Palin: 'I'm Not the Conventional, Status Quo Politician ... the Last Thing I Worry About Is the Mainstream Media'

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," May 31, 2011. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Here's Governor Palin on her "One Nation" bus tour.


VAN SUSTEREN: So Governor, we're on the bus. Whose idea was this bus?

SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: You know, Todd had this idea. He was reading on an airplane some months ago an article by Thomas Sowell, and in this article, Thomas Sowell was talking about our economy and how to get it back on the right track and how much of the solution has to do with the foundation of America.

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    And Todd -- he texted me when he landed at the airport and said, You know, we need to remind America about our charters of liberty, about our Constitution, about our Declaration of Independence and how America was built on this idea of individual power within us, and then collectively, how we all work together to create this great union. We need to remind America how important it is to protect all that's good about America as written out in our Constitution and our Declaration of Independence. Go around the country and start talking about it.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, you...

    PALIN: Right on!

    VAN SUSTEREN: You've obviously driven the media nuts. I don't know if you've noticed that. But I mean, everybody's talking about it. Everyone's trying to find out where you're going, what are you doing. What do you say about that because it's -- it -- everybody's been talking about it.

    PALIN: Well, you know, I know that many in the mainstream media are looking for kind of a conventional -- a campaign-type tour. And I've said from the beginning this isn't a campaign tour, except to campaign on our Constitution, our charters of liberty. And they want kind of a conventional idea of, We want a schedule. We want to follow you. We want you to bring us along with you.

    I'm, like, (A) I don't think I owe anything to the mainstream media. I think that it would be a mistake for me to become some kind of conventional politician and doing things the way that it's always been done with the media in terms of relationship with them. Tell them to come on along and then we'll orchestrate this, we'll script this, and we'll basically write a story for you, media, about what we're doing every day.

    No, I want them to have to do a bit of work on a tour like this, and that would include not necessarily telling them beforehand where every stop is going to be. You know, if they -- we'll do a stop. We'll do a lot of OTRs, off the records. We'll meet a lot of great Americans. And then I'll write about that at the end of the day.

    And it's not about me. It's not a publicity-seeking tour. It's about highlighting the great things about America. And the media can figure out where we're going if they do their investigative or they are going to keep kind of , as you put it, going crazy trying to figure out what we're doing.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Are you having a little fun tweaking them, though? I mean, on your website, it doesn't say where you're going. I went to your website. We're all trying to figure out -- even -- I mean, we're colleagues, both Fox News Channel. But I went to the website because I don't know the schedule. Are you having sort of fun teasing us a bit?

    PALIN: It's always been unintentional, my tweaking of the media. I just am who I am. And I've always said that I'm not, you know, the conventional status quo politician. On something like this, I'm going to be out there talking about the good things about America.

    Greta, we have very, very heady days in front of our country. We're going bankrupt. We have national security issues that I believe are not being addressed adequately. And in order to know where we have to head as a country, we have to know where it is that we came from, what our foundation is. And that's what we're going to be talking about in these days ahead on this tour, highlighting the good things about America, reminding Americans why we need to restore what's good about America so that we can address these tremendous challenges in front of us.

    The last thing I worry about, really, is the mainstream media and how they are going to perceive me, my family, my friends as we go along the way this summer.

    VAN SUSTEREN: I went on your Facebook page in preparation for this, and you had a posting on the G-8, the fact that the G-8 has pledged money to Egypt and the United States I think is in it for $2 billion. You oppose it. Why?

    PALIN: I oppose it -- A, we don't have the $2 billion! Where are we going to get it? We're going to go borrow it perhaps from China? We'll borrow money from foreign countries to give to foreign countries. That's bad enough.

    What's really bad, though, is not knowing what's coming in Egypt. Their elections are coming up. Who's poised to take control of the Egyptian government? It's the Muslim Brotherhood! And if that were to happen, there's even more questions as to why would our U.S. dollars go to support a government that perhaps will not be friendly to the American government. We need to make sure that...

