Will Bristol Palin's Teen Pregnancy Impact McCain-Palin Ticket?

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This is a rush transcript from "America's Election HQ," September 1, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

MEGYN KELLY, CO-HOST: Well, Gustav is not the only news catching some attention today. Gov. Sarah Palin confirming that her 17-year-old daughter is five months pregnant and that the child will marry the father.

Video: Watch Megyn Kelly's interview

Asked to comment, Barack Obama says the revelation of Bristol Palin's pregnancy should play no role in this campaign.


SEN. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I have heard some of the news on this. So let me be as clear as possible. I have said before and I will repeat again — I think people's families are off limits. And people's children are especially off limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president.


KELLY: Joining us now is Nancy Pfotenhauer, advisor to John McCain's campaign. Nancy, hi.

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KELLY: So that was the call from Barack Obama making clear in no uncertain terms to Democrats and those that support him this is not a campaign issue and it shouldn't be touched.


KELLY: Do you think they will follow him?

PFOTENHAUER: Well, I think Sen. Obama and Sen. Biden will be very careful about what they say. I would hope that even the Democratic Party activists will be as well. I mean, this is a personal family issue. It's one where young Bristol has shown courage given the situation that she's in. And I'm sure she never anticipated this playing out in a public glare and her parents have shown her love and support which is exactly what they should do.

KELLY: You can only imagine what the 17-year-old is going through now that they have this news made public at a national level, what that's like for her. Notwithstanding that, there were some far left Web sites who go nameless on this broadcast that seem to take advantage of it today. And started saying things like, "So much for abstinence-only education.

PFOTENHAUER: Shame on them for trying to make a political issue out of a private family matter. And I think in the end that ultimately they just hurt their own credibility when they do this. The American people are kind and understanding, and this is real life, and they know that. And I'm sure their hearts go out to the family. Their hearts go out to the young woman who is having this played out on national television. And I would hope that those Democratic bloggers would stand down just out of a sense of common decency, if nothing else.

KELLY: I mean, do you think when we watch these politicians, whether it is Barack Obama, John McCain or Sarah Palin, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) we forget that they are regular human beings. They have regular old problems like we all do.

PFOTENHAUER: Exactly. You know, there's not — I have five teenagers myself.

KELLY: You do?

PFOTENHAUER: I do. The youngest is 15 and the oldest is turning 21, so maybe, technically, all that goes down to four soon. But the bottom line is we have all had to deal with this at some point in our extended family. Again, your heart just goes out to the family. I am proud that Bristol made the decision that she did facing this situation in life. And I am very proud that her parents responded with such love and support, and that she knew that there was they were the kind of parents who would respond that way. That's nearly enough said. I mean, it's a private personal matter.

KELLY: You know, then it came out that John McCain had said — the campaign said he knew about this before he chose Gov. Palin. It wasn't an issue for him, obviously.


KELLY: But then, people started to question, did he really know? Is that some sort of spin?

PFOTENHAUER: OK. This is just a modicum removed from he cheated at Saddleback. Whenever he behaves the way John McCain has always behaved, which is a man of integrity and courage and compassion, they try to spin it differently. But of course, Gov. Palin is the type of person who would have explained the situation to Sen. McCain and of course Sen. McCain would respond the way he did. She's incredibly qualified. She won this position on merit.

KELLY: So what do you think is the bottom line for Democrats and Republicans who are watching the Palin family now go through this?

PFOTENHAUER: Well, I think they will — and everyone who has an overt role has tried to do this, has said, "Let's step back and give the family their privacy right now to help them get through the glare, if you will, during this difficult time."

KELLY: Barack Obama has said that, too, and he says the attacks did not come from his campaign and he said if they did, the person would be fired. So I mean, he made clear in no uncertain terms that it is not fair game as far as he's concerned.


KELLY: Nancy Pfotenhauer, thanks so much for being here.

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