Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Palin Interviewed on CNN: Transcript (10-21-08)

Read the complete transcript.

DREW GRIFFIN, CNN INVESTIGATIVE CORRESPONDENT: What is your role going to be as vice president?

PALIN: Well, we have talked a lot about that, John McCain and I have, about the missions that I will get to embark on if we are so blessed to be hired by the American people to work for them.

It's going to be government reform, because that is what I have been able to do as a mayor and as a governor. You take on the special interests and the self-dealings. Yes, you ruffle feathers and you have the scars to prove it afterwards, but you have to take that on to give the American people that faith back in their own government. This is their government, and we have got to put it back on their side.

So government reform and energy independence, can't wait to work on that. That's been my forte as the governor of an energy-producing state and as a former chair of the energy regulator entity up there in Alaska. So, look forward to that. And that's a matter of national security and -- and our economic prosperity opportunities.

That, though, too, the other mission that John and I are anxious for me to lead on is helping our families who have children with special needs, ushering in that spirit to Washington, D.C., where we say, we're going to give every child a chance, and -- and a good educational opportunity will be provided. That's going to be a matter, too, of prioritizing the federal dollars that are already there, and making sure that every child is given opportunity.

GRIFFIN: Governor, you have been mocked in the press. The press has been pretty hard on you. The Democrats have been pretty hard on you, but also some conservatives have been pretty hard on you as well.

"The National Review" had a story saying that, you know, "I can't tell if Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, or all of the above."

PALIN: Who wrote that one?

GRIFFIN: That -- that was in "The National Review." I don't have the author.

PALIN: Who wrote it? I would like to talk to that person.


GRIFFIN: But they were talking about the fact that your experience as governor is not getting out. Do you feel trapped in this campaign, that your message is not getting out? And, if so, who do you blame?

PALIN: No, I am getting my message right now out, through you, with you, Drew, to the American people who are watching CNN. And I appreciate this opportunity.

No, you know that I am, obviously, an outsider of the Washington elite and of the conventional, I think, media targets or media characters that have been a part of this for years. And I think that is final -- that it's good for the American electorate to understand, they have a choice here in our ticket of having the experience and the reputation that comes with John McCain as being the patriot and the maverick in the Senate. You have that. And you combine it with a team member who is new and fresh, with new ideas, new vision, new energy that needs to be infused into Washington, D.C., with that commitment to clean it up in D.C., put government on the side of the people, and fight hard for Americans.

You have that, that combination. And I think that some in the media, maybe in "The National Review," they don't know what to make of that. They are like, geez, she is -- you know, where did she come from? Surely, you know, it should be our job, I think they assume, is to pick and be negative and find things to mock.

And that is just, I guess, part of the political game, I guess. But we are very, very committed and focused and moving forward between now and November 4, getting that message out to the American people that our plan to get this economy back on the right track and to win the wars, put government on the side of the people, it is the right thing to do.

And I think we have the right message, despite a mocking that comes our way.

GRIFFIN: Governor, our time is very short. And I must ask you just two questions. One is on the Trooper Wooten. If there is one thing that has followed you negatively...

PALIN: Tasergate, right, right.

GRIFFIN: You call it Tasergate.

PALIN: We sure do.

GRIFFIN: Troopergate, whatever. The Branchflower report said you were perfectly in your right to fire Monegan...

PALIN: Right. Right.

GRIFFIN: ... but also found out that you violated the ethics.

Was it a mistake to allow your husband to use your office to try to pressure the Troopers to fire Mr. Wooten?

PALIN: Not at all, because, A, the -- the trooper who had Tasered his kid and had made death threats against my family and said he was going to bring the governor down and all that, my husband did exactly, I think, what any sensible, reasonable father, husband would do who was concerned about their family's safety. He...

GRIFFIN: But was it a mistake to allow him to use the governor's office to that extent?

PALIN: Not when you look at other governor's track records when they have their spouse, as, for instance, Governor Murkowski had his spouse as his top adviser. And she was in meetings. She was in the office -- so, kind of a double standard here.

