The Facts: Obama has voiced support for the development of clean-coal technology throughout his political career, starting in the Illinois State Senate and later in the US Senate. He reiterated that stance during his Aug. 28 nomination speech and at the Oct 7 debate that Palin references. Obama had spoken out against lifting the federal moratorium on offshore drilling since June, when McCain proposed lifting it. Obama said on Aug. 1 that he would be willing to compromise on his position if it were a part of a more overarching strategy to lower energy costs.
The Verdict: False. Obama long has supported clean coal technology and more recently changed his stance on offshore oil drilling--two months before the Oct. 7 debate referenced by Palin.
A: Well, it was an unfair attack on the verbiage that Sen. McCain chose to use, because the fundamentals, as he explained afterwards, he means our workforce, he means the ingenuity of the American. And of course, that is strong and that is the foundation of our economy. Certainly, the economy is a mess. And there have been abuses on Wall Street and that adversely affects Main Street. We’ve got to cure this.
Q: Through reform?
A: Through reform, absolutely. Look at the oversight that has been lax--it’s a 1930s type of regulatory regime overseeing some of these corporations. And we’ve got to get a more coordinated and a much more stringent oversight regime. Not that government is going to be solely looked to for the answers in all of the problems in Wall Street, but government can play a very, very appropriate role in the oversight.
A: Well, first, Fannie and Freddie were different because they’re quasi-government agencies where government had to step in because of the adverse impacts all across our nation, especially with homeowners. It’s just too impacting, we had to step in there. I do not like the idea though of taxpayers being used to bailout these corporations. Today it was AIG, important call there, though, because of the construction bonds and the insurance carrier duties of AIG. But first and foremost, taxpayers cannot be looked to as the bailout, as the solution to the problems on Wall Street.
A: I don’t know, that’s their prerogative though. Again, this campaign is about very important issues that are not necessarily gender specific. Certainly, I would love to have their support, but I’m not going to change my positions in order to try to woo them over. Don’t have time to do that. We’re moving forward on a ticket of reform.
A: I think the corruption on Wall Street--that is to blame. And that violation of the public trust. And that contract that should be inherent in corporations who are spending, investing other people’s money--the abuse of that is what has got to stop. And it’s a matter, too, of some of these CEOs and top management people and shareholders not holding that management accountable, being addicted to, we call it, O-P-M, “other people’s money.” Spending that, investing that, not using the prudence that we expect of them. But here again, government has got to play an appropriate role in the stringent oversight, making sure that those abuses stop.
A: No. But I got a kick out of that one also. No banned books. No desire to ban a book. That list of banned books, though, that we saw there that included “Harry Potter,” which, of course, had not even been written or published before I was in there. To be accused of banning books, no.
Q: It’s false?
A: No. In fact, growing up in a school teacher’s house with a science teacher as a dad, you know, I have great respect for science being taught in our science classes and evolution to be taught in our science classes.
A: I will focus on energy independence. First and foremost, an energy independent nation. We must get there. It is a matter of national security and of our future prosperity, being able to quit relying on foreign sources of energy to feed our hungry markets when we have the American supplies and we have the American ingenuity and we have the American workers to produce these supplies of energy.
Q: Americans have heard a lot of information on ANWR. I’ve heard you talk passionately about your love for your state of Alaska.
Q: Why then would you support drilling in Alaska?
A: I support drilling in Alaska because it’s going to be good for our nation.
Q: Including ANWR?
A: Absolutely. ANWR is a 2,000 acre plot of land. It’s about the size of LAX, that platform of land that we would need to explore. But, no secret, John McCain and I agree to disagree on that one. And I’m going to keep working on him with ANWR.
A: We have.
Q: Is he softening?
A: Well, I’m very, very encouraged, as we all understand that John McCain knows, more so than any other leader in our nation today, that for national security reasons we must be an energy independent nation. We must start taking the steps to get there. That’s why he has embraced offshore drilling. That’s why he has embraced the ideal of the alternative fuels also. And I’ll keep working on him with ANWR.
Q: There will be some spirited discussion, I assume, in the administration.
