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. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    @ CAROLE: we are not sexists!

    However, IF Palin were a Democratic candidate you can be sure that the far-right-family-values people would have crucified her for abandoning her infant son!

    And CAROLE, we are stating A FACT, when we point out that Gov. Palin voted AGAINST SPECIAL NEEDS FUNDING IN ALASKA.

    You can not talk out of both sides of your mouth.

    October 24, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Tolu

    Governor Palin, you may lie to yourself, but you can't lie to the world. Show us a record of "special needs" support that is at least 2 years old, OR stop this appalling exploitation of your child's condition.

    Senator McCain, unplug your ears; the fat lady is singing, and her bitter, bitter melody is just for you.

    October 24, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |

    lying strumpet.

    October 24, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Sam the Butcher

    One more label for Gov. Disasta from Alaska: Sarah the Deposition-Giver.
    That should hopefully muzzle the pitbull for a minute or two.

    October 24, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Matt

    We're all special needs children: we have a special need to be rid of this blithering nincompoop.

    October 24, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  6. GA Independent

    Sad to think that this woman could be elected to head a PTA much less a town or state or a country? It's clear she knows nothing about SPED programs.

    And worse yet, it's apparently now a Republican platform to use special needs kids to get vouchers for school choice/voucher system. This is the same Republican party that in little towns all across America have whisper campaigns to stop funding special needs programs "because we all know those children will grow up to be a drain on society, not a benefit – why educate them".

    Can't wait until the Sarah Sideshow is over...

    October 24, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  7. blah blah blah

    i mean, who cares what the moron has to babble about? LOL

    October 24, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  8. Judy

    Why is McCain and Palin talking and funding projects that fits there needs. Palin don't know the laws of the land when it come to this part of the country. In Alaska the bears and wolves play with the kids for entertainment. She needs to get a grip and help McCain find a belt and shoes with no holes in them. McCain buy shoes or clothes for himself but can spend money on Palin family. Now that is Pathetic.

    October 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  9. Bruce

    Palin is once agin showing how little she knows or understands the matter at hand. There are programs in place now thta require public schools to tend tothe needs of special needs children. If you were to open funding up to Religious organizations you could not restrict the aid to go only to the church of YOUR choice.

    October 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  10. mike

    Oh boy I can't wait....I can't wait....this national nightmare is almost over. Can you iamgine what things will be like in just a short year or so now once President Barack Obama is elected. I can see it now....terrorists will be setting off dirty bombs in our cities, the stock market would have plunged below 6,000.....gas prices will be back way above $4.50 a gallon.....most people will choose not to work because it will just not be worth it to work....small businesses will be boarded up coast to coast....Hugo Chavez enjoying himself in the Lincoln Bedroom......but then out of the darkness comes President Barack Obama and then he delivers the speech of his life....solving all of our country's ills with just those magical words......I will be so inspired....I can't wait....go Barack!

    October 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  11. This is sad

    You see this is why you folks who say all this hate scare me. You only go by what you are told and have no knowledge of your own. Sara has had this Baby for 7 months... bla bla bla

    Her Neice is also special needs and Sara has been involved in her life ... however you forget or never knew that fact.

    October 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. bill

    I think Palin has done more to hurt the republican party than to help it. McCain had hoped that by choosing a woman for VP that he'd get "back at the democrats for not picking Hillary". It sure did backfire. Palin and her husband need to be at home with their children. I personally feel she has been an absentee parent for some time now...putting her career first and the fact that she has a 17yr old daughter who is pregnant is telling. How many days has she spend with her son with special needs in the past 55 days?...another example of putting her own ambitions first...they should not claim to be a ticket of "country first". They don't ahve the american people in mind.

    October 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. Steve

    Deceitful Clown

    October 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  14. Disgusted

    You people are unbelievable on here! I for one am not thrilled about either candidate but please stop taking it so personal. I am a mother and no one has a right to call me a bad mother because they disagree with me. I just think it is really ironic that you have a mother running for a top position and gets criticized for it but if she was told she couldn't then everyone would cry sexism. There are a lot of mothers who hold down full time jobs and go to school while raising children, does that mean they are bad mothers. If you are going to attack someone then base it on the issues and not their personal lives. Grow up!

    October 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. Charm

    Didn't she vote against special needs children as well as cut education funding in Alaska? Just like she was a feminist and now isn't going to label herself a feminist? Palin is a horrible joke and will be a disaster as VP or Lord forbid, President. I'm all for funding special needs children, just like I'm all for funding education to help prevent teen pregnancies. Seriously...is this woman a role model for anyone, besides pitbulls who wear lipstick and shoot moose and wolves from helicopters? Maybe she should also propose funding for shop-a-holics annonymous...she obviously has a seriously issue in that arena after the $150,000 clothing/make-up/hair and shoe shopping spree.

    October 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. The New Civil War has begun (Sons of the Founders vs. The Socialists)

    Funding this would be easy. Outlaw omnibus bills in both houses of Congress and require they go to a system of "one issue, one vote."

    Make politicians stand in the spotlight and actually have to defend their pet projects and earmarks as their own individual "single issue" bills, not stealthly tucked inside a bigger more popular bill.

    No more omnimbus bills. One issue, one vote. Let those seeking to feast and gorge from the government pork trough stand up to scrutiny.

    October 24, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Candid

    1. Taking care of your family
    2. Governing your country
    3. Making peace for the whole world

    Sarah, when you don’t care for your own family, should we believe you will care for people’s children and you will be a good leader?


    October 24, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. Carl from MI

    They can fund it by cutting more taxes for the rich, big corporations and big oil!! Heck... they could even fund it with all that money they saved by not building that BRIDGE TO NOWHERE!!

    oh wait... Sarah already spent that money...

    Definately fund it by cutting more taxes for the wealthy!!!


    October 24, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. CnoMorePalin in N.C.

    NC loves you Obama!!

    October 24, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Connie

    My question is why would you drag that poor little baby around those larger, noisy crowds ? It would be wrong even if he were not a special needs child, he is to young. They spent $150.000 dollars and they drag that poor thing around bare footed alot. VOTE EARLY,VOTE OBAMA/BIDEN
    Connie from "BLUE" Indiana

    October 24, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  21. Bennie

    This is a serious issue, that I can't take her seriously on. Special need children were not a priority until she had one, because she cut funding for these programs in Alaska. What does Obama's tax plan has to do with this project not getting funded? There is already a law in the books for this, it was never funded properly. If McCain wants to freeze spending and cut out project spending i.e. pork spending. Where will the money come from Sarah?

    October 24, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. Bruce

    Do her kids not attend school? There are always some of them with her...who si giving them an education?
    I also noticed the other day as she was getting off a plane that hubby had the baby as they got off the plane. Now I know that I am going ot be accused of being mean etc..but....what kind of mother drags her baby on campaign trips , expecially one with special needs...you do not see Obama dragging his kids to evenst and putting them on stage.
    This repub ticket is the biggest joke I have ever seen, running for POTUS,,,and in the last 36 years i have voted in 9 