    VAN SUSTEREN: That's the whole -- I think the point...

    PALIN: What, that we're going to buy their good will?

    VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I -- look, I'm not suggesting I have the answer for any of this stuff, and I don't think anybody does. But I think the fact that we want to sort of help them have a democratic process -- I think that's the thinking. That will somehow, you know, help us rather than hurt us.

    PALIN: Then we would be able to buy their good will with $2 billion of borrowed dollars coming from the U.S.? I don't think so. I'd like to reverse that and say, Prove to us, Egyptian government, that you are going to allow the freedom, the democratic principles in your country to allow the individual power of the Egyptian people, and you will be working with America. We can support you. Prove that you are going to do this first, instead of, Hey, here's 2 billion bucks that we had to borrow. We'll give this to you, and you know, we'll cross our fingers and hope it does some good. I'd like to see that reversed.

    We have to start doing things differently than the way we have been doing things in the last few years. Otherwise, as I say, we will be bankrupt. We will continue to have this foreign policy that essentially is snubbing our friends and rewarding those who have not always been good to America, coddling some enemies. We have to reverse that and do something differently.

    VAN SUSTEREN: I think -- I mean, foreign policy always, you know, is enormously complicated. And I mean, if you take the idea of sort of, you know, buying our friends -- Pakistan is a good example, is that the reason we give money to Pakistan, who's not particularly friendly us to at all times -- and of course, bin Laden was -- was there -- is that we fear that Iran will move in if we move out. We oftentimes have to do that in foreign policy. Do you -- do you disagree with that strategy?

    PALIN: I don't disagree with the idea of providing foreign policy if we know that the money will go to helping the people who live in a country. If there is corruption in the government and we're still providing borrowed money from the U.S., it doesn't make any sense to continue down that road. That's what I mean by having to rethink the way that we provide the foreign aid.

    Here, you use Pakistan as an example. That's a good example. You know, some people are saying, Well, what good did it do us to be providing over these years these billions to Pakistan? We're doing that, and yet some are quibbling over whether we should provide foreign aid to Israel, to our allies there, where we have faith that the money does go to help the democratic principles in a country allowing freedom. And that, of course, is one of the reasons we love Israel is the freedom that they allow their people.

    VAN SUSTEREN: But I guess that -- I mean, I go back to Pakistan, is that suppose that -- I mean -- I mean, when we give them $7 billion or whatever, we don't know where it goes. And yes, there is corruption in government. What's the alternative, just to say simply no and walk away?

    PALIN: We can't be satisfied with just not knowing where our billions of dollars would go...

    VAN SUSTEREN: How do we do that? How do we do that?

    PALIN: That's what Secretary Clinton is for. That is what our diplomats and our bureaucrats are for. They better be doing their job. We want to know where those dollars are going because we don't have the money to be providing foreign countries, not in this day and age when we're going broke, Greta!

    VAN SUSTEREN: The United States, the inner cities have unemployment rates of -- they're skyrocketing, 25 percent, especially in the young African-American teenaged, you know, 18 to 25 age group. What -- I mean, what should we be doing about that?

    PALIN: The private sector needs to be allowed to create jobs! The private sector is allowed to create jobs when our job creators are allowed to keep more of what they earn, what they produce, so that they can reinvest in their own businesses and expand, grow and thrive.

    VAN SUSTEREN: What private sector wants to go into a community that's, you know, wrought with crime and has got horrible unemployment and not a lot of money to buy goods and services? How do you inspire that -- that problem? Because, you know, we talk often about jobs in the middle class. But you know, the lower class economically need help.

    PALIN: Well, this is a vicious cycle. When -- man was created to work, and without a good job, we see societal ills that are caused, like subpar education and security threats and abuse and these societal ills that then government spends so much money on after the fact trying to cure. Instead, if there is an incentive for businesses to be in inner cities, in suburban America, in all these places where people need jobs -- and it's not just inner city, of course, that needs the jobs. It's the suburban areas, too.

