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Fox News "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren" - Transcript

Interview

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GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a "Fox News Alert." The stock market takes a bath. It has been a week of gyrations, up, down, up, down, and now down. Today it nosedives, the Dow down 419, the NASDAQ down 131, and the S&P 500 down 53. It was a very bad day for Wall Street and a terrible sign for our economy.

So where is President Obama at an important time like this? He's officially on vacation in Massachusetts on Martha's Vineyard for 10 days.

Joining us is former governor Sarah Palin. Good evening, Governor. I guess the truth is, is that whether the president's at the White House tonight or Martha's Vineyard, the stock market still went down today. We still have jobless claims over 400,000. So where he is doesn't matter. But does it send a sign to the American people? Does it matter sort of symbolically where he is?

SARAH PALIN, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR/FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: It does matter where he is tonight, Greta, and I don't know why our president bothers even making promises at this point or spewing those platitudes. One in particular, he said he promised to not rest until every American who wanted a job got that job. And yet there he goes, jetting off to tickle his toes in the sand of Martha's Vineyard and probably burying his head in the proverbial sand, ignoring the fact that 14 million Americans cannot find a job, that 40-plus million Americans are relying on food stamps to make ends meet.

You know, economies are crashing. Markets are crashing. There's a lot of turmoil right now. And he just seems so extremely absent from the reality that the rest of us are facing in this country today. And that's illustrated by his desire and now his action to go on vacation again, this time for 10 days in a pretty elite high mucka-mucka area where the rest of us are kind of shaking our heads saying, Really? At this time? Perception being reality in politics, why in the world would he do this?

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I'm not sure he understands how important the office of the president is to the American people. And it's not simply policies, but that we do look for him for inspiration, to leadership, to any president of the United States, whether you're for him or against him. And I guess at these sort of perilous times, when people worry about paying rent, worry about putting food on the table that -- you know, that symbolically, it's, like, you know, we want to see our president leading us and -- you know, and really sort of digging in with us.

That's what I think is the unfortunate message. I don't doubt he's working hard. You know, I may have trouble with his policies, but I -- I wonder who's talking to him, who's giving him advice, because we need inspiration at this point, and you know, this isn't it.

PALIN: Well, we need empowerment of the individual, and I think his ideology will not allow him to be one to allow that empowerment of individuals in our small businesses and our families to make decisions on our own and to invest according to our own priorities so that the private sector can grow and thrive and jobs can be created.

No, his ideology is one of big, centralized government that can plan an economy and make decisions for our businesses and for us as individuals. So I think that he is not the one to provide that inspiration and that empowerment that is so desperately needed today to get us out of this really chaotic situation that we're in.

And we saw markets today react to that tumultuous chaos, as they're forward-looking, these investors, who are really taking money out of the market right now because of the uncertainty. And it's caused by President Obama's ideology that will not allow the private sector to do what it does best and stimulate the economy itself.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I'm not so sure. ... I totally -- I mean, in looking at it, is, you know, I actually think the American people, whether he wants a centralized government or not, want an answer. And I think the more difficult thing is sort of the mystery of it all, saying, I have the answer, I've got something for you, you'll get it in two weeks. And I think that's what's so painful.

I -- you know, I -- these are very difficult times trying to sort of guess what the right answer is because the economy is so fluid. There's so many variables involves. But to sort of, you know, think, like -- you know, is, like, I don't -- he doesn't, quote, "feel the pain" that Bill Clinton did, President Bill Clinton did, if he goes off and lets people sort of just hang out there, hoping when he comes back that he's got something.

PALIN: And he makes another promise that he has a plan that this time he will actually present. We don't know if that's just going to be another speech or actually a written-down plan that people can hold him accountable to.

But Greta, what his jobs plan will be, I guarantee you, it will be based on this foundation -- spend more money, incur more debt, spend money that we do not have so we'll have to borrow money from foreign countries like China or print more money so that we can spend more money.

