OTR Interviews

Palin: Beware voters - the leftist media will try to play you, no matter which way the 'ObamaCare' ruling goes

Could Republicans be the biggest losers if the High Court upholds 'Obamacare'?


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," March 26, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: A Supreme Court ruling on President Obama's health care law could come by late June. What is so significant about that? Well, it's smack in the middle of the presidential campaign. And whichever way the ruling goes, constitutional or not, it will have a blistering impact on the presidential race.

Joining us from Alaska, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Good evening, Governor.

SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Hey, heady stuff we're talking about today, Greta, when you consider that the essence of America is liberty, and many of us believe that "ObamaCare" essentially evaporates much of that essence.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it's certainly are -- these are certainly fascinating times. I can tell you, it's never dull, and certainly not now, and very important times, as well. I certainly agree with you on that.

All right, I describe this as whatever way it goes, that it'll have a blistering impact on the election. Maybe I'm overstating it. But let me give you a hypothetical. Let's say -- you're going to get both hypotheticals. I'll give you one first.

Let's say that the entire law is held constitutional by the end of June. How does that play into the general election, do you think?

PALIN: Then whichever candidate can best contrast their solutions to a health care challenge that we do have here in America, his ideas, his solutions, how they can bring those up and oppose what President Obama has put together in "ObamaCare," then that candidate will do well in the coming campaign that needs to explain more about how "Obama care" should be replaced with a more market-based, patient-centered solution to the challenges.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, it's sort of interesting because if you look at the polls, the poll numbers, that Americans increasingly don't think that the mandate is constitutional. Now, the nine Justices, they get to decide. It doesn't matter what the rest of us think if it is or it isn't.

But I thinking that, you know, if -- let's say that it's declared -- that it's upheld, the statute, and President Obama's facing reelection in November, and there's, you know, 60, 70 percent, whatever the number is, thinks that the mandate's wrong constitutionally. Does that help him, or is it irrelevant? Does that hurt him?

PALIN: I think that it hurts President Obama and it helps the GOP that is explaining to the 70 or 72 percent of Americans who do not believe that the individual mandate, especially, is constitutional, nor is it fair, nor is it economic.

I think that that helps the GOP candidates as we are trying to explain to America that there is a better way to address health care issues in America versus what "ObamaCare" has done, and that is, again, erode that foundation of liberty and free choices and that doesn't adversely affect the commerce clause within the Constitution, a different kind of solution than "ObamaCare."

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, let me give you the flip side. Let's say that by the end of June that the health care law is declared unconstitutional. Does that take the wind out of President Obama's sails as he goes into an election, or does that really fire up his base and want to sort of, you know, regroup and get him reelected and try again?

PALIN: Well, because the leftist media, which is the dominant media in our society today -- because they protect President Obama, they will try to just dismiss the whole issue of it being deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, if that's the way this ends up. And they'll try to just kind of divert attention from voters and they'll move on to other issues.

So it's very important that voters stay focused on the fact that if it is deemed unconstitutional, that President Obama, who claims to be some constitutional scholar, would try to cram down Americans' throat this idea that big, centralized government would be able to usurp not only the will of the people but constitutional enumerated limited powers of federal government.

So the voters need to be very careful in watching what the media, the leftist media, will try to play them, no matter which way the ruling goes, Greta.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Assume now a Romney-Obama -- President Obama, Governor Romney -- matchup. And now you've got the situation where, let's say it's a -- it doesn't matter whether it's constitutional or unconstitutional. But now you've got Governor Romney having to answer for the health care law in his state.

In that matchup, how -- you know, how does -- how does Governor Romney not get rolled over by President Obama on this health care?

PALIN: Well, as Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich have tried to point out, Romney will have his hands full with this one because, of course, he's now kind of dubbed the father of "ObamaCare" with his "RomneyCare" there, mandates that he made sure got through in the state of Massachusetts. So he'll have his hands full there. However...

VAN SUSTEREN: Is that fair?

PALIN: ... where Romney has -- where Romney has gone, in fairness to him, in his explanation, his justification for "RomneyCare" has been the 10th Amendment of our Constitution, which, of course, explains that states do have rights and states have great flexibility.

In fact, they have more flexibility than the federal government when you consider what the enumerated powers are in our Constitution laying out those restrictions, those limits on the federal government.

So that's where Romney will go. But that's what Rick Santorum has been trying to tell people. So has Newt, but Rick's, you know, getting beat up for taking a "New York Times" reporter to task, I think it was yesterday, saying, you know, Quit making things up. I'm telling voters that Romney's going to have his hands full. He's going to be -- it's going to be tough for him to come up against Obama and "Obama care" when he has instituted "Romney care."

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you mentioned the senator, Rick Santorum. Actually, I think we have the sound from that. Let's play that for the viewers.


JEFF ZELENY, NEW YORK TIMES: Do you think he's the worst Republican to run...

RICK SANTORUM, GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: To run against Barack Obama on the issue of health care because he fashioned the blueprint! I've been saying it at every speech. Quit distorting our words! If I see it, it's bull-(EXPLETIVE DELETED)


VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I must admit I just got an e-mail a minute ago, a viewer complaining about Sean Hannity and where the bull-bleep, and I put it on Gretawire. So anyway, I'll give you a shot at this. Your thought on Senator Rick Santorum's response.

PALIN: Yes. Santorum's response to that liberal leftist in the tank for Obama press character really revealed some of Rick Santorum's character. And it was good and it was strong and it was about time because he's saying, Enough is enough, of the liberal media twisting the conservatives' words, putting words in his mouth, taking things out of context and even just making things up!

So when I heard Rick Santorum's response, I was, like, Well, welcome to my world, Rick, and good on ya'. Don't retreat. You are saying, Enough is enough, and I was glad that he called out this reporter.

And he and the other candidates, all of them, they need to do more of this because, believe me, the American people are tired of what that leftist media continues to do to conservatives!

VAN SUSTEREN: Do you think Senator Santorum has a shot for the nomination right now?

PALIN: I do because I believe that anything is possible. And you know, I'm going to continue to say anybody but Obama. I'm going to continue to say all four of the GOP candidates, they have strengths. They have a respect for our Constitution. They want to defend our republic.

To me, it is at a much greater degree, an is much more significant than what our sitting president is capable of doing today. So anybody but Obama.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, thank you.

PALIN: Thank you.