Palin Addresses Obama's Handling of Oil Spill Crisis, Her Political Influence ... and Yes, That Implant Rumor

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," June 11, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin goes "On the Record." She's been clobbering President Obama for his handling of the oil spill, especially for not meeting with BP's CEO, Tony Hayward. Well, the big meeting between President Obama and Hayward is happening next week. Maybe President Obama reads Governor Palin's Facebook page?

Governor Palin joins us. Good evening, Governor. Nice to see you.

SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR/FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Hey, thanks so much, Greta. Thanks for having me.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Governor, you have said about the spill, this 53-day-old spill in Gulf of Mexico, that the president should call you. Were you being flip and coy and having some fun with him, or do you have some ideas that you could give him to help him handle this spill?

PALIN: No, I have some ideas, and I think a lot of other Americans have some ideas, especially those who have some experience working with these oil companies and knowing that there is such a need to verify the information that oil execs would be giving a public official because the oil executive's perception of reality, really, is different than a public official's would be.

In the case of this spill, to see now that we're on day 54 and the Obama administration is just now deciding that they will meet with BP is a pretty atrocious thing to have to realize because, Greta, what this has resulted in is an industry player like BP has been put in the position, this player with astronomical liability exposure, gets to define the facts of the spill, instead of from day one, working together, CEO to CEO level, the president and Hayward and board members of BP working together to define what the facts are in this situation.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK, walk me through this. Suppose that you were in the position as President Obama is, and you've invited the CEO and other executives of BP. They walk into the room. Do you ask the questions? Do you issue the orders? Do they ask the questions? What are you going to do?

PALIN: Well, you know, even before walking in the room with BP, some orders need to be issued. For one, there needs to be a waving of the Jones Act so that we could have had many, many days ago, weeks ago, some help with skimmers from elsewhere, besides just U.S. flagships, come over and help in this tragedy. And that order needs to be given to Admiral Allen right now. It's amazing to me and to so many others that though President Bush had been able to waive Jones Act provisions for Katrina, President Obama hasn't thought to do that yet? And yet surely, that has been suggested by those experts around him.

But to know, too, that it took nine days before anybody in the administration -- finally, it was Napolitano who decided that this was going to be of national significance and a disaster would need to be declared. It took nine days, instead of just from day one or day two realizing that this was going to be a disaster for gulf residents and for the livelihoods affecting so many people -- nine days, and that was a setback for DOD assistance that could have been provided.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, as governor of the state that's so known for on-shore drilling, tell me, educate me. I know what happens when you have huge leaks under water at these enormous depths. What's the worst-case scenario for a leak or spill on shore? Because I'm trying to decide, you know -- you know, which is -- which is worse, not that you want to pick between the, you know, hanging or the electric chair, but which -- can you contain a leak on shore?

PALIN: Absolutely, you can. And that's why it's frustrating to know that the extreme environmentalists have won out, if you will, on disallowing so much of the safe on-shore drilling that is time-tested, the technology that would allow safer drilling there. They've kind of shooed away the opportunity into deep, deep water out in the ocean, where it's been unprecedented, the technology that's been needed in order to remedy a tragedy, a spill like we're seeing today.

Alaska has spill contingency plans that make a lot of sense. And we found out now in this case of the gulf spill that the contingency plan that BP had been able to get approved by MMS and by the feds was boilerplate language taken out of the Alaska contingency plan, and that's baffling to most of us who realize how different the gulf deep water conditions are from the on-shore and shallow water drilling up there in Alaska.

And this is evidenced by, Greta, when you read that (INAUDIBLE) contingency plan that was approved that, obviously, nobody really had read. They're talking about marine mammals that are not indigenous to the gulf, but walruses and sea otters, other things that -- again, it's evidence that language was taken from an Alaskan plan and applied to something that, at the end of the day, we realize is really irrelevant to the gulf conditions, the deep water conditions in the gulf.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, I'm one of those animal extremists, as you saw. I mean, it's, like, you know, that's the first thing I think of. And of course, now we see what's happened to the bird life and other marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. But tell me, what has been the animal response to the pipeline there? Because you know, that's where -- that's always going to be a hard sell with me unless you convince me that the animals are fine. I know we need energy, but I'm a bleeding heart for the animals.

PALIN: Yes, and that's why when you travel up to Prudhoe Bay, you're going to see a thriving caribou herd and other wildlife that has a thriving population because, for instance, the pipeline -- the trans-Alaska oil pipeline that has been built safely and above ground, so that there are walkways for the animals to crawl under. You're going to see no adverse impact on wildlife population. In fact, a lot of the caribou herd has been able to increase dramatically since these 30 years have gone by with pipeline construction.

