Cable Exclusive: Palin Sits Down With Hannity

Published November 19, 2009

| FoxNews.com

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," November 18, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And thanks for joining me for this special edition of "Hannity." Tonight for the full hour, it is the interview that you've all been waiting for. And joining me now for her very first cable interview since the release of her brand-new book, the author of "Going Rogue: An American Life," the former governor of the great state of Alaska, Governor Sarah Palin.

Governor, how are you?

SARAH PALIN, "GOING ROGUE" AUTHOR: Thank you so much for letting me be here.

HANNITY: Well, we appreciate it. All right, so we got the full hour. So I'm not going to start with issues because this is really a biography of your life up to now. A fair characterization?

PALIN: It is a compilation of lots of journals from when I was a little girl until where I am today.

HANNITY: All right. Now some of this kind of shocked me as I was going through the book. You know, and maybe it describes why maybe some people have negative feelings toward Governor Palin, and we'll talk about that in a minute. You write, for example, you went hunting with your father before school one day.

PALIN: Many days.

HANNITY: Many days.

PALIN: Yes. Yes.

HANNITY: OK. "I looked down to see the moose's eyeballs lying in the palm — in his palm, still warm from the critter's head, when he saw the wrinkle in my nose and the shake of my head slightly, he set them aside, he realized that even though he had raised me to be a hunting buddy I had my limits."

PALIN: Yes, things like that have just been a part o f my upbringing. A part of that real life that is Alaska. It's kind of a rugged lifestyle up there. Things like that aren't uncommon and my dad is a science teacher. With his elementary students he wanted to kill two birds with one stone that day, being able to fill the family's freezer and bringing specimens so his students could see what an animal is made of.

HANNITY: Well, that's for a young girl — I don't know what I would do if my father was holding, you know, warm eyeball of a moose.

PALIN: And events like that or an activity like really helped shape me, being out there hunting, being out very active, very much a lover of our outdoors and our clean environment up there, and respecting the wildlife up there, helped shape a lot of my political positions.

HANNITY: You talk a lot about your personal life, too. You talk about Todd and your relationship with him. You guys were dating at a pretty young age and you tell the story in the book that you weren't allowed to use the phone so you would communicate on, what, radios?

PALIN: On VHF, yes, on our back porches. We lived five miles away and he took his radios off his commercial fishing vessel and that's how we would communicate way back in the day.

HANNITY: And then you discovered that truckers were listening in?

PALIN: Yes, we did. They'd be barreling through town and the truckers could hear what we were saying so that put a stop to those midnight chats.

HANNITY: I would think that — anything that might be recorded by the truckers just goes along. And then also, a lot of people don't know, you eloped.

PALIN: Yes.

HANNITY: How old were you when you eloped?

PALIN: Twenty-three, and yes, we're broke. Didn't want to spend any money that we didn't have. Always quite frugal. And just surprised our parents and our friends and family, then had a big reception afterwards.

HANNITY: A big reception at Wendy's?

PALIN: Well, yes, that was the first reception, I guess. And then our parents threw us a nice reception.

HANNITY: All right. But to get, I guess, witnesses for the wedding, you went to an old folks home and got two elderly people and you walked them across the street for the wedding.

PALIN: We did. We went to the Alaska Pioneers Home that was across the street from the courthouse and we looked for some who maybe wouldn't be in the wheelchair who could walk across the street with us and see us into this life of matrimony.

HANNITY: And you have your $30 ring?

PALIN: $35.

HANNITY: I'm sorry, I misread. A $35 ring.

PALIN: Yes.

HANNITY: Well it's a pretty interesting story, but your mother — you tell your mom about it, she broke down crying.

PALIN: Yes. Yes. As I would, too. I tell my kids heaven forbid you ever do what I did with eloping. I want my kids to have a real wedding and they have — you know, a pastor being able to bless them and their state of matrimony, all those traditional things that Todd and I, we didn't really care about at the time and because we didn't have a whole lot of money.

We just wanted to quit being apart and we had been thousands of miles apart for many years, since he was 16 and I was 17 when we met and first started dating. We decided, you know, no more months and apart, we're going to get married and we're going to forge this life as one and you know, it's been an absolute awesome ride ever since.

HANNITY: All right now, how did your husband respond to the part of the book when you described when he first tried to kiss you, I'm not — but you wrote about it.

PALIN: Right.

HANNITY: And you ran away.

