RUSH: We are going to open this hour with a rare personal interview, a rare guest. It doesn't happen much on this program, but we are happy to have with us former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, whose book, Going Rogue, hits the shelves today and it's already headed for I think a record in sales. Governor Palin, thanks for making time. It's great to talk to you again. We spoke last Thursday in an interview for the Limbaugh Letter, but it's great to have you here on the radio.
GOV. PALIN: Hey, thank you so much, and dittos from an Alaskan.
RUSH: Where are you, by the way? Where are we speaking to you from?
GOV. PALIN: In a hotel room in New York City. I'm going to do a couple of interviews after that and then head to Grand Rapids for the kickoff of the book tour.
RUSH: This is going to be exciting. Are you looking forward to that?
GOV. PALIN: I am so looking forward to this. I cannot wait to meet some of these good Americans all across this country. It's going to be a blast.
RUSH: They can't wait to meet you, judging by the reception you got during the campaign. Now, ladies and gentlemen, Governor Palin, when we spoke last Thursday I spoke to her a lot about the things in her book regarding the campaign. That stuff you'll read in the Limbaugh Letter, and I predicted to Governor Palin then that much of her book would be ignored in light of the dirt that she was supposedly dishing from the campaign. So Governor Palin what I'd like to do here is go some different directions from what we did in the newsletter interview and start with the economy. We have 10.2% unemployment. We see no end in sight. The administration and others are suggesting next year could be just as bad with unemployment going up to 11%. What would you do differently than is being done now?
GOV. PALIN: It's over 10%, and in fact it could be closer to 17 or 18 when you consider those who have kind of given up and are not applying for unemployment benefits. So it's bad, it's really bad and then of course Fed Chair Bernanke announced that there are still weak job prospects for the very short term and probably long term, and that's an uncomfortable place for our country to be. What we need to do is shift gears and really head in another direction because what we're doing right now with the Fed, it's not working. We need to cut taxes on the job creators. This is all about jobs, creating jobs. We have to ramp up industry here in America, and of course reduce the federal debt, quit piling on and growing more. But those commonsense solutions there, especially with the cutting taxes on the job creators, that's not even being discussed. In fact, increased taxes is the direction it sounds like Obama wants to go.
RUSH: You mean that you don't even hear it being discussed on the Republican side or within the administration?
GOV. PALIN: Within the administration, and as it is discussed on the Republican side, Republicans need to be bolder about it. Independents need to be bolder about that solution that has got to be considered and plugged in. This is the only solution that will be successful. We need to rehash some history that proves its success. Let's go back to what Reagan did in the early eighties and stay committed to those commonsense free market principles that worked. He faced a tougher recession than what we're facing today. He cut those taxes, ramped up industry, and we pulled out of that recession. We need to revisit that.
RUSH: Why do you think this administration is ignoring that blueprint? What is their ultimate objective here? They're sitting in the middle of abject failure of their number-one stated goal, and that's job creation. So what are they really trying to do here do you think?
GOV. PALIN: Well, you wonder, you wonder because history proves what will work and you wonder if they're realizing that and if it's just perhaps a stubbornness at this point that they are so committed to going down this road of growing government and interjecting the Feds' control in the private sector more and more, which will prove to be more failure. I don't know if it's obstinate thinking that they're engaged in right now or if they truly just do not believe what the free market, free enterprise economic solutions are that built up this country.
RUSH: Do you think this is going to be a major issue in the congressional elections in 2010, and if so, how would you advise Republicans to pursue it?
GOV. PALIN: It better be a major issue, absolutely. Of course, national security will be, too, and hopefully we'll talk a little bit about some of the decisions being made in that arena that cause so many of us concern but, yeah, the economy, that's what it's going to be because it's all about jobs, it's all about Americans who are hurting right now and what those solutions are that are so obvious, so commonsense that need to be plugged in. And those are Republican, they're commonsense conservative principles that we just need to apply.
RUSH: New York-23 is being portrayed as a race in which you and I -- because we supposedly went up there -- handpicked Doug Hoffman, he supposedly lost, even though that race, they still haven't finished counting the votes. It's two weeks! This is not Chicago. They haven't finished counting the votes. He says he wishes he could un-concede now. But they're trying to diminish conservatism, and I think in the process intimidate the Republican Party from going in that direction. What's your read on New York-23?
GOV. PALIN: I think this is exciting. It's encouraging. No matter the outcome even with his recount of some of those, well, uncounted ballots, it's exciting that the race is going to be even closer, and it's a clearer and clearer picture that what Americans are seeking, even in a district there in New York, they are seeking commonsense, conservative solutions to all the challenges that we're facing. I'm glad to see this.
RUSH: So the positive thing there is that the Republican Party was rebuffed in nominating essentially a RINO, a liberal?