    If there is incentives to be there, incentives for business, number one -- lower taxes so that the job creators can -- can keep more and prioritize according to their own needs to be able to expand. That applies to inner city. That applies to suburban and rural areas, too -- incentive to allow job creators to grow, to thrive, to prosper, creating these private sector jobs so that we can stop this entitlement mentality, too, of not just inner city but so many in America who are believing that, Well, you know, government's going to provide for me, so if I can't find a job today, I'm going to be able to or have to rely on government. We need change that vicious cycle, too, because we're going on a couple of generations here with -- in some parts, believing that government will provide for all.

    VAN SUSTEREN: You raise entitlements. A lot of -- a lot of objection over the Ryan budget. And I -- and I use the entitlement work very cautiously because a lot of people don't consider Social Security entitlement. They say, Look, we paid into it. It's not entitlement. You know, it's -- you know, it's really sort of an investment or a savings program.

    What do you -- what do you make of the Ryan budget program with Social Security and also the fuss within the Republican Party about it?

    PALIN: Well, the Ryan plan, of course, focuses less on Social Security than it does on Medicare. And from day one, I have said, Thank you, Representative Ryan, for coming out with a plan. And people who are slamming the plan and calling it social engineering or belittling his efforts, you know, for shame! I want to know where their plan is if they can't support Ryan's plan.

    Ryan has been courageous. He's been fiscally sound in what he has spelled out for America. What he is trying to tell America is that we are going broke. There will be no Medicare for future generations unless we reform this now. And what I say -- he hasn't addressed, as I say, Social Security...


    VAN SUSTEREN: You're right. It was about Medicare. You're right. Ryan talks about Medicare.

    PALIN: But with Social Security, too, if you have more recipients than you have payers into the system, it's like a Ponzi scheme that's going to be upside down in no time at all! We're going to be underwater with Social Security. So all of this has to be reformed.

    President Obama is dead wrong to try to -- he's deceiving the public and making it sound like we just can go along the way that we've been going and still have at the end of the day somebody's retirement years that they're going to able to receive what it is they paid into the system. We're going belly-up, so President Obama is wrong!

    And if he says, and he will say, Oh, we're working on reform, we're talking about reform in our budget -- bull! The Democrat Party hasn't even produced a budget again this year. They have not produced the reform packages that they have promised. He is deceiving the public!

    VAN SUSTEREN: Has the Republican Party disappointed the American people, too?

    PALIN: Well, you know, I think that a lot of the disappointment in the Republican Party has to do with Democrat pundits and many in the media making it sound like the Republicans haven't even tried. Look what the Republicans tried when it came to health care reform. They offered bipartisan participation in the whole "Obamacare" scheme, and President Obama didn't want to hear from them. He did not involve in the health care reform package that he finally unveiled that we call "Obamacare" any of the reforms that had to do with tort reform, that had to do with market- based patient-centered free market principles that should an been applied to reforming health care.

    So starting with "Obamacare," President Obama and the Democrats did not seek that GOP participation. And you can apply that to everything that's coming out of the White House right now. So I think if people are disappointed in the Republican Party, it's because they're not paying attention to what it is that the Republicans are trying to produce! Take again...


    VAN SUSTEREN: Are they blameless, though? Because, you know, I mean, there's so much -- I mean, you know, I've been around Washington for a long time, and it seems like every administration after the next, you know, makes all these grandiose promises...

    PALIN: No, they're not blameless.

    VAN SUSTEREN: ... yet here we -- here we are.

    PALIN: Right. They're not blameless. Anybody who has been a part of the system that has over-spent and over-taxed and overreached into America's private enterprise system is to blame, whether they have an R by their name or a D by their name. So yes, both parties who are -- have taxed and spent us into the quandary that we're in now, they're to blame.

