This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," November 30, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
VAN SUSTEREN: Governor, I assume you've heard the clips that we just played, and there are some who think that Ambassador Susan Rice is not being criticized for her performance but for reasons rooted in sexism. Your thoughts?
PALIN: Oh, I guess they reach very far in an argument like that, saying this -- what the heck does this have to do with gender or skin color or anything else? This has to do with competency.
And Susan Rice's handling of Libya has been part and parcel of the Obama administration's handling of Libya, which has been appalling. It's been atrocious and it's really indicative of a lack of competency and truthfulness and certainly transparency in the entire Obama administration. It has nothing to do with her gender.
VAN SUSTEREN: I actually, in sort of a curious way, think there is sexism involved here. And I think it's appalling, and the sexism is this way, is that for some reason, because she's a woman, she's given a pass, that she's held to lower standards, which I object to. I want to be held to same standards, equal standards, but there are some who will let her take a pass for giving false information, whether knowingly or unknowingly, sitting on it for 73 days until about three days ago, when she spoke to some U.S. senators behind closed doors.
For some reason, she gets a pass on that! I don't get that, and I think that's actually demeaning to women if that's why she's getting that pass.
PALIN: Yes. I agree. And still to this day, no apology, no clear explanation to the people of America as it pertains to what really happened there in Benghazi. And again, just the illustration, I think the prime example, of the lack of transparency and honesty that is exemplified in the Obama administration. Very sad.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, there have been 73 days. It wasn't until this week when -- when the information finally came out. And incidentally, Senator Collins with us last night told us that -- that Ambassador Rice told her behind closed doors that she had access to the presidential -- president's daily briefing, so she had as much information as anybody, including that this was al Qaeda-affiliated suspected even on day one.
But let me ask you about Representative Susan -- Eleanor Holmes Norton. She says, "We do not intend to stand by while Ambassador Susan Rice, who had nothing to do with this tragic Benghazi attack, or its aftermath, is made the scapegoat."
Yet I -- what I'm surprised about -- she's not clamoring for her own party, for the administration, to come out and tell us what did you know, when did you know it and why -- why are you dragging your feet about it? So where is...
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, she's missing the point on that one. Do you agree?
PALIN: She's missing the point and she's playing politics. And you know, she knows that she has cover because of mainstream media is going right along with her and that suggestion that Obama and his closest people in the White House did nothing wrong in Benghazi.
And obviously, they did. Four brave and innocent Americans were killed in this attack. And still, the American people are left with so many questions. And spokesperson for this incident, this tragedy, are wanting to play politics instead of just being straight with the people.
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes, the -- and Press Secretary Jay Carney is, I think, likewise, you know, subject to legitimate criticism. I assume that he has access to information. And for many days -- maybe not 73 days, but they've done everything they could not to get the facts out.
If they want to end this, it's a simple way. Just get the facts out! Quit trying to hide them! And that's what -- you know, that -- I don't understand why everyone gives them the pass except for CBS and FOX on that.
PALIN: Yes, exactly, Greta. That's the bottom line is, you know, just -- just be straight with the people. That's all we expect of our government is honesty so that we can, as the people being served, so that we can judge the decisions being made.
And Jay Carney, though, just so obstinate and so arrogant, really, in his replies and in his exchanges with the media over this. If I were a member of the media sitting there, being talked to and kind of scolded as Jay Carney does to them, I would be quite offended and it would make me want to be an even better reporter and be a better investigator of what the facts truly are with this Libya tragedy.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, the dirty little secret, though, in Washington on both sides of the aisle is, though -- is that access -- you know, you will lose access if you are -- you know, you have to, you know -- you have to use good judgment. I'm not saying that, you know, you sell your soul to the administration, but some people, frankly...
PALIN: So what, though? So what? So what if you lose...
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, no, I...
PALIN: ... access to Obama? You know why -- you know why people don't want to lose -- I mean, the American people don't care if a reporter isn't going to have access to the Obama administration because what's coming back as a result of having that privileged, powerful access is this lack of transparency. It's more confusion. It's more uncertainty and it's lies!
So why in the world would a reporter be concerned about whether they're going to get more of that fed to them, those lies, the uncertainty, the murky answers to so many questions being asked? I wouldn't care about having that access when you know what the result is.