PALIN: Yes. Yes.

HANNITY: And then he told all his friends about it.

PALIN: Yes . And as I say in the book, too, you know, it's a lesson there that even the good guys can sometimes act like jerks which I thought he did because he told our friends about it. Yes.

HANNITY: And how did he react to that part being in the book?

PALIN: He said I could have written a lot of worse things than that. So.

HANNITY: Yes. All right, you walk through the very difficult story when you come up — when you talk about your youngest son, Trig.

PALIN: Yes.

HANNITY: And when you discovered he'd be a special needs child. It's pretty heart-wrenching what you describe there.

PALIN: I think there are so many parents in America who face what I faced and Todd faced, and that was some surprising news that not everything was going to be, quote/unquote, "normal" or perfect with the pregnancy, with the child. But what I describe in the book is the process that I went through — through a lot of prayer finally be to a point of accepting that Trig was going to be a gift from God and my prayer certainly was answered the moment he was born and I saw him and realized oh, my gosh, God knows what he was doing. He knew that Trig would be perfect fit in our family.

HANNITY: And — but there was a period of time when you didn't have a chance to tell your husband about this.

PALIN: Yes.

HANNITY: And it was a pretty extended period of time. So you were living with this and then you told him. Tell us how that — you describe it in the book.

PALIN: Right. That was a rough couple of weeks, about three weeks when Todd and I were physically apart, and I didn't want to tell him over the phone that our child would have Down syndrome. I wanted to be able to sit down with him and look him in the eyes.

And finally when we were together and I was able to tell him, Todd had such great perspective and a great attitude about it, and probably a better reaction to the news than I did at first where he was quite accepting and reassuring me that everything was going to be OK and truly that — certainly what has happened. Everything has been OK.

HANNITY: And one other thing he said to you, I guess the question came up, why us and his answer back to you was why not us?

PALIN: Exactly. Yes.

HANNITY: That's a pretty interesting response to me.

PALIN: Todd has that perspective and I learned from him. It's so helpful and healthful to that perspective in this arena of politics which can get quite ugly and brutal. And yet Todd and my kids remind me so often of what really matters and keeping me grounded and keeping me focused on what really matters in our country, it makes things a bit easier to get through.

HANNITY: One last family issue, and then we'll get into — I want to get into some really substantive issues of what you think about the president and what you think about the campaign.

When it came out, for example, you write about the vetting process and they knew when they were vetting you that your daughter was pregnant.

PALIN: Right.

HANNITY: Do you wonder how they found out about that, number one? And how did you react — you described how you reacted when you found out your young daughter was pregnant.

PALIN: Well, we they found out that Bristol, and she was 17, that she was pregnant, and the McCain operatives in the campaign had done their homework. They knew all about it. They knew what they were getting when they chose me.

HANNITY: But that made you comfortable? You were glad that they knew.

PALIN: Very comfortable. Again, because it was reassuring. It was good. There aren't going to be any surprises. You guys know what you're getting. You're getting a very colorful, full family, too, along with me.

But I was very surprised then that the campaign wasn't ready to react then to that circumstance. And the circumstance was a teen who is pregnant and unmarried, well, that's a challenge. It's not something to glamorize and strive to emulate by other girls.

I certainly didn't want a message sent that it was OK, and that it was something that we were giddy happy about. In fact, Todd and I had great concerns. Bristol, she was embarrassed. She was quite concerned about the challenges ahead.

And the campaign kind of reacted to it in a way that I thought — this isn't the message that we want to send initially so we had a little bit of right off the bat some discussion on what I would be able to say and articulate to the public.

HANNITY: And you rewrote the statement but then you found out on the news that it was already released?

PALIN: Right.

HANNITY: And that disappointed you?

PALIN: It disappointed me because it was a, you know, very personal issue. And yet we had the opportunity there to send that message, right out of the shoot, the right message about the problem that teen pregnancy.

HANNITY: Last question on this. You mentioned in the book, it kind of surprised me, where you said you realized the thought processes of somebody who would consider an abortion.

PALIN: Mm-hmm.

HANNITY: Explain that.

PALIN: I did. For that fleeting moment, I certainly understood — one, when I found out I was pregnant, and I was 43 years old, you know, no spring chicken. And realizing.

HANNITY: You're still younger than me, Governor.

