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

Palin lays out policy agenda for special needs children

 Palin outlined policy for special needs children today in Pennsylvania.

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. nate

    As someone who's wife makes her living teaching SE, I will say the way Palin USES her kids to advance her political career is utterly nauseating.

    October 24, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  2. voter

    I feel sorry for Palin having a special needs child. However, she is portraying herself as an advocate for parents who have children with a disability, but she cut funding in her state for children with special needs. also, cutting earmarks is not enough to fund programs for kids with disabilities.

    October 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  3. val

    what happened to the mcCain spending freeze

    October 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  4. Well..

    Excuse me if I'm not getting it, but were here last two talking points in this article even sentences????

    She's using her special needs child for political gain, when she CUT special needs funding in her own state.

    Disgusting.

    October 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  5. CR in WI

    I can't believe the persistant lying from these two!!!

    Taxes will only be increased on people\small business owners making $250k or more. And it will only be adjusted to the rates we had in the '90s!!! There certainly was job growth, a balanced budget, and economic expansion during this time!

    Don't fall for the LIES!!

    BO08

    October 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  6. Will the real OBAMA STAND UP

    Even though it was mostly non political, and in support for special needs families, I know the democratic nasty animals on this blog will tear the woman apart.

    Palin is not going away any time soon. Better get used to her now or find another rock to go under.

    October 24, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  7. Lorna, NY

    Boy, this woman is really DUMB!

    October 24, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. Ibsaa Dhugasaa

    Sen. McCain said during debate he will freeze the budget if he is elected to balance the budget I am wondering how he could deal with this proposal.

    October 24, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. max

    watching her parade around her infant to hawk votes is nasty, the entire repug party should be ashamed ... listening to the racial comments and death threats from the red sheep listening to the puke that these to 2 morons spew makes me enjoy this landslide even more ... I can't wait to hear the excuses when this is said and done .... Obama/Biden 08' 12' and on and on

    October 24, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  10. RW

    JUST WATCHED MICHELLE OBAMA DELIVER IN OHIO; GOODNESS! WE ARE GETTING TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE..GO OBAMAS
    PALIN IS A JOKE

    October 24, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Greg in AR

    Palin's own words!!!

    "And Congress spends some $18 billion on earmarks for their political pet projects"......

    "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."

    How about returning the money SHE got for the "bridge to nowhere" political pet project that was never completed. Use THAT money to help children with special needs.

    October 24, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Charlie Bradley

    Yeah right, Caribou Barbie. Thats why you clashed the budget of Alaska which included funds for special needs children

    Furthermore: You want to fund sending special needs children AWAY from their families. Woman you are SICK!! Do you think that many parents of special needs children will want to send their children away to school? MY mom sure didn't and almost got in a fist fight with a doctor who suggested she send me away. I WAS the special needs child, having been born with hydrocephalus. Doctors wrote me off as never going to be able to walk, talk, or do anything. Well here it is nearly 29 years later and I still haven't sat down and shut up !!!!

    October 24, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  13. Erik

    Her first policy speech. . . only ten days before Election Day! This woman is little more than a gimmick. She is unfit to lead.

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Gloria - Minnesota

    I'd also like to see her be a more attentive mother. Not only does she have a little child with special needs, who, apparently only sees his mother occasionally on a stage, but she is about to become a grandmother as well. I'm sure her young, pregnant daughter could use her support right now!

    I just pray she never sets foot inside the White House as Vice- or, Heaven Forbid, as President.

    Go Obama/Biden '08

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  15. DJ VA

    She cut the funding for the Special Olympics in Alaska. I saw someone's comment why is she the one rolling out policies. The answer is, dont you remember she said that the role of the VP is to help the Senate make policies...another example why we do not need her or the other insane guy in the White House

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  16. Mike Dallas

    I did not hear where you indicated you cut the Special Olympics budget from 550,000 to 275,000 as governor, missy!

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  17. Ken

    Gawd. Why would such a stupid person want to so often advertise it publicly?

    Here's Palin's GOP policy for special needs children: (1) raise $150,000, and send it to Palin to buy clothes; (2) teach abstinance only to the special needs children; (3) fear-monger them into hating non-special needs children; (4) indicate that they are not patriotic unless they do everything the GOP and FoxNews says.

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  18. Liz T, Tucson

    Point 1 on the plan is a thinly veiled voucher program. I applaud her casting the spotlight on special needs kids, but I think she is disingenuous, considering she cut funding for some programs in Alaska, notably the Special Olympics. I am sure she is a good mother, but her inconsistencies are so easy to point out.

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  19. Kate

    Pretty funny, since, as a governor, she actually CUT funding for special needs children….HONEST STILL HAS A VALUE!!

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. George James

    Will anybody listen to Sara's tall talks??? She did exactly the opposite of what she preaches now!

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. truth hurts

    McCain's Private Visit With Chilean Dictator Pinochet Revealed For First Time

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. bob

    What a shame.....Mccain came on CNN when Michelle Obama was on....wow. looks like they couldn't have any other time slot!

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. undecided

    The shear HATRED of you bloggers towards Gov. Palin is simply amazing!!!!!!!!

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Noah

    Actually Palin NEVER cut funds for special needs education in Alaska, that was a lie from the Liberals that has since been proven to be a lie. Apparently you are either uninformed and clueless, or you are just shamelessly lying. Palin actually increased the budget for special needs. They were looking to increase it 5 times what it had been the year before, and Palin agreed to increase the budget by 4 times instead. She INCREASED it to 4 times what it was the year before, how is that a budget cut? Shameless liars

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. well

    Isn't that... special?

    October 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12