And it all has to do with government, his ideal that government is the answer, when it's proven in these last two-and-a-half years that government is not the answer. Too often, it is the problem. And truly, he needs to allow the private sector to start stimulating the economy the way that America used to.

And you know what that was based on. That stimulation of the economy was based on development of our natural resources and reward for work ethic. And we've gotten so far away from that in our political -- the policies coming out of Washington that, you know, it's going to take a while to get this train back on the right track.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, in February of 2009 and the stimulus bill was put into effect, a lot people opposed it, but I think that, you know, any good American wanted it to work. Whether you're for it or again, you really wanted it to work. Now we're two-and-a-half years later, and if he comes back to the American people in two weeks and says, you know, we need to do another stimulus bill, I think it's going to be a harder sell to the American people. He's going to have to show, you know, trends, real progress with the last one. Otherwise, he really does need to go to Plan B because the -- you know, the American people won't buy another stimulus unless there's -- in recent history there has been some, you know, strong evidence of success.

PALIN: You know who's not going to buy this next stimulus package and believe that it's going to work will be the governors around the states. I was governor last time that he tried to tell us that this nearly trillion- dollar stimulus package that we just had to have shoved down our throats was going to be the cure-all for our economic woes around the nation.

And there are a lot of conservative governors -- I was one of them -- who vetoed part of those funds and said, No, there are fat strings attached to bigger centralized national government that would attach the states to big government and we would be beholden to more rules, more regulations, more overreach of the federal government, and we knew that that wasn't going to be good for the 10th Amendment. It wouldn't be good for states' rights and our sovereignties.

And yet the president and Congress insisted that it was going to be the answer. Well, it's proven to not be the answer. So now when he tries to do this again -- and he will try. Upon his return from Martha's Vineyard, he will try another stimulus package, I am sure. I think it will be the governors in the states who rise up and say, No, not this time. You know, fool me once, and you know, you're not going to do it again.

VAN SUSTEREN: How does a president, any president -- we've had -- we've had a uniter. President Bush said that he could unite. That didn't work too well. We have this president, who said that, you know, he can get people to talk on both sides. No matter -- you know, no matter what -- what you think about the two different ideologies, unless both parties do sort of work together instead of sort of locking horns, there will never be success in Washington.

Should we just abandon the thought that the two parties can ever work together in concert, or -- or for instance, like, you know, what would -- would you do something different? How could you get the two parties to work in concert for the common goal that sort of satisfies so many different factions?

PALIN: Look at the movement that has risen up that we call the Tea Party movement, Greta, and let's use that as an example of nonpartisan, independent Americans with just a lot of common sense and a desire to see the economy put back on the right track. This Tea Party movement is a good model for Congress, believe it or not.

If you get into a Tea Party rally and you start asking people, you know, How long have you been involved in your local or state or federal government, and for the most part, you're going to hear people say, I've never been involved in government before, and I'm not even registered in one party or another, I'm just an independent. And I just want people who are in these elected offices to be held accountable and to listen to the will of the people and to make common sense decisions with our economy so that we don't become an insolvent, bankrupt country.

Look at what is going on in the Tea Party movement and the rising up of the people's voice there. If Congress would embrace more of that, that independence, not that parochial and obsessive partisanship that we see in both machines, both sides of the aisle today -- if they would embrace more of that movement, then our country will be better off, and that's how we're going to make some progress here.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I see a lot of good, hard-working Americans who are in the Tea Party movement. And then, you know, from time to time, I see things like -- you know, today -- today, I wrote on Gretawire a blog about what's going on within the Tea Party movement to Senator Orrin Hatch. I mean, he's getting attacking by a small portion of the Tea Party movement for not being Tea Party-ish enough, and it's -- and it fundamentally goes around the balanced budget amendment, which is so -- which is the mantra of the Tea Party movement.