Alaska is very, very cognizant of the fact that the wildlife needs to be protected. So all that we do with on-shore drilling is to make sure that wildlife and the safety of our workers is so incorporated into the plan for development. This is a tragedy, again, as we're seeing in the gulf, where they did not have the plans to deal with a blow-out under water in such deep depths that now one of the ramifications so negative is the wildlife that will be killed.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, switch topics to South Carolina. You endorsed Nikki Haley for governor. She almost squeaked by. She's got a runoff on June 22nd. Should her opponent withdraw now so there won't be the runoff, or not? I know you endorse her, but what do you think? Should he have his fair shot at this runoff?

PALIN: Well, he should have a fair shot. You know, I'm such a proponent of competition, even into a runoff after a primary where Nikki did win handily, and she's going to win again. And a lot of people are going to look at this as wasting public resources paying for a runoff vote when Nikki's going to thump him again. So kind of a waste of resources, but I'm not going to be one to discourage that continued competition, giving him a fair shot. Fine with me if he decides to stay in it, even though, you know, it's probably going to be a futile effort.

VAN SUSTEREN: How about Mr. Greene, the opponent of Senator Jim DeMint? What do you think about him? He's got some problems, apparently.

PALIN: Whew! He's got some problems! He's got some answers to give, doesn't he. But that's the Democrat ticket's problem. And you know, I think it's kind of a shame, though, that the Democrats, so heavy-handed wanting to shoo somebody off their ticket when the guy won. He won fair and square, and he's the name on the ticket and they're going to have to live with it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Carly Fiorina, state of California, another one of your picks. And I should add that you didn't have 100 percent. Not all your picks necessarily won. But certainly, Carly Fiorina's numbers seemed to jump date coincident with your endorsement. You took heat for that endorsement. Any regrets? And is there anything you don't agree with Carly Fiorina on?

PALIN: I don't have regrets at all about endorsing Carly, and I sure don't and don't think anybody should give me credit for shifting momentum her way. She was on a roll anyway, and my name added to her ticket really is just a two-edged sword that she has to live with because she gets -- anybody is going to get attacked a little bit more, I believe, if my name is attached to their candidacy. So bless her heart, she's got that challenge that she has to overcome because I endorsed her.

But no, she's great and she is what California needs. She is what this nation needs, somebody who understands how to live within their means, somebody who's run a business and understands what it means to make payroll and live within a budget and have to produce in order to be rewarded monetarily. That's something that's so lacking in so many of our government officials! We need Carly in there.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, as we look forward to 2012 -- I know people always say, Are you going to run or you're not going to run? Let me ask you, before I move on to the possibilities, have you made a decision not to run?

PALIN: I have not made that decision, no.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. All right. Now, Governor Pawlenty -- he has not said he's made a decision to run or not, but when do you think that we should start hearing from the people at least on the Republican side? We know who the nominee, at least I expect the nominee's going to be President Obama. But when should we expect to hear from Republicans, you know, either in or out in the race?

PALIN: You know, ideally, Greta, I think it shouldn't be for about another year because there is so much to take care of in terms of in our own communities, in our own states, in helping the individual parties to elect people to make the right decisions to get our country back on the right track that for individuals to start pimping their own campaign so early, I think it's futile. I think it wastes a lot of time. So much can happen in a day, a week, a month of politics in the American system that I think it's kind of ridiculous to start talking about it this early.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, we do the unthinkable in the media. We keep trying to ask everybody, so I think we're sort of partially responsible for doing that to the candidates. Governor, stand by because we have more with you.

PALIN: Well, yes. Yes. All right. And you keep getting the same answers, too, from all of us, don't you!

VAN SUSTEREN: I know. That's true. All right, Governor. Who could forget that infamous Newsweek cover of Governor Palin in running shorts? Well, Newsweek is at it again. We're going to show you the new cover of Newsweek, and Governor Palin will tell you what she thinks.


VAN SUSTEREN: Well, who could forget that infamous Newsweek cover? It shows Governor Sarah Palin in short shorts, running shorts. Well, check out Newsweek's latest Palin cover. Things are a little different this time. It shows Governor Palin with a halo over her head. The headline, "Saint Sarah." Now, the article's about Governor Palin's appeal to conservative Christian women.

Governor Palin is back with us. Governor, what do you make of the new cover? Now it's Saint Sarah?