A: Sure. The nice thing about him, too, is he is not asking me or anybody else to check our opinions at the door. He wants that healthy deliberation and debate within.
Q: And you’ve talked about that too?
A: Yes, we sure have. Yes. It’s been refreshing.
Q: And what is the impact for Americans down the road if we don’t do something to solve our energy dependence?
A: That imbalance of trade is something that we need to tackle also. Yes, those dollars should be circulating within our own economy. It’s a matter of national security. It is a matter of our future prosperity. Energy is inherently linked to security and prosperity. More and more Americans are recognizing this also. You can see the constituents putting pressure on Congress to come on, Congress, get rid of that gridlock that you are so engaged in now. We sort of have a “do nothing Senate” right now where nobody’s wanting to really pick up the ball and run with it and take the steps that we have to take to become more energy independent. And it’s going to take a whole a change in leadership in order to really crush that gridlock and get going on this.
A: Sure have. I’m very excited about the role that I will play as his partner. And I will focus on energy independence and reform overall of Washington and tax cuts for Americans and reigning in spending.
Q: These are specific roles that you already talked about?
A: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.
Q: That you will take on as vice president?
A: Right. So I’d like to talk about each one of them. And I wish we had hours to talk about this also.
Q: I have nothing to do.
A: OK, good. Because another thing that we’ll talk about also is the role that I will play that is very near and dear to my heart. And that’s helping families with special-needs children and being able to strengthen our National Institute of Health also and find cures for presently incurable diseases.
A: What we have got to commit to, especially when we talk about Russia, no Cold War. We have got to know that our mindset needs to be opportunity for pressure and diplomacy and sanctions if need be, as we keep our eye on a country like Russia.
Q: You don’t want to start a war with Russia.
A: We do not want to start a war with Russia. No Cold War. That’s got to be off the table. Opportunity comes with new leadership being ushered in, being elected in into our democracy where we can start forging even better relationships and strengthening the allies that we have. That’s the opportunity that John McCain is going to make sure happens.
A: Being an optimist I see our role in the world as being a force for good and one of being the leader of the world. Humankind embraces the values that encompass life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that’s not just in America, that is in our world. And America is in a position, because we care for so many people, to be able to lead and to be able to have a strong diplomacy and a strong military. Also at the same time to defend not only our freedoms but, to help these rising, smaller democratic countries that are just putting themselves on the map right now, and they’re going to be looking to America as that leader. We being used as a force for good is how I see our country.
A: I think that’s significant, but even more significant is the role that the lobbyists play in an issue like this also. And in that cronyism--it’s symptomatic of the greater problem that we see right now in Washington and that is just that acceptance of the status quo, the politics as usual, the cronyism that has been allowed to be accepted and then it leads us to a position like we are today with so much collapse on Wall Street. That’s the reform that we’ve got to get in there and make sure that this happens. We’ve got to put government and these regulatory agencies back on the side of the people.
A: Yes, it is gridlock and that’s ridiculous. That’s why we don’t have an energy policy. That’s why there hasn’t been the reform of the abuse of the earmark process. And real reform is tough and you do ruffle feathers along the way. But John McCain has that streak of independence in him that I think is very, very important in America today in our leadership. I have that within me also. And that’s why John McCain tapped me to be a team of mavericks, of independents coming in there without the allegiances to that cronyism, to that good ol’ boy system.
A: Oh, I certainly didn’t mean to hurt his feelings. Didn’t mean to offend any community organizers, either. I do have respect for those who have chosen public service. And what I was doing though, certainly, should be obvious, was directing a comment to him as he had taken a shot at small mayors across the nation.
Q: So it’s payback?
A: You know, mayors of small towns, they’re on the front lines. They’re held accountable every single day that they are in office with real responsibilities that do demand that accountability and invite accountability.
A: No. False. Always been a Republican, not been a part of a party that has wanted to secede.
A: Well, I killed the Bridge to Nowhere. And you know, I think I ruffled some feathers there, also, with our congressman who had been requesting that bridge for so many years. What we needed to do up there in Alaska, was find some good transportation between the two land bodies there. And we did. We found that with an improved ferry system between Ketchikan and its airport. But, the Bridge to Nowhere is, as I’ve been saying in my speeches, if it’s something that Alaskans really want and support, which at this time, they’re not willing to support to such an extent that we’ll pay for it ourselves, we better kill the bridge because we know the rest of the nation’s not going to pay for it.
