Palin vs. Gibson, the rematch

In a segment to air Friday night, Sarah Palin defends her statements on the Bridge to Nowhere and earmarks.


Alex Koppelman
September 13, 2008 1:00AM (UTC)

ABC News has just released excerpts from the second major segment of Charlie Gibson's interview with Sarah Palin. Looks from these excerpts, which you can read below, that much of the interview will focus on spending, and of course Palin's campaign trail claims about her record in that area.

Given Palin's recent lies about the Bridge to Nowhere, and the attempts to evade shown in these sections, it seems like this part of the interview will definitely be worth watching. (It airs at 6:30 pm EDT.)

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Update: ABC has just released another little snippet. Gibson asks Palin whether she thinks Barack Obama should have chosen Hillary Clinton as his running mate. She responds, "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."

Sarah Palin on '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 no 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.

Sarah Palin on Congressional Spending:

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.

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.


Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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