PALIN: You know, just realizing for that fleeting moment, well, nobody knew about it. I knew that the critics were going to just come out of the woodwork and just have a heyday with this pregnant governor, the first female governor of Alaska, and they would use I feared my pregnancy as an excuse to distract, and thought for a moment, OK, these are less than ideal circumstances and this perhaps is why a woman would feel that it's an easy thing to just do away with the problem.

But holding on to that seed of faith at that time knowing that, no, I have to remember, I have to believe that there is purpose in every innocent life, in every baby's life. And then having to hold onto that seed of faith again when I found out some weeks later that Trig would have Down syndrome, realizing too, OK, my first thought was these are less than ideal circumstances.

How should I react to that and understanding for that moment, too, why a woman would believe that perhaps it's easier to just do away with a perceived problem and pretend maybe like it never happened. Very, very thankful, of course, that I made the decision to give birth to Trig.

HANNITY: We're going to take a break. We'll come back. And I'm never going hunting with your father. Ever. We'll come back. We'll have more with Sarah Palin right after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: Now we continue now with Governor Sarah Palin. All right. You tell the story in the book about how you were selected. You were at the state fair. You got the phone call.

PALIN: Yes.

HANNITY: And John McCain asking you to be his running mate.

PALIN: He asked if I would come to Arizona.

HANNITY: Arizona.

PALIN: And have a discussion with him about the possibility. And couldn't wait to get on an airplane and get to — go meet with him again. I had met him months prior and was very excited about it. Had a great conversation with him. Honored. Absolutely honored to have been asked to do the job with him.

HANNITY: Yes. But prior to that, did you know you were being vetted? Do you know all that was going on?

PALIN: You know what? I had gone through a lot of national interviews that summer regarding energy issues in Alaska and energy independence and the things that we were working on to ramp up domestic supplies, and had been doing op-eds for national publications.

A lot of national reporters had gone up there and they would drop these kind of off-the-record comments about hey, I hear your name, you know, you're being discussed, but I thought such a farfetched idea. I didn't put a whole lot of stock in what they were saying.

HANNITY: Did you imagine in this whole process that on the one hand you'd be so loved. On the other hand, you'd have so many people that would be attacking you? Did you see that coming?

PALIN: No, I was quite naive in terms of the anticipation. I think my family, too, was quite caught off guard. My administration, those who know me and my record and my accomplishments were quite taken aback by right out of the shoot the criticism that began.

HANNITY: What was the hardest part? What was the worst attack for you? What was the worst moment as this process was unfolding, who's Governor Palin, and all the investigators racing up to Wasilla, you know, to find out who you really were?

PALIN: It was absolutely bizarre. We had — you know, there were plane loads of opposition researchers sent up there by the DNC and Obama's camp. And some in the media running up there to find what they could find, any kind of dirt under my fingernails that they could report.

I thought that they were going to find out that I've got a D in a macro economics course back in college 22 years ago. And really, that is how, I guess, naive I was in terms of anticipating what was coming and I thought that that was going to the big skeleton in the closet.

HANNITY: What was the worst moment, for example? What do you think was the worse? Was it Letterman after? Was it any point in the campaign? What do you think was the worst attack?

PALIN: Two, one in the campaign, my personal e-mails being hacked and then being broadcast around the world. That was quite devastating because I knew of some of the personal conversations I had that were in some inbox and I didn't know what was going to be out there.

And the hacker — he admitted that he was looking for something to derail or destroy the McCain campaign. That caused a lot of disruption and even distrust within the campaign that was unfortunate.

But the most devastating attack on me were those things that would affect the kids. The attacks on Trig, which still blow me away that anybody could be that cruel to think that, you know, he shouldn't have been allowed to be born. Or that he was this —

HANNITY: Or that he wasn't your child.

PALIN: Oh yes. That's funny.

HANNITY: That was another thing. It was really Bristol's child. I mean, I mean.

PALIN: Right.

HANNITY: There was a tabloid this weekend. I was in the grocery store.

PALIN: Yes.

HANNITY: You know, you're pending divorce was in there.

PALIN: Oh, yes.

HANNITY: You know, which you write about.

PALIN: Right.

HANNITY: And some of the other things. What are you to take of the Letterman attack? You spent a lot of time talking about that. How hard was that?

