Interviews

Palin on 'Draft Sarah' Campaign

Will former vice presidential nominee join race for White House?

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," January 2, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, GUEST HOST: One day to go to Iowa, and don’t the GOP candidates know it, five of them crisscrossing state all day today, but is Sarah Palin about to shake things up? Hello. And I’m Eric Bolling, in for Neil Cavuto. And this is "Your World."

She’s at the center of a draft-Sarah campaign in Iowa. Newt Gingrich is hinting he might make her his V.P. pick, but does Sarah Palin have other plans?

The former GOP vice presidential nominee joins me now from Wasilla, Alaska.

First of all, happy new year, Governor. Thank you for joining us on this very, very important, pre-Iowa caucus day. Thank you, again.

So, tell us, what do you think of Iowa? What do you expect tomorrow?

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Well, Iowa with 41 percent undecided participants in the event tomorrow is a big darn deal.

Iowa I think it really is a microcosm of the rest of the United States. A lot of people think it is just flyover country, and perhaps they aren’t reflective of today’s conventional wisdom and thinking. But I think these are salt of the earth people.

A lot of good things will come out of Iowa tomorrow via the results of the voting. And 41 percent undecided, there is going to be a lot of goings-on and shaking-up in the next 24 hours.

BOLLING: Governor, Newt Gingrich said that you were on his short list for potential vice president candidates. What do you think of that comment? Was he genuine or was he playing to your base, looking maybe for some of your votes?

PALIN: Well, doggonit, everyone is always giving these shout-outs and kudos to Gingrich being the smartest guy in the room, and then he has to throw something out like that. That, you know, maybe that doesn’t bode as well, according to my critics anyway, for his intelligence as you would think.

But, you know, Gingrich is a smart man, and he is going to be running circles around the incumbent if he is the one to progress and participate in the debates against Obama. So I look forward to hearing that if he is the one.

But what Newt Gingrich is, I believe, looking at is a broad range of experience and expertise in a lot of areas. And, obviously, way too early to start picking Cabinet members for any of these participants, but it was a bit of a surprise on my end anyway.

BOLLING: Sure, and not only Cabinet member. He mentioned secretary of energy, but he also said he may pick you as a vice president on his ticket, shaking things up a little bit. First of all, did you hear that? And, if you did, what was your reaction?

PALIN: Well, I didn’t hear his precise comments about that.

But, again, I think that is quite early, too. But he knows that I have a base of support of quite independent, patriotic Americans who understand the need for energy security. We understand the need to rein in government growth and spending, or we will be bankrupt, those things that I have talked about for the last few years, Eric.

I think that a lot of my views are reflective of what most Americans today are believing. And I am sure he kept that if mind as he threw out my name. And he will be throwing out other names, as the other candidates will be throwing out also. We have already heard some of that.

BOLLING: Sure. And you know what else we heard? We heard Senator Rick Santorum throw out your name as well. On one his radio ads, he said: Sarah Palin praised me.

Care to comment on that?

PALIN: I did praise Rick Santorum.

And I will praise him again, because I just heard him an interview with him an hour ago with Shep Smith, and he reminded me even in that interview of why so many of us do respect Rick Santorum. Here, he talked about America’s Judeo-Christian foundation, how important it is that we stand strong on it, and that we build upon it, not in a judgmental and condemning way, when it comes to anybody’s lifestyle or any individuals.

He was able to answer Shep Smith’s questions about social conservatism, which is very important to Rick. And in that interview alone, it made me, again, really respect what Rick stands for. And it is no surprise that he has the support that he has.

And his patient way of campaigning over all these months is now really, I think, paying off in the support that is being shown now in the polls. He’s moved up in the last couple of weeks. And as I said a few weeks ago, yes, he would do very, very well in Iowa. And I look forward to seeing the results of what he is able to produce tomorrow.

