October 17th, 2008
05:29 PM ET
13 years ago

Palin speaks to reporters about Ayers, Wright, state of the race

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/17/art.palinplane1017.jpg caption="Gov. Palin spoke with reporters on her campaign plane Friday."]
MUNCIE, Indiana (CNN) - On a brief flight from Ohio to Indiana on Friday, Sarah Palin spoke to reporters traveling with her campaign for just the second time this election cycle.

Watch: Palin chats with the press

During a seven-minute back and forth with the press, Palin was asked why her campaign was focusing on Barack Obama’s relationship with William Ayers, even though Obama has much closer ties to his controversial former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright. The Alaska governor lamented Obama’s relationship with Wright, but said the decision to make it a campaign issue is John McCain’s.

“He sat in the pews for 20 years and heard Rev. Wright say some things that most people would find a bit concerning,” she said. “But again that is John McCain's call.”

Though the McCain campaign is being forced to defend traditional GOP strongholds like North Carolina and Indiana this late in the election season, Palin said “my input has been, let us get out there to as many states as we have time for.”

“I think it's wise not to take anything for granted and assume that any state is a lock for either ticket,” she said.

She also talked about what she meant when she said she enjoyed visiting "pro-America" areas, whether or not she believes Barack Obama loves America, and her upcoming appearance on Saturday Night Live.

The transcript of Palin’s full remarks are after the jump.

October 17, 2008
Flight from Ohio to Indiana


QUESTION: So how come you've dropped the attacks on Obama and Ayers lately?

A: Well, I think that American voters are understanding that association - that it's OK to talk about fact. Of course, Barack Obama had been bringing it up, even in challenging John McCain on that, saying if you want to talk about it, talk about it, too, so McCain did that, and the association is out there. It's up now to the people of America to decide whether that association is important enough to them to research and find out more about a person's judgment and truthfulness.

QUESTION: Just to follow up on that, you said that, you know, 'Obama doesn't see America the way you and I see America.' Do you think Obama loves America as much as you do?

A: I know Obama loves America. I'm sure that is why he's running for president. It's because he wants to do what he believes is in the best interest of this great nation. I believe that our ticket can do a better job for America as we reduce taxes and reign in government and allow our private sector and our families to prosper, to grow, and to keep more of what they earn and produce so that they can reinvest according to our own priorities. I think that that is best to get the economy back on track. It's a better agenda for America. But I don't question at all Barack Obama's love for this great country

QUESTION: It's unusual for a Republican campaign to be campaigning in North Carolina and Indiana halfway through October in an election year, are you concerned you are spending resources in states and places you shouldn't be?

A: I think it's wise not to take anything for granted and assume that any state is a lock for either ticket, so if there were more hours in the day and more availabilities I would hope that we can be in even more states, even those that maybe we're down in, maybe those that we assume are a lock. I don't want to take anything for granted, and my input has been: let us get out there to as many states as we have time for.

QUESTION: Governor, the Washington Post and Peggy Noonan both said independently today that you are unqualified to be commander in chief. How do you respond to that?

A: Well, we talked a lot already about my executive experience that will be put to good use as vice president and if heaven forbid, anything happened to John McCain, if we're so blessed to be elected president and vice president, that executive experience will be put to good use, as coming from a mayor and a manager, small business owner and a governor and a regulator of oil and gas. That's important, but as important is the world view that I share with John McCain and the intentions that we have there to put in place policies that will put government back on the side of the American people and we'll win these wars and help secure our nation. Those things all put together will be put to good use and if I felt I was not ready I would never have said yes, I wanna take on this responsibility, this challenge, this opportunity to run for vice president as his partner.

QUESTION: You talk a lot about voter fraud. How concerned are you guys about that and what can you do at this point when we're just 18 days out to kind of put any safeguards in place?

A: I think voters are very concerned about voter fraud and as more and more revelation comes in these 13 states that are now under investigation for potential voter fraud, I think that more American voters are becoming very very concerned. There are safeguards already that are in place but evidently they're not being adhered to or implemented certainly in Ohio if the secretary there not seeming to desire to reassure voters that all securities are being taken care of to make sure that there is no, there's no fraudulent activity at all, that those who are registered to vote are eligible to vote. And obviously there's proof that that is not happening right now. So American voters are concerned about this, I'm concerned about it.

QUESTION: Did you ask John McCain to bring up Reverend Wright more, and if so what did he say?

A: No I have not asked him to bring it up.

FOLLOW-UP: Do you think he should?

A: It's up to him you know and what he chooses to discuss. I think that calling someone - an opponent on their record and even on their associations isn't - it's not mean spirited. It's not negative campaigning. It is fair to the electorate to have the discussion - the debate about someone's record and associations, but I haven't advised Senator McCain on who he should bring up and what his topics of discussion should be.

QUESTION: How often during the day do you talk to Sen. McCain?

A: A couple of times of day. And we really enjoy being able to campaign together, and I wish we could do more of that together, because we have I think some great synergy and really great chemistry and we get along so well, that not only is it very productive but it's also fun to be able to campaign with him. He's got so much energy and it's always a good time for all of our camps and our families to be together but we speak on the phone on the phone when we're not physically there together campaigning together on the trail.

FOLLOW-UP: What do you talk about?

A: We talk about the news of the day, about what the issues are that seem to be resonating that, certainly, that you all are reporting on. And just a lot of reinforcement and encouragement of each other that again we are on the right track and explaining to all Americans our plans to reduce taxes and to get our economy back on track. They're great conversations, and very productive, very helpful for both of us.

QUESTION: Are you excited for tomorrow night (SNL appearance)? Can you give us a preview?

A: Oh man. I'm excited for tomorrow night. I have no idea what to expect because I haven't seen any scripts or anything else yet, but it will be fun. The opportunity to show American television watchers anyway that you get to have a sense of humor through all of this or even just this really would be wearin', tearin' on you so an opportunity to show that sense of humor and that side of all of this I look forward to it.

QUESTION: Isn't Reverend Wright a lot more relevant than Bill Ayers? I mean, he sat in his pews for 20 years.

A: That's up to John McCain to decide. That's true. He sat in the pews for 20 years and heard Reverend Wright say some things that most people would find a bit concerning. But again that is John McCain's call.

QUESTION: Last night at the fundraiser you made a comment about the area being a pro-America area of the country. I was wondering if you could explain that a little bit more, what you meant by pro-America?

A: Every area, every area across this great country where we're stopping and where also the other ticket is stopping and getting to speak at these rallies and speak with the good Americans, it's all pro-America. I was just reinforcing the fact that there, where I was, there's good patriotic people there in these rallies, so excited about positive change and reform of government that's coming that they are so appreciative of hearing our message, hearing our plan. Not, not any one area of America is more pro-America patriotically than others.

QUESTION: Are you going back to Alaska to vote?

A: We don't know what the plan will be yet on there if - if I'm not there physically we will be applying for that absentee ballot and we'll do the early voting there. Yeah. And we'll do it fairly.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. Carol, California

    There are no words that can fully describe my contempt for this woman. She is disgusting.

    October 17, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. Jodi K

    the real difference between the Democratic ticke3t and the Republican ticket this time around is the simple fact that the Democrats have respect for everyone, and the likes of Sarah Palin and John McCain seem to think the only pro american or patriotic people in the country are at their rallies. I find that extremely insulting. Showing up at a hate rally does NOT make someone pro america or patriotic.

    October 17, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  3. Tim

    Speaking as a father, husband, and bread winner....

    ....this woman scares the living you-know-what out of me. How utterly irresponsible for John McCain to let the RNC put such an unqualified woman on his ticket...I still can't believe he had anything to do with that decision...

    ...I was undecided up until he selected her, and everytime she opens her hate-filled, lying, clueless mouth, it just proves that I am making the right decision in voting for Obama.

    October 17, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  4. Patrick

    Nov. 5th we won't even remember her.

    October 17, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. David Peter

    If Palin is right in calling Obama a socialist, then she herself is a fascist.

    It is obvious that America currently needs more tightened control and oversight of our economy, not fascism. Think about it.

    October 17, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. KJL

    I'd be willing to bet my life she had never heard of Ayers before she got involved in this election. The woman doesn't have a clue. She absorbs what she is fed and spews it back out, but hasn't bothered to improve her mind in her entire adult life. Now she sees a chance at the "big time" and is trying to incite riots to get there. She's a dangerous, devious politician.

    Palin's Reverend Muthee is a complete nutcase, and she accepted his "anti-witchcraft" blessing very happily. Go figure.

    October 17, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. Renee

    I am praying to God that we will not have leaders in the likes of Mccain /Palin who only thinks that Republicans are the only ones that loves American and inciting thier supporters to hate and scream out "Kill HIM and Palin was found guilty of abuse power and then Mccain brought up this Joe the Plummer and found out that the Joe the Plummer lied and also this Joe Plummer has not payed taxes have a lean on his home make less than what he said and therefore Obama plan would be better for this Joe the so call plummer with no license to be a plummer and this again shows Mccain's judgement rushing into situation that he has not researched That another example of how he pick his running mate Sarah. The Republicans showing us that they want to continue thier Lies and Corruptions.

    October 17, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Allen in Hartwell GA

    To continue to ask the same questions and make the same false accusations is more than mean spirited.

    October 17, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |


    October 17, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  10. TexicoFrom Mexico

    Read the last paragrah again....does it make any sense at all? Is she edumacted or what? Also look at applying for "THAT" absentee ballot? That? I could just hear her going "that absentee ballot thingy"! How about "We will be voting via the absentee ballot"

    How about some reporter on that plane asking the question about her religious affliation with the Witch Hunter! Why are you guys not asking her questions, real questions? I mean its ok to ccover her spouting off about Ayers or Wright or Acorn..but yet you people refuse to ask her anything! That is just plain WRONG!

    Veterans for Obama

    October 17, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. No Palin No McBomb Bomb. No WAY IN HELL

    Only areas she attends are Pro-American.. I guess the "other" ticket really isn't pro american. If you read between the lines

    Shameful. Hate monger. War Monger.

    This comes from a woman who thinks the Iraq was is The Lords will and Gods work.

    Not fit to be president!

    October 17, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. Richard from Moorpark ca

    I am horrified at what is going on in this race. The fact that the McCain campaign brought up the "paling around with terrorists" in the first place is bad enough. But that they have let it get so far out of hand before starting to ratchet the rhetoric back is like putting salt to the wound. Rep Michelle Backmann from Minnesota just came out and told Chris Matthews that investigations might be needed to find other extreme leftists that might be harboring terrorist ideas in the democratic party. If you do not believe me look at the show transcripts. I thik in time the campaign staff will regret starting this.

    October 17, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  13. John

    Face it, McCain/Palin are just plain liars. They have been saying and spreading lies about Obama for so long, I truly believe that they actually believe their lies are acutally the truth! And what tough questions she was asked "...How many times do you speak with McCain?..." Really, is that the best you can do or is it the questions that were given to the reporters by the campaign? I think that the questions were simple for Palin's simple mind! How about asking her how she thinks she is released in all wrong doings in the "Troopergate" fiasco! This country would go down in flames if she were to become president...her and "Todd" would be the worst thing for us! Don't believe all the lies...vote Obama!

    October 17, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Did she happen to mention the video CNN showed about her witch exorcism?

    October 17, 2008 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. ha ha

    If it wasn't so sad it would be funny. This woman thinks she can say anything and the people will believe it. I guess some do. Poor things

    October 17, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
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