIE findings parallel a Defense Department assessment last month that warned that despite "promising developments, security gains in Iraq remain fragile. A number of issues have the potential to upset progress."

That's on top of the critical situation in Afghanistan. Because of the quagmire in Iraq the U.S. government is forced to go hat in hand to our allies begging for help.
NATO allies face calls on Thursday to send more troops to fight Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan and boost military spending, despite the prospect of budget cuts due to the global financial crisis.

That same report paints a grim picture in Afghanistan.
A draft report by U.S. intelligence agencies concludes that Afghanistan is in a downward spiral and casts serious doubt on the ability of the Afghan government to stem the rise in the Taliban's influence there, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

McCain, Palin on FOX's 'Hannity & Colmes': Transcript (10-8-08)

Read the complete transcript:

HANNITY: ... said I can have you two debate among yourselves on this one point. Governor Palin you have said that you're trying, you're working on Senator McCain on the issue of ANWR. And you said you haven't had success yet, but you're still trying.

PALIN: The important thing to remember, though, is that we're on the same page in understanding that it has to be an all of the above approach in dealing with the energy crisis that we are in. It's got to be the alternative sources of energy getting plugged into the solution here. Certainly, the domestic supplies of conventional sources also being tapped into, and then we've got to remind Americans that the effort has got to be even greater today toward conservation because these finite resources that we're dealing with obviously — once oil is gone it's gone, once gas is gone, it's gone. And I think our nation has really become kind of spoiled in that arena.

So it's an all of the above approach that he embraces, and that's good. That will lead us to that energy independence, as opposed to the other ticket where they have said, no, no, no, to every domestic solution that has been proposed. And that was kind of perplexing st night, listening to Barack Obama's position, all of a sudden saying that we need clean coal and we need to offshore — he's so on record as having opposed, and Senator Biden also, having opposed those.

So, I think last night, coming away from the debate, too, one of the things that I got out of it was, I think Barack Obama was drilling for votes. I don't think that he's too keen on drilling for those source of energy that we need.

HANNITY: Well you had pointed out about Governor Biden (sic) — had once said, (INAUDIBLE) the world is raping the outer continental shell, proponents of drilling, and — but last night you brought up the fact that Senator Obama was against nuclear energy.

MCCAIN: We have to develop the technology — go to the United States Navy — we're sailing ships with nuclear power. You visit the French ,the British, the Japanese, they all reprocess spent nuclear fuel. But Senator Obama has done — he's very good with words. He's very eloquent. But when you look past it, he has opposed offshore drilling and he has opposed nuclear power.

Again, one of the things I was trying to stress in the campaign and in the debate last night, look at the gap between his rhetoric and his record.

The most liberal senator in the United States Senate: that's why I urged the people watching last night, go to these Web sites, the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste, and these other watchdog organizations.

Finally, this may sound a bit gratuitous, but at least because Senator — Governor Palin — Sarah Palin is so persuasive, I would like to come to Alaska, I haven't been there in many years anyway, and maybe I'll agree to go visit that area and have a look.

[...]HANNITY: Governor Palin, you had echoed those comments in recent days, this was immediately after the debate. And you actually — (INAUDIBLE) that Senator McCain just mentioned, "air-raiding villages and killing civilians," you said that that should disqualify him, meaning Barack Obama, from being commander-in-chief.

PALIN: Because there is such a gross misunderstanding of what our U.S. troops are doing in Afghanistan. What they're doing, of course, is fighting terrorism and protecting us, protecting our country.

And you know, they're building schools for the children in Afghanistan so that there is hope and opportunity there. So that just — that gross misunderstanding of what the United States military's mission is right now is very, very concerning.

MCCAIN: Could I mention one other point on his record?

HANNITY: Yes, sir.

MCCAIN: Senator Obama said that he would never vote to cut off the funding of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. After promising that, he and a handful of others voted that way. Now both he and Senator Biden said, well, it's the same vote that I cast. I cast a vote against withdrawal and surrender.

And I had promised that I do everything that I could to fight against any resolution that would entail withdrawal — set dates for withdrawal and therefore defeat in Iraq. So they're vastly different votes, they're vastly different.