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. Nate

    "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." – Isn't IDEA a political pet project? So, Palin wants to cut all earmark spending unless it's her earmark spending? She's the scariest thing to come along in politics ever.

    October 24, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. eds

    but in Alaska she denied funds for Special Needs children... hypocrite. Now she has one, she is their biggest advocate.

    October 24, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  3. conny

    Gov Pafalain, please go back to Alaska and try that gimmick! We are not stupid.

    October 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Charlie Bradley


    I don't know if you were watching the Repulsiveican National Convention or not, but did you see the little Palin brat, I think Pipe is her name, she was holding baby Trig, and licked her hands and WIPED them through the baby's hair. can we say EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEWWWW.. Germs!!! you don't know where that little girl's hand has been or what she's had in her mouth and she licks her and and wipes it through a baby's head?!

    October 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Michelle, PA

    This is the only area where Palin and I have some common ground. However, that isn't nearly enough for her and McCain to earn my vote.

    Governor Palin, I would advise you to get in touch with Vice President Gore about how best to make a difference on an issue you hold near and dear after the end of a political career. He has been fairly successful in that regard, and you might be more far more successful outside the political arena. Good luck!

    October 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Eura2488

    Yeah right special needs Mom..... It seems that Piper take care of the Trig more than she does... Piper is the Special Needs Mom not you Palin, you are two busy shopping!!!

    OBAMA 08!!!

    October 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Karon

    WHY did she slash the special needs children budget in her own state???

    October 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  8. indiePA

    Isn't it moose hunting season in Alaska yet?

    October 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. Nesie

    Palin's support for education is not reflected in her parenting skills with her own family. Her son, presently in the military, is a high school drop out. Her daughters have very poor school attendance sometimes missing at least 4 consecutive weeks. The daughter who finished high school (the one who is not pregnant) has no plans for college. Several hundred dollars have been spent on designer clothes for the baby, I guess to enhance his public presentations as the poster child for special needs children.

    October 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. Jen

    I thought McCain was proposing a spending freeze for everything except the military and veteran's affairs. Am I missing something?

    October 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Alabama Voter

    I can't even believe that she is saying that she wants to help special needs children when she cut funding for special needs children in her state. Does she think that americans are stupid? And if we have to deal with McCains healthcare reform policies then these children would have no chance anyway. $5,000 per family what a joke. It cost me $11,000 last year and my company supposedly paid twice as much as I did.

    October 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Bruce

    Just yesterday she was sooooo upset about SOCIALISTIC activities and now she want to have a socialist program for Special needs Children. Eiter you are a socialist or you are not Palin. We already know you arfe a spreader of wealth as you tax the oil companies and spread the money around Alaska.

    October 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  13. Concerned in CA

    She'll fit right in with the old boys in Washington....she's a flip-flopper just like the good old boys!! I was against special needs funding until I was for it!

    October 24, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. X-Republican in Texas for Obama

    She didn't do squat for special needs children in Alaska. If anything she cut funding for special needs programs. She's using her son for her own personal gain. Go back to Alaska and take care of your own first.

    Voted for Obama/Biden

    October 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Kent

    Before you Republicans fall for the same old sh** please check her record in Alaska and watch the Maria Shriver interview with Larry King.

    October 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  16. paula

    hmmm......I thought McCain said he was going to FREEZE SPENDING. Did Palin get the ok from him for this new expenditure?? These two are so confusing.

    October 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  17. kathy

    Palin cut spending in Alaska for special needs children. She parades her son around on stage when it's convenient for her...she should be home with him. She is not the woman i want in the white house. She has put herself before her family and it's obvious with her having a teenage daughter who is pregnant. Does McCain know it's federal funding for this prgram...if so...then why did he say his presidency would include a funding freeze?......hmmmm.more flip flop or fubs?

    October 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  18. BKE

    She is a disgusting human being and a horrible MOM. Everything out of her mouth is a LIE. If family values are that important to her why isn't she home with her children........a soecial NEEDS infant and a pregnant teenager about to POP ! Go Home Grandma

    October 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Annie, Atlanta

    How can this woman claim to be a Christian yet be so hateful?

    October 24, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. CnoMorePalin in N.C.

    Okay enough is enough... she is so fake! Some one finally gave Palin the heads up to talk more about special needs kids to try to get votes. Well shes way too late.

    October 24, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. ktodman

    You people are some of the nastiest that I have ever seen, why is it prostituting her son, when she is using her stage to speak on an issue that is near and dear to her. I feel sorry for you people. I hope that you never have a special needs child. God Help you, you people better be very careful what you say and do because it is proven that God don't like ugly and you will reap what you sow.

    October 24, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. tiffany in ohio

    did she have that baby to become a campaign sign or what. you an todd go home because he needs his parents to make a choice for him. poooor trigg im here if you need me

    October 24, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. Dennis

    Carole, you and Sarah Palin should try practicing what you just preached. Your little rant was far more bigotted and hateful than anything the average Obama supporter ever says. Governor Palin goes around the country accusing Senator Obama of being a closet terrorist and not having American values through veiled references and innuendo.

    The average Obama supporter doesn't dislike Gov. Palin because she loves her family or because she is a woman. We dislike her because her policies are far right, she sounds naive and inexperienced, and her selection appears to be solely made to try and appeal to supporters of Hillary Clinton. If Senator McCain wanted a woman running mate, there were far more qualified candidates that the average American would have felt comfortable supporting.

    October 24, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Lisa

    Palin if you really cared about special needs children. You could have used some of that 150.00 thow you use on your wardrob!

    Give us a break- your actions speaks so much louder than your words!

    October 24, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  25. Elliana






    October 24, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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