But if you do a little research, Senator Orrin Hatch going back to 1979 in the U.S. Senate was pushing the Tea Party -- a balanced budget amendment. Yet some of these people in the Tea Party movement won't recognize it. They won't look at the facts and they go after him. So it's, like, even within the Tea Party movement, there is -- you know, there's a disregard for the facts and an effort to be sort of disruptive even within the -- within the group.

PALIN: Well, and you'll find that within any venue, within any group, Greta, especially when it involves politics. But to your particular point about Senator Orrin Hatch -- he is doing good in terms of trying to get a balanced budget and he has been for the last couple of decades. And he's pushed hard for some fiscal reforms that we have got to see implemented, otherwise, you know, crony capitalism is going to continue coming out of Washington, D.C., and we're going to continue on the wrong path and we will be bankrupt.

So people like Orrin Hatch, who now especially -- he's rising up with quite aggressive talk about the balanced budget amendment and other things that he has seen for all these years need to be done. We need to be agreeing and embracing his idea and working with him to make sure that that happens, instead of shooing him away and shooing him out of a Tea Party movement, if you will, when he agrees with such a basic fundamental principle that we must see implemented, and that's just simply balancing the doggone federal budget!

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, going back to President Obama, I tell you something that surprised me today. I was watching the announcement by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton about the United States' position, as the chief diplomat, on the president of Syria that he -- you know, that he must go, that he's got to leave.

And as I was looking at the screen, I thought, you know, this very important thing, you know, the president -- and let me be very sarcastic. He's busy packing for his vacation. He hasn't given the jobs plan. Meanwhile, it's almost like he outsourced this. And she looked much more presidential, and you know, sitting there up on the screen, announcing the policy of the United States. And I thought to myself, you know, Is he just tired? Has he sort of given up? Or -- or -- I mean, like, you know, suddenly, she looked like the president.

PALIN: Well, he's got his priorities skewed, really, Greta. And I take it literal that he was getting ready for, packing for vacation while here it was Secretary Clinton asking on behalf of the United States of America for another president of another country to step down. That is our president's role!

No, this is another example of President Obama leading from behind. Makes you scratch your head and wonder what really does he do? What does he desire to do in that position of leader of the free world and so much influence that he has, and in a case like this, he's stepping back and allowing Hillary Clinton to basically carry the water for our entire nation. Very strange goings on there with our foreign policy decisions and announcements like that.

And I'll bet you, Greta, going out on a limb because I -- you know, obviously, I can't speak for liberal Democrats. But I just think that after a day like this, where you saw that kind of presidential aura of Hillary Clinton as she made that announcement today, while Barack Obama was packing to head out for 10 days on vacation again to go golf and tickle his feet in the sand -- I'll bet you people, if they had to do it over again, who had that choice at that time in the Democrat primary between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama -- I bet you today, they are saying, We should have gone with Hillary Clinton.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's just -- it's amazing to me, though. As I think to myself, like, why -- has he -- has he almost sort of given up that he would sort of outsource that? I mean, you know, where's the fighting spirit for him? I just don't get this because, you know, he was - - he was so -- such a strong -- strong on the campaign trail and he inspired so many Americans. I was hoping that he would inspire, you know, people who had never, ever been involved in politics. He got them out to vote. And now, you know, it's almost as though he's lost his steam. He seems to have lost the interest, or at least right now in this month, he has.

PALIN: Well, the difference between him now and back there three years ago on the campaign trail is he was getting away with everything on the campaign trail, and it was driving me crazy as a team member of the John McCain presidential team, as we were campaigning for office, watching what the press was letting candidate Barack Obama get away with, with his proclamation that he'd be transforming America, and yet nobody asking him, What in the world do you mean you want to transform the greatest, most prosperous, safest, healthiest nation in the world? What do you mean, transform it? Do you mean restore all that is good and strong about America, or truly, you want to fundamentally transform it?

