Thursday, October 23, 2008

NBC's Brian Williams Interviews Palin and McCain: Transcript, Video (10-22-08)

Read the complete transcript here. Excerpts and video below.

WILLIAMS: Before we begin airing the conversation, this moment first from late in our conversation that will make news tonight about the growing requests these days for Sarah Palin to release her medical records.


WILLIAMS (on camera): Did I hear you just agree to release your medical records?

PALIN: Ah, the medical records. So be it, if that will allow some curiosity seekers, perhaps, to have one more thing that they can either check the box off that they can find something to criticize, perhaps, or find something to rest them assured over, fine.

I’m healthy, I’m happy, had five kids. That’s going to be in the medical records. Never been seriously ill or hurt. You’ll see that in the medical records if they’re released.


WILLIAMS: That came as a bit of a surprise to the McCain-Palin campaign. Now, the question is timing of the release.

Here now the first part of our conversation with the GOP ticket here in Ohio today.


WILLIAMS (on camera): Senator, I’ll begin with your observation on the tarmac. You came in today, there’s not one but two planes with your name on the side. You immediately started reminiscing about the depths of New Hampshire. It was you and your garment bag coming off a commercial flight.

But here you are, you’re down, you’re down in money.


WILLIAMS: How do you stay up?

MCCAIN: Down in money, down in the polls. We got ‘em just where we want ‘em.

WILLIAMS: What do you mean by that?

MCCAIN: I mean, that’s when we do best, really, Brian. I’ve always done best when we’re running some -- a little bit behind and got to catch up. And that somehow I’ve been very blessed. We seem to catch fire, and lately we have seen, in the last several days, a week, we’ve seen ever since the debate, we’ve seen some uptick, and we got about 3 or 4 points to go, and we can win this thing.

WILLIAMS: Did this campaign get out of your control? And here’s what I mean. A lot of people who know you well saw you take that microphone from that woman in Wisconsin and for the first time in a long time they said, There, that’s John McCain .

MCCAIN: Brian, they either haven’t been paying attention, or don’t want to. I -- in my speech at the convention, I spoke of my admiration for Senator Obama, the fact that he had motivated so many people. I have said continuously of my respect for him.

But that doesn’t change my view that there are stark differences. And when I’m president, there’s not going to be an international crisis that he can -- that Senator Biden can guarantee. I’m not going to raise people’s taxes in a bad economy.

Look, we’ve got very big differences. But I’ve always been respectful of Senator Obama. And he is now spending more money than any campaign in American history on negative ads against me. But that’s fine. American people are paying attention.

WILLIAMS: You mention Senator Biden’s comment the other day about a new president and a test of the new president’s mettle. One of your very closest friends in the Senate, Joe Lieberman, said on “Face the Nation,” quote, “Our enemies will test the new president early.”

And it has happened throughout modern history.

MCCAIN: Well, look, I’ve been tested. They know me, they know me very well. I’ve been tested. Senator Biden said it. What if Sarah or I had said it? Oh, my God, it would have been terrible, imagine. His own running mate said it’s because he’s young and new and untested. That’s why Senator Biden said, “Mark my words,” “Mark my words,” is what he said, that there’s going to be an international crisis. And then he compared it to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

My friend, I was in the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was on the aircraft carrier “Enterprise” in the air wing. We were close to nuclear war. I wouldn’t predict that for me -- I mean, that’s remarkable. When a vice presidential candidate predicts, because a young, untested president is going to face an international crisis like the Cuban Missile Crisis? Unbelievable.

Americans know I’ve been tested.