PALIN: It was another odd episode. I was asked to respond to the, quote/unquote, "joke," that he told about my 14-year-old daughter being — yes being knocked up he said by Alex Rodriguez. And I thought quite inappropriate but my response were reported that I hadn't heard the joke. And I said well, that sounds, you know, tasteless and it's not even funny. And from there, there were follow-up questions. Well, how do you feel about that kind of humor?

And I said it's sexist and it exploits an innocent child and I don't think it's cool, I don't think it's funny, and.

HANNITY: Would you want to have anything to do with him? Because you're a Christian. You want to — you want to forgive people.

PALIN: Well, certainly. Forgiveness and vengeance isn't mine. I'm not out for vindication, but I'm thinking, practically, economically, in terms of a David Letterman visit, I don't want to boost his ratings so — no, I have no desire to.

HANNITY: What about the current edition of Newsweek. You once were in Runner's Magazine, and you write a lot in the book how you like to run and you did a marathon, and they had this picture of you, and you put out a statement then you said, hey, their approach is sexist. You have pretty hard comments. This just happened this week.

PALIN: Right. Yes. That was just so another unnecessary thing to put — take a shot of a health and fitness profile from many months ago and put that on the cover of "Newsweek" magazine. It was just another little shot. But in the grand scheme of things, of course, things like that really don't amount to a hill of beans when there are many things that are going wrong, something's going right but something's going wrong in our country that people want to hear about and talk about.

And I think that the American people, they are tiring of the tabloidization of some people, like me, and they want to get to the issues.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: We continue now with former Governor Sarah Palin.

All right, "Going Rogue." The title comes from even your entire life, when you were with the city council, when you were mayor, you described this. When you were governor, you took on the establishment. But also during the campaign.

I was with you in Tampa when you mentioned oh, by the way, these clothes are from a consignment shop. I was — Elizabeth Hasselbeck was there. You were asked by Karl Cameron about pulling out of Michigan, I think, and you said I don't want to pull out of Michigan. And that was viewed by the campaign as going rogue. There was this conflict. You talked about it a lot in the book. What was going on?

PALIN: Well, evidently there was a conflict and there was some unforgiveness there, I guess, by some campaign operatives when I would speak off the cuff and candidly and answer a reporter's question from the heart and from the gut, like gosh, I don't want to have to leave Michigan, let's give it the old college try and try to get some more votes there.

So in speaking to reporters candidly, yes, I guess there was that accusation that I am in the VP side of the ticket was going rogue. And conveniently it fits, it's a great book title and quite descriptive of much of my life.

HANNITY: But the question I have as I read the book, and I read it cover to cover, I didn't miss a word, I thought why with all the conflicts that were going on that you describe with the campaign, quote, "headquarters," as you described it, why did you not reach out to Senator McCain at some point and say this isn't working well for me with the staff? Or did you?

PALIN: There was a description of some of the conflict within the campaign because so many people have asked me about it and so many people have said why did the McCain-Palin message not resonate with the public because the issues that we were talking about and believing in are the right issues to be discussed in a campaign and the planks and the platforms that we were standing strong on are the right to build America, but our message just wasn't being received.

So many people have asked me about that. So I wrote about that, about the conflicts and the way kind of the machine works in a campaign. And 95 percent though of the campaign was absolutely amazing, awesome, invigorating, energizing.

The people whom we met all along the trail were absolutely inspiring and unfortunately, you know, not enough pages available in a book to get to describe all of that. But about the 5 percent of the conflict is in the book.

HANNITY: Is in the book. All right. And you have a good relationship with Senator McCain now?

PALIN: Very good relationship. Yes.

HANNITY: OK. Barack Obama. He's now president, been president for, what, now in his 11th month. And what do you think overall of him? How would you — I know — yes, I think you gave a rating of four out of 10 in an interview.

PALIN: Yes.

HANNITY: What do you think of him though? As a person and as a president?

PALIN: As a person, I think he's very charismatic, quite articulate, very, very talented as a politician, and he's been gifted in this arena and I would like to see those gifts to be put to better use, to make solid, sound decisions for our country to put us back on the right track because I think the decisions that he's making when it comes to the economy are not the right decisions for America.

They will not shore up our economy. We are getting further and further away from free enterprise principles that certainly have built up our country and have assisted the small businesses that are the backbone of our economy.

We're getting further and further away from that with the government expansion that we see. And I'd like to see him put all of those God-given talents that he is so full of to better use for America.

HANNITY: For example, if we look at the economy from — let me just appoint you president right now. What would you be doing differently than the stimulus, the omnibus, the spending, and health care? What would you be doing differently?