That's just one example of candidate Obama spewing that kind of rhetoric and getting away with it. And now, three years later, we're understanding what he meant by that fundamental transformation of America as we see more and more failed policies being implemented and we sit here scratching our heads, wondering what is next? We saw markets today reacting to volatility, reacting to a lack of plan, which leads to lack of confidence in the marketplaces. And we wonder how much worse is this going to get before 2012? I tell you, 2012 can't come soon

VAN SUSTEREN: How can we help him be -- I mean, how can we help matters now? I mean, 2012 -- I mean, like -- and whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, I don't know what's going to happen come 2012. But in the meantime, people really are without jobs. And we all really -- I mean, and even if you're a Republican, you got to -- you know, if you're -- you're a good, decent citizen, you got to want President Obama in some ways to really succeed so that people can go back to work and have all the opportunity. You know, so even as an opponent in another political party, what can you do to help him?

PALIN: You know, that is a great question, what we can all do to help our country right now. One thing we cannot do is put our faith in an individual, a politician or even really a political party or government policies because -- I talked about this in my gubernatorial inaugural address a few years ago. I said government cannot make you happy, healthy, wealthy or wise.

We have to reach within ourselves and find within us the spirit, the ingenuity, the work ethic, those things that Americans back in pioneering days built and resulted in the greatest, most prosperous, most exceptional country on earth. We have to look within ourselves, do what we can to create our own jobs. Don't wait for government to create jobs for us. They're just going to mess it up, that bureaucratic morass that we find in Washington, D.C.

Let's get out there and let's -- let's hire people. Let's save for the future. We have to make sure that we're taking care of our families and our small businesses and being prudent and planning ahead. But let's get out there and be bold with our own initiatives and not wait for that elite bubble in Washington, D.C., those folks who are within that bubble to tell us how it's going to be and how the economy can be planned for us.

They just keep messing it up, Greta. And we're going to have to do that within ourselves and in our own families, in our own small communities and in our own states and kind of ignore the chaos and the turbulence that's coming out of Washington, D.C., and pull ourselves up from the bootstraps, just like Americans used to do.

Ignore the problems in Washington. Let's take care of it ourselves. And then let's hope that soon we do have elected officials who will come in and get government out of the way so that the private sector can do what it does best and stimulate the economy.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right, about an hour ago, I got an e-mail from my colleague, Carl Cameron, with a press release saying that you're going to Iowa for the Tea Party -- for a Tea Party speech in early -- in early September. Of course, you know, so we're suspicious, a lot of little chatter about what you're doing and why you're doing it. So let me -- you know, are you any -- are you any closer to making a decision? And why are you going back to Iowa?

PALIN: Thankful to have been invited to a Tea Party event there, an inaugural Tea Party event, Where we will talk about the solutions to the problems that Americans are facing right now, anxious to be there September 3rd. And you know, we'll be continuing to do a lot of travel and a lot of...

VAN SUSTEREN: It's an awful tease, though...

PALIN: ... discussion about solution.

VAN SUSTEREN: You know, we're -- I mean, it's an awful tease trying to guess what different candidates are doing. And you know, everyone's tease -- you know, you get the bus. You're in Iowa. I mean, you know, sort of, like, you know, you're one of the subjects that's driving the media a little bit mad. So can you at least give me a little bit of a hint which way the wind is blowing tonight?

PALIN: Still contemplating whether I should jump in there or not, but in the meantime, very determined to help get this country back on the right track. Remember, Greta, you don't need a title to make a difference. You don't need to hold an office to make a difference. I think I am proof of that, as are millions of other Americans. And looking forward to this event, where I can help explain to other Americans how we can all be a part of the solution by empowering individuals, empowering one another and not waiting for government to do it for us.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I can see in the background it's getting very dark in Alaska. Must be getting -- we're getting towards the end of the summer. It's dark so early in Wasilla. No -- no more midnight sun, Governor.

PALIN: Nope. Summer did wind down quickly. Fall time is here. That nip is in the air. But it's absolutely beautiful.

VAN SUSTEREN: Indeed, it is. Governor, thank you.

PALIN: Thanks so much.


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