    VAN SUSTEREN: How does one -- and I don't mean you or anybody else, but how does one inspire the American people to stop fighting and get on the same page? Because, I mean, a lot of people are complaining about President Obama. Before that, it was President Bush. I mean, there really is a lot of resistance.

    PALIN: You stop fighting by taking a step back and looking at the facts. Look at the debt that has been accumulated in the last two years. It's more debt under this president than all those other presidents combined!

    VAN SUSTEREN: I think he'd say he's trying to stimulate the economy and so that we can get -- ... much of the debt is the stimulus program.

    PALIN: And that did not work. A trillion dollars in stimulus package projects that still have resulted in record-setting unemployment, a heart- breaking number of home foreclosures, still these crashed markets left and right, these bailouts, these takeovers ... that didn't work.

    President Obama has got to recognize that what other countries have done -- what Greece has done, what Spain, what Ireland, what -- that we are now emulating the mistakes that they have made. It's not going to work! What will work is allowing the private sector to get back to keeping more of what it earns, government backing off, allowing the job creators to do what they do best.

    VAN SUSTEREN: You know, listening to you -- and I know that you say this isn't a campaign. But you got this bus that's, you know, all painted up and you're making the trip and you're intriguing all of us. This looks like a campaign.

    PALIN: It's painted up with the Constitution and with the "We the People," and with part of our Pledge of Allegiance. It's not pictures of Sarah Palin out on this bus because this isn't about me. It is about our charters of liberty.

    And it's reminding especially the school children across America -- that's why I have my dad on the bus, too, as a school teacher. I want the kids across America to realize what it is that built America, how important it is that we restore what's good and free and patriotic about America so that we can prepare ourselves for the heady days ahead because we have huge challenges ahead, Greta. And unless we know from whence we came, we will not know how to get to the place we need to be to get everything back on the right track.


    VAN SUSTEREN: Straight ahead: Is Governor Palin moving to Arizona? Is it to prepare for a political move? And what does she think of that new documentary about her that everyone's buzzing about? Does she love it or does she hate it? And did she have anything to do with it?


    VAN SUSTEREN: More with Governor Sarah Palin.


    VAN SUSTEREN: Could you work with someone like Senator Harry Reid or now leader and former speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi?

    PALIN: When I was governor, I certainly worked on bipartisan efforts every day of our term. And then when you're the mayor and when you're a city council member, those are nonpartisan seats. So yes, I -- and in my own family, we have very independent-thinking individuals that make up a team. So certainly, willing to and used to working with both sides of the aisle. But...

    VAN SUSTEREN: But with compromise, though, because then -- then when you talk about, you know, compromise, then you sort of have to drift away from whatever your principles are. Whether you're, you know, a Republican or a Democrat, when you start compromising, you know, there's a -- there's a drift.

    PALIN: Right. I couldn't compromise principles. And I think people just want to know what they're working with. And what I would do and what I did as governor was lay out from the very beginning, Here's what I believe in. In this case, on a national level, I believe in the planks of the Republican platform. I will never get obsessively partisan in allowing a party machine to manipulate an agenda or tell me what to do. I've never been wired that way. So the partisanship that comes with a machine running something, I don't have time for that.

    But allowing people to know what it is that they're going to be dealing with, what it is that drives me when it comes to national policy, it's the planks in the Republican platform because I do believe that they're best for America. It's all about respecting equality. It's all about the free enterprise system allowing individuals to make decisions better than an elite government far, far away making decisions for one.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, a couple of Palin issues in the news, that you bought a -- they say that you've moved -- or not they say it, there has been the question of whether you've moved from Alaska to Arizona.

    PALIN: No, I haven't moved from Alaska. But Safari Investments has invested in property in Arizona. And you know, many, many Alaskans purchase property in Arizona, Nevada and Texas. And I think we do that because not only are we good investors and it's a buyers' market, but we like fly out once in a while. So Safari Investments, which we are a part of, has some property in Arizona now.

    VAN SUSTEREN: All right, a new movie out about you. Did you participate in the creation of the movie at all?

    PALIN: No, but I'm very, very anxious to see the final cut of this movie because I've heard great things about it. I've seen a...

    VAN SUSTEREN: Have you seen it?

    PALIN: I've seen a rough cut of it, and it blew me away. It was -- I'm, like, Wow! They captured much of the record, much of the agenda that has been so perverted by the media, so twisted around that when I saw a rough cut of it and saw my team from my administration be able to finally set the record straight on the things that we worked on on energy independence, on cleaning up corruption, where people ended up going to jail, Greta, after what it is that we supported, the good things in reform in Alaska. So thankful that much of the record will be set straight.

    VAN SUSTEREN: When did you first hear about the movie? I mean, did they contact you and ask you to help at all?

    PALIN: It was some months ago that we heard that Steve Bannon wanted to create a documentary about, Where did she come from? Who is this person, Sarah Palin? What is her record? Would have made John McCain or the interstate oil and gas conservation commission or some of the other boards and commissions that I've worked on on a national level -- what would have made her want to participate at the level that she eventually did with these boards and commissions and then with John McCain?

    So he contacted me, said that he was working on a documentary. And I'm, like, You know, I'll believe it when I see it, if it really sets the record straight. Because that's how he explained it to me. There have been so many movies and books and articles and things that are so bogus that I didn't really have high hopes for what it is that anybody would be able to produce. But when I saw the rough cut, I was very happy.

    VAN SUSTEREN: So you didn't do an interview with him?

    PALIN: No interview, no.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Did you provide him any notes?

    PALIN: He took my "Going Rogue" book and he pretty much based the movie off of "Going Rogue." And then I did -- so he just took the audio book of it, and then...

    VAN SUSTEREN: I think he bought -- as I understand it, he bought the audio rights to use your voice, as I understand it.

    PALIN: Right. So he's taken much of the audio book and incorporated that in the audio portion of the book, and then filling in some of the blanks, I did a voice-over for him on some of the spots that were missing.

    VAN SUSTEREN: We're coming up soon on Mt. Vernon. This is stop two?

    PALIN: Yes, this is stop two.

    VAN SUSTEREN: Who chose Mt. Vernon?


    VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, I know who chose it.

    PALIN: It was...

    VAN SUSTEREN: You know, many years ago, but...

    PALIN: ... a collaborative effort. And this is one of those places I really wanted to be able to show the kids, you know, George Washington's home and his gravesite, too. I mean...

    VAN SUSTEREN: And you going to tell us -- so is this all mapped out? I mean, I don't know where you're going, and I'm -- well, I won't ask you because I know I'm told to go to the Web site. But do you know where you're going, or are you sort of calling it as you travel in the next couple days?

    PALIN: We know where we're going. There's a couple of different reasons why we're not going to broadcast it to the whole world. One is security issues. But another is if the price of gas climbs much higher, right, Todd, we're not going to be able to go too far.

    So -- in fact, I think one of the decals on the bus says "Drill, baby, drill" over the gas tank to remind people that, you know, when you're playing close to 5 bucks a gallon, you can't go too far in a rig like this.


    PALIN: Speaking of which, Greta, look at the energy issues that must be addressed today. And we cannot keep going with the flow as we have been with a moratorium in the Gulf. And then we're told by the White House there really isn't a moratorium. Yes, there is. The impacts of that moratorium, where 97 percent of our offshore has been locked up -- what we're looking at now is 157,000 barrels per day less next year, and 200,000 barrels per day less being able to be developed from the gulf the year after because the moratorium disallowed the permitting process, disallowed rigs to be able to, economically speaking, stay in the gulf. They moved out.

    So we're going to be looking at $8 billion a day that we're going to be pouring into foreign countries in order to import that make-up fuel that we're going to need to take the place of what we could have gotten out of the Gulf.