But what Todd did was what any reasonable husband and father would do. He followed the instruction of the Department of Public Safety's own personal security detail, that is our personal protection. They asked, Todd, you have a problem with this state trooper. He is a threat. You need to take that to the commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

Todd did exactly that. And then, of course, he got clobbered for it now in the media, because there's a misunderstanding of what he has done. Our Department of Law in Alaska has right there on its Web site -- it says, if you have a problem with an Alaska State Trooper, the paragraph says, you go to the commissioner of Department of Public Safety and you share that concern with him.

That is what Todd did. So, no, I don't think that it was an abuse of power of my office at all. And I was very thankful that that report cleared me of any illegal dealings or anything else. I replaced the commissioner because he was not doing the job that I expect of my cabinet members -- that is, you serve the Alaskan population up there -- and, of course, he's a cabinet member who was assigned to do that -- to the best of the team's ability.

And you have a lot of energy. You fulfill the vision that we have laid out for you. And he was not doing that. And that is why he was replaced.

Obama Tampa Speech Transcript (10-20-08)

Read the complete transcript.

Because one thing we know is that change never comes without a fight. In the final days of campaigns, the say-anything, do-anything politics too often takes over. We've seen it before. And we're seeing it again today. The ugly phone calls. The misleading mail and TV ads. The careless, outrageous comments. All aimed at keeping us from working together, all aimed at stopping change.

It's getting so bad that even Senator McCain's running mate denounced his tactics last night. As you know, you really have to work hard to violate Governor Palin's standards on negative campaigning.

But we're not going to be distracted. We're not going to be diverted. Not this time. Not this year. Our challenges are too great for a politics that's so small.

Now, more than ever, this campaign has to be about the problems facing the American people - because this is a moment of great uncertainty for America. The economic crisis we face is the worst since the Great Depression. Businesses large and small are finding it impossible to get loans, which means they can't buy new equipment, or hire new workers, or even make payroll for the workers they have.

115,000 workers lost their jobs in Florida this year, more than any other state in this country. Wages are lower than they've been in a decade, at a time when the cost of health care and college have never been higher. It's getting harder and harder to make the mortgage, or fill up your gas tank, or even keep the electricity on at the end of the month. At this rate, the question isn't just "are you better off than you were four years ago?", it's "are you better off than you were four weeks ago?"

So I know these are difficult times. I know folks are worried. But I believe that we can steer ourselves out of this crisis because I believe in this country. Because I believe in you. I believe in the American people.

We are the United States of America. We are a nation that's faced down war and depression; great challenges and great threats. And at each and every moment, we have risen to meet these challenges - not as Democrats, not as Republicans, but as Americans. With resolve. With confidence. With that fundamental belief that here in America, our destiny is not written for us, but by us. That's who we are, and that's the country we need to be right now.

But Florida, I know this. It will take a new direction. It will take new leadership in Washington. It will take a real change in the policies and politics of the last eight years. And that's what this election is all about.

Now, my opponent has made his choice. Senator McCain's campaign actually said a couple of weeks ago that they were going to launch a series of attacks on my character because, they said, "if we keep talking about the economy, we're going to lose." And that's a promise John McCain has kept. He's been on the attack. That's what you do when you are out of ideas, out of touch, and running out of time. Well, I can take a few more weeks of John McCain's attacks, but the American people can't take four more years of the same failed policies and the same failed politics. That's why I'm running for President of the United States.

We have tried it John McCain's way. We have tried it George Bush's way. It hasn't worked. It's time for something new. It is time to turn the page on eight years of economic policies that put Wall Street before Main Street but ended up hurting both. We need policies that grow our economy from the bottom-up, so that every American, everywhere, has the chance to get ahead. Not just the person who owns the factory, but the men and women who work on its floor. Because if we've learned anything from this economic crisis, it's that we're all connected; we're all in this together; and we will rise or fall as one nation - as one people.