BOLLING: Governor, take a listen to this. We ran -- had this gentleman on last week. This is the vote rogue Sarah Palin’s Iowa Earthquake ad, take a listen.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NARRATOR: Are you unhappy with the current GOP field? Let me tell you something, you are not alone. Join thousands of Iowans as we vote rogue. It’s the caucus for Sarah Palin on January 3. Let Iowa and the entire country know we want real leadership and real reform in D.C.

So, come on, Iowa. Vote rogue on January 3.

Paid for and authorized by Sarah Palin’s Iowa Earthquake, who is responsible for the content of this ad, not authorized by Sarah Palin, SarahPAC, any candidate or candidate’s committee.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOLLING: So, Governor, what do you think? There is a groundswell of people who want you to run. This ad is just an example of it.

What do you say to those who say, will Sarah Palin jump in this race?

PALIN: You know, I think that there is a groundswell, still, of support for someone who is so committed to the sudden, the relentless reform that is needed in Congress and in the White House in order to get the country back on the right track, in order to get us working again, not just for me, but for others.

And I wouldn’t be surprised if there are names written in tomorrow evening in Iowa. But, at this point, the field is what it is. They all have strengths. All of these candidates have strength. All of these candidates have been strengthened through this process that has been arduous. It’s been a tough process.

I think all the candidates are at a position now where they will be less likely to be overwrought when it comes to dealing with the primary campaign. And it will be tough up against Obama and 90 percent of the media and $1 billion and everything else that they will have thrown up against them.

All of these candidates have been strengthened. And I am happy with this field. I do wish that there were more of them who understood the gravity of the situation when it comes to America’s finances today and would start, really, talking about the budget cuts that are needed. But the field is what it is. And I look forward to supporting the winner of this primary process because the general will be tough.

BOLLING: Governor, you said it a couple of times. The field is what it is, but is there room for one more in the field?

PALIN: You know, I said, I think it was to you, Eric; a couple of weeks ago that there still is time, there still is room in that field for others.

And when I said it, I was surprised that the fingers pointing back to me like I was talking about solely myself jumping in there. I’m talking about a number of candidates, still, who have the practical possibility of jumping in, having their name on ballots or being write-in candidates.

And I think that there is time. And we will see. We will see if that happens.

BOLLING: Sure. There is time in that -- March 6, Super Tuesday, there is a lot of time between now and then.

Granted, some of the deadlines have passed. Some of the very conservative states’ deadlines have passed as well. But if there happens to be a strong write-in swell for Governor Palin, would you consider getting in after Iowa?

PALIN: I don’t see that happening. So, with that hypothetical, I have not really taken the time even to consider it. I don’t see it happening.

You know what I think that voters are desiring? And this is, I believe, human nature. We want a combination of the strengths of all of the candidates who are presently in the field. We want somebody like a Ron Paul, whose domestic austerity measures that he wants to implement can be combined with others who are very strong on foreign policy.

We want to make sure we have the strongest characteristics of each of these candidates kind of being put together in one perfect candidate, which is not going to happen. So we will pick the best that we have that is being offered today, and we will put that person up against Barack Obama and look forward to that vigorous and aggressive campaign in the general.

BOLLING: Governor, earlier today, Donald Trump was on "Fox & Friends" and he said he was getting his -- the quote is getting his ducks in line for a third-party run, in the event whoever the GOP nominates isn’t what -- is up to what he feels is the standard for the GOP.

What do you think of that? Do you think he will do something like that? And, if he did, where would your support lie?

PALIN: Well, I’m getting pretty sick and tired of people condemning and cutting down Donald Trump for calling it like he sees it and exercising his right as an American to express his views, even via talking about a third-party candidacy.

I could not do that because I believe personally that a third-party candidacy will allow some greater assurance that Barack Obama would be reelected. And that is the last thing on earth I want to see happen.

