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. Robin in SC

    Voted absentee in SC yesterday...for OBAMA!

    Palin opens her mouth and sticks her foot in. She complains about the "liberal media" but she keeps the fires stirred with her rhetoric, hate filled lies, anti-Christian attitudes, and devisive notions about Americans. To be an advocate for anything you have to be knowledgeable about the thing you're advocating...having her baby on stage with her like a fashion accessory DOES NOT make her an expert or even qualified to advocate. She would have to actually be a hands-on mother to this baby for more than a few months to be able to know what its like to raise a special needs child.

    October 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  2. so sick of this

    Palin continues to push her own agenda, rather than that of her running mate, who is the TOP of the ticket.

    The parents of special needs children that I know, and I work with many in the school system, are completely disgusted with this woman, and do not support her. If you know any special needs children, then you know they need consistency, scheduling, early therapies, and their own beds!! These parents know that Sarah Palin doesn't have a clue what they are going through on a daily basis.

    It's sickening how she exploits her own children (even though the little one got a Louis Vitton out of the deal), but especially, her Down's infant.

    October 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Fired UP!

    E – 11 and counting.

    October 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Knock on doors, make phone calls, email your friends, talk to your family and get everyone out to vote!

    Obama-Biden '08

    October 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  5. conny

    desperate--please go to the polls


    October 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  6. Concerned Voter

    Who cares?

    October 24, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  7. ME

    s. boatman......you are wrong. She tripled the budget....get off the koolaid.

    October 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |

    "Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. ... Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said ... we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy."
    A "generated crisis"? By whom? Moscow? Beijing? Teheran?

    just remeber joe biden is in charge of the foriegn relations commitee

    is this fearmongering or am i fearmongering when i say that it might be one of your family members that this crises will affect like the family members that was affected during 9-11

    October 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. Danielle

    What a tool she is. I fell so bad for her children. The world knows they have a stupid mom. If she cared about her children, they would be in school and she would be learning how to raise a special needs child. Not dragging them across country for photo opps. Shame on her!!!

    October 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. Gene

    The only speech I want to hear from her at this point is her concession speech.. and maybe an apology for letting the GOP use her as a puppet.

    October 24, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |


    October 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  12. ChicagoJosh

    This was a disgustingly misguided and selfish speech.As a social worker, i know that there are tons of special issues that need urgent attention. Just because a few months ago she had a special needs son, all of a sudden she cares? And even though McCain is going to freeze all social service spending, this ONE issue is more important?? She is now an expert because she's a mom??? This lady is a joke. Her first time giving a major policy speech, and its inconsistent with the WHOLE CAMPAIGN MESSAGE!! Giving funding to this one personal issue is the definition of pork barrelling. And I thought the 18 billion that'll be saved from earmarks is going to pay for the new health care system, the war in Afghanistan, and everyother plan McCain has. How will there be money left over for this pork project?? Don't get me wrong, i'm in favor of giving lots of money to special needs kids. I want my tax dollars going there. This joke of a policy speech is in line with everything else from caribou barbie. Only kickbacks for her family. After all, she knows that being a mom is the only thing she has to offer this country, so of course her kids should be treated to lavish treats from our taxes.

    October 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  13. Mary from Virginia

    $150,000 on clothes sounds like "pork" to me... Anyone on a budget knows how to look good without spending that kind of money on clothes - so much for their judgement. What they do on the campaign is exactly what they'll do in the White House. McCain needs to clean up his campaign before he can clean up Washington. So much for integrity!! McCain lacks leadership, control of his campaign and he has not used wisdom or good judgement in surrounding himself with those who will help in make good decisions. It shows in the way he has run his campaign...

    October 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  14. Kiah G.

    Says THE authority on special needs children aka PANDER PANDER PANDER! I love the shallowness of the McCain campaign as it has NO SHAME!

    October 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. tulsa

    "On the fence"?
    We have all read your posts you idiot. You have never been on the fence. Don't try and make nice now you moron. Go back in your angry little hole and don't come back.
    We reject your hate and the Republican lies.

    October 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. Purple Alask

    McCane/Palin = "Domestic Terrorism"

    But it won't work...Not this Time.

    We've simply had ENOUGH!

    October 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. bart

    You want a glimpse of America under Obama and the Democratic congress we have now?

    Just look at Chicago and Cook County, IL.

    Obama's home and controlled entirely by Democrats.

    That's what's coming under Obama.

    10.25% sales tax
    High crime
    tolls everywhere you turn.

    A pitiful tax break won't make up for a "Pay as you go,Pay as you play" society.

    October 24, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Karen

    Has she looked at the education system for this country as a whole. Public school suck and every teacher is under paid. All children should be given the same opportunity on every level. Everytime Palin talk it is about you and yours and not everyone. Give me a break. I am so tired of Palin. Alaska please take her back.

    October 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Larry

    Let's see,

    Palin is allocating funds to this project while McCain proposes a spending freeze. Oh Magoo, you've done it again.

    October 24, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. Betty the Beautician

    Go to Factcheck.org–Palin did not cut spending on special needs children, she actually increased spending, but one could also point out that she also has a special needs child–self interests? I don't care for the lady myself and am voting for Obama/Biden but don't be like McCain/Palin and spread false info.

    Maria Shriver pointed out that the State of Calif. hires special needs individuals and challenged(start of Palin's adm.) Palin to hire special needs individuals in her administration, something that she has not done to date. Maria Shriver reissued that challenge. This was Maria Shriver's interview with Larry King–check it out.

    I wonder if her children are home schooled?

    October 24, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. Real Virginian in Northern Virginia

    When did this woman become an expert on special needs children? I have an infant nephew so now I'm a pediatrician? The logic of these people is amazing.

    October 24, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. Oregon calling

    Are you kidding me?!?! Have you heard any of her interviews? This person is a piece of work at best. The country needs REAL intellectual curiosity not something in a "pretty" package! America do us and future generations some good this time around, VOTE!!!!

    Obama / Biden 08

    October 24, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. BB

    It drives me crazy that people get so upset when anyone says something that is not nice about Sarah Palin. She has made the choice to be a politician and to run for one of the highest offices in the USA. Getting called really awful things is part of the deal. If she isn't tough enough for this, she ain't tough enough for the job. And, that said, I feel I have to point out that she really is an idiot!

    October 24, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. NC for Obama

    You know what else would help families caring for kids with special needs?

    Homes they don't risk losing
    A stable banking system
    et cetera...

    October 24, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    If Palin had a mind she would quit talking about something she no nothing about. 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. Go Obama/Biden

    October 24, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
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