Pummeling Palin: Laura Ingraham on Governor's Media Treatment

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," October 24, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, we're 11 days out from the election, and Governor Palin continues to be personally attacked. Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker even suggests that Senator McCain chose Governor Palin as his running mate because she's attractive. Yes, that from a conservative columnist, a woman.

Joining us by phone is Laura Ingraham, radio talk show host and author of the book "Power to the People," now out in paperback, and one of the hottest radio shows in the country, I might add. All right, Laura, first of all, before we get to Governor Palin having this bull's-eye on her back and getting hit personally, Joe the plumber made some news today on your show.

LAURA INGRAHAM, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Yes, he came on in the second hour of our show, Greta, and I asked him point blank, Would you be interested in running against Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, who is the congresswoman representing his district in Toledo. He said, Yes, I am absolutely open to it. And he expressed clear interest in perhaps doing more with his common-sense approach to politics.

So I'm going to be continuing my conversation with him, and I know a lot of other people are. And I think it's an interesting development. He certainly has touched a nerve. And whether he can translate that into some type of really successful political career remains to be seen. But I think it's interesting.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Governor Palin on the Republican ticket -- today, Kathleen Parker, who I must admit is a friend of mine...

INGRAHAM: Mine, too.

VAN SUSTEREN: ... And a friend of yours, I whacked her for it on GretaWire, I confess. I don't -- I don't -- I don't get it, though. I mean, I completely understand going after a candidate for policy or whatever, but not getting personal. Governor Palin should get no pass because she's a woman, but she also shouldn't have a bull's-eye for the personal attacks. She wasn't chosen because she's attractive, contrary to this suggestion. What's your thought on our dear friend, Kathleen?

Watch Greta's interview with Laura Ingraham

INGRAHAM: Well, I -- I wonder, Greta, if it's really appropriate to describe Kathleen or, you know, some of these other critics of Palin as conservative because I read this column and there's not a lot of there there. It's kind of -- there's a lot of fluff in there about, Oh, McCain had her under the sycamore tree, they were sipping coffee for an hour in Sedona, and it doesn't take a psychoanalyst to see that he was smitten.

I mean, what kind of writing is this, first of all? What kind of substantive analysis is a serious columnist doing about a very important presidential race? And I would submit to you, Greta, that a woman who has led an incredibly complex effort to bring this natural gas pipeline to fruition in Alaska against all odds, against so much pressure, against all these forces -- she does that successfully. She pushes through a historic ethics reform in Alaska against the Democratic opposition and a lot of Republicans who didn't like it, either. And she has an 80 percent approval rating, the highest in the entire country of any governor. And she is ridiculed, I guess, for her attractiveness by people like Kathleen Parker. She's dismissed as a lightweight by people like Peggy Noonan and others.

And I got to tell you, I find it, as a woman -- forget as a conservative, I find it, as a woman, insulting, demeaning, condescending, elitist. And as Charles Krauthammer said the other night, you know -- I'm not a psychoanalyst, but I guess he is -- you know, maybe -- I don't know if there's some -- there's some deeper problem here with some of this criticism. I really -- I'm really beside myself and I find, as a woman, it's really, really disturbing.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, there is no question in my mind I do not agree with Governor Palin on every issue. I don't agree with my own husband on every issue. But the (INAUDIBLE) I've actually spent a little time with her, not a lot. I've actually stepped back and looked to see that she's governor of a state, and the people who are harping at her are on the sidelines. They haven't met her, and they haven't accomplished -- it's not insignificant that -- you know, that she was a mayor and show that -- but you know, Peggy Noonan, sitting on the sidelines, with all due respect -- she worked in the Reagan White House 20-some years ago, but she seems to have given herself a license to carte blanche, you know, whack this governor personally, not substantively, personally.

INGRAHAM: Well, again, I mean, Peggy and Kathleen -- it just pains me to say this because I do have respect for both of them. I do not have respect for them for what they've done in this election. This is a historic moment for our country, and as people who should know better, they're throwing this woman, you know, to the side of the road because they don't think she meets some social -- you know, some social test, or you know, she's not part of the social class that's more acceptable, or she doesn't -- hasn't -- hasn't read the right books or she didn't do well on Katie Couric.

Whatever their criticisms are, I really don't think they measure up, Greta, to the accomplishment of this woman and her -- and the poise and the graciousness she has shown in the face of an assault against her -- her -- her personality, her character, her -- her accomplishments. She has been so gracious. I don't think I could have been as gracious as she's been.

VAN SUSTEREN: But she's also smart. You don't have to agree with her, but she's also smart. And the thing that I find so astounding is, I hang around some of these journalists, you know -- you know, and I hear the dumbest things come out of them sometimes. And to have the gall to go after her personally is just extraordinary.

INGRAHAM: But Greta, how many of these people who are writing these columns for these newspapers can get, like, 30,000 people on a -- on a weekday morning to show up in, like, a northern Virginia high school auditorium or a high school football field, OK? This woman can draw huge crowds for a reason. She's resonating and she's connecting with people in a way that I haven't seen on the Republican side since Ronald Reagan. And Peggy, having worked for Reagan, should know that.

VAN SUSTEREN: And the interesting thing is, is that, boy, she can take a punch because people have really piled on her and she's still standing tall and she's still out swinging. My -- you know, it's -- you know, it's extraordinary, what she has accomplished. You don't have to agree with her, but you know, there's certainly much to admire her. And you don't have to vote for her, but much to admire about what she's accomplished. Laura, thank you.

INGRAHAM: Hey, thanks, Greta. Appreciate it.

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