This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 28, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin right here, right now! She joins us from Wasilla, Alaska. Good evening, Governor.
SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR/FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Good evening, Greta. How are you?
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm very well. And the topic here in Washington was health care for so many weeks, dominated by health care. Now there's a lot of discussion about jobs. What do you think about what the president is saying about job creation? Is that what you would do?
PALIN: Well, you know, listening to his speech last night, I was kind of getting some whiplash there. I'd listen to what he was saying, then I'd whip my head down there and read the text to try to figure out what is he actually saying here? How does what he is saying match up to the actions that he's taken thus far? Because the acts that he's taken thus far will not get the jobs created, as he says he desires.
That speech was so full of contradictions last night. And I know that, you know, afterwards, as we analyze it, we're supposed to be, you know, quite diplomatic and analytic and quite gracious in our commentary. But come on! You know, again, so full of contradictions that the American public, I think, listened to the thing and said, How are jobs going to be created when you talk about cap and tax, which is taxing energy, which will prohibit more developments across our nation, when you talk about the second jobs bill, which is a stimulus bill, more spending, which is going to require tax increases to pay for these things. How in the world is that going to help the middle class? How will that help job creation?
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, so what would you do? Because this is a national epidemic. We have 10 percent unemployment, at its very best. That doesn't count the people who have given up looking for jobs and it doesn't even -- it doesn't measure some of the communities that are particularly hard hit, whether it's the state of Michigan or Nevada. I mean, people -- this is really a national epidemic. So had the election been a different result, what would you be doing now differently?
PALIN: Yes, it's closer to about 18 percent of underemployment. That's the rate that they should be using. That's more genuine when he's talking to the public, giving this information.
What would I do? I'd get government out of the way and let the private sector grow and thrive and prosper, keep more of what we are earning with our small businesses, invest according to our priorities so that we can hire more people, is quite simple. And it's quite proven to work. That is a free market, free enterprise principle that has helped build this country into the strongest, most prosperous country on the earth. We need to repeat those successes that America has been blessed with and have been plugged into the past. Let's repeat those.
VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, one of the issues maybe this president doesn't face as much as prior presidents, but is the fact that in Washington, it's really -- you know, the Democrats and the Republicans don't always work together. Now, this president has been fortunate in that he's had a Democratic-dominated House and Democratic-dominated Senate, but -- although he has -- you know, he has run into some obstacles there.
How do you reach across the aisle? How do you get your political opponent to come and talk to you and discuss things, to work things out? What's -- what's the secret, if there is a secret?
PALIN: Well, what President Obama has made the mistake of doing is pointing fingers at the Republicans, at the opposition party, and accuse them of not wanting to work with him, when it's proven that -- take health care. The Republicans have had common sense solutions that they wanted to bring forward and have considered, with liability reform and erasing state barriers so that there's competition in health care insurers. And the president has pointed fingers and said, Oh, they don't want to come to the table and work with us.
You can go to Healthcare.gop.gov and you can see some of the solutions that have been proposed. So what you don't do is what Obama has been doing. That's pointing fingers, kind of creating more contention and division than needs to be. And that way, gosh, human nature is a desire to work together and get things done, these elected officials. They know who they're working for. The people who are their bosses, their voters, they sent them there expecting common sense solutions, just get the job done.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's so curious to me is that, you know, I talk to -- you know, I -- I rub shoulders with both Republicans and Democrats because I'm here in Washington, the heart of this government. And the Republicans, they tell me, Well, the Democrats won't let us participate. The Democrats tell me, Well, the Republicans are just obstructionists. I mean, you almost want to pull your hair out because it's so -- you know, it's -- meanwhile, the unemployment rate is soaring and people are hurting. So I'm trying to think, like, why in the world -- I mean, I understand people having different ideas of how to correct things. But it's as though no one's even willing to try to -- I mean, I don't know even where to point the fingers, except for at both of them, at this point.
PALIN: Well, I think last night, to tell you the truth, didn't help. The State of the Union address did not help. There was a lot of lecturing, a to of finger-pointing. And obviously, it wasn't just to the opposition party in, I think, President Obama's mind.
But you know, there was finger-pointing, too, and against the Supreme Court Justices who were there in the audience, and to the American public, with kind of a condescending tone there coming from the White House that made us feel like we're not intelligent enough to have understood what the president was trying to explain about health care, when, in reality, no, we understand that one sixth of our economy being enveloped by government is something that we do not want. We don't want government takeover of our health care system. That's what we have been saying.