But with Donald Trump, he has been a stalwart, a fiscal conservative in his ideas that he has supported, and that he has progressed as he flirted with the idea of running in the primary. And until he switched to -- his voter registration to independent, he was a strong supporter of many of these Republican candidates. And a lot of them turned on him, I think, unfairly, unnecessarily, in order to appease I guess the more politically correct people in their own campaigns. And I thought that was unfortunate, because Donald Trump has a lot to offer.

He is a businessman. He understands that government’s overreach just quashes the ability for him and others to create jobs for the rest of us, who so desire to make it on our own and not to look to government to make it for us.

So, for those who have continued to cut down Donald Trump, I say, enough is enough, just shut up about it and don’t vote for him if he’s a third-party candidate. Work even harder for your candidate. And I assume that GOP will find out who it is, if not via Iowa tomorrow, then through South Carolina, through New Hampshire before South Carolina, and then Florida after that.

BOLLING: That’s right.

Governor, staying on that third-party candidacy, Ron Paul has maybe indicated -- maybe he hasn’t -- I don’t even know where it came from, but at point or another, the thought of a Ron Paul third-party candidacy was out there. What do you think of that one?

PALIN: Well, with Ron Paul, too, as with Donald Trump, I respect that they have that right to decide to perhaps mount a third-party candidacy.

However, I just see, based on history, based on what I know about campaigns, is too often it allows the power of the incumbency to be strengthened and for that incumbent to stay in there, in this case Barack Obama. Heaven forbid that we have to go through four more years of Barack Obama and his failed socialist policies.

So, Ron Paul, he has got some great things to offer. And, too, I am surprised that so many people are forgetting that he is the one who is running with scissors, to paraphrase Daily Caller, who says, yes, Ron Paul understands that we need to cut domestic spending, not just rein in kind of that trajectory of growth of government, but to actually cut it, so that the private sector can grow and progress.

Ron Paul has got some good ideas in that respect. And he has the strongest, I believe, most loyal base of support. That is why he is going to do well in Iowa tomorrow. And with that base of support, no doubt, they are really, really pushing him to mount that third-party candidacy.

Again, I could not do it, because I will do whatever, anything that I can do to make sure that Barack Obama doesn’t have a greater chance.

BOLLING: Even if it is a Ron Paul GOP nominee?

PALIN: No, if Ron Paul is the GOP nominee, I am there with him. I am. I am talking about if he were to mount a third-party candidacy.

BOLLING: The reason why I ask it that way is because a lot of people have said, yes, Ron Paul has a lot of support. He has got a lot of support in Iowa. He’s got a very -- his backers are out. It won’t matter if it is raining, snowing, sleeting. They will still be there, and they will vote for him, and he will do well.

However, they say he’s less electable, that his electability is much lower than some of the other candidates. So if it were to be a Ron Paul going up against a Barack Obama, some would say, well, that therein lies dilemma. What do you do there?

PALIN: Now, I think if Ron Paul is the candidate -- remember, it is a very arduous and still long process to ever get to that point. It still may be months from now before we know who that nominee would be. So, if he is the one who has been filtered out from all of these primary candidates, if he is the one, then I would be there supporting him. And I would hope that Ron Paul is smart enough to pick Cabinet members and a V.P. who understands the need to support Israel, to go ahead and do all that we can to strengthen our military, and not become an isolationist country, which would I believe lead to a less peaceful world.

And Ron Paul would have to make sure that he surrounds himself with people who can kind of temper some of his ideas on foreign policy.

BOLLING: Governor, there’s -- Iran right now is testing missiles in the Strait of Hormuz or near the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf.

The only reason why I bring that up is that the thought of Ron Paul saying that we should remove ourselves from the Middle East, militarily, while that goes on simultaneously, this can’t bode well for Ron Paul running for president right now, can it?

PALIN: No. The timing, maybe it is providential. Maybe it’s just coincidental, ironic.

