OTR Interviews

Palin: Romney campaign 'can't hold back' and 'has to take the gloves off' against Obama

Former governor on 'No More Solyndras' legislation, rumors of Condoleezza  Rice being Romney's running mate and more

 

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," July 12, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight: Vice President Condoleezza Rice? Could that really be a possibility? Well, Washington is buzzing tonight with rumors that Condoleezza Rice tops Governor Mitt Romney's list for vice president.

Secretary Rice recently told us she is not interested in the job. But the Drudge Report reporting tonight that Governor Mitt Romney is narrowing his choices for a running mate and Secretary Rice is the surprise front- runner.

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

SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Good evening, Greta. How are you?

VAN SUSTEREN: I'm very well. And so the board game begins, where we all sort of try to guess, and Drudge has it up as, you know, developing. We don't know who his source is, whether it's true or not. But your thoughts about the possibility that Condoleezza Rice could top the list?

PALIN: I think that Condoleezza Rice would be a wonderful vice president, and she certainly has much more experience than our sitting president does today.

VAN SUSTEREN: What about the fact that she is, quote, "moderately pro-choice"? I looked it up a little bit to see because I think that Governor Romney has said that he won't pick anyone who is pro-choice. Her -- the quote that's attributed to her is that she's "moderately pro- choice." Assuming that she is even on that list -- and I don't know -- but could that ever be reconciled?

PALIN: I would certainly prefer a presidential and vice presidential candidate who had that respect for all innocent, precious purposeful human life and showed that respect via being a pro-life candidate. We need to remember, though, that it's not the vice president that would legislate abortion, and that would be Congress's role. And we'll keep that in mind.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's almost like with this announcement, it's sort of, like, you know, unlock the insane asylum because now all the journalists are going to chew on this for the next 24 hours. You know, one Web site puts it up and we go absolutely nuts. And we don't know if it's true or it's not true.

It's an intriguing thought. She certainly has foreign policy experience. She's African-American. She's a woman. I mean, she's -- she's from a different state. I mean, there are many things that would make her, I would assume, an exciting candidate for Governor Romney.

But there is a little bit of sort of, I confess, the silliness part of it.

PALIN: Well, yes, because you journalists, you know, with your very fast-moving news cycles, you're always looking for something to talk about. So you know, that plays right into that.

But again, Condoleezza Rice is very experienced, especially in foreign policy, having served under President George Bush. And you know, I think her credentials far surpass Barack Obama and Joe Biden's.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, let's move on to some other topics. There's a lot going on in Washington. Another sort of interesting topic is Solyndra and the -- and David G. Frantz, who's the acting executive director of the Department of Energy's loan program office, has described the loan program to Solyndra and others as, quote, "enormous success."

What's he smoking?

PALIN: What is he smoking? I would say, yes, I guess his measure of success could be considered just how quickly can we bankrupt this country using other people's money, taxpayers' hard-earned money and borrowed dollars from China to give to Solyndra that goes under and that being considered a success.

This fellow could be a character in George Orwell's book "1984" -- quite Orwellian, his thinking on this. I'd be embarrassed to death if I were his boss. If I were the president, I would certainly try to find a way to apologize for such a ridiculous comment.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I'm wondering if either he wants a do-over or whether we somehow have a -- you know, an incomplete thought or something, I mean, because you look at the numbers, Abound Solar, $400 million, and that was a bankrupt company. Beacon Power, bankrupt, $43 million. Solyndra, bankrupt, $535 million. And the other -- there are some other companies that are, you know, deeply in trouble.

That is in my wildest dreams, I can't -- I can't reconcile the enormous success describing that program. You know, I figure that, you know, there must be more to it. He couldn't possibly mean that.

PALIN: No, I think he does mean that, that he believes that this failure is actually a success because that is, I think, indicative of the thinking of the Obama administration, and that is money is no object. Budgets are no object. Heck, we -- we're going on four years without a federal budget, even.

And the president could lead the charge on actually creating a budget that would be sustainable and would actually be adopted by Congress, and yet he refuses to do so.

I think there's just skewed priorities and a lack of understanding of what real capitalism is, and that's taking risks with your own money and that entrepreneurial spirit which built America. I think that that type of conventional, traditional thinking about the free market and capitalism is absent from the Obama administration. So it doesn't surprise me that the fellow would make the comment that he did and that he gets a pass on it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I think the viewers ought to hear the comment, at least want to, you know, so we -- so they don't think that we're just making this up that he called it enormous success. Let's listen to the sound bite from Mr. France.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't you agree that the loan guarantee program has had a tough record?

DAVID FRANTZ, ACTING HEAD, DOE LOAN PROGRAM: Quite to the contrary, sir. I think...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, all right...

FRANTZ: ... it's an enormous success...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, we have...

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: I don't know if he was cut off and there was more, if he meant an enormous success at perhaps causing bankruptcy lawyers to get a job or something. I don't know. Maybe there's a "fill in the blank." But it's, like, you know, for the life of me, I can't figure out how he describes it as enormous success. But anyway...