PALIN: You need something different than growing the federal government and digging us further and further into debt and be more and more beholden to foreign countries. Start ramping up domestic supplies of energy so we can be energy independent and more prosperous, that's one.

Start cutting the jobs for the job creators so that our small businesses, especially, can start hiring more and reinvest in what it is that they earn and produce so that they can grow and prosper. And certainly there are so many things that are common sense principles that Ronald Reagan applied to get us out of the recession back in the early 1980s. I'd like to see us revisit some of that history and apply those solutions.

HANNITY: Look, I follow this president every day. I think he's a socialist. Do you think he's a socialist?

PALIN: I think that he certainly is seeding more and more power and he's taking it away from the individual and from our small businesses and he's empowering government and that's a dangerous path for our country to be on.

HANNITY: He's taken over banks, financial institutions, they're dictating pay.

PALIN: Auto industry.

HANNITY: Car company.

PALIN: Right. Right.

HANNITY: And now maybe the health care industry. Isn't that by definition socialism?

PALIN: And energy industry, too, I think the attempt will be next. And that's why Americans have got to pay attention. They've got to have their voices heard. They have got to remind our federal government that our expectation is that our government will work for us. We will not work for them. And all we're asking is that government be put back on our side.

HANNITY: All right. One of the things — and we'll get to when we come back. You took a lot of heat for talking about the president's radical associations but you would have liked to have gone further.

PALIN: Oh, yes.

HANNITY: And we'll get to that when we get back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And we continue now with Sarah Palin and of course her new book is out.

All right. One of the issues I focused in on in the campaign as a commentator — I'm on the air four hours a day — was the president's radical associations. I could not understand why the campaign did not focus on Bill Ayers and Father Pfleger and Jeremiah Wright.

You took a lot of heat for saying "paling around with terrorists." You wanted to talk about Jeremiah Wright. You write in the book you were told not to. Why?

PALIN: I am still perplexed as to why we weren't fair to the electorate and discuss those associations and the past voting records and the experiences that one of the candidates had in his career. I think that it was quite unfortunate.

I would remind people that it wasn't negative campaigning and it wasn't off base to call someone out on their associations and on their voting record now. Now, what you did and other common-sense conservatives, what they did was try to do the job that a campaign should have done. We really missed the boat on that.

HANNITY: Yes, it surprised me because, you know, he said it's only a guy in the neighborhood. A guy you had given speeches with, a guy you started your political career in his home, you sat on boards with the guy. It wasn't just a guy in the neighborhood. It was a guy that was unrepentant about bombing the Pentagon and the Capitol.

PALIN: And what was worse was it was even more recent of that Ayers had said they didn't do enough harm to our country. And for that not to have been condemned by Barack Obama, I think was a shame.

HANNITY: Why not bring up Reverend Wright? G-d America? America's chickens have come home to roost? He sat there in that church for 20 years. It still amazes me that that was not a bigger issue in the campaign.

PALIN: Should have been a bigger issue, because I think it was indicative of some of the, quote unquote, "tolerance" of a candidate in terms of hearing a message and being fed things that are not good for our country.

HANNITY: Well, is the president, then, more radical than he let on? Do you think the president is radical?

PALIN: I will not hesitate to say that his associates have been extremely radical, and we see that in some of the appointments that he has made. And again, I think that it is unfair to the electorate for a candidate or a campaign to hesitate in calling someone out on what their record really represents.

HANNITY: I agree with that. What do you think of, for examples — we talked about this. And I think you describe yourself in the book as more conservative than Republican. And you go into this. You say Reagan motivated you to get into politics.

Well, Reagan actually — I consider myself a Reagan conservative. A lot of people think I'm a Republican. I'm not. You can register in New York as a conservative. Are you more of a conservative or more of a Republican?

PALIN: You know, it doesn't surprise me that you are not a registered Republican. So many good people whom I know are not registered within a party machine. Todd isn't a registered Republican, and people say, wow, I must be pretty weak if I can't even convince my own husband to join the party.

HANNITY: He's part of that group, by the way, that wanted to secede from...

PALIN: Yes, supposedly. Right.

But no, so many Americans — I know up in Alaska the majority, about 70 percent of Alaskans, have that independent, pioneering spirit in them that says, you know, "I'm not going to be so obsessively partisan that I let politics get in the way of just fighting for the right things for my state and for my country."