But what -- the overheated turmoil right now in the Middle East, I think, is showing us that we need a candidate who will be strong with foreign policy when it comes to protecting our ally in the Middle East, and also when it comes to doing all that we can to domestically develop our own resources, so we are not reliant on these countries in the Middle East to produce for us.

And, you know, again, it kind of goes without saying that Ron Paul is not necessarily the one to strengthen our military, one to necessarily protect our ally Israel. But there is still a lot of debate about that. And Ron Paul, too, he has taken the opportunity to correct some of the misperceptions that are out there about him.

He came out the last couple of days talking about how pro-Israel he is. He just wants to go about protecting of our ally in a different way than most of us would want to. We believe strengthening our military, providing aid to Israel vocally and in other means supporting our ally over there is the way to show support. And Ron Paul, evidently, has some other ideas on how he is supporting Israel.

BOLLING: All right, Governor, by the way, you and I both have spent a lot of time in and around the energy industry. There are a lot of ideas that you have that maybe you could lend to any of these candidates.

Turning the page a little bit, a lot of people come to me, say, Bolling -- we have talked about this, you and I, Governor, a bunch of times -- Bolling, I’m a true conservative. Who do I vote for? I’m looking at a field that doesn’t seem to have a true conservative, at least one that is electable against Barack Obama. What do we do?

Let’s do this one more time, Governor. What should a real conservative -- who should a real conservative vote for?

PALIN: You know I still am not at the point, Eric, to tell people whom I believe that they should vote for.

It has been quite easy for me with senatorial candidates and House of Representatives candidates and gubernatorial candidates. But this go- around, this is a tough one, Eric, still, because, again, with the strengths of all of them -- and, obviously, because man is fallen and fallible, everybody has their weakness, too -- but with the strength of each one of these candidates, gosh, wouldn’t you just love to be able to combine them and find that one perfect person, and go out there boldly and tell people you need to vote for this person, and that is how America will recover?

I’m not there yet in finding that perfect person.

(CROSSTALK)

BOLLING: There are a lot of people out there who say maybe there is someone out there who can combine some of the best parts of a lot of the candidates. I might be talking to her right now.

Governor, let’s talk 48 hours from now, after the Iowa caucuses, the results come, one, two, and three, whoever they may be. Will we see a few of them drop out, if it’s not maybe the leaders right now, Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and maybe even Newt Gingrich? Anyone else, if they don’t end up in the top three or four, do you think they will drop?

PALIN: Well, I don’t think Rick Perry is going to drop out because he has still got money. And money, of course, buys attention. And he will be able to get that attention in New Hampshire and beyond perhaps.

I think Huntsman should drop out, because he didn’t even give it the old college try in Iowa. And I think that that is offensive to the entire GOP and to the entire field in America, where, you know, kind of the heart and soul of America there being represented in Iowa, and Huntsman doesn’t even want to give it the effort that I think most of us would have liked to have seen.

So, I think Huntsman, who, what, he is polling only at 1 or 2 or 3, or whatever the single digits are today, perhaps he will be dropping out, unless he wants to start spending his own money and perhaps even go into debt to run for president. Yes, Eric, I do think that we will see perhaps Huntsman drop out.

And as for Michele Bachmann, she has a lot to offer, also, but I don’t think it is her time this go-around. And I believe that unless she, too, wants to spend her own money or start borrowing money and perhaps go into debt, which, heaven forbid, you do that to your family, perhaps she is one, too, who would start saying, hey, supporters of mine, why don’t we coalesce around one of the other candidates and let’s move together as a team to get that right primary candidate chosen?

BOLLING: Governor, it was a pleasure having you. It was a power block, a long block I requested. I said, this is great. We have the governor, former governor of Alaska on with us, and just wanted your thoughts, Iowa, New Hampshire, going forward, GOP, conservatism, established Republicans.

We have covered it all, Governor. Thank you so much.

PALIN: Thank you, Eric.

BOLLING: Happy New Year. All right.

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