September 6th, 2015
09:42 AM ET

Fmr AK Governor Sarah Palin to Trump: Pick Me for Energy Secretary: "energy is my baby ..and if I were the head of that I'd get rid of it"

Today on CNN’s State of the Union, former GOP vice presidential nominee (2008) and former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK), joined anchor, Jake Tapper.

For more information, see http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/. Also, text highlights and a transcript of the discussion are below.

MANDATORY CREDIT: CNN’s “State of the Union”

VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Sarah Palin: Immigrants should speak English

Palin supports bill to stop Down syndrome abortions

Sarah Palin recommend herself for Energy Secretary

TEXT HIGHLIGHTS

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on President Obama’s trip to Alaska: “…let's take his recent trip up here, which was pretty much – a tourism jaunt. How about while he was up here, he had – carried a big stick instead of a selfie stick? He could start – publicly berating these countries that are sticking it to us with the messages that they're sending. Putin right now – he's flagging undersea our resources, claiming them as his own. What's America doing about it? We don't even have a seat at the table under the Law of the Sea Treaty.  We're not even participating in fighting back, putting America first and saying, no, these are our rich resources along our coast and – no, Russia, hey, you lost out, man.  You sold the territory of Alaska for two cents an acre way back when.  You don't get it back. But instead, Putin is exerting power.  And China is exerting power.  And it all has to do with natural resources, too, with energy.  They - need those, of course, to prosper – to grow their empires. America is sitting back and the president had opportunity when he was up – here taking things seriously and telling the American public what it is that Russia is doing and China is doing as they're kind of hooking up against the US. We need - we need a president who will put America first.  And like I say, president, carry a big stick.  Don't carry a selfie stick.

Palin on climate change: “I take changes in the weather, the cyclical changes that the globe has undergone for - since the beginning of time, I take it seriously, but I'm not going to blame these changes in the weather on man's footprint.”

Palin on “gotcha” questions: “I think I'd rather have a president who is tough and puts America first than can win a game of Trivial Pursuit.  Some of those questions, I don't know if other candidates were posed the same questions, so I don't know if they would have the answers, but I don't think the public gives a flying flip if somebody knows who, today, is a specific leader of a specific region or a religion or anything, because that leader will change, of course, when the next president comes into power, just based on the volatility of politics in these other areas. So I don't think the public is so concerned about that.  I can be subjective and I can say, hey, if you don't know that, well, then you're not worthy of being taken seriously, Mr. Candidate.”

Palin on the Donald Trump and Jeb Bush dispute over speaking Spanish: “I don't know what, you know, choosing to speak English or Spanish in a conversation, what that would have to do with somebody opposing it with tolerance or not.  I think that it's a benefit of Jeb Bush to be able to be so fluent in Spanish, because we have a large and wonderful Hispanic population that, you know, is helping to build America.  And that's good.  And that's a great relationship that he - and connection that he has with them through his wife and through his family connections. On the other hand, you know, I think we can send a message and say you want to be in America, A, you'd better be here legally or you're out of here, B, when you're here, let's speak American.  I mean that's what's - let's speak English and that's a kind of a unifying aspect of the nation is the language that is understood by all.”

Palin on GOP problems with minorities: “I can't think of any Republican that I know who would have that in their heart.  I think Republicans and Independents that is the party of tolerance. It certainly doesn't matter the color of your skin and some of the other things that, you know, are banted around as being kind of the judging barometer of whether somebody is welcome in the party or not.”

Palin on Ohio abortion legislation and whether Governor Kasich should take a position: “Yes, I want him to. Hmmm, do I think that it should be legal for a mom to snuff out the life of her baby just because the child has one extra chromosome? – No, I don't think because the child has one extra chromosome they should be able to snuff that life out.”

Palin on the “fear” she felt after Trig was diagnosed with Down syndrome: “When I was pregnant and very early on at 12 weeks – got the diagnosis that Trig would be born with Down syndrome, I know what moms go through when they're given that – kind of devastating news.  You know, it makes your world stop spinning for a bit there. And there is some fear there of the unknown.  Certainly there was fear in my heart about – how in the world are we going to be able to handle the challenges at the head not necessarily thinking of the beauty that could come from a child being different, being unique.  And as the months went by, though, and as I prayed about it, God – please, change my heart and my eyes so I can see the beauty in all this so that I'll be ready to be a good mom to this child. And he answered my prayers – Trig is so wonderful. But I do know what moms go through.  And, Jake, I think the reason that 85 percent, in some areas 90 percent of babies who have Down syndrome are aborted is that fear of the unknown and because culture has told these women – has told these women, you're not capable of being able to handle and nurture and love and raise a child with special needs and it's just so much easier and convenient for you to just end it, pretend like it never happened, get rid of the child, get rid of the baby and, you know, get on with a convenient life of your own. ….it's beautiful. I wouldn't change anything about Trig.  I wouldn't change anything about how this has so solidified our family support for the sanctity of life and for tolerance, for accepting people who are a little bit different.”