A: Any country that is going to house violent Islamic terrorists. We have to keep our eye, of course, on Iran. We’ve got to keep our eye on some of the ongoing activities in Russia, also. North Korea under the leadership of Kim Jong Il--certainly there is a lot of concern there.
A: I did wear a button at his book signing, or one of the events. Because see here, a presidential candidate coming to little ol’ Wasilla, one year. And we all showed up. It was an honor to see anyone of that stature come to our city.
A: Well, I just recognized that it doesn’t matter which party it is that is just kind of creating the good-old-boy network and the cronyism and allowing obsessive partisanship to get in the way of just doing what’s right for the people who are to be served. And I just recognized that it’s not just the other party. Sometimes it’s our own party that just starts taking advantage of the people. And I felt compelled to do something about it, decided to run for office, got in there and with that mandate that I believe the people had just given me, via their vote, they expected the changes to take place, that reform. And we’re living up to that. And as we do, we are ruffling feathers.
A: I believe that Republicans in Washington have got to understand that the people of America are not fully satisfied with all the dealings within the party. Same applies though for the other party, also. Americans are just getting sick and tired of politics as usual, that embracing of the status quo, going with the flow and just assuming that the people of America are not noticing that we have opportunities for good change. We have opportunity for a healthier, safer, more prosperous and energy-independent nation at this time. People are getting tired of a process that’s not allowing that progress to be ushered in.
A: Well, you know, I’m one of those people. So I think that we just have great respect for a candidate who would not speak about us, middle class Americans, in one part of the country and then turn around and say something different about middle class America in another part of the country. The assurance that I can give Americans is that the candidate whom I am running with, he is the same man--no matter where he is, no matter who is listening. He is a man who is so proud of America and is very much in touch with middle class Americans and wants to be hired by Americans so that he can work for them and put government on their side.
A: My love of this country. I’m one of those people, you know, I see a soldier walk through the airport and, you know, my heart does a little double-take. And I hear the Pledge of Allegiance or our National Anthem and I get a lump in my throat. And know that that’s the majority of Americans. Also, I am so proud, have been so proud of our country, every step of the way. We’ve made mistakes. We learn from our mistakes.
A: Well, my ex-brother-in-law is an Alaskan state trooper and he’s never been fired. He’s still an Alaska state trooper. We have two different issues going on here. One is, a cabinet member, my commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, who had some strengths in some areas, insubordinate in some other areas, I asked him to transfer into another position. And he chose not to be transferred. So, he left the service. That’s one issue.
A: And on your brother-in-law: he admitted to Tasering a 10 year old child.
A: He did. This trooper Tasered my nephew. And he Tasered--well, that was--it’s all on the record. It’s all there. His threats against the first family, the threat against my dad. All that is in the record. And if the opposition researchers are choosing to forget that side of the story, they’re not doing their job.
A: I’m thankful that I came of age politically in the era of Ronald Reagan, in high school and in college. He is my inspiration. His vision of America and of the exceptional-ism of our country. I think about him every day. I think about what that Great Communicator has left our country and the rest of the world.
So he and then his partner on a lot of the good things that went on in the world at that time, Margaret Thatcher--just over the water. She too--she was underestimated as she came into office and proved herself with her abilities, her determination. She is another one.
Further back in history, Abraham Lincoln. Coming into office in a time of such turmoil. What Lincoln was able to do was marshal talents from disgruntled opponents even and adversaries and have everybody work together in order to fulfill the mission of unifying the nation and winning the war.
A: There are in individual communities.
Q: But no state sales tax.
Q: And if I were a resident of Alaska, you would write me a check every year for $2,069?
A: Well, depending on how the stock market is doing. Over the last five years--that’s an average.
Q: And then you also gave recently an extra check for $1,200?
A: I did. Because the price of a barrel of oil is so high right now that state coffers are growing, but the family’s checkbook is being decimated because of the high cost of energy.