I am a registered Republican, because I truly believe the planks in that platform in that party are the best to build my state and our country.

HANNITY: But look, you supported Doug Hoffman in the New York 23. And when you did that, though, it was a big jolt to his campaign. As a matter of fact, according to the latest numbers he's had a chance to win this thing.

PALIN: That's exciting.

HANNITY: But you went against the establishment Republican, who was a liberal Republican. I didn't agree with her on a single issue. I was with you in supporting the conservative candidate.

PALIN: Right.

HANNITY: Will that be your future? Will you do the same thing?

PALIN: Well, in that race the registered Republican, it seems, was more liberal than the registered Democrat candidate. And so that confused a lot of people.

I had an opportunity to speak out for a common-sense conservative who was also quite independent of the party machinery. Heck yes, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

HANNITY: What do you think the biggest foreign policy challenge America faces today?

PALIN: Well, fighting the war on terror still. And I'm quite hesitant to embrace any of the policy that President Obama right now is wrestling with now in Afghanistan when it seems that he's kind of dithering and not wanting to make up his mind when he appointed back in March, McChrystal to give him a good strategy so that some kind of surge movement could be implemented in that country and we can start seeing some progress in that war. For him to not want to listen, at this point anyway, to what McChrystal is asking, though, is quite concerning.

HANNITY: He said in August, he said we need 40,000 troops or we would risk failure. Forty thousand troops. The president still hasn't decided.

PALIN: He needs to decide. And the rest of America, then, his constituents, we're watching for the president to show that steel spine that Reagan had so exemplified.

To show that so far and say you know what? We're going to do all that we can to win in Afghanistan. We cannot afford to lose. So I will listen to my adviser when he's asking for the reinforcements, he's asking for the tools to that counterinsurgency strategy. I'm there with them. We're waiting for that.

HANNITY: Do you — your son just got back from a year's deployment in Iraq. He served his country. Do you worry about him serving under a president that is dithering? I'll use your word.

PALIN: I want to make sure that my son and that every soldier, that every member of our military is equipped to the fullest and has a commander in chief who is fully, fully committed to their mission.

Now, some people are quite war-weary and wondering why are we even there anymore? Well, the fact of the matter is, and we have to be pragmatic about this, we are there. And it does no good to start dithering and wondering, "Oh, my gosh, what kind of strategy" — we know what strategy we need there. Same strategy as was successful in Iraq. Conditions are different in Afghanistan, especially the geographical conditions, but...

HANNITY: There is no war on terror. The man caused disasters. We're going to Mirandize enemy combatants on the battlefield.

PALIN: You know, I was thinking back to my convention speech a year ago, and the words spoken in that convention speech had a lot to do with what we're seeing today with this Mirandizing of enemy combatants, of terrorists.

I said in that speech, I said, basically suggesting that I fear that the other candidate is more worried about a terrorists' rights — when an Al Qaeda terrorist is wired to try to destroy America and somebody may be worried about their rights? Now what we're seeing today with inviting the trial to be here in New York...

HANNITY: This is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

PALIN: Yes. It's very scary to think that there would be this assumption that he is protected under our Constitution and has rights when he wants to destroy America?

HANNITY: Well, we never — it's unprecedented. Well, inasmuch as you can go back to the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and World War II. We didn't do this. We had military tribunals.

But hold that thought. We'll come back to foreign policy.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: And we continue now with Sarah Palin.

All right. I want to go back to — you said the number one challenge we have is terrorism.

PALIN: Yes.

HANNITY: OK, that America faces.

PALIN: Yes.

HANNITY: President does not acknowledge we have a war on terrorism. The president says it's a man-caused disaster. Do you — do you think that the president has a pre-9/11 mentality?

PALIN: Oh, that's a good question. There are some actions that are being taken today that would make someone assume that that is what that mentality is. Instead, we need that 9/12 mentality, where we build up our military defenses, and we'd be willing and able to deploy everything that we need to deploy to keep our homeland safe and to support our allies who are there with us.

HANNITY: Like, for example, we pulled away missile defense from the Czech Republic and from Poland. Was that a mistake?

PALIN: It was a mistake. In fact, missile defense was unfunded from a site up there in Alaska, which I think was quite — quite unfortunate.