Palin on Hillary Clinton debating Vice President, Joe Biden: “Joe Biden is – such a character.  Nobody has to go in there being nervous.  You can just kind of gauge via his personality that he – it's not that he doesn't take things seriously, but just kind of comes across as being pretty down to earth, pretty relaxed, so that opponents can do the same.  And at the same time, stick it to them if you want to win that debate.  Start talking about what your accomplishments are.  Start talking about what your intentions are for this country. So – in that respect, Hillary Clinton wouldn't do very well against Joe Biden.”

Palin on serving as Donald Trump’s energy secretary: “I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby, oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind's use instead of us relying on unfriendly foreign nations, for us to import their - their resources.  I think a lot about the Department of Energy.  And if I were head of that, I'd get rid of it.  And I'd let the states start having more control over the lands that are within their boundaries and the people who are affected by the developments within their states. So, you know, if I were in charge of that, it would be a short-term job, but it would be a - it would be really great to have someone who knows energy and is pro-responsible development to be in charge.”

FULL TRANSCRIPT

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: And Sarah Palin is here, former Alaska governor, Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008 and author of the upcoming book, "Sweet Freedom:  A Devotional." Governor, thank you so much for joining us.

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  Thank you so much, Jake.  And I wish you were here to conduct the interview.  We could be speaking in this beautiful vista together.  But thanks for letting me be on.

TAPPER:  Well, let's talk about Alaska.

One of the reasons we really wanted to talk to you this weekend was because President Obama visited your home state of Alaska this week for a rather significant presidential visit.  He talked about a lot of things, but it started with his officially changing the name of the tallest peak in North America, or changing it back, really, from Mount McKinley to Denali.  The move was praised by Alaska's governor, but it was criticized by Donald Trump and John Kasich, who promised to change the name back if elected. In your farewell address, you referred to the mountain as Denali.  It was also your Secret Service code name, as you've pointed out.

Where do you come down on the name change?

PALIN:  Well, I have one niece named McKinley, another niece named Denali.  I think you can - that kind of is indicative, I think, of a bit of the split of Alaskans, whether it should be referred to as McKinley or Denali.

The name of the national park, though, McKinley National Park, was changed to Denali some years ago.  So I thought that was good enough.  You know, we could keep McKinley as the - the highest peak on the North American continent.  We could keep that name McKinley. I think a lot of the criticism, though, Jake, is just the fact that Obama would spend the time, the effort, the political capital, even, on such a thing when, you know, the Middle East is the tinder box.  Our economy still sucks.  So many things are going wrong right now that are under his purview and yet he would, you know, kind of make it a big darned deal to come up here and rename a mountain.

TAPPER:  Well...

PALIN:  That's a lot of the criticism.

TAPPER:  As you know and as you wrote about, Obama - the emphasis of his trip was to highlight climate change, which is affecting Alaska and Alaskans more directly right now than most other states.  As you know better than I, winter temperatures in Alaska have warmed an average of 6 percent over the last 50 years, twice the national average.  The village of - Newtauk, rather, may soon vanish entirely, as Nigaluk River rises. Listen to what the president had to say.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  - take this issue seriously or treats it like a joke is not fit to lead.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

TAPPER:  Do you take climate change seriously?

PALIN:  I take changes in the weather, the cyclical changes that the globe has undergone for - since the beginning of time, I take it seriously, but I'm not going to blame these changes in the weather on man's footprint. Obama was up here looking at, say, the glaciers and pointing out a glacier that was receding.  Well, there are other glaciers, though, that are growing up here and he didn't highlight that.  But he used glaciers as an example.

One of the markers, though, that they use to measure the glacier that he was talking about, they started measuring, supposedly, as per this marker, a physical marker, back in the early 1800s.  And then they started showing from there how it shrunk.  You know, it's receded.

Well, man's footprint, the first Mukluk was not even near that glacier in the early 1800s when it started melting.  That was before the Industrial Revolution. So, you know, these blames on man's activity, some of that I know is bogus.

