CNN American Morning - Transcript
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DREW GRIFFIN, CNN SPECIAL INVESTIGATION'S UNIT CORRESPONDENT: You know, first of all, she and her attorney trying to make clear there is no shoe about to drop, no scandal, no IRS, no FBI, no nothing. So the question is, why, governor, did you quit? She wants to get across the point, Alina, that this is about governing in the State of Alaska. She says she's become a distraction because she's been a lightning rod for a lot of ethics complaints that are dragging down the state business. She says she's been planning this for a while. July 3rd was deliberately set as her independence day.
But in the end I asked her, you know, she was the pit bull with lipstick during the campaign. I asked her if in the end it just became too tough for her?
GOV. SARAH PALIN (R), ALASKA: Tough. No, I'm not going to take that comfortable path, I'm going to take the right path for the state. I'm going to let the state progress, and then, I'm going to be able to get out there and help people, help effect change in our state and positive change in our nation, that is my goal. Helping to work for other people to do such a thing. And I don't need a title to do that. And they don't need titles either to effect change, but I want to help people who want to fight for the right things.
GRIFFIN (on camera): But, governor, if that is the right road for Alaska...
GRIFFIN: ...is it the dangerous road for you to be labeled in this land of tough people, a quitter?
PALIN: I'm certainly not a quitter, I'm a fighter. And that's why I'm doing this. To go out there and fight for what is right without the constraints that have been surrounding me in these final months. And anybody who lives in Alaska will tell you, of course, our administration has been paralyzed. We spend most of our day fending off frivolous lawsuits.
So, no, it's not a matter of retreating or quitting, it's a matter of progressing and forwarding a good positive agenda in an unconventional way. And I think that's what caught people off guard, "wait a minute, that's kind of out of the box and unconventional," well, that is who we are as Alaskans. That's certainly how I am as a public servant, as a person very proud of my state, seeing great potential in my state, unconventional in the way that we're getting things done, but we certainly are getting those things done.
GRIFFIN: Is this your unconventional way of announcing you're going to run for president in 2012.
PALIN: As I said, I don't need a title. Nobody does to effect positive change.
GRIFFIN: Are you out of politics? Political office?
PALIN: I can't see me being totally out of public service because that is within me. It is the way that I'm wired is to desire to help.
GRIFFIN: Governor, I'm asking you, are you ever going to run for president? Are you ruling it out?
PALIN: All options are going to keep on, continue to be on the table as they have been for me my entire life. I'm not going to close any door that may be open for me out there so all options are on the table.
GRIFFIN: July 3rd was deliberate?
PALIN: July 3rd was deliberate. That's a good catch, because that was the eve of Independence Day.
GRIFFIN: I'm told by your attorney that was your declaration of independence.
PALIN: Well, it was a declaration of, come on, Alaska, let's move forward. I am willing to step aside and allow our state to progress. I love Alaska that much. I don't want to hamper its progress and its potential, and our path on reaching our destiny. Our destiny is to contribute more to the U.S., to provide that energy independence and that national security aspect.
I don't want to get in the way of that. And I'm willing to step aside and fight for what's right on a different path. So it's not retreat, it's progress.
GRIFFIN: Alina, even in that setting with the hip waiters on, I felt like she was still on the campaign trail talking, but I must tell you, she did seem very much at ease, very comfortable with the decision she made even though here in Alaska many people believe she's committed political suicide.
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