OTR Interviews

Palin on Obama as TIME's Person of the Year: What has he done but drive us over a fiscal cliff?

Former Alaska governor on the findings and fallout from the terror attack in US consulate in Libya and what TIME's choice for Person of the Year means


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," December 19, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Earlier today and after the release of the ARB State Department report, three State Department employees resigned. So is Benghazi now settled, or are there still unanswered questions?

What does Governor Sarah Palin think? She joins us. Good evening, Governor. And your thought tonight about the report on the State Department internal report?

SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Well, as someone said today, quite ironic that there's an admittance of mistakes being made but nobody made them? Nobody's really taking responsibility for the mistakes we made.

I look forward to hearing Secretary Clinton when she does have opportunity to testify because there are so many unanswered questions. And kudos to Fox News for being the news outlet that stayed on top of this story. Americans deserve these answers.

VAN SUSTEREN: I must say, with some level of pride -- I mean, all the sort of heat we took from people, saying that it wasn't a story, and indeed, today, even you have Senator Dick Durbin saying mistakes were made -- I mean, there was a lot of resistance.

My colleagues, for instance, were kept from a State Department conference call when everybody in the media was briefed. Then the CIA had a briefing and they didn't include FOX News. And then there was a security -- the DNI released a report and everybody got it but FOX News. So there's been a lot of resistance to my national security colleagues getting this information. So I do take some pride with them.

The fact that three resigned today, what does that mean?

PALIN: Well...


PALIN: ... significant. OK. That's significant. But still, Greta, I think the bottom line that is so frustrating to Americans is we were deceived. We were led in a season of electioneering and campaigning -- led to believe something that was other than true. Americans were lied to.

And yes, some heads are rolling now. But again, so many questions that are -- have not been answered, and it just really illustrates that lack of transparency in the Obama administration.

For the president even to get out there on a national stage and tell Americans untruths about this situation in Benghazi really begs you to ask the question, what else does he say and do that would be deceptive? I believe it's many, many things that he would say and do being deceptive.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, it certainly is curious. There were two letters sent by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last night, late last night to the chairman of the two Foreign Relations Committees in the House and the Senate, and she talks about how immediately, their eyes were on al Qaeda. And if their eyes were on al Qaeda, the suspicion -- what in the world -- where did this video stuff come up with? And they kept pushing it, the president, of course, Ambassador Rice did, the president did on Letterman, on "The View" -- you know, I mean, that still is so unanswered, like, what in the world were they trying to do with that video business?

PALIN: Well, bottom line is during the campaign in those final days, Barack Obama wanted to keep that false narrative alive that he, Mr. Nobel Peace Prize-winning president of ours -- he pretty much squashed the terrorists' activities, if you will, of some of these Islamic countries that he was able to reach out and kind of stem the tide of that hatred and the violence coming from some of these countries as it pertained to relationships with Americans. And that's not true.

I mean, they even told Americans that al Qaeda was on the run, and that is not true. Maybe they're on the run, but it's towards America, not away from America. And that played out in Benghazi.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, that's certainly peculiar that he said say that because my colleague, Catherine Herridge, saw an August 16th classified cable in which there were complaints that there were 10 al Qaeda training camps in the area of Benghazi. So it's a little bit hard to say that al Qaeda is on the run at that point.

But let me ask you about something else, Governor. Time magazine announcing its Person of the Year. Once again, it's President Obama. Now, Time magazine says it is for the time (ph) the president's success in, quote, "forging a new majority to create a more perfect union."

Governor Palin, your thoughts on that?

PALIN: Oh, the path towards a more perfect union is our Constitution. And I think that we have seen examples of our president not necessarily following the Constitution, in fact, wanting to change the Constitution because he sees it as a charter of negatives.

And he's made statements in the past about his view of our Constitution, and that's -- you know, following it is a blueprint towards a more perfect union.

But Time magazine, you know, I think there's some irrelevancy there, to tell you the truth. I mean, consider their list of the most influential people in the country and in the world, some who have made that list -- yours truly! That ought to tell you something right there regarding the credence that we should give Time magazine and their list of people.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, well, that's an interesting concept. But you know, it's funny, you know, in looking at the -- you know, at the president's choice -- he was chosen before because, you know, when he was first elected. But you know, the thing that strikes me is that -- I can't -- you know, it's Time magazine that says this sort of goofy stuff about, like, you know, whatever -- whatever their criteria is for seeking amid great adversity to create a more perfect union -- I don't know what that means, I don't know. But that's Time magazine. That isn't the president. The president didn't pick those words. That's Time magazine. So I put the -- I put the -- I point my finger at Time magazine when it gets a little silly. How about you?

PALIN: Oh, I think that those are some silly words chosen to describe Barack Obama. When I first heard that, first thing that popped into my mind was, What the heck has he done? Really, what has he done except drive us over a fiscal cliff, which we are over, and now it's time to feel the thud at the bottom of that cliff. It's just now a matter of degree of how hard we're going to hit bottom.

But you know, other than that, really, what has he done to unify and make our nation a more perfect union? For the life of me, I don't know, Greta!

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, if the standard had been successfully winning a hotly contested election, I would give him -- I would give him Time magazine -- I would put him on the cover for that because that certainly was -- I mean, it was a hotly contested race.

But let me turn to another issue, a Christian American pastor locked up in Iran. Reverend Said Abedini was born in Iran, but he is a U.S. citizen. Now, he was arrested back in September when he was on a trip to Iran to visit his parents. Before coming to the United States, Abedini spent years as a leader in Iran's underground Christian community, organizing churches and handing out Bibles on the streets.

And Iran has not yet formally charged him with a crime, but when the Revolutionary Guard arrested him, he was told he would have to pay for his Christian missionary work. His family, of course, is desperate to bring him home and has reached out to our State Department. No luck there, at least so far.

So Governor Palin, your thought tonight about a Christian in Iran who is now in custody?

PALIN: I do hope the State Department will get involved in this. You know, he is a U.S. citizens. And I think this illustrates, too, though, that brutality, that lack of freedom in these Islamic countries and makes you wonder why is it that we're led to believe -- Americans collectively, led to believe that perhaps it's just a fine thing for Americans to be willing to spend and shed our own blood and treasure to usher in Sharia democracy in the Middle East, when Sharia law does call for apostates, those who would convert to Christianity -- they can be put to death.

Why is that we would we advocate -- especially sending our sons and daughters in conflict, they being willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, to usher in Sharia democracy in the Middle East? We really need to rethink what it is that we're doing in some of these countries and our monetary support and military support and some of these countries that would ever support such a thing.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, it's sort of interesting. If you look at the flip side, imagine, I mean, a Christian converting to become a Muslim. We would never -- we would never, you know, stone the person or sentence a person to death or anything else. I mean, like, you know, the enormous amount of tolerance in this county, and yet so many of our -- you know, so many Americans are facing just the opposite other places.

PALIN: And Greta, that is the most excellent point. Thank you for making that point. This is America! We have these freedoms. And we are willing to fight and die for our freedoms. That's why it's so extremely important to protect our Constitution. We are tolerant of other religions and other viewpoints. And nowhere else but America do we have such a privilege, such a blessing to be able to live as we do.

VAN SUSTEREN: We could do a lot better, though, in terms of recognizing people's rights here. I will say that. But I'm going to take the last word on that. Governor, thank you.

And now let's go back...

PALIN: Thank you so much, Greta.