But the president still disconnected, not getting it. Still Nancy Pelosi today pretty much adamant, saying, No, we're going to cram this thing down your throat anyway. Still not listening!
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, in light of -- obviously, you know, in light of your obvious views on the State of the Union -- and let me ask you two quick questions. Are you in favor of some health care reform? That's the first part. And then second, what would you do?
PALIN: I don't know anybody who is not in favor of some kind of health care reform so that we can start getting our hands around the growing costs of health care. I think everybody wants to see that. But we want common sense solutions, Greta. We do want that tort reform...
VAN SUSTEREN: Like what?
PALIN: At least put it -- at least put it on the table to discuss. And we do want those lines that are barriers between states to not allow somebody from one state to be able to competitively get out there and look for a better deal on insurance in another state -- why not have those on the table for discussion?
And this is my point is that Republicans have addressed these. They have put these forward. And yet they're not even discussed, not in those backroom deals, not in those closed door sessions that the Democrats and the lobbyists are engaged in. That's quite discouraging for the American public, who is asking for these common sense, these market-oriented, patient-driven and patient-centered solutions to be discussed.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you see health care reform, as we now know it, the whole -- I mean, this bill -- do you see it as dead? And is there anything that could sort of, you know, rescue it? I mean, I know that you're not in the business of telling your opponent how to do things, but what -- what advice would you give -- give the president strategically?
PALIN: Well, I think Nancy Pelosi was way off base today to come out there with her statement about, yes, we're going to get this thing through, come hell or high water. That just -- that just riles up the base of supporters of those who are saying, No, there's better ways to reform...
VAN SUSTEREN: So would you call her?
PALIN: ... the challenges, the problems of health care.
VAN SUSTEREN: So if you were the president, would you call the Speaker and say, you know, Tone it down? Is that something that you would suggest that he do?
PALIN: Absolutely. And if I were the president, I'd say, You know, yes, you're right. We moved too fast. We did not do a bipartisan approach, as I had promised to do. And we're going to back up and we're going to do this right now. But we didn't hear that last night. We didn't hear that again today.
So I don't think that it's kind of in their political DNA to even arrive at that point of being to back up, be gracious about it, be humble about it, be sensible about it, and I'm talking about Reid, Pelosi and President Obama, and saying, you know, We are going to take a deep breath, we're going to slow down and we're going to do this right. The common sense, the more simple health care reform measures that Americans are expecting -- let's do those first.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Governor, stand by from Wasilla because we're going to get back right back to you. We have quick break coming up.
And here's a tease. Governor Palin calling out some women's rights groups. Why? We'll find out in two minutes.
VAN SUSTEREN: Continuing with former Governor Sarah Palin about the Super Bowl Sunday big battle. No, not the Saints versus the Colts, the other battle, the one that's stirring lots of controversy. A pro-life commercial featuring superstar college quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow is set to air during the Super Bowl. Now, this is no ordinary commercial. Why? Well, Tebow's mother was advised to get an abortion for medical reasons while pregnant with Tim. She obviously didn't and now is appearing in the pro-life ad with her son. Some pro-choice groups don't like the idea and want the ad pulled. Keep in mind no one has even seen this ad yet. Tim Tebow, though, is standing firm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM TEBOW, UNIV. OF FLORIDA QUARTERBACK: Some people won't agree with it, you know, but I think they can at least respect that I stand up for what I believe. And I'm never, you know, shy about that. I don't feel like I'm very preachy about it, but I do stand up for what I believe. And at least you can respect that because I do stand up and -- unfortunately, today in society, not many athletes tend to do that, at least stand for something. And so, you know, I'm just, you know, standing for something. And I'm -- and you know, I've always been very convicted of it one (ph). That's the reason I'm here is because my mom is a very courageous woman, and you know, wouldn't say no in a lot of circumstances. So you know, that's the reason I'm here and I'm very thankful for that. And so any way that I could help, I would do it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Former Governor Sarah Palin is back with us. Governor, I certainly know your position on abortion. But I'm curious, what about the timing of this ad? Do you agree that it's wise or prudent or even a good idea to inject this ad, which is going to set half the nation on fire and set the other half of the nation on fire, as well, during the Super Bowl?
