OTR Interviews

Palin: Contraception rule is unconstitutional act of Obama and 'we're rising up on this one'

Former Alaska governor takes on president's 'accommodation' to the Catholic Church and why battle is not over


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," February 14, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, there's trouble growing tonight for President Obama's contraception rule. The top U.S. Catholic bishop, who, incidentally, is four days from becoming a cardinal, now vowing to take on the president and fight the mandate through Congress, as well as the courts. Today, Archbishop Timothy Dolan, speaking from Rome, where he will be elevated to cardinal on Saturday -- he's announcing he is rejecting President Obama's so-called "compromise." The President said religious groups wouldn't have to pay for birth control for the workers. Instead, under the president's latest idea, the "accommodation," the insurance companies would have to provide it themselves free of charge.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin joins us. Good evening, Governor.


VAN SUSTEREN: Very well. So that's going over like a lead balloon with the Catholic church, the accommodation. Why?

PALIN: Well, I think they're realizing that this is "ObamaCare." Welcome to government-mandated health care and the stripping of our liberties and choices with this takeover of about one sixth of our economy, by the way.

And more power to the bishop for not going wobbly on this one saying, no, that this compromise really is no compromise because the controversy that ensued was based upon the fact that this is an assault on religious liberties. It's government telling a faith-based institution what it must provide, though it does absolutely violate the conscience of that institution. And this bishop is saying it's not going to work.

VAN SUSTEREN: And it's sort of interesting because President Obama is hoping that -- or what he thought on Friday with his accommodation was that insurance companies would make the payments and not the Catholic church. But the thing is that many of these Catholic -- Catholic hospitals are self-insured, so that they would have pay for it themselves.

I mean, so -- I don't know -- I'm sort of stunned at how poorly this was thought out by the Obama administration. They didn't think that one step ahead.

PALIN: Yes, very poor politics that they would choose such a battle. One, to pick a fight with faith-filled Americans. You know, we will fight -- as the father had said earlier on the "Hannity" show, we'll fight to the death for our freedom of religion and for the rights that are protected by our United States Constitution.

This is an un-American act of our president. Anything that would so blatantly violate an amendment within the United States Constitution is un-American. And Barack Obama needs to rethink what he has just done to the people of America because we're rising up on this one. We're not going to back off and we're not going to say OK, it is all right that such a violation of conscience, such a violation of those things that our Founders fought and died for -- we're just going sit back and let it happen to us. Not this time!

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I looked into -- I was trying to think beyond that to the political ramifications in the election. I went back to election of 2008, which was sort of interesting in terms of the swing states. And Florida, Nevada, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan, all important states in the election, is that almost -- more than a quarter of the voters are Catholic.

And it'll be interesting to see to what extent -- because many, you know, practicing Catholics also use contraception, but it'll be interesting to see, you know, how much influence that the Catholic church will have on -- on the flock.

PALIN: It will be interesting to see which institution are quite influential in whatever the outcome will be on this. But Greta, what will be interesting, too, is nine months from now, when the general election finally takes place, to realize that this isn't a partisan issue.

This is going to come down to, as so many examples will surface between now and the November election -- surfacing will be these examples of what this election's all about, and that is it's a party of government and it's a party of freedom that will battle it out in this -- in this court of public opinion and ideas being debated by our candidates. Who will win, a big party of big government or the big party of freedom-loving Americans?

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you think'll happen either way -- let's say that by the end of June, when the Supreme Court finishes its term and they will have made a decision on the constitutionality on health care. If it's declared constitutional or unconstitutional, both ways, the impact for President Obama in November?

PALIN: Well, if it's declared constitutional, we still have the remedy, of course, and that's replacing Obama at the ballot box, getting somebody in there who understands our Constitution and understands the free market and understands that there can be solutions to the challenges facing our health care dilemmas in America that can be market-based and patient- centered. The solution is replacing our president with free market, pro- capitalist ideas on how to solve the problems.

If it's deemed unconstitutional, of course, that solves much of the problem. But it wouldn't surprise me if Barack Obama and his czars, his administration, still try to get around whatever Supreme Court ruling is that surfaces. They'll still try to ram this down our throat because that's how we got to where we are today as something was rammed down our throat.

You start peeling back these layers of the onion called "Obama care," and you start seeing what's in it, and more and more Americans will rise up and say, No, we're not going to stand for this.

Very interested, of course, what this ruling of the Supreme Court will be. But politically speaking, I think more and more people are going to start realizing that we really got taken for a ride on this one.

VAN SUSTEREN: I actually think if it's declared unconstitutional that it will fuel -- fuel his candidacy in an unusual way, in that, you know, people will be -- his base will be energized to try to -- to -- you know, to repair that which they think should be repaired.

But anyway, let me ask you about another question. Your Twitter account and Facebook -- you are now sort of -- I saw that you gave a shoutout to Alan Dershowitz, professor at Harvard.

PALIN: Yes. I'm appreciative of Alan Dershowitz being very bold and non-partisan with quite a few of the positions that he has taken. You know, he defended me, stuck his neck out when he didn't have to on the whole Gabby Giffords shooting issue, where I and a lot of conservatives were being blamed for that. And Alan spoke up about some verbiage that was used to defend me.

And I followed him closely in his career, and especially of late, when he's chimed in on some of these issues, and wanted to re-tweet some of the things that he has said recently.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, he -- one of the things that he's challenging is that he's asking -- he thinks the Democratic Party should back away -- my word -- from Media Matters, which is an organization that has tax-exempt status. And recently, it's come to light that one of their activities is to -- is to do -- is actually to -- is to target on FOX News and do something about it, which brings it out of the charitable -- or non-profit area and into something much different. and it's going to be interesting to watch to see whether Media Matters is going to lose its tax-deductible status.

PALIN: Well, and regardless of the tax-exempt status that they abuse there, I think what Alan -- what the professor was perhaps getting at, too, was this abuse of the freedom of the press, where Media Matters so obviously abuses via lying about organizations and individuals, and then reporting that as fact.

I believe that the professor was kind of calling them on the carpet on that, too, just trying to hold the press accountable so that we don't squander what it is that we have inherited, what it is that we have been given by others who have fought and died for that right in our Constitution protected also.

VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, you know -- you know, of course, it's always important to get our -- you know, the facts right, to try to do our best to get the facts right. But this is going to be an interesting look at Media Matters and to see, you know, whether or not they survive this. And maybe they will, and maybe they won't.

All right, now turning to the Santorum surge. What do you make of that?

PALIN: I think that it is indicative still of GOP and independent voters not being convinced that any one candidate yet has all the solutions, and that's because we spend so much time with this inside baseball stuff, talking about who's and who's down in the race, when what we are seeking is for these candidates to really start debating the ideas on how to get all Americans up, instead of 46 million Americans living in poverty, 13 million Americans not being able to find work, government dependency increasing 23 percent under Barack Obama, where we are headed, what are we going to do about it?

We want to start hearing from the candidates what we can do about that, what their ideas are, and because none of the candidates have articulated yet those things that are really resonating with us to convince us that they are the freedom-loving, pro-free market -- pro-American traditions that built this country.

We haven't heard that aggressive debate focused on that yet. We're still trying to decide who it's going to be. So that allows one candidate to rise one week, another candidate to rise the next week. That's what we've been watching.

VAN SUSTEREN: It sure is a roller-coaster. Anyway, Governor, thank you.

PALIN: Thank you so much.