Excerpts: Charlie Gibson Interviews GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin
Republican vice presidential candidate sits down for first exclusive interview.
Sept. 12, 2008— -- The following excerpts are from the ABC News exclusive interview with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in Wasilla, Alaska, conducted by "World News" anchor Charlie Gibson Sept. 12, 2008.
Sarah Palin on Reform:
GIBSON: Didn't George Bush come to Washington eight years ago talking about reforming Washington in the same kind of language? Ran as something of a maverick actually; came to Washington. Eight years, hasn't changed the ethos in Washington particularly. Why are you any different?
PALIN: Well, we're promising the reform. And we are mavericks. There's no doubt in anybody's mind now across America, who's paying attention to the presidential race here, that I am a Washington outsider. I mean, look at where you are. I'm a Washington outsider. I do not have those allegiances to the power brokers, to the lobbyists. We need someone like that in Washington, someone committed to the American people and implementing their will, not the power brokers' will.
GIBSON: You mentioned in the three principles that you'll change spending. You also talked about taxes. Why do you both keep saying that Obama is going to raise people's taxes? It's been pretty clear what he intends. He's talked about middle-class tax cuts, extending Bush tax cuts on everything but people who own or earn more than $250,000 a year -- cuts taxes on over 91 percent of the country. Why do you keep saying he's going to raise people's taxes?
PALIN: Well, I would argue with the whole premise of that, that his mission is to not increase taxes. He's had 94 opportunities to either vote for a tax cut or not support tax increases. And 94 times, he's been on the other side of what I believe the majority of Americans want.
Sarah Palin on Congressional Spending and the ''Bridge to Nowhere':
GIBSON: One of John McCain's central campaign arguments, tenets of his campaign, is eliminating earmarks, getting rid of them. Are you with John McCain on that?
PALIN: I certainly am. And of course the poster child for the earmarks was Alaska's, what people in the lower 48 refer to as the bridge to nowhere. First it was a bridge to community with an airport in southeast Alaska. But that was excessive. And an earmark -- an earmark like that, not even supported necessarily by the majority of Alaskans. We killed that earmark. We killed that project...
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.
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 bidge to nowhere.
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.
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?
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. And, as I've said over and over, if Alaska wants that bridge, $300 million, $400 million dollars, over to that island with an airport, we'll find a way to build it ourselves. The rest of the country doesn't have to build that for us.
GIBSON: But you were for it before you were against it. You were solidly for it for quite some period of time...
PALIN: I was ...
GIBSON: ... until Congress pulled the plug.
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.
PALIN: What I supported was the link between a community and its airport. And we have found that link now.
GIBSON: But you didn't say no to Congress, well build it ourselves until after they pulled the plug. Correct?
PALIN: No, because Congress still allowed those dollars to come into Alaska. They did.
GIBSON: Well, but ...
PALIN: Transportation fund dollars still came into Alaska. It was our choice, Charlie, whether we were going to spend it on a bridge or not. And I said, thanks, but no thanks. We're not going to spend it on the bridge.
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