HANNITY: You mentioned in the book about how Jimmy Carter was weak as it related to the hostage crisis. We have a crisis now with an Iranian regime, with a Holocaust denier as president, that wants to annihilate Israel, wipe it off the face of the earth. How do we prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons?

PALIN: We have allies who are as concerned about Ahmadinejad's actions as we are. We need to be working closer with France and with Britain and start, not just considering but seriously taking steps towards the sanctions that we hear all about but we never see any actions towards.

Cutting off the imports into Iraq of their refined petroleum products. They're reliant — 45 percent of their energy supply is reliant on those imports. We have some control over there.

And some of the beneficial international monetary deals that Iraq benefits from, we can start implementing some sanctions there and start really shaking things up and telling Ahmadinejad nobody is going to stand for this.

HANNITY: How dangerous is it to negotiate with a Holocaust denier? How dangerous is it to the United States that our president thinks he can make progress with somebody like Ahmadinejad?

PALIN: Well, you know, it's another one of those things where it's kind of an "I told you so," when our campaign had brought out that Barack Obama had said that he would meet with some of these madmen without any preconditions.

Now, I do believe that he has evolved from that position that he took as a candidate, and he realizes now you cannot make such a promise, not when you're dealing with these madmen who do want to destroy America and wipe an ally like Israel off the face of the earth.

HANNITY: Did you hear the — Brzezinski, who worked for Carter, who's now an adviser to Obama? You know, we've got a problem in Israel and the Middle East, talking about shooting Israeli plans if they fly over Iraq to get to knock out Iranian nuclear facilities. What would — if you were president, what would you do?

PALIN: There again, in working with our allies, there are other countries that need to start putting pressure on them, like Russia and make sure that Russia is recognizing, too, that we're not going to put up this with those threats of this Iranian regime that is so threatening and so controlling.

HANNITY: What do you think about — how do we, for example, deal with a North Korea? How embarrassing is it to you when the president goes to China and has to beg them to continue to support the American economy by buying our Treasury bonds? How do you deal with that area of the world?

PALIN: Well, we have to start cleaning up our own house here in America. And not so much — well, it's going to be twofold, but we can't just look at China and blame them for some kind of trade imbalance.

It's also our fault because we have spent so much money. We are so in debt as a country — $11, $12 trillion right now — that we are becoming more and more beholden to China and, you know, China is taking advantage of the situation.

So until America gets its house in order and we start diminishing the problem that we have of growing in debt, until our president and this Congress recognize that digging this whole deeper and deeper makes absolutely no sense to the rest of us in America, then our relationship with China is going to be unbalanced. It's going to be nonsensical to many of us. And things have got to change.

HANNITY: Do you think Fort Hood was an act of terrorism?

PALIN: I certainly do, and I think that there were massive warning flags that were missed all over the place. And I think it was quite unfortunate that, to me, it was a fear of being politically incorrect, to not — I'm going to use the word — profile this guy, profile in the sense of finding out what his radical beliefs were. Simple things like looking at the business card that had the secret code word for who it was...

HANNITY: What about contacting Al Qaeda?

PALIN: Well, that too.

HANNITY: Trying to contact Al Qaeda.

PALIN: Right. Now — now because I used the word "profile," I'm going to get clobbered tomorrow morning. The liberals, their heads are just going to be spinning. They're going to say, "She is radical. She is extreme."

But I say profiling in the context of doing whatever we can to save innocent American lives, I'm all for it then.

HANNITY: Yes, you seem like you've really gotten shy and reserved since I last interviewed you. And you're not — you're really afraid to jump into the — the controversial world.

PALIN: That's why I'm just never in trouble. Right.

HANNITY: All right, we — I'm going to ask you a question about the Couric interview when we get back and about your future.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

HANNITY: We continue with Sarah Palin.

I know you talked a lot in every interview about the Couric interview. And I'm not going to ask you the same question. How would you answer those questions differently, the two that got the most play in the media?

PALIN: I screwed up on, and I was annoyed. My bad. I did a horrible job with that and let my annoyance just show so brightly. It was very unprofessional of me. I shouldn't have done that.

She asked about what I read. And I read — I read Newsmax and The Frontiersman and the Wall Street Journal, and everything online. I absorb the news via many, many sources.

HANNITY: You could have plugged Hannity.com, but — but we'll let that go.

But Supreme Court cases. That was the other one that got a lot of play. Why did you not — how would you answer that question today?