GOV. PALIN: Well, I think what you saw there is -- and of course it's not just the Republican machine, it's the Democrat machine, too. You know, if you're not the anointed one within the machine, sometimes you have a much tougher row to hoe and that's what Hoffman faced. He was the underdog. I think great timing for him, though, to stand strong on his conservative credentials and essentially come out of nowhere and prove that an American without that resume, without that machine backing can truly make a difference in an election like this.
RUSH: Well, now, you used the term, "If you're not the anointed one by the party machine, you're the underdog and you have a tough row to hoe." Based on things that I read, the Republican establishment would not anoint you to be a nominee of their party should you choose to go that way. I'm not asking you the question because I know you're not going to answer and give away what your plans are in 2012.
GOV. PALIN: (chuckles)
RUSH: Do you consider yourself one of these unanointed ones within your own party?
GOV. PALIN: Well, to some in both parties, politics is more of a business. It's not so much a commitment to an agenda or a person or values or issues. It's more of a business -- and, no, I'm not a part of that. So if they're going to keep using that way of thinking in their decisions on who they anoint, who they will support or not then, no. I'll never be a part of that. But hopefully we're going to see a shift with independents, with the Republican Party and the Democrat Party, and we're going to get back to what the issues are, what really matters, and then hopefully we're going to go from there, which will be much fairer to the electorate.
RUSH: All right, independents, slash, third party. A lot of people -- mistakenly, in my view -- are looking at New York-23 as evidence that, see, a third party could actually do well. But that's not a good example because there was no primary there. As you said, the party bosses chose Dede Scozzafava on the Republican side and a Democrat. Had there been a primary, New York-23 would not have been constituted as it was. So what are your thoughts now on the viability of a third party if the Republican Party can't be brought around?
GOV. PALIN: You know, to be brutally honest, I think that it's a bit naive when you talk about the pragmatism that has to be applied in America's political system. And we are a two-party system. Ideally, sure, a third party or an independent party would be able to soar and thrive and put candidates forth and have them elected, but I don't think America is ready for that. I think that it is... Granted it's quite conventional and traditional, but in a good way that we have our two parties, and I think that that's what will remain. And I say that, though, acknowledging that I'm not an obsessive panther, I understand why people -- good people like my own husband -- refuse to register in a party. Todd's not a Republican and yet he's got more commonsense conservatism than a whole lot of Republicans that I know because he is one who sees the idiosyncrasies of the characters within the machine and it frustrates him along with a whole lot of other Americans who choose to be independent. But in answer to your question, I don't think that the third party movement will be what's necessary to usher in some commonsense conservative ideals.
RUSH: Now, you mentioned independents. We need to get independents. Independents right now are abandoning the Democrat Party. They did so in New Jersey. They did so in Virginia. And the White House pretty much proves this because the White House was out prior to the election saying, "Ah, Republican Party identification in polls is as low as it's ever been." Therefore, for Republicans to win these races there had to be independents moving in their direction. Now, I know you're not in politics now but you have political experience. I'm not in politics. I've never gone out and gotten votes. I've always been curious about the professional politicians' insistence that we go out and "get independents." Sure you want to shore up the base. But these magical, whatever it is, 20% of people that are not identified or do not self-identify themselves with either party, what's the way to get them?
GOV. PALIN: I think just naturally independents are going to gravitate towards that Republican agenda and Republican platform because the planks in our platform are the strongest to build a healthy America. We're all about cutting taxes and shrinking government and respecting the inherent rights of the individual and strengthening families and respecting life and equality. You have to shake your head and say, "Who wouldn't embrace that? Who wouldn't want to come on over?" They don't have to necessarily be registered within the Republican Party in order to hook up with us and join us with that agenda standing on those planks. In Alaska, about 70% of Alaskans are independent. So that's my base. That's where I am from and that's been my training ground, is just implementing commonsense conservative solutions. Independents appreciate that. You're going to see more and more of that attraction to the GOP by these independents as the days go on.
RUSH: If the GOP articulates what you just articulated. I've always believed the way to get them... Reagan got them by just being who he was, articulating conservatism. Conservatism is nothing different than the founding principles of the country. Therefore, the key to getting independents is Republicans who can articulate those beliefs.
GOV. PALIN: You know another key to this, too, is to not hesitate duking it out within the party. This is what I appreciate about the Republican Party. We have contested, aggressive, competitive primaries. We're not like this herd mentality like a bunch of sheep -- with the fighting instincts of sheep, as Horowitz would say -- like some in the Democrat Party; where, heaven forbid, you take a stand and you oppose somebody within your own party because it's the right thing to do. I appreciate that in the Republican Party. Some on the other side say -- you know, they're observing what goes on in the GOP and say -- "That's infighting, and they can't get along, and there's no consensus there." No. This is healthy debate, good competition that makes candidates work harder. It makes for a better product, if you will, at the end of the day. I appreciate that about our party.
RUSH: We are talking to Governor Sarah Palin. We take a brief prosperity time-out. We'll be back and continue with Governor Palin right after this.
RUSH: And we're back. Our remaining moments with former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, starting her book tour today. Let's talk about your book tour, your career in general, Governor Palin. Who are you trying to reach, and for what purpose, with the book and your book tour? What's your goal here?
GOV. PALIN: I'm not trying to reach the liberal elites in this country, and it's a good thing I'm not trying to, because I'm not succeeding there. Just everyday, hardworking Americans who want government back on their side and I want to help them have their voice be heard. And the book is all about that, and the book is about my record and my accomplishments as a mayor and as a governor that kind of lay the foundation for Americans to see where it was that I was and how I got to where I am. It was just a lot of hard work and it was a lot of very commonsense measures that I undertook politically and practically speaking, and the book is about that, and hopefully people will read it and enjoy it and learn something from it.
RUSH: What's our biggest energy challenge as a country? Do you believe at all or some or a lot in the modern-day go-green movement of solar and wind and all of these nefarious things that really don't produce anything yet?
GOV. PALIN: I think there's a lot of snake oil science involved in that and somebody's making a whole lot of money off people's fears that the world is... It's kind of tough to figure out with the shady science right now, what are we supposed to be doing right now with our climate. Are we warming or are we cooling? I don't think Americans are even told anymore if it's global warming or just climate change. And I don't attribute all the changes to man's activities. I think that this is, in a lot of respects, cyclical and the earth does cool and it warms. And our greatest challenge with energy is that we're not tapping it to the abundant domestic supplies that God created right underfoot on American soil and under our waters. It's ridiculous that we are circulating hundreds of billions of dollars a year in foreign countries, asking them to ramp up production so that we can purchase it from them -- especially from the regimes that can control us via energy, using it as a weapon against us, potentially. It's nonsense that this administration and past administrations haven't really understood yet that inherent link between energy and security. I think more and more Americans are waking up to the fact, though, and we will hopefully see changes there soon.
RUSH: Vice President Biden chided you, saying, "It's a little bit more complicated," Governor Palin, than "Drill, Baby, Drill," which is one of your chapter titles. What's complicated about drilling for oil?
GOV. PALIN: Exactly. What is complicated about tapping into abundant, safe domestic supplies that could provide stability for our country and security for our country? I know Alaska has billions of barrels of oil underfoot, and we have the natural gas that's waiting to be tapped, too; and other states do, too. It's not that complicated. It's political, and that's what is the shame in this, is that for political reasons we're not allowing to tap these domestic supplies.
RUSH: What are your thoughts on the congressional health care reform bills going through the House and the Senate?
GOV. PALIN: Well, we don't really know, do we, what's in that Senate version, the Senate consideration? It will be soon but we have no idea of costs. We don't know how many will be insured. We're waiting to hear that. We don't know if the tax funding of abortions will be in this new version that's sitting over on the Senate side. We don't know if those who choose not to purchase this government-mandated level of coverage will face jail time as punishment. There are so many questions unanswered. I don't like the idea, in general, of the federal government thinking it needs to take over health care -- which essentially this is -- and control one-sixth of our economy. Not when there are commonsense solutions to meeting health care challenges in our country, like allowing the intra- and interstate competition with insurers, tort reform, cutting down on the waste and fraud that the Obama administration insists if we just did that we'll pay for this one-point-some trillion-dollar health care reform package. So lots of commonsense solutions that need to be plugged in before ever considering federal government taking it over.
RUSH: You mentioned earlier you wanted to talk about national security, that you hoped it came up. Well, here it is: What do we face? What are our threats, and are we prepared, or not?
GOV. PALIN: Well, I think domestically a threat that we're facing right now is the dithering and hesitation in sending a message to the terrorists that we're going to claim what Ronald Reagan claimed. Our motto is going to be: "We win, you lose." The way that we do that is allow McChrystal to have the reinforcements that he's asking for in Afghanistan. That sends that message to the terrorists over there that we're going to end this thing with our victory. We need to start facing Iran with tougher and tougher sanctions that need to be considered. We need to work our allies with the Iranian issues, like Britain and France and not allow access to favorable international monetary deals. That's a great threat that I think would kind of shake up Ahmadinejad and get him to listen. We need to look at halting Iran's imports of refined petroleum products. They're quite reliant on imported gasoline, and we need to use that hammer to wake up the leadership there, too. Those are two big challenges that we have right now, domestically and in naming those two countries, Afghanistan and Iran. Two big challenges there, too.
RUSH: Thirty seconds: Immigration. Can you do it in 30 seconds before we have to go?
GOV. PALIN: I can't do it in 30 seconds but just know that... You know, let me put it simply: Illegal immigrants are called "illegal" for a reason. We need to crack down on this. We need to listen to the border states where the governors there have some solutions and we need to get serious about that.
RUSH: Governor Palin, thanks very much. It's been a pleasure. It's been fun. Thanks for last week as well and good luck on what I know is going to be a life-changing book and book tour.
GOV. PALIN: Hey, thank you. Keep up the good work.
RUSH: Thank you.
GOV. PALIN: And all the best to all your listeners.