Sarah Palin explains thought process for possible 2016 bid

Former Alaska governor spoke at the Iowa Freedom Summit


This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," January 27, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: And also at the Iowa Freedom Summit this weekend was Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska.


SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Things must change for this cover -- our government. Look at it! It isn't too big to fail, it's too big to succeed!

Man, the middle class, everyday Americans are really getting taken for a ride. That's status quo! And GOP leaders, by the way -- you know, the man can only ride you when your back is bent! So strengthen it!


HANNITY: All right here with reaction, Fox News contributor, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Governor, good to see you. Welcome back.

PALIN: Thank you.

HANNITY: All right, so prior to this, while you were there on the ground, you were asked if you're considering running for president. Your answer?

PALIN: I was asked by a testy (ph) reporter while I was promoting my Sportsman Channel show, "Amazing America With Sarah Palin." I was asked if I were to be interested at all in running for office, maybe presidency.  And it's certainly not newsworthy for me to have answered, Oh, yes, I'm interested. Yes. Next question?

I think anyone who has been blessed with an opportunity to serve the American public in different capacities and within their own state to not be interested would be not standing up to -- to what's right and doing what's right.

HANNITY: Are you considering for 2016 a run for the presidency? Are you thinking about it?

PALIN: Oh, I, along with so many others on a deep bench, no doubt are thinking about it. But it's much too early to say whether I, and I'm sure others would answer the same way, they would be throwing their hat in the ring.

HANNITY: All right, we do expect -- I mean, come March, April, a lot of people are on the ground in Iowa. You were in Iowa for the speech.  They're putting together campaign teams, hiring people on the ground. Are you talking to people about that? I mean, walk us through the thought process for you in terms of what it means...

PALIN: Well, my thought process personally, and you know, near and dear to my heart, of course, obviously, would be my family and receiving their blessing to go forth as first and foremost. And of course, being a Christian, putting my life in God's hands, seeking guidance and inspiration divinely as to whether to run or not is -- that's top of the list.

As for the practical, logistical steps you take, yes, I have a small team. And of course, that would expand if any decision were to be made to move forward. And in the meantime, you know, I'm going to continue to do what I'm doing, and that's helping find other candidates in other positions to get out there and do what's right for their cities, their states, for our country because the middle class, as I said in that Iowa speech, really is getting the shaft with policies coming down from, in a lot of cases the state levels, certainly the federal level, that are hurting working class Americans.

And the GOP had better find competitors who understand how to not just relate to and speak to the working class, but to implement policies that work and that they have a track record. A lot conservative governors have that track record, showing what those policies are and how they have implemented them, proving their mettle.

HANNITY: Yes. You also got criticized for the speech by a lot of people, even some of the people in the crowd that tend to be supporters of yours, and then there -- did the teleprompter go down? Did you have trouble with the copy? Was there any moment in the speech where you had any difficulty, because people have been so critical?

PALIN: Well, you know, I don't read the praise and I don't read the criticism because I know how you guys -- or how the media in general works.  I'm used to teleprompters...

HANNITY: I'm not "you guys." I don't want to be...

PALIN: ... not working.

HANNITY: ... part of that group.

PALIN: Remember at the GOP acceptance speech back in '08, the teleprompter broke there, too. It didn't work, and I kept on going. So no, you know, I don't know. I received a standing ovation throughout, and at the end of the speech. So I don't know. I think a lot of this herd mentality of some reporters would -- that kind of exacerbates some of the criticism.

But I don't know what (INAUDIBLE) really would, when you talk about the meat, the content of the speech, would criticize when I talk about courage and integrity and a track record of any candidate that is needed in order to be able to sincerely serve the people of America, who deserve real hope and real change, and not more of the same, not more of the status quo, this old energy, if you will. But we need new energy, new ideas. And as I say, very, very important that we have a track record proving what works.

But what I also made a point of in that speech, Sean, and this is important, is knowing what the media is going to do throughout 2016. And my prediction, Hillary will be running and she will be, you know, the knighted candidate on the left and with the media. Knowing what the media is going to do, it's going to take more than a village to beat Hillary.  There needs to be unity, understanding that we have that -- conservatives have that strike against us, you know, right off the bat. That being the media. Even there on FOX, you know, kind of a quasi or assumed conservative outlet, and we have all day listened in to the tease of Bill O'Reilly. He's talking about the guests on his show tonight or the commentary on his show. And that would be, Oh, all these GOP contenders thinking about running for president, like Donald Trump, Sarah Palin, and he names them off. He says, Oh, what a reality show that would be, yuck, yuck.

Well, the left doesn't do that, OK? They take this serious because this is war. And hopefully, the media, even the quasi right side of the media, won't be looking at this as some kind of reality show, a joke, because maybe they have theirs...

HANNITY: Governor...

PALIN: ... so they're taken care of. They're fine. No. The people of America deserve the best, and competition through a GOP primary, whether a Bill O'Reilly or somebody else assumes it's a reality show or not, they deserve that competition to surface the competitor who can take on Hillary or whomever it may be and win for this country.

HANNITY: You know, Governor, when people ask me what I'm looking for in the next president, I say I want the -- I believe conservativism works.  We've got nearly 50 million Americans in poverty, nearly 50 million Americans on food stamps, lowest labor participation rate, record debt and deficits. I'm looking for the most conservative candidate with an inspiring agenda that can win. That's what -- that's -- because I think it would be good for the country and good for those people that are suffering needlessly. What would be -- what...

PALIN: Well, of course, but don't forget that person needs -- that person needs a track record to have proven what it is...

HANNITY: No, I agree.

PALIN: ... that they have accomplished in the past.

HANNITY: No doubt.

PALIN: Have they taken on corruption? And something to match the rhetoric that you're going to hear from every candidate.

HANNITY: So my question to you is, if you did decide to run, what would be the -- what are the things that you would tell people? I'm looking for somebody that's going to say, I'm going to do this, this, and this, I'm going to get people out of poverty, I'm going to balance the budget, I'm going to be energy independent, I'm going to secure the borders. What's your agenda? What would be -- what would be your message?

PALIN: Bingo! Check, check, check those (ph). Absolutely. We are going to drill, baby, drill. We're going to become energy independent.  We're not going to scoot on over to the Saudis and ask them to develop for us, to prohibit any kind of adverse effect of some future energy crisis.  We're going to do it ourselves.

We're going to slash the corporate income tax. We are going to put chasing jobs off our shores onto foreign lands. (sic) We're going to secure our borders because we know that a country without borders is not a country. There's no hope for solvency sovereignty without borders.

We're going to make sure that we have an education system that is in the hands locally, not a big federal level one-size-fits-all Common Core type of education curriculum, but locally putting the teachers and the students first, not bureaucracy.

And we're going to take on crony capitalists who have utterly destroyed the middle class because they've been the ones being able to receive these loopholes and build more loopholes in tax formulas and in favoritism from a federal budget because they can afford the lobbyists and they can afford the lawyers to make sure that laws are written in their favor.

So we're going to take on things like that, that corruption, and we're going to put America back on the right track because America deserves the best. We are exceptional. We're losing that today.

HANNITY: All right...

PALIN: And we certainly need candidates who are willing to be...

HANNITY: Last question...

PALIN: ... competitors, fighters for this...

HANNITY: Odds...

PALIN: ... to prove it.

HANNITY: Odds you're running?

PALIN: I'm not going to give any odds. I still say it's too early.  It's too early.


PALIN: And yes, sounds cliche (ph). You're going to hear the same answer from everybody else, I'm sure. But it really is too early.

HANNITY: All right, Governor, thanks for being with us. Appreciate it.

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