Governor to Governor: Former Gov. Swift on Gov. Palin and Media Criticism Against Her

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," October 3, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Tonight: Governor Palin debated last night, but she had more to say -- Governor Palin in her own words. FOX News's Carl Cameron sat down with Senator McCain's running mate for her first interview after last night's vice presidential debate, and no topic was off the table, including Governor Palin's now infamous interview with Katie Couric.


GOV. SARAH PALIN (R-AK), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: I guess I have to apologize for being a bit annoyed, but that's also an indication of being outside of that Washington elite, outside of the media elite also, and just wanted to talk to Americans without the filter and let them know what we stand for.

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: OK. So at the risk of annoying you...


CAMERON: ... When you were asked, you know, What do you read, newspapers or magazines...


CAMERON: ... You didn't answer it, or you said, Well, I have all kinds of resources.

PALIN: Right, right, right.

CAMERON: What do you read?


VAN SUSTEREN: So you think Governor Palin answers the questions this time? Well, you will see that entire interview by Carl in moments.

But first, the dust is still settling after last night's vice presidential showdown in St. Louis. The largest audience in the history of FOX News tuned in for that debate, and the two candidates did not disappoint.


SEN. JOSEPH BIDEN (D-DE), VICE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: If you notice, Gwen, the governor did not answer the question about deregulation, did not answer the question of defending John McCain about not going along with the deregulation, letting Wall Street run wild.

PALIN: Say it ain't so, Joe. There you go again, pointing backwards again, though. You prefaced your whole comment with the Bush administration. Now, doggone it, let's look ahead and tell Americans what we have to plan to do for them in the future.


VAN SUSTEREN: If elected, Governor Sarah Palin will be the first female vice president in history. Our next guest knows something about breaking glass ceilings. She was the first female governor of Massachusetts. Former governor Jane Swift joins us live. Nice to see you, Governor.

JANE SWIFT (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR: It's nice to be with you tonight.

VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, every candidate, from either gender, race, whatever, has particular challenges. What do you think Governor Palin's challenge is today, the day after the debate, as she races towards election day?

SWIFT: Well, first of all, it's too bad she doesn't have more debates because I think she did a great job last night. And now that I'm back home, the people I talked to really think she connected with their concerns and had some real solid differences with the Democratic ticket.

But I think that the challenge, Greta, is for her to find ways to speak in a big enough platform directly to the families of America about what she wants to do, about what she and John McCain stand for, how they're different on taxes, on energy independence, on national security, from the Obama-Biden ticket.

And you know, you don't get a lot of opportunities to do that, unless you are talking through the media. So I think she has to figure out, like, apparently, she did today, ways that she can use the media to connect directly with Americans, like she did last night.

Watch Greta's interview with Former Gov. Swift

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's interesting, when we watched Senator Clinton run for the nomination last spring, there was a lot of discussion about sexism, whether the media was sexist towards her. But let me ask a little different question. Is the media a snob and acting arrogant towards her, or at least some?

SWIFT: Well, the media are definitely snobs. And you know, I think that there is a tendency -- we're all like that, actually. You know, you're most comfortable with the people you know, who go to the same church that you do or whose kids go to the same school that you do. And when somebody or something, particularly a powerful force, comes in that's different and wants to shake things up, you know, that can be unsettling.

But you know, Sarah Palin -- Harvard is a great college, Williams College, where I live, but she didn't go to one of those elite schools. And she is out in Alaska. Her accent is different than mine or yours. And I think sometimes that does make folks judge her differently.

But boy, I think Americans are basically fair, and last night, they got to hear directly from her. She was comfortable. She was direct. I think she did answer the questions and talked about what she wants to do as John McCain's running mate, and hopefully, as his vice president.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know what I thought was interesting -- and setting aside, you know, her policies or her thoughts -- I mean, I don't want to get near that one. I'll let the voters decide whether she has the right policies for them. But the one thing that struck me is she's tough. She got a beating by "Saturday Night Live." She's gotten a beating by many in the media. But she can take a punch.

SWIFT: Well, you know, I wanted her to do well last night. I think, obviously, all of us who have supported John McCain for so long wanted her to do well. We knew she needed a big night. I was a nervous wreck. She was cool as a cucumber.

You know, what she did last night is not an easy thing to do, and that is important, I think, to voters, to know she's tough. Listen, we need our vice president and our president to be tough. We've seen how John McCain was tested. We know his personal history. We know he can withstand enormous pressure, more than any of us could ever withstand. And you're getting to take a measure of Governor Palin and see just how tough she is.

But you know, if we had paid attention to her record -- not to get too much into issues, Greta, but if we had paid attention to her record in Alaska, she stood up to a lot of special interests and powerful people in her own party and in the private sector in Alaska when she thought they were doing the wrong things for the families that she represented. So we had an inkling she was tough, but sometimes, you just have to see it to believe it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I thought it was a fascinating interview (SIC), and I thought that Senator Biden did an extraordinarily good job. They both did. And now, of course, the voters will get to decide, and we actually have a little more time to discuss it before the election, so we'll see what they decide. All right, Governor, thank you.

SWIFT: You're very welcome. Thanks for having me on.

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