Q: I have to move to Alaska. New York taxes are killing me.
A: Well, what we’re doing up there is returning a share of resource development dollars back to the people who own the resources. And our constitution up there mandates that as you develop resources it’s to be for the maximum benefit of the people, not the corporations, not the government, but the people of Alaska.
A: Everybody does benefit when government takes less from the people, no matter what their income bracket is, because our businesses and our families are able to keep more of what they’re earning, reinvest in what they have as priorities. That’s how jobs are created. And that’s how we’re going to grow our economy.
But, let me talk really quickly about our opponent’s position on taxes. Barack Obama has had 94 opportunities to be on the side of the American taxpayer and 94 times he has chosen to be on the opposite. He could have either voted for tax cuts or at least not for tax increases. And 94 times he has chosen, I believe, the wrong position on those.
A: Retreat is not an option. Retreat is defeat in Iraq. Al Qaeda, they’re acknowledging even that Iraq is the central front on the War on Terror and the violent Islamic extremists who hate America would love that stronghold to be built in Iraq. If we were to lose there, we’re not going to be any better off when we fight in Afghanistan either, nor the other areas where terrorist cells are growing across our world.
McCAIN: Oh, yes. She’s a partner and a soul-mate. She’s a reformer. I don’t particularly enjoy the label “maverick,” but when somebody takes on the old bulls in her own party, runs against an incumbent governor of her own party, stands up against the oil and gas interests--it’s a remarkable person. And I’ve watched her record, and I’ve watched her for many, many years as she implemented ethics and lobbying reforms. And she didn’t just vote for it. She led it. I’ve seen her take on her own party. One thing I know is that when you take on your own party in Washington, you pay a price for it. And she has taken on the party in her own state. She took on a sitting governor and defeated him. And so I’m so pleased and proud, because this is a person who will help me reform Washington and change the way they do business. And that’s what Americans want.
McCAIN: I’ve been watching her. What she has been doing in Alaska has affected the representation in Washington. We’ve fought against the same adversaries, the same challenges. Look, we couldn’t get the “bridge to nowhere” out, although we tried.
Q: This was the big pork barrel project.
McCAIN: Yes, the pork barrel project, a $233 million bridge in Alaska to an island with 50 people on it. She, as governor, stood up and said, we don’t need it, and if we need it, we’ll pay for it ourselves. Now, that’s guts. I saw that, and I said, this, this is what we need in Washington.
McCAIN: Oh, no. Look, she has got the right judgment. She has got the right judgment. She doesn’t think, like Sen. Obama does, that Iran is a minor irritant. She knows that the surge worked and succeeded, and she supported that. Sen. Obama still refuses to acknowledge that the surge has succeeded. She has been commander-in-chief of the Alaska Guard. She has had the judgment on these issues while Sen. Obama has had all the wrong judgments. Gov. Palin understands these issues, and she understands the challenges that we face. She has the experience and judgment as an executive. She has run a huge economy up there in the state of Alaska. Twenty percent of our energy comes from the state of Alaska, and energy is obviously one of the key issues for our nation’s security.
McCAIN: Well, by the way, also she was a member of the PTA. I think it’s wonderful. But the point is she has been to Kuwait. She has been over there. She has been with her troops, the National Guard that she commands, who had been over there and had the experience. I’m proud of her knowledge of these challenges and issues.
Q: Why shouldn’t we think that this is really about politics, about reaching out to women, especially to Hillary Clinton supporters?
McCAIN: Well, I think that I had to do what I think is best for the future of the country. That’s the point here.
A: I’ll correct you there with all due respect--the people of Alaska understand that Alaska has so much to contribute in terms of energy sources to the rest of the US. Folks up here want ANWR to be unlocked by the federal government so that we can drill. We’ve got a tremendous amount of resource up here, and we’re ready, willing and able to contribute. I think Washington doesn’t understand that we’re at a real critical crossroads: We are either going to become more and more dependent on foreign sources of energy, or we’re going to be able to secure our nation and drill domestically for safe, stable, clean supplies of energy that we have here. We have them in Alaska.
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Page last updated: Apr 19, 2014