This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," June 15, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: Joining us from Wasilla,
Alaska, former governor of that state, Sarah Palin. All right, did you
have a big beef with the president tonight in any way, governor?
SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: I did. I kind of
have a big beef with you too though, Bill, if you don't acknowledge
that President Obama is wrong on his call for a need for energy policy.
Certainly we need that, but he is wrong not to acknowledge that we
still need on a three-legged stool the conventional sources of energy
to be drilled here. Otherwise, Bill, we are going to be dropped to our
knees and bowing to the Saudis and Venezuela and places like Russia
that will keep producing oil and petroleum products, and we will have
to ask them to produce for us because we will still be dependent upon
these sources of energy.
In addition though, too, shifting more towards the renewables which,
of course, we need. And the other leg of that stool is conservation.
President Obama, it scares me, it saddens me that the CEO of our nation
does not understand that inherent link between the conventional sources
of energy that we're dependent upon and our security, our prosperity,
O'REILLY: OK, what was the — when you were the governor of
the state, you dealt with oil companies all the time. What was the most
difficult thing that you had to deal with when you were having meetings
with them face to face?
PALIN: Believing that their perception of what the
circumstances were in any situation that we dealt with them, whether it
be a spill or lax infrastructure maintenance or the value of the
resource that was being sold. In any of those issues, it was believing
what they were telling me and my administration in terms of their
perspective on what the facts were.
Now, here's where the problem lies with President Obama in waiting
so long, you know, eight weeks before meeting with the CEO of BP and
with the high-ranking officials that have been calling the shots. He
has allowed this industry player to get to define the facts. So they
are just in this position of having astronomical maximum liability
exposure. He's allowed them to define the facts of this spill. You can
never be allowed to do that as a CEO and be on a level playing field,
being equals there at the table when you allow one side of the table,
in this case BP, in dealing with this spill to define the facts.
O'REILLY: All right. But 49 percent, according to a poll
today, we'll have later, 49 percent of Americans still want BP to run
the show. And only 45 percent want the government to run the show. So
most Americans aren't down with the Obama administration calling the
Now, President Obama basically is, as Charles Krauthammer pointed
out, a dreamer. I mean, he wants, I think, good for the nation as far
as energy is concerned. You made a very valid point. We can't throw the
oil people under the bus. If we do that, our economy is going to tank
totally. And if we spend billions of dollars on pie in the sky stuff
that doesn't work, we're going to go bankrupt. So what is your solution
here, governor? What would you do tonight? Tell the nation tonight what
you would have said your main point in that speech. Go.
PALIN: Stopping the gusher. That's the No. 1 priority of the nation.
O'REILLY: But nobody knows how to do it.
PALIN: We need to make sure that all technology is being thrown at this problem.
O'REILLY: Nobody knows how to do it.
PALIN: Well, we haven't had the assurance that president — we
haven't had the assurance by the president that that has been his top
priority. Instead, what his top priority is, Bill, is cap and tax. It
is using this crisis, not letting it go to waste, but to use this
crisis to increase the cost of energy.
O'REILLY: All right, if that happens, there will be an outcry.
PALIN: And that is going to stall any kind of economic recovery that we have.
O'REILLY: Are you telling me that you don't think the president's top priority is stopping that leak? Is that what you are telling me?
PALIN: What I'm telling you is that is not what I am hearing
and what the American public is hearing from the top official in our
government. And that's why those poll numbers show that, no, the
public, we don't know where to turn. If we can't trust BP to be able to
fix this leak, we know we can't trust government because they've had
eight weeks of overseeing, of regulating and kind of coaching this
whole process, this whole issue of stopping the leak. And they haven't
succeeded in doing it.
PALIN: So the people are very, very frustrated.
O'REILLY: And that's right.
PALIN: We have to know — we have to know that President Obama's No. 1 priority is to stop the leak.
O'REILLY: But I'm assuming that it is. And I am assuming that
it is. But, look, the reason I'm pleased to have you on the program
tonight is that there is not a governor in the United States who has
more experience than you do dealing with the oil companies. You've
already said you can't believe them, that their word doesn't mean much
when you are debating issues as far as the oil company's interest and
the interest of the people. You can't believe them. OK. Now, the oil
company BP says we don't know how to stop the leak. We're going to try
X. We're going to dig another well. We're going to do this. We don't
know. We don't know. Obama obviously doesn't know how to stop the leak.
Do you know how to stop it?
PALIN: Well, then what the federal government should have
done was accept the assistance of foreign countries, of entrepreneurial
Americans who have had solutions…
PALIN: …that they wanted presented.
PALIN: They can't even get a phone call returned, Bill. The
Dutch. They are known in the Norwegian. They are known for — for dikes
and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills. They offered to
help and, yet, no, they too, with a proverbial can't even get a phone
call back. That is what the Norwegians are telling us, and the Dutch
are telling us. And then the entrepreneurial Americans, the company in
Maine that has the boom and the absorbents, those companies that are
waiting for the Obama administration eight weeks later for the
regulators to come in and say, OK, we'll purchase from you now. We'll
do all that we can. That's where some of the frustration is.
Now, we saw the same thing though with Katrina, didn't we? So, I'm
not going to point fingers and make this a partisan issue at all, point
fingers at different administrations. But it is that inherent problem
that we have with government, not necessarily being prepared, because
our priorities in government are wrong. National security, safety of
the people, needs to be the top priority. That's where we need to be
funding instead of funding these other things on the periphery that
really just get in the way of the private sector's progress, their
ability to produce and to thrive and to prosper, Instead, our
priorities in the national government have been screwed up.
Now, as governor of Alaska, what I did in dealing with the oil
companies, and I'll bet you, 75 percent of my time was being taken up
by energy issues here in this state. I had to set up our Petroleum
Systems Integrity Office so that we could be there on the front lines
making sure what the oil companies were telling us was legit, when they
were dealing with their corroded pipes that we found out and other lax
O'REILLY: Good point.
PALIN: It took us putting that as the highest priority to
protect our resources, to protect our environment, including not just
the physical environment but the human environment here.
O'REILLY: All right. Well, that's a good point. There wasn't
anybody from the management service or whatever — Mineral Management
Service out on the pipeline checking it out. That's for sure.
Hey, Governor, always a pleasure. Thanks for coming on.
PALIN: Now, but Bill…
O'REILLY: Go ahead, real quick.
PALIN: OK. We can't — we can't afford though to — we can't
afford to demonize these energy producers to such an extent though that
they go under. We do need to work with them though, but we need to
verify everything it is and hold them accountable for all that they
have done in this situation.
O'REILLY: All right, governor. Thanks again.