PALIN: There were so many Supreme Court cases that affected my constituents in Alaska. An Exxon ruling had just come down, and in fact, I had recently been interviewed about that on national press, and I should have just answered that.

Instead, again, my screw up. It was annoying circumstances, and I shouldn't have been so flippant about everything.

HANNITY: People even, it seems, if you look at the polls, love you or hate you. How would you — how would you reach out to maybe people that have a caricature image of Tina Fey or "Saturday Night Live" maybe really don't know you because of the campaign.

If you — especially if you think about running for office in the future, is there a way that you would try to reach out to them?

PALIN: They need to start by reading my book and not believing the tabloidization or the "lamestream media" that wants to portray me as something that I am not. But read the book, my own words, and then judge me by that.

Judge me by my record. Judge me by my accomplishments as a mayor and a city manager and an oil regulator and a governor. And then they still hate me, well, so be it.

HANNITY: At that point in time. Now, your dad said, "Sarah is not retreating; she is reloading."

PALIN: That's right. That's right.

HANNITY: That's a pretty good line.

PALIN: Yes, that's good.

HANNITY: And you also said that you want to play a national role if people will have me. Well, it's obvious you have a pretty big fan base. People will have you. How do you envision this role in — in the future? What role would you like to play? What roles, potentially, could you play?

PALIN: Well, I'm not necessarily seeking a title to affect the positive change that I think our country needs. I want like to help candidates to get elected to cast on votes that are needed to implement good change and get our economy back on the right track.

I want to help those worthy causes, like special needs, making sure that our world is a more welcoming for the most special ones.

And there are a lot of causes out there, that I want to help with. Don't know if necessarily that means running for a higher office, but you know, my life is in God's hands. And I'm seeking that path he would have me on.

HANNITY: You're not thinking about it now, but you're not ruling it out now.

PALIN: Not ruling it out.

HANNITY: OK. Now, when you resigned as governor, a lot of people were saying — you told a story about a conversation you had with your older son about that issue. We talked about what was interesting in the book.

So let's say 2012, and you decide to run. And the question comes up, you know, "Governor, what assurances you won't resign if investigations begin, you think you're a lame duck?" How would you answer that question in 2012?

PALIN: The decision to hand the reins over to my lieutenant governor was all about what was doing right for the constituents in the state of Alaska, not prohibiting progress based on the opposition researchers trying to put me on a path towards personal destruction. I was doing the right thing for my state. And the decision was the right decision for Alaska.

I'm not a quitter, and I do love the way that my dad put that, not retreating but reloading. In order to get out there and fight for what is right for country, in order to help provide some common sense, a conservative solutions.

HANNITY: So we're going to hear a lot from you.

PALIN: You're going to hear a lot from me. So you know, the haters are going to have a whole lot of material. Tina Fey, she may have a whole lot of material coming up.

But our message is strong. Our message is truth. And our message — my message, I think, is — is a voice for the common sense, everyday, hard-working Americans who expects not much out of their government except for it to be on their side.

HANNITY: You talked about the thumping, and you talked about rules for radicals. You talk about Rahm and the Democrats. And you got the Chicago treatment.

Do you think they were responsible for a lot of the investigations that ensued, which you know, became very troublesome and expensive for you, which led to the resignation?

PALIN: Well, absolutely, but it wasn't just me. It was the burden put on the state administration, the millions of dollars, the thousands of hours that my staff had to spend just to respond to the frivolous things that were thrown our way.

And that was all quite unfortunate. But Alaska is doing very well under Lieutenant Governor, now governor, Sean Parnell. It's got the same agenda that I have. Now we're minus all those distractions. And our state is moving forward on energy projects that will create a more secure environment for our nation. He's doing the right thing.

HANNITY: In that case, so you're happy. All right, so as we move forward, you don't — you really have no idea where you're going to be in four years?

PALIN: I do not know. I wish that I could predict and prepare for what's going to happen in four years, but I'm very happy where I am now, happy with the book, happy with those receiving the truth and the message that — that I'm sending, very happy with where my family is now. They're healthy, they're joyful, and everybody is doing just fine.

HANNITY: Governor, in your own words tonight. We appreciate you being with us. Thank you.

PALIN: Thank you.

HANNITY: Sarah Palin. "Going Rogue," already a best-seller. It was a best-seller before it was on the book shelves.

PALIN: We're blessed.

HANNITY: OK. Thanks for being with us.

— Watch "Hannity" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

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