TAPPER: I do want to just point out that the vast majority of climate change scientists disagree with your assessment.  But I would like to move on to these other guys, because you - you wrote about them on your post and on July 4th, the U.S. intercepted Russian bombers off the coast of Alaska and California.  And as you note, there are five Chinese warships off the coast of Alaska, in The Bering Sea.  Now you say this is because China and Russia are no longer respectful or intimidated by the US.

What do you think President Obama should have done differently that could have changed what we're seeing done by Russia and China?

PALIN:  OK, let's take his recent trip up here, which was pretty much the - you know, a tourism jaunt, really. How about while he was up here, he had, as the president, carried a big stick instead of a selfie stick? He could start tell - publicly berating these countries that are sticking it to us with the messages that they're sending. Putin right now is - he's flagging undersea our resources, claiming them as his own.

What's America doing about it?

We don't even have a seat at the table under the Law of the Sea Treaty.  We're not even participating in fighting back, putting America first and saying, no, these are our rich resources along our coast and - and no, Russia, hey, you lost out, man.  You sold the territory of Alaska for two cents an acre way back when.  You don't get it back. But instead, Putin is exerting power.  And China is exerting power.  And it all has to do with natural resources, too, with energy.  They - they need those, of course, to prosper and to - to grow their empires.

America is sitting back and, you know, the president had opportunity when he was up - up here taking things seriously and telling the American public what it is that Russia is doing and China is doing as they're kind of hooking up against the US. We need - we need a president who will put America first.  And like I say, president, carry a big stick.  Don't carry a selfie stick.

TAPPER:  Let's turn now to politics. Donald Trump made a lot of headlines this week when he appeared to mistake the Quds force, an Iranian military group, for the Kurds, a Middle Eastern people.  He made his comments during an interview with conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt.

Senator Marco Rubio said about this, "if you don't know the answer to these questions, you're not going to be commander-in-chief, you're not fit to be commander-in-chief," he suggested. Trump says that the questions amounted to a game of “gotcha”.

What did you think?

PALIN:  I think I'd rather have a president who is tough and puts America first than can win a game of Trivial Pursuit.  Some of those questions, I don't know if other candidates were posed the same questions, so I don't know if they would have the answers, but I don't think the public gives a flying flip if somebody knows who, today, is a specific leader of a specific region or a religion or anything, because that leader will change, of course, when the next president comes into power, just based on the volatility of politics in these other areas.

So I don't think the public is so concerned about that.  And then, you know, it's kind of subjective, too, right, whether a candidate is worthy to be given attention and - and respect and be taken seriously if they don't know the leader of some tribe or a religion or even a country when how about other candidates who may not know the price of a barrel of oil today or how much oil it is that we are importing from foreign nations, unfriendly foreign nations, and we have a ban on exporting our own oil and we have prohibitions and bans on drilling for our own oil, details maybe involved in that that a candidate doesn't know.  Hey, I can be subjective and I can say, hey, if you don't know that, well, then you're not worthy of being taken seriously, Mr. Candidate.

TAPPER:  Donald Trump said this week that Jeb Bush should speak English and not Spanish when he's campaigning in the US.  Jeb Bush's response was that Trump doesn't value tolerance. What did you make of that debate?

PALIN:  I don't know what, you know, choosing to speak English or Spanish in a conversation, what that would have to do with somebody opposing it with tolerance or not.  I think that it's a benefit of Jeb Bush to be able to be so fluent in Spanish, because we have a large and wonderful Hispanic population that, you know, is helping to build America.  And that's good.  And that's a great relationship that he - and connection that he has with them through his wife and through his family connections. On the other hand, you know, I think we can send a message and say you want to be in America, A, you'd better be here legally or you're out of here, B, when you're here, let's speak American.  I mean that's what's - let's speak English and that's a kind of a unifying aspect of the nation is the language that is understood by all.

But, you know, I took Spanish in high school and I took French in high school.  I shouldn't have taken them both, because I got them all mixed up by the time I was graduating.  But again, it's a benefit of Mr. Bush and I think, you know, that's one of those issues, too, where that goes right over the public's head, legitimately so.  They're on to the next issues that are very important for the candidates to be debating.

TAPPER:  But as you - as you noted in your response, it is important for the Republican Party to expand and reach out to Hispanics, to Latinos.  In a speech to the National Press Club that some viewed as almost an audition for vice president, or at least vice president nominee, South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley, who you were an early supporter of, said that the Republican Party, quote, "Often appears cold and unwelcoming to minorities." She said, "It's shameful and it has to change."