(CROSSTALK)

PALIN: As you made the point, though, Greta, as you made the point, it's not just Solyndra, though. There is a list of these failed, bankrupt, insolvent, uneconomic projects and programs that are the hallmark of the Obama administration. And yet they think that they deserve four more years of the same. That's insanity!

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, there are some companies that naturally go belly up. You know, you can make bad business decisions.

But the thing that's so baffling about Solyndra is that before they even agreed to sign -- sign over a loan to Solyndra, it was -- it was well known that you could buy solar panels cheaper in China than you -- than it was -- than Solyndra could make them. So just from a -- (INAUDIBLE) basic, fundamental business, it was just stupid.

And if you can't get private venture capital, you know, to throw in a couple dollars, that's a good sign that nobody wants this deal. So it was...

(CROSSTALK)

PALIN: Follow the money. Follow the money. The dots that are connected are to campaign donors of President Obama's. It's crony capitalism on steroids, where you see these grants and these loan guarantees end up. It is to his pals.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, I -- look, I -- I'd love to see alternative energy. You know, I'd love to get our dependence off foreign oil. But you know, when you make decisions like this, you actually set back alternative energy because now nobody's got an appetite for it.

When -- the American people -- how can they possibly have an appetite for it when you see this blunder in the millions of dollars? You know, I think it's incredible, what has happened to the, you know, alternative energy because of these -- you know, they were just -- they were stupid decisions.

PALIN: Yes. And when you consider that our conventional sources of energy are still sitting untapped, our known reserves and fields that are so rich are untapped. And yet we're throwing money left and right at these experimental -- some hair-brained snake-oil science-type projects, in some respects, then that really frustrates the American public.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, the candidate for your -- for the Republican -- for the president -- Republican Party, Governor Romney, went to the convention, NAACP, in Houston yesterday, got booed, in part. He also got - - he got applause at times. Would you have advised him to go there?

PALIN: Oh, heck, yes. I'm so glad that he went there. And he got a standing ovation at the end of the speech, and that was given him by those who paid attention and stayed to the end, if you will, and heard what he had to say.

And what he had to say was how important it is that there is equal opportunity for prosperity and security for all Americans, and you do that by empowering the people, not by growing government.

So yes, a smattering of boos here and there, especially when it came to his commitment to repeal ObamaCare, which is a necessity in order to allow our country to be solvent and allow more health care choices to be provided the people. A smattering of boos for that comment and maybe a couple other comments, but overall, standing ovation, indicative, I think, of a respectful audience who stayed to hear what he had to say.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, leader of the Democratic Party in the House, Nancy Pelosi, said (INAUDIBLE) and I'm not going to get this quote right, but essentially, that he -- you know, he went there to get booed, to draw the boos and to create an effect.

And you know, so imagine this. Imagine that he had been invited by the NAACP and he decided not to go. You know, I'm curious what she and his political opponents have to say about that. You know -- you know, he was invited to speak there and he went.

PALIN: Well, you know what they'd say if he didn't show up. They'd say he's racist and he chose not to speak to this group. You know, that is one paranoid politician, though, who would take such a stretch there and articulate, you know, comments like that that he actually went to the NAACP and made comments about ObamaCare and other things that Mitt Romney firmly believes in to change in order to get the country back on the right track. And from there, she would accuse him of -- well, this false accusation.

VAN SUSTEREN: The race in November, the Hispanic vote's going to be important. And Governor Romney was very strong against certain immigration reforms during the primary. In fact, he said he would -- he would veto the Dream Act if he were president, ended up in his office.

How in -- how does he possibly -- in light of the run-up, the primary race, how does he possibly get Hispanics to have any enthusiasm for him?

PALIN: I believe that Governor Romney will continue to explain his position on legal immigration and how important and valuable that is to our country. Of course, our country was built by hard-working immigrants who, you know, kind of paid their dues, stood in line like everybody else in order to become a citizen. And he supports that because he knows the value of legal immigration and all that it has to offer to this most exceptional nation. He'll talk more about that.

And I believe that those fair-minded Hispanics and all other Americans will recognize what it is that he is saying, understand what he is saying about equal opportunity and still following the law. And I believe that he can garner that support from Hispanics.

VAN SUSTEREN: What do you make of the food fight that's going on as - - the recent -- today, the deputy campaign manager of President Obama's campaign, Stephanie Cutter, accused Governor Romney of either being a liar or a felon. I don't know -- I guess it's better to be a liar than a felon. Nonetheless, both are terrible. He's calling for an apology tonight.

PALIN: I'm glad that he is forcefully calling for an apology. But Mitt Romney and his campaign people perhaps don't even know what's coming, what will be hitting him. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

President Obama and the people whom he is surrounded with and in that campaign, they're going to be brutal. And they will -- they'll throw these false accusations and they'll try to ring a bell that you can't unring again in the public's perception about who Mitt Romney is, what his record is.

He needs to be prepared, and the campaign can't hold back in defense of Romney's record and what it is that he actually believes and stands for. So I'm glad that, in a case like this, he's demanding an apology. He's got to take the gloves off, the Romney campaign has got to, in order to effect the change that is needed in this campaign and turn things around for the country. Can't hold back.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, thank you.

PALIN: Thank you so much, Greta.