In the third and final exclusive interview with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, ABC News' Charles Gibson asked the Republican vice presidential candidate if Barack Obama should have picked Hillary Clinton as his running mate.
"I think he's regretting not picking her now, I do. What, what determination, and grit, and even grace through some tough shots that were fired her way, she handled those well," Palin said.
The McCain-Palin ticket has enjoyed a nearly 20-point swing in the polls among women voters since the Republican National Convention in St. Paul last week, which seems to be attributable to the buzz around the Palin pick. Clinton is back on the campaign trail this weekend, with two rallies in Ohio, but she has been reluctant to criticize Palin. (Will she have new talking points this weekend as part of the Obama campaign's Get Tough Now strategy?)
Watch Gibson's exclusive interviews with Gov. Palin tonight on "World News" and later on "20/20," which will broadcast a one-hour special edition at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT.
In her hometown of Wasila, Alaska, Palin talked domestic policy with Gibson. The Republican vice presidential candidate said she was opposed to earmarks, which she called "embarrassments," and says she was in favor of the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" at one time because she favored infrastructure being built in Alaska.
Palin on the Bridge to Nowhere
CHARLES GIBSON: You have said continually, since he chose you as his vice-presidential nominee, that I said to Congress, thanks but not thanks. If we're going to build that bridge, we'll build it ourselves.
SARAH PALIN: Right.
CHARLES GIBSON: But it's now pretty clearly documented. You supported that bridge before you opposed it. You were wearing a t-shirt in the 2006 campaign, showed your support for the bridge to nowhere.
SARAH PALIN: I was wearing a t-shirt with the zip code of the community that was asking for that bridge. Not all the people in that community even were asking for a $400 million or $300 million bridge.
CHARLES GIBSON: But you turned against it after Congress had basically pulled the plug on it; after it became apparent that the state was going to have to pay for it, not the Congress; and after it became a national embarrassment to the state of Alaska. So do you want to revise and extend your remarks.
SARAH PALIN: It has always been an embarrassment that abuse of the ear form -- earmark process has been accepted in Congress. And that's what John McCain has fought. And that's what I joined him in fighting. It's been an embarrassment, not just Alaska's projects. But McCain gives example after example after example. I mean, every state has their embarrassment.
CHARLES GIBSON: But you were for it before you were against it. You were solidly for it for quite some period of time...
SARAH PALIN: I was...
CHARLES GIBSON: ... until Congress pulled the plug.
SARAH PALIN: I was for infrastructure being built in the state. And it's not inappropriate for a mayor or for a governor to request and to work with their Congress and their congressmen, their congresswomen, to plug into the federal budget along with every other state a share of the federal budget for infrastructure.
CHARLES GIBSON: Right.
SARAH PALIN: What I supported was the link between a community and its airport. And we have found that link now.
Palin on earmarks
GIBSON: The state of Alaska, under OMB figures in 2008, got $155 million in earmarks for a population of 670,000. That's $231 per person in Alaska. The state of Illinois, Obama's state, got $22 per person. You got ten times per person as much.How does that square with your reforms?
PALIN: We have drastically, drastically reduced our earmark request since I came into office.
GIBSON: But you still have multiple of any other state.
PALIN: We sure are -- and this is what -- you go out and you ask any Alaskan this. This is what I've been telling Alaskans for these years that I've been in office, is no more. And...
GIBSON: Governor, this year, requested $3.2 million for researching the genetics of harbor seals, money to study the mating habits of crabs. Isn't that exactly the kind of thing that John McCain is objecting to?
PALIN: Those requests, through our research divisions and fish and game and our wildlife departments and our universities, those research requests did come through that system, but wanting it to be in the light of day, not behind closed doors, with lobbyists making deals with Congress to stick things in there under the public radar.That's the abuse that we're going to stop. That's what John McCain has promised over and over for these years and that's what I'm joining him, also, saying, you're right, the abuse of earmarks, it's un-American, it's undemocratic, and it's not going to be accepted in a McCain-Palin administration. Earmark abuse will stop.
