GIBSON: They had started appropriating on May 4. They appropriated $223 million I think for the bridge. Then they -- when the project died, that money was still there. And you kept -- the state of Alaska kept that money. Is that consistent with the image of a reformer?
PALIN: It certainly is. Those are infrastructure dollars that a local -- a state government and a local government needs to figure out how to best prioritize those federal funds. We best prioritized those in strengthening existing bridges across our state. We strengthened our infrastructure by paving more roads and building new roads, and building up the water and sewer lines throughout our communities, some communities in Alaska that don't even have water or sewer lines.
And, Charlie, we killed the bridge to nowhere and that's the bottom line.
GIBSON: You said you now agree with John McCain that earmarks should be eliminated. The state of Alaska, under OMB figures in 2008, got $155 million in earmarks for a population of 670,000 people. 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.
Alaska needs to grow up, pull ourselves up from our bootstraps and we need to work extremely hard to start contributing more and developing our God-given resources up here.
That's what our oil and our gas developments and our mineral development is all about. That's what strengthening our commercial fishing industry and our tourism industry is all about. So that we are not the highest per capita state receiving federal funds, and we're way up there. We're not the highest right now, but we're way up there.
And, Charlie, every state can model itself, too, after the agenda that we've implemented here in Alaska. That is self-sufficiency which leads to self-determination in a state. This is a John McCainism, also. He's all about the federalism here, also. He's about states' rights, states' determination. The state of Alaska, I think, has been a poster child in this the last couple of years.
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.
GIBSON: When you were mayor of Wasilla, you hired a very prominent lobbyist to get Wasilla money.