PALIN: Haven't seen it, but if the title and what I hear about the content is any indication of where Newsweek is going, it's no wonder that Newsweek is doing so poorly. People are not reading that stuff. It's not relevant. It's not interesting stuff that they're making up and writing. And that's why they're going down.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's sort of interesting, Governor. I'll take a bet with you. Maybe you won't take this bet with me. But the last segment, we discussed policy. I asked about energy policy since energy is so important to your home state of Alaska. My guess is this next question I'm going to ask you, which is the buzz of the Internet, it's in mainstream media -- I bet it gets more attention than our discussion about energy. So here it is. Breast implants! Did you have them or not? Because that's all over the Internet about you, and mainstream media.

PALIN: Well, first, Greta, you know why we love you? Because you're not afraid to ask the questions. And I got to respect you for asking that question because I know that "boobgate" is all over the Internet right now because there are a lot of, I guess, bored, idle bloggers and reporters with nothing else to talk about. And I think some of those folks, too, they need to grab a shovel, go down to the gulf, volunteer to help, clean up and save a whale or something instead of reporting on such stupid things like that.

No, I have not had implants. I can't believe, yes, that we're even talking about this. I think a report like that is about as real and truthful as those reports that Todd and I are divorcing or that I bought a place in the Hamptons or that Trigg is not my own child. And we still put up with that kind of garbage, too, in even the mainstream media, Greta. It's amazing.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the reason I -- I mean, I hope that puts an end to it and I hope we don't, you know, be obsessed at it. But it is extraordinary how -- you know, the fact -- the truth is, is that -- you know, is that you show up on -- on -- with the short shorts on the Newsweek cover. That was not a picture you gave Newsweek. Newsweek actually went out and looked for that one. You've got situations where Secretary of State Clinton gets clobbered. And the thing that -- besides the fact of what happens to you and to Secretary of State Clinton and other women who are successful in politics is that -- where are the feminists who are so appalled at -- when things are supposedly -- have you -- have you heard from them?

PALIN: No, Greta. And that is what's fascinating to me about all of this, too, about this -- this kind of platform that I've been blessed to be able to stand on and get a message out there to other Americans, and so much of the ignoring of that message and focus on superficial, really ridiculous aspects of who I am or maybe other women are. For other women who are in positions of some authority and some influence, for them to participate in what it is that, for instance, Newsweek does and some of these reporters talking about breast implants -- to see other women participate in this I think really certainly diminishes their cause for women's rights and for equal treatment of women. It baffles me that they would want to participate in this.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's a bit disappointing, since the whole idea of the women's movement on both sides of the aisle was to make sure women had a level playing field, that they had the same opportunity as men. And if the women are part of the gossip and are promoting it -- and the buzz on this last round with you is enormous. I mean, if you Google your name, I mean, there are -- there are, you know, lots of, lots of articles about this. I mean, it really is distressing that the women aren't stepping up and saying, Look, you know, I agree with Governor Palin or I don't agree with Governor Palin, but this isn't right, you know, that we're -- that we do this to her or to any other women, to -- I used Secretary of State Clinton as another example.

PALIN: Yes, I think it's pretty ridiculous. And what it does, it ends up ultimately wasting time and wasting people's energies. Here's an example of how it kind of wastes some time. To be judged on or to be talked about on appearance, say chest size -- it makes me wear layers. It makes me have to waste time figuring out, What am I going to wear so that nobody will look in a area that I don't need them to look at? I want them to hear what it is that I'm saying. It ends up wasting time and that's just very, very unfortunate.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let's move on to Facebook. You use Facebook. Did you know that president -- former President Bush is now on Facebook?

PALIN: I saw that and I heard that he did his inaugural address. Right on!

VAN SUSTEREN: What -- I mean, it's extraordinary when you think of where politics -- I mean, 10 years ago, even the concept of FaceBook -- I mean, it didn't even exist. I mean, it's bizarre. Now -- now we -- now we, you know, have FaceBook from our politicians.

PALIN: You know why it is? We have got to -- those of us who are just common sense conservative, we have got to have that ability to speak with the American voter, with the public, minus the filter of the "lamestream media" that does not like our message. And in the case where we are presently, they want to protect President Obama's big government agenda. So whatever it is that we say or do or want to translate via print or television, they filter it and they misconstrue things and they misreport. So hey, we're going right to the people via Twitter, via Facebook, whatever we can to get the truth out there to the American public about what's going on in this country.

VAN SUSTEREN: There goes employment in the news business! We're going to lose our jobs if you guys keep doing that, going straight to the people. Governor, thank you.

PALIN: Thank you so much, Greta.

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