Do you agree?

PALIN:  No, because I can't think of any Republican that I know who would have that in their heart.  I think Republicans and Independents that is the party of tolerance. It certainly doesn't matter the color of your skin and some of the other things that, you know, are banted around as being kind of the judging barometer of whether somebody is welcome in the party or not.

TAPPER:  Let's talk about an issue that's - literally close to your heart.  Ohio lawmakers are soon going to bring up legislation that would ban women from being legally allowed to terminate a pregnancy based on a diagnosis of Down syndrome.  Governor Kasich has not yet taken a position on the bill. Do you want him to?

PALIN:  Yes, I want him to.  Hmmm, do I think that it should be legal for a mom to snuff out the life of her baby just because the child has one extra chromosome? And not to personalize it too much, but Trig is inside.  I wish that he would, like he so often does, come over and tap me on my shoulder and want to whisper something to me and share in whatever experience I'm going through.  I wish that more people could meet kids like Trig and so many others who have that extra chromosome.  They're - they're amazing, wonderful kids.  They teach us more than we're ever going to be able to teach them.  They keep us grounded and put things in perspective in our lives.

No, I don't think because the child has one extra chromosome they should be able to snuff that life out. When I was pregnant and very early on, at 12 weeks, got the diagnosis that Trig would be born with Down syndrome, I know what moms go through when they're given that, at the time, to be honest with you, kind of devastating news.  You know, it makes your world stop spinning for a bit there.

And there is some fear there of the unknown.  Certainly there was fear in my heart about, you know, how in the world are we going to be able to handle the challenges at the head not necessarily thinking of the beauty that could come from a child being different, being unique.  And as the months went by, though, and as I prayed about it, God, you know, makes - please, change my heart and my eyes so I can see the beauty in all this so that I'll be ready to be a good mom to this child. And he answered my prayers in an awesome - Trig is so wonderful.

But I do know what moms go through.  And, Jake, I think the reason that 85 percent, in some areas 90 percent of babies who have Down Syndrome are aborted is that fear of the unknown and because culture has told these women - and, again, I was there - has told these women, you're not capable of being able to handle and nurture and love and raise a child with special needs and it's just so much easier and convenient for you to just end it, pretend like it never happened, get rid of the child, get rid of the baby and, you know, get on with a convenient life of your own.

So with culture's kind of overall mind set of life being able to just be thrown away, I know why that stat is what it is, is so high.  It's tragic and heck, whatever I can do to help parents, though, who are facing such a challenge at the beginning, especially, to let them know, you can do it.  And it's beautiful. I wouldn't change anything about Trig.  I wouldn't change anything about how this has so solidified our family support for the sanctity of life and for tolerance, for accepting people who are a little bit different.

TAPPER:  Hillary Clinton might soon find herself in a debate with Joe Biden.  You've been there.  You've gone toe-to-toe with him.  I know you're not rooting for Hillary Clinton, but what advice would you offer anyone going toe-to-toe with Joe Biden in a debate?

PALIN:  Joe Biden is - he's such a character.  Nobody has to go in there being nervous.  You can just kind of gauge via his personality that, you know, he - I don't know, it's not that he doesn't take things seriously, but just kind of comes across as being pretty, you know, pretty down to earth, pretty relaxed, so that opponents can do the same.  And at the same time, stick it to them if you want to win that debate.  Start talking about what your accomplishments are.  Start talking about what your intentions are for this country. So man, in those - in that respect, Hillary Clinton wouldn't do very well against Joe Biden.

TAPPER:  Donald Trump says that he would love to have someone of your strength in his administration. Will you take a look at the cabinet? Is there a particular area you think would line up best with your strengths, a position you'd want to serve in?

PALIN:  That's a great question.  I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby, oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the earth for mankind's use instead of us relying on unfriendly foreign nations, for us to import their - their resources.  I think a lot about the Department of Energy.  And if I were head of that, I'd get rid of it.  And I'd let the states start having more control over the lands that are within their boundaries and the people who are affected by the developments within their states.

So, you know, if I were in charge of that, it would be a short-term job, but it would be a - it would be really great to have someone who knows energy and is pro-responsible development to be in charge.

TAPPER:  All right, Secretary Sarah Palin, then, if Donald Trump is watching, or any of the others. Governor Palin, I'll call you for the time being. Thank you so much for joining us.

###END INTERVIEW###

 


Topics: CNN • Jake Tapper • State of the Union
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