CNN Anchor Distorts National Review Quote in Interview With Sarah Palin

This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," October 22 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

HEATHER NAUERT, HOST: Ask any conservative and they'll likely tell you that Governor Sarah Palin is held to a very different standard than Joe Biden.

So, the question is tonight: Was Sarah Palin treated unfairly in her first interview with that other cable news network? We report. You decide.

Take a look at this exchange between Sarah Palin and CNN's Drew Griffin:


DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Governor, you've 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."


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

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

GRIFFIN: But they were...


NAUERT: Now, Griffin makes it sound like the National Review actually called Palin those names, but take a closer look at the context of what National Review columnist Byron York really wrote in his article.

• Video: Watch Heather Nauert's interview

He said, quote, "Watching the press coverage of the Republican candidate for vice president, it's sometimes hard to decide whether Sarah Palin is incompetent, stupid, unqualified, corrupt, backward, or — well, all of the above.

"Palin, as the governor of Alaska has faced more criticism than any vice-presidential candidate since 1988, that's when Democrats and the press tore into Dan Quayle. In fact, Palin may have had it even worse than Quayle since she has taken flak not only from the Democrats and the press, but some conservative opinion leaders as well."

Joining me now with reaction to this, is former Ohio Congressman John Kasich.

Welcome here, Mr. Kasich.


NAUERT: So, you know, a lot of folks say that she doesn't seem to face the same scrutiny as Senator Biden does. Why do you think that is?

KASICH: You mean she faces more scrutiny. Well, I think, they got on to something here, and that the report there on the other channel was wildly inaccurate, because I read the Byron York piece. And actually, it was pretty impressive.

It talked about the fact that she really faced down the oil companies and made sure Alaskans got a good deal. It talked about the fact that she lowered fees for businesses. It talked about the fact that she passed this ethics law in Alaska where, you know, that's kind of the Wild West out there.

And the piece was pretty glowing and there was a bunch of stuff in there I didn't know, and I think if Americans read it, they wouldn't have many more questions for her.

NAUERT: OK. But then, they picked sort of the nastiest part of this, which wasn't nasty, but it was saying this is how the media presents her.

KASICH: Right, right.

NAUERT: Why do you think they're doing that? Do you think they're just doing this to embarrass Governor Palin?

KASICH: Well, I think they got on to something, and she had, you know, she had a very poor interview. I didn't see it but everybody told me that her first interview was really bad. And, you know, the thing is, when you.

NAUERT: You mean her first interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson?

KASICH: Yes, whoever it was.


KASICH: You know, I don't remember.


KASICH: And you know, and that she nearly missed — she really stumbled and all that. The fact is that when they put the light on you at the national big time for the first time, believe me, you know, you're going to have a few missteps. But look, even yesterday, The New York Times wrote a piece saying, you know, this lady's doing much better.

And so I think we're beginning to see some favorable coverage, but you know, it was piling on for a while, and this was a distortion of what The National Review had written, a bad distortion.

NAUERT: Yes, but there's only 13 days left before the election, you don't think they are going to turn around and start being nice to her, do you?

KASICH: I'm just saying I think she is getting a little bit better coverage now. But, you know, they — look, I can't explain to you when they knock somebody down why they stay on you, but, you know, it's kind of what some of the people in the liberal media have done.

I was on a panel on Monday with a couple of Democratic strategists and a Republican, and I said, I thought that the most vicious personal attacks that have occurred in this campaign have been launched on Sarah Palin. And in a campaign, you know, things are tough. You debate. You fight, but you never get personal. And unfortunately, some of these things that have been said about her have been atrocious, and, I think, she is acquitting herself better every single day.

NAUERT: All right. John Kasich, former congressman from the state of Ohio. You also ran for president two years ago, we remember that well. All right. Thank you so much for joining us.

KASICH: All right. Thank you.

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