October 24th, 2008
10:21 AM ET
12 years ago

Palin lays out policy agenda for special needs children

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/24/palin9.jpg caption=" Palin outlined policy for special needs children today in Pennsylvania."]
PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (CNN) - In her first policy speech of this election cycle, Sarah Palin elaborated Friday on how a McCain administration would help children with special needs, a topic that has become a fixture of her stump speech in cities across the country.

Palin, speaking at a hotel in Pittsburgh, unveiled a three-point plan that would expand educational choice for parents, increase funding for children with disabilities and improve services available to parents, medical professionals and schools.

Under the plan, federal money would be used to give parents the opportunity to send their children to a public, private or religious school of their choice.

"Because even the best public school teacher or administrator really cannot rightfully take the place of a parent making these choices," Palin said. "The schools feel responsible for the education of many children, but a parent alone is responsible for the life of each child and how to make that life better."

She also proposed expanding funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which was signed into law in 1975 but has never been fully funded. The McCain campaign estimates that fully funding the program will cost an additional $45 billion over five years, money that Palin said could be found by cutting federal pork barrel spending.

"We've got a $3 trillion budget in this country," she said. "And Congress spends some $18 billion on earmarks for their political pet projects, and that right there is more than the shortfall to fully fund IDEA."

Although it was a largely non-political speech, the Alaska governor did not miss an opportunity to criticize Obama's tax plan, saying that the Democrat would unfairly tax families who set up financial trusts to care for their children.

"Understandably, then, many families with special needs children or dependent adults, they're concerned about in this race our opponent in this election who plans to raise taxes on precisely these kinds of financial arrangements," she said.

"They fear that Senator Obama's tax increase will have serious and harmful consequences, and they're right - because the burden that his plan would pose upon these families is just one more example of how many plans can be disrupted, and how many futures can be placed at risk, and how many people can suffer when the power to tax is misused."

UPDATE: The Obama campaign called the attack a “hypocritical” one. “This is a blatantly false, desperate political attack made by a campaign that’s out of touch, out of ideas and running out of time,” said Pennsylvania spokesman Sean Smith. “Senator Obama has consistently been clear that he would not increase taxes on families making less than $250,000 a year.

“As the Wall Street Journal reported, John McCain’s own health care plan would actually cut $1.3 trillion from Medicare and Medicaid that children with disabilities truly depend on, which makes this attack especially hypocritical. Senator Obama has a comprehensive plan to support families that have children with disabilities and empower all Americans with disabilities.”

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Amy

    Republicans are so two-faced! On one had, they don't want universal healthcare or other welfare programs because it's "socialism," but on the other hand they want the federal government to provide money to help special needs children. I guess it all depends on what fits their personal agenda! I guess Sarah never had to deal with bankrupcy because of medical bills or not being able to afford basic healthcare coverage, because if she did, she sure would be changing her tune, wouldn't she?!

    And, I'm not saying that children with special needs don't deserve more help from our government because they certainly do. I'm just saying that Sarah will do or say ANYTHING to get elected. I can bet you a million dollars that if she gets elected she will do NOTHING to help special needs children. If she really wanted to help her son she would be spending more time with him instead of running for the VP slot (to which she is extremely unqualified for to begin with, and if she was truly SMART, she would realize this and step down!)!

    Obama/ Biden 2008

    October 24, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Raymond Duke

    I t was good to hear her remarks and know that someone cares for children with these disabilities and I applaud her for it. Of course with Obama and the democrats you would not have to worry about these children for they would have been aborted along with millions of other babies that had no problems at all except being born to a woman who was to stupid to use birth control and would be a hinderance to their partying , good times and their pure selfishness.

    October 24, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  3. Lindsay

    So providing psychiatric care to vets can wait, but funding for special needs kids is critically urgent? I agree we definitely need to provide services to those with special needs, and for those with just regular needs, and for those who have exceptional needs like the gifted students of America. I'm amazed. How is this any different than Joe Biden campaigning that hair plugs should be included in government funded health care?

    October 24, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  4. Stu-Florida

    Oh I won't consider Sarah Palin
    I think, she thinks we've been inhalin'
    because of the lies they've been a mailin
    NO I won't vote for Sarah Palin

    Oh I won't consider Sarah Palin
    I like to see the campaign a failin'
    Into the sunset you'll be a sailin'

    October 24, 2008 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  5. GL

    Maybe she can help herself under her new plan!

    October 24, 2008 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. Amanda

    Who does she think she's kidding?

    Federal money to bail out greedy lenders, federal money to continue funding an endless war, federal money to increase oil production, federal money to build more nuclear power plants, and federal money to families with disabled children – while the president taxes health care benefits?

    Where is all this money coming from? What happened to the GOP standing for smaller government? How is this less socialist than Barack's plan?

    More importantly, is she planning on federal funding to keep up with her Neiman Marcus shopping sprees?

    Give me a break.

    October 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Paige

    What a joke. This is the same mother who totes her infant child to late-night appearances, debates and rallies – wakes him from a sleep – then holds him up for photo ops. Once the pictures are taken, the baby gets handed off to her youngest daughter to haul around. My son is 18 months old and is in bed by 8 p.m. – every night. Palin – stop using your child. Be a mother. And don't even get me started on Palin's documented history of non-support towards special needs children and policies.

    October 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  8. Charlie Bradley

    OhioGirl82... Oh yes she did cut the budget for special needs children. Video on youtube can confirm that.

    October 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  9. Will the Real Maverick Please Stand Up?

    Hahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!! The moose was right...she has no clue.

    October 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  10. Mike in Columbus

    Dan Quayle is the happiest man in America, he has been replaced, Palin is the new politcal punchline, and will be for years to come.

    October 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  11. M

    As a person with a special needs family member in the public school system, registered independent, and teacher I can say with all honesty...this was the last straw that has pushed me into going Obama. It is disgusting that Sara Palin is now using her child to win sympathy votes. With all due respect, having a special needs child does not automatically define her character. If she truly cared about her child she would be taking care of him and keeping him away from the spotlight while advocating for more support. So many children with special needs attend public schools that are underfunded, and according to a tax freeze would be detrimental to the students.

    Maybe a plan to provide more support for students in general that would result in support for students with special needs would have been more genuine.

    Nice try Sara, but this is just morally wrong.

    October 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. djadams

    Before you can advocate for special needs population, you have to understand them. She has only 5 months with this special baby and NO CLUE as to what it will take over his lifetime. She has never had to try to navigate the county or state systems to try to get help for a child or any person with special needs. She's is JUST NOT QUALIFIED."

    October 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  13. Jackie in NC

    She's the best one out of the lot.... she is drawing a lot of criticism and ridicule, and has made a lot of enemies. Which means she is doing something right in my experience.

    October 24, 2008 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Dave

    Please,please,send this woman packing on November 5th.I fail to understand how anyone in the U.S. can take this woman seriously.

    October 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. Eileen from Maine

    All children should be a priority for America, not just Sarah Palins and her sisters.
    We've seen how she works. Her son played Hockey so she raised the sales tax in Wasilla so she could get a Hockey rink built.
    She neglected to do any due diligence and now the town is stuck with millions of dollars in debt because the land it was built on belonged to a private citizen.

    October 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  16. rm

    @Nightingale Sings:

    Give it a rest, you know dog on well you were already gonna vote for Mork and Mindy well before she read this speech written for her.

    October 24, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. onelove

    I'm just trying to understand why this woman continues to lie knowing within two seconds of the said lie the media will debunk it with the truth. It just makes her look really bad.

    October 24, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  18. AL

    Why didn't she release her medical records and what is she hiding?????????

    October 24, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Matt

    Like mother like son.

    October 24, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. Purple Alaska

    Hypocrite is Lipstick...

    Lie Baby Lie!

    October 24, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |

    The republican party is based on the acting capabilities of it's candidates. The republican party has nothing to offer what so ever so they really on cheap gimmicks & fancy illusions to manipulate the electorate. The McCain campaign is nothing but a spiraling black holes of lies, hate, & deception just like the republican party always has been. It's about time the people of America stood up tall & proud and fight away this republican control & oppression. We must elect Barack Obama so that this great nation will build on education & information! Perhaps one day republican supporters will be educated enough, informed enough, and less ignorant and they will realize that they have been wrong all along.

    October 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Karen

    I am so disgusted with this woman. I am tired of Repub supporters saying she is energizing and representing women everywhere. NOT TRUE. I do not know ONE SINGLE WOMAN who supports her.

    She lies, she is unethical, she is inconsistent.

    How is she going to come up with the funding? Remember, McCain said he would freeze all spending... And the cuts to Medicare and Medicaid would impact these very programs she is talking about. WHO IS RUNNING THE SHOW IN THE MCCAIN/PALIN CAMP??? Because it sure does look like Palin thinks she is and that is terrifying to everyone I know because she is so inept.

    The lies that McCain and Palin spout over and over after having been proven as lies are appalling. I am saddened that McCain has fallen so far as he has and that his supporters continue to believe the lies spouted by his campaign rather than research the truth themselves.

    October 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Will the Real Maverick Please Stand Up?

    Not one clue!!!!!!!!!!!! Oops, I think I said that already. Oh well...


    October 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. Debby, NJ

    Failing Palin is a FRAUD

    October 24, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
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