Live from New York it's…Barack Obama
"Saturday Night Live" returns tomorrow night with the first live show of the season. Barack Obama will make a cameo appearance on the late night comedy show and there is considerable buzz that Tina Fey will do the same with an impersonation of Sarah Palin. This is not Obama's first time on SNL – he made an appearance in October 2007.
Hillary Clinton hits the campaign trail this weekend with two rallies in northeastern Ohio. Clinton will focus on the economy in her stops in Elyria and Akron.
On the campaign front. . .
-- No public events
-- 1:30 pm ET: Holds Rally, Anchorage, AK.
-- 8:00 pm ET: Holds Rally, Carson City, NV.
As for the Democrats…
-- 10:30 am ET: Holds rally, with Joe Biden, Manchester, NH.
-- 10:30 am ET: Holds rally, with Barack Obama, Manchester, NH
At the White House. . .
-- 10:05 a.m. ET: Delivers his (taped) weekly radio address.
POLITICAL NEWS STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM
ABC News' Russell Goldman: Sarah Palin Says Barack Obama Might Regret Not Picking Hillary Clinton LINK
ABC News' Jennifer Parker: First Palin Interviews Get Mixed Reaction LINK
ABC News' Russell Goldman: Sarah Palin Defends Experience, McCain Foreign Policy; Dems Pounce on 'Bush Doctrine' LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Barack 'Isotoner' Obama to Take Off His Third or Fourth Pair of Gloves and Get Tough LINK
ABC News' Emily Friedman and Jennifer Duck: McCain Says His Campaign Ads Are 'Not Lies' LINK
ABC News' Matthew Jaffe: Biden Releases Tax Returns LINK
ABC News' John Berman, Sunlen Miller, and Ursula Fahy: Are Obama's Attacks Sharp Enough? LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Obama Implies McCain Puts Other Countries First LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Is McCain's Senate Office a More Lucrative Workplace for Women Than Obama's? LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: To the Ladies of "The View," McCain Misrepresents Palin's Earmark Record LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: In the Senate, Obama Yaks, McCain is Divorced from Reality LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Palin Flip-Flops on Whether Global Warming Has Man-Made Causes; Falsely Claims She Never Suggested Otherwise LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM
'The Note' Rewinds the Week's Best Moments
ABC News' Senior Political Reporter Rick Klein on the weekly political roundup. LINK
Obama Sharpens Attacks
Obama vies to retake the spotlight, likening McCain's policies to Bush's agenda. LINK
Americans 'Focus' on Sarah Palin
A California company cashes in on the popularity of the governor's glasses. LINK
Joy to McCain: You're Not a Maverick
Joy Behar accuses John McCain of changing his ways to woo Conservatives. LINK
Barbara Grills McCain About Palin Barbara Walters asks the senator about running mate's experience as a reformer. LINK
McCain Gives 'View' on Roe v. Wade
The senator says he's "pro-life" but respects all viewpoints on abortion issue. LINK
McCain: My Ads Aren't Lies
The senator defends his campaign ads to the ladies of "The View." LINK
'GMA' Whistle-Stop Tour Preview
"GMA" is set to begin its unprecedented 50 states in 50 days tour. LINK
How accurate was veep candidate in her interview with Charles Gibson? LINK
Pundits Break Down Palin Interview
James Carville and Tori Clark hypothesize on how voters will respond. LINK
Does Palin Agree With 'Bush Doctrine'?
Sarah Palin believes the president's top priority is to defend the U.S. LINK
Palin: 'I'm Ready'
Sarah Palin explains her views on global warming and foreign policy. LINK
Palin Sends Her Son, PFC Track, to Iraq
Gov. Palin speaks at the 25th Infantry Division deployment ceremony in Alaska. LINK
Palin on Environment, Energy Policy
Sarah Palin tells Charles Gibson she and McCain agree to disagree on drilling. LINK
Sarah Palin's View of the World
Charles Gibson talks with the Alaskan governor about foreign policy. LINK
Palin on God and War
The GOP's VP pick tells Charles Gibson what she meant by her "holy war" comments. LINK