PALIN: Well, I'll tell you, the message is about strengthening women and it speaks to the power and the wisdom of women and the nurturing spirit of women. It certainly isn't an offensive message. For now to have chosen this, picking a wrong battle, I think -- to have chosen this to come across sounding quite offended by hearing that a pro-life commercial will air on the Super Bowl day, it's baffling.
I mean, there are so many offensive commercials out there. And there's commercials out there that belittle women and demean them and make them feel like sex objects. And I haven't heard a lot of protests from NOW on that. This is an inspiring and encouraging message. Pam Tebow -- she made the world a better place, giving her son life. What is so offensive about hearing her story in a little 60-second sound bite? I look forward to hearing it.
VAN SUSTEREN: What would be your position if -- suppose that the pro- choice movement decided that -- you know, that what they would do is they'd come back, they'd raise the funds and they'd do a -- you know, a competitive ad to that? Is that something that you think would be, you know, something that the networks should equally accept? Do you have any problem with that?
PALIN: That's part of our First Amendment rights, and I'm sure that they could do that. Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups, they air plenty of ads. Again for a pro-life, pro-woman, pro-family ad to be seen as offensive and not empowering women, it's puzzling and it makes you wonder, what is NOW afraid of? Why don't they want a good, strong, inspiring, positive message about women and families to be aired?
VAN SUSTEREN: It seems to me that there are -- that there's -- not -- the two issues, though. One is the -- one is the issue of the message about which -- about which you speak. The other is, you know, this is -- this is a great -- this is a time when families get together and, even though some of us don't have our teams in the game, is that the whole idea is that -- you know, is that while this may be promoting life and many values people cherish, on the other hand, it's going to start a fight. And you know, is that something that's good to sort of spark debate or not in this country?
PALIN: I think the point that you just made, Greta -- Super Bowl Sunday, families get together. It's a good, positive experience for so many. I think a strong message from Pam Tebow talking about giving her son life, and again, making the world a better place, is a part of a good Super Bowl Sunday afternoon. I don't think anybody should be offended or afraid of what they're going to hear in that ad.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, on another topic, tea party convention is coming up. We've been told that you're a headliner. First of all, what's the status of the tea party movement in the country? Is it growing? Is it on hold or is it sort of slipping, or what's your thought?
PALIN: I think it's growing because the tea party movement -- in general, speaking here -- it's about the people. It's about the people wanting their voice heard, wanting to be able to speak to Washington, D.C., and say, Hey, here's what we expect from our government. You're taxing us too much. You're growing too quickly. You're loading up our children and grandchildren with unsustainable debt and that's unfair and immoral and not logical. That is the voice of the people.
And that voice of the people is within this group called the tea party movement. That's growing, and it's going to keep growing until Washington, D.C., starts listening.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, two parts to the question. One is, do you intend to come here and speak? I know that there has -- at least, Michele Bachmann, I think, of Minnesota, has dropped out, as well as the congresswoman from the state of Tennessee. Do you intend to speak? And there's the controversy about you getting paid. What's your thought?
PALIN: Oh, you betcha I'm going to be there. I'm going to speak there because there are people traveling from many miles away to hear what that tea party movement is all about and what that message is that should be received by our politicians in Washington. I'm honored to get to be there.
I won't personally gain from being there. The speaker's fee will go right back into the cause. I'll be able to donate it to people and to events, those things that I believe in that will help perpetuate the message, the message being, Government, you have constitutional limits. You better start abiding by them.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, in terms of the tea party movement, is it likely to create the issue that happened in '92 with Ross Perot and President Bush, or will it merge with the Republican Party? And how do you see that happening?
PALIN: They need to merge. Definitely, they need to merge. I think those who are wanting the divisions and the divisiveness and the controversy -- those are the ones who don't believe in the message. And they're the ones, I think, stirring it up. We need to ignore that and we need to forge ahead with a cohesive message. It's a common sense message. It, again, is, Government, limit yourself so that the private sector, our families, free individuals can grow and thrive and prosper and enjoy America's freedom!
VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, thank you very much. And of course, you know I love the state of Alaska, was there as early as '73, even worked there in a law firm many years ago. And it's a beautiful state. So Governor, thank you very much for joining us, and enjoy your state.
PALIN: Thanks so much. Come back up.
VAN SUSTEREN: I will.
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