VAN SUSTEREN: I'm with you. Look -- look what's happened in just this Benghazi investigation. State Department did a conference call and conveniently left FOX News off when they wanted to brief them the day before their people went to Capitol Hill. The CIA had a briefing, and guess what news organization was left out? FOX News Channel.
Then a memo was released -- I think it by the intelligence DNI, and who didn't get the memo? FOX News. But what they don't realize is that all these other news organizations will eventually give it to us. You know, so it's -- I mean, that's the irony of it.
But I mean, they are trying to punish FOX because we dare to ask them questions, and all we're asking questions are -- what are the facts on four murders? And the more you try to hide it, the more -- when 71 days drags to 72 days drags to 73 days and we're still not getting the answer, it's reasonable to be suspicious that you're trying to hide something! So tell us and that'll end it.
PALIN: And the American people need to understand that this, this Benghazi tragedy, it's just one example of what the greater problem is with this lack of transparency, this distrustfulness of our own government. Benghazi is a prime example of it.
But it leads you to believe and to know that there are many other deceptions that are a part of this White House and the mode of operation there in Washington, D.C.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, if there's a reasonable explanation for any of the confusion or -- you know, tell us. You know, lay it out. Don't give us more silly stuff. Don't hide more stuff.
Frankly, I don't even like the fact that Ambassador Rice met behind closed doors with the senators. I would have rather had her come up to a microphone and answer questions to reporters, but that didn't happen. There is an awful lot that's done behind closed doors in this town that simply should be put out in the open. The American people can -- they can take it. They can handle it. They're -- they're big people.
PALIN: Yes. Absolutely. And by the way, it was a fascinating interview that you had with Senator Collins yesterday. I certainly appreciated that. New information was exposed because of you asking questions of her and she having had that opportunity to speak with Susan Rice.
And I think that the discussion after hearing that interview should lead us all to believe that Susan Rice perhaps is not the person to become our next secretary of state.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, at the very least, if she's nominated, she should be -- she's entitled to a full hearing and she's going to be questioned aggressively, as she should be, and as every male candidate should likewise be. But she's -- you know, she's going to have a lot of questions asked of her, should she be nominated.
But let me turn now to the fiscal cliff. The edge of that is so close to us. And are we going to go over it? And I wonder, will it -- what will it take to reach a deal?
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich says it takes sitting down and talking face to face.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER/PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: If they wanted to sit and really talk, you can get a lot done. But I always remind people, Clinton had been governor, and as governor, he'd spent years negotiating with legislatures. So when we took control of the Congress, we sort of got the dance. He and I spent I think 35 days face to face. It wasn't this "My staff will meet with your staff, and eventually, some day -- and we'll have a brief phone call." That's nonsense. You have to be in a room. You have to listen to each other.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: So where's President Obama today? Well, he was not in Washington. He was at a toy factory in Pennsylvania. And to many, he seems to be back on the campaign trail, campaigning for his fiscal ideas.
Governor Palin, Speaker Gingrich, who has battled with President Clinton on big issues, says you got to sit down face to face in the same room. He did 35 days. This is now being sort of outsourced. How should this be resolved? I mean, how do we get these parties to talk?
PALIN: Well, Speaker Gingrich knew then, as he knows now, that the House of Representatives has great power because they hold the purse springs. They can unfund many of the things that are a result of Obama's failed socialist policies when it comes to our fiscal situation.
Speaker Gingrich knows that, yes, they don't have to concede and capitulate. They can be at the table and exert the authority that they have, the power that they have that the people just gave them by reelecting Republicans, conservatives, in the House, holding the purse strings, saying, No more of this reckless, irresponsible spending coming from the White House. We do want to rein it in.
So that, I believe, is what he meant by saying, yes, we have to both sit down at the table and both sides and negotiate this thing through.
But as for reaching some kind of fiscal cliff that is the narrative today in the media and in the world of politicos -- we have already gone over the cliff. We went over the cliff when we engaged in quantitative easing 2 and 3 and went four years without any kind of budget, no kind of blueprint to figure out how to rein in this dysfunctional, overgrown government that is based on borrowed money and borrowed money from foreign countries that don't necessarily like us and borrowed money from our children and our grandchildren.
We've already gone over the cliff. Now it's just a matter of how hard are we going to thump down there at the bottom of the cliff.
VAN SUSTEREN: Am I too hard on politicians? Because I really actually -- I struggle with the whole thought of whether their work ethic is really up for the job because this is a lingering problem. And I travel a lot, see people without jobs. People are worried about losing jobs. We've known about this fiscal cliff and the sequestration and the tax increases or not increases since a -- since at a minimum August of 2011. And all they've done is absolutely nothing on it except have a lot of chatter, no product. They had the super-committee in November of 2011. The super-committee did -- could not reach a decision, could not reach an opinion, so did the super-committee meet in December? No. January? No. February? No. Did the president do anything? No. Did anybody do anything in this town? No.
The most that they did was in August, they went on vacation and then they campaigned for their jobs, which we paid them to go get the jobs. They took off August, September, October, early November. They finally came back to November, and now they're worried that they can't get a decision before their Christmas vacation. They're worried that they're not going to get out of here for Christmas.
You know, to me, I'm thinking, like, Go figure. Any business owner working with his own money would never do that! So I don't -- am I -- am I too hard on politicians?
PALIN: No. What this comes down to is the need for leadership in our country. Think about all the problems that you just -- that you just espoused, Greta. And to consider that you take all those problems and then you have to acknowledge that the leader of and the cause of many of those problems was just reelected for four more years of the same, four more years of the status quo?
What does Obama do right out of the chute? He says we're going to overtax and overspend and out-maneuver the other side in order to somehow, through this fairy tale utopia that he wants to create -- somehow, we're going to be a prosperous nation. No, he has failed fiscal policies!
VAN SUSTEREN: But can you -- can you let the -- I realize the president has the White House, so he has the leadership, and the Democrats have the -- have the Senate. But can you really let the Republicans off the hook in terms of -- you know, they -- you know, even if the other side is just terrible in dealing with or has bad ideas or whatever, you've still got to work with them. You've still got to figure out a way to bring them inside your tent to resolve something. It's not enough just to say, Well, we put our thing on the table so we're done. I mean, it really does take both of them.
I realize the great responsibility is in the party of power, but I think that the power -- the party that's not in power, you know, they've -- they've got responsibilities to the American people, as well, in this difficult times.
PALIN: Well, again, the House of Representatives, the leadership there needs to realize they do have power because they hold the power of the purse strings and they can unfund things that they don't agree with. They are -- the conservatives, the Republicans are in the majority there.
But again, it comes down to leadership, Greta, and if the president of the United States is going to continue to engage in these failed socialist policies and continue to bankrupt this country, then the House of Representatives needs to work around the president and needs to explain to the people what can be done to save us from this insolvency, from this bankruptcy that we're facing.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I'll tell you, one of the really lousy ideas yesterday presented by the president's treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, is that when he went to Capitol Hill, he wanted -- he wanted to suggest that they change it so that the purview over the debt ceiling was no longer controlled by Congress, so that the president would essentially have a credit card with no limits, so he could do exactly what he wanted.
But that type of mentality, not even wanting the checks and balances on his own power, at a time when we are in a perilous economic condition -- it's beyond me that the Obama administration would ever suggest something like that and say -- I don't -- - I don't understand. It's as though they don't get it.
PALIN: Yes, so Geithner's proposal there to not have those checks and balances that are necessarily inherent in defending our republic and also then proposing $1.6 trillion in new taxes, and another tens of billions of dollars in another stimulus package that they want to propose.
Here again, House of Representatives, you need to work around those failed ideas coming from the president and his spokesperson. Republicans, don't get wobbly on us. Don't be wusses about this. We just elected you as representatives of the people to get there in Washington, D.C., and rein it in. Washington, D.C., federal government, become as irrelevant in our lives as possible, please. That's the only solution at this point because we cannot continue to embrace the status quo and think that anything's going to get better.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, President Bill Clinton got President Obama reelected. Perhaps now he can help him learn how to talk to the other side like he did with Speaker Gingrich and get something done. So maybe -- maybe if the president won't call Speaker Boehner, perhaps he'll call Bill Clinton. And maybe that's the solution. But I'm going to take the last word on that.
Governor, as always, thank you.
PALIN: Thank you so much, Greta. Have a great night.