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. ez

    Go early voters.

    Registered Republican "voted" Obama/Biden 08

    October 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  2. s

    How about Palin's $150,000 "special needs" for designer clothing and accessories? Hypocrite.

    October 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. Bob Indianapolis IN

    Pretty funny, since, as governor, she actually CUT funding for special needs children....

    October 24, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Californian 4 Obama!

    She voted against help for children with special needs multiple times as a mayor! She's a fraud! And Sarah quit killing wildlife!

    October 24, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I think the most important thing is to have a full-time mother. She is shameless using those children to get sympathy votes.

    October 24, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. TONY

    What an imbecile.

    How much time has Palin spent with her newborn or her other children since getting the nomination?

    Her hubby is joined to her at the hip on the campign trail and the baby is nowhere to be seen.

    Not only is Palin a incoherent, incompetent, babbling fool, but a lousy mother as well.


    October 24, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  7. Dandelion.

    Oh. So, is that why you cut the budget for special needs children in Alaska, you triflin' piglet?

    October 24, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. Eunice

    McCain is going to stop spending across the board. Remember?

    October 24, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. CM in AR

    As the mother of an autistic child, I would not want this woman anywhere near him or fighting for his interests. Go home Sarah and take care of your own!

    October 24, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  10. Missouri

    Great job, Gov. Palin – we are praying for you and know you and Senator McCain are the only candidates we can count on in this campaign. Keep up the great work and don't get distracted by the liberal media!

    October 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. jAYjAY

    'Palin the Unaware'

    October 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. ilandking

    Did I miss something? Who taught the people in John Mccain's camp math. Must have taken it from the Rays T-shirts (9=8). How can you currently have a deficit ( which is already in minus) subtract more for these services and other services and not add any immediate revenue ( such as a tax increase) and still expect to balance the budget by the end of his first term....I smell something fishy. Has to be lying about the services he's adding, not raising taxes or balancing the budget or a combition of all.....

    October 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. JC atlanta

    how about talking about economy also !they wont lay out no plans how to fix this very fragile economy that they created!!!!!

    October 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |


    October 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. canadian obama fan

    what happen McCain's "across the board spending freeze"...

    October 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. republican gone democrat

    It is really good that she is fighting for special needs children. Its about time. In the meanwhile Obama's tax plan will help those same families. They know it......but thanks Sarah!

    October 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  17. Jenny

    Hello Sarah!!! Your boss is going to put a freeze on spending. Didn't he tell you, or are you trying to have it both ways. And where do you think the money is going to come from after your knucklehead boss buys up all these mortgages? And BTW: if you are so gung-ho on helping special needs kids why did you cut the budget in Alaska?

    And while I am at it: Why do you think you are so qualified to deal with special needs children. I know you have a baby with Downs syndrome and I am sure he is a wonderful little boy, but that doesn't make you the expert.

    October 24, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. ConsciousAmerican

    Is she really trying to suggest that Obama would in some way intentionally take $ away from families with children with disabilities...that's really reaching.

    October 24, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  19. Ms Jenny

    Why is the VICE Presidential nominee the one to role out the ticket's policy agenda??? Shouldn't that be the job of the person at the TOP of the ticket to do that?

    Somewhere along the way, McCain/Palin became Palin/McCain! Ooops!

    October 24, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Sarah, Missoula MT

    in Alaska, Palin cut the special education budget by 62%.

    stop pandering.

    October 24, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. Palin quit using your son! Please post!

    I have a son with Autism so I know about special needs.. Sarah Palin is "prostituting" her son "Trig" for her gain.
    Senator Obama cares about ALL children that is why he wants universal Health Care. Sarah Palin is so busy selling her own agenda she is twisting, turning and mutilating every policy Obama has put forth.
    This woman should be at home with her Down 's Syndrome baby tending to his needs. It makes me ill when she carries him on stage like a sack of potatoes so all the people can go aww..poor baby.. brave Mom.. yucko.
    You never print my posts but on behalf of us Autism MOMs who are super tough I pray you will. Oh and I wear lipstick too

    October 24, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. ST

    Didn't she cut funding for special needs children in Alaska? My mom always told me not to make fun of other or treat them badly because you never know how your children could come out. I think Palin is seeing that.

    October 24, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. Bulldog

    That is all great and wonderful but who is she trying to fool? Is she trying to get sympathy votes? Palin has been the dirtiest and nastiest attack dog I can remember. All she is good at is calling names and putting other people down. Isn't that her own definition of elitist, thinking you are better than someone else? She has absolutely zero solutions to better this country and if the Republicans think this lady is their future then they are in HUGE trouble for some time to come. Most people do not like her. She is a fraud.

    October 24, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. John

    I listened to Governor Palin's speech with great interest. While I agree with her position on increased funding for the National Institutes of Health and education for children with disabilities, it is hard to see how this is consistent with Senator McCains proposal for an across the board spending freeze on discretionary spending and his attacks on Senator Obama for suggesting targeted spending cuts were better. The ad hominen attack on Senator Obama's tax proposal was unfortunate and detracted from her overall message. She should be asked to explain how increasing the marginal tax rate on individuals earning more than $250,000 per year will impact the financial arrangements of these families for the future of their children. These are unrelated issues.

    October 24, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. Franky

    With her celebrity status, she's not gonna revive herself until MANY, MANY months...

    And like I said, I told you so...

    October 24, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
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