This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 30, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: Are the attacks on Ambassador Susan Rice sexism or something else? Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin joins us. Good evening, Governor.
SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Good evening.
VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, I assume you've heard the clips that we just played, and there are some who think that Ambassador Susan Rice is not being criticized for her performance but for reasons rooted in sexism. Your thoughts?
PALIN: Oh, I guess they reach very far in an argument like that, saying this -- what the heck does this have to do with gender or skin color or anything else? This has to do with competency.
And Susan Rice's handling of Libya has been part and parcel of the Obama administration's handling of Libya, which has been appalling. It's been atrocious and it's really indicative of a lack of competency and truthfulness and certainly transparency in the entire Obama administration. It has nothing to do with her gender.
VAN SUSTEREN: I actually, in sort of a curious way, think there is sexism involved here. And I think it's appalling, and the sexism is this way, is that for some reason, because she's a woman, she's given a pass, that she's held to lower standards, which I object to. I want to be held to same standards, equal standards, but there are some who will let her take a pass for giving false information, whether knowingly or unknowingly, sitting on it for 73 days until about three days ago, when she spoke to some U.S. senators behind closed doors.
For some reason, she gets a pass on that! I don't get that, and I think that's actually demeaning to women if that's why she's getting that pass.
PALIN: Yes. I agree. And still to this day, no apology, no clear explanation to the people of America as it pertains to what really happened there in Benghazi. And again, just the illustration, I think the prime example, of the lack of transparency and honesty that is exemplified in the Obama administration. Very sad.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, there have been 73 days. It wasn't until this week when -- when the information finally came out. And incidentally, Senator Collins with us last night told us that -- that Ambassador Rice told her behind closed doors that she had access to the presidential -- president's daily briefing, so she had as much information as anybody, including that this was al Qaeda-affiliated suspected even on day one.
But let me ask you about Representative Susan -- Eleanor Holmes Norton. She says, "We do not intend to stand by while Ambassador Susan Rice, who had nothing to do with this tragic Benghazi attack, or its aftermath, is made the scapegoat."
Yet I -- what I'm surprised about -- she's not clamoring for her own party, for the administration, to come out and tell us what did you know, when did you know it and why -- why are you dragging your feet about it? So where is...
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, she's missing the point on that one. Do you agree?
PALIN: She's missing the point and she's playing politics. And you know, she knows that she has cover because of mainstream media is going right along with her and that suggestion that Obama and his closest people in the White House did nothing wrong in Benghazi.
And obviously, they did. Four brave and innocent Americans were killed in this attack. And still, the American people are left with so many questions. And spokesperson for this incident, this tragedy, are wanting to play politics instead of just being straight with the people.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, the -- and Press Secretary Jay Carney is, I think, likewise, you know, subject to legitimate criticism. I assume that he has access to information. And for many days -- maybe not 73 days, but they've done everything they could not to get the facts out.
If they want to end this, it's a simple way. Just get the facts out! Quit trying to hide them! And that's what -- you know, that -- I don't understand why everyone gives them the pass except for CBS and FOX on that.
PALIN: Yes, exactly, Greta. That's the bottom line is, you know, just -- just be straight with the people. That's all we expect of our government is honesty so that we can, as the people being served, so that we can judge the decisions being made.
And Jay Carney, though, just so obstinate and so arrogant, really, in his replies and in his exchanges with the media over this. If I were a member of the media sitting there, being talked to and kind of scolded as Jay Carney does to them, I would be quite offended and it would make me want to be an even better reporter and be a better investigator of what the facts truly are with this Libya tragedy.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the dirty little secret, though, in Washington on both sides of the aisle is, though -- is that access -- you know, you will lose access if you are -- you know, you have to, you know -- you have to use good judgment. I'm not saying that, you know, you sell your soul to the administration, but some people, frankly...
PALIN: So what, though? So what? So what if you lose...
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, no, I...
PALIN: ... access to Obama? You know why -- you know why people don't want to lose -- I mean, the American people don't care if a reporter isn't going to have access to the Obama administration because what's coming back as a result of having that privileged, powerful access is this lack of transparency. It's more confusion. It's more uncertainty and it's lies!
So why in the world would a reporter be concerned about whether they're going to get more of that fed to them, those lies, the uncertainty, the murky answers to so many questions being asked? I wouldn't care about having that access when you know what the result is.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm with you. Look -- look what's happened in just this Benghazi investigation. State Department did a conference call and conveniently left FOX News off when they wanted to brief them the day before their people went to Capitol Hill. The CIA had a briefing, and guess what news organization was left out? FOX News Channel.
Then a memo was released -- I think it by the intelligence DNI, and who didn't get the memo? FOX News. But what they don't realize is that all these other news organizations will eventually give it to us. You know, so it's -- I mean, that's the irony of it.
But I mean, they are trying to punish FOX because we dare to ask them questions, and all we're asking questions are -- what are the facts on four murders? And the more you try to hide it, the more -- when 71 days drags to 72 days drags to 73 days and we're still not getting the answer, it's reasonable to be suspicious that you're trying to hide something! So tell us and that'll end it.
PALIN: And the American people need to understand that this, this Benghazi tragedy, it's just one example of what the greater problem is with this lack of transparency, this distrustfulness of our own government. Benghazi is a prime example of it.
But it leads you to believe and to know that there are many other deceptions that are a part of this White House and the mode of operation there in Washington, D.C.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, if there's a reasonable explanation for any of the confusion or -- you know, tell us. You know, lay it out. Don't give us more silly stuff. Don't hide more stuff.
Frankly, I don't even like the fact that Ambassador Rice met behind closed doors with the senators. I would have rather had her come up to a microphone and answer questions to reporters, but that didn't happen. There is an awful lot that's done behind closed doors in this town that simply should be put out in the open. The American people can -- they can take it. They can handle it. They're -- they're big people.
PALIN: Yes. Absolutely. And by the way, it was a fascinating interview that you had with Senator Collins yesterday. I certainly appreciated that. New information was exposed because of you asking questions of her and she having had that opportunity to speak with Susan Rice.
And I think that the discussion after hearing that interview should lead us all to believe that Susan Rice perhaps is not the person to become our next secretary of state.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, at the very least, if she's nominated, she should be -- she's entitled to a full hearing and she's going to be questioned aggressively, as she should be, and as every male candidate should likewise be. But she's -- you know, she's going to have a lot of questions asked of her, should she be nominated.
But let me turn now to the fiscal cliff. The edge of that is so close to us. And are we going to go over it? And I wonder, will it -- what will it take to reach a deal?
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich says it takes sitting down and talking face to face.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER/PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If they wanted to sit and really talk, you can get a lot done. But I always remind people, Clinton had been governor, and as governor, he'd spent years negotiating with legislatures. So when we took control of the Congress, we sort of got the dance. He and I spent I think 35 days face to face. It wasn't this "My staff will meet with your staff, and eventually, some day -- and we'll have a brief phone call." That's nonsense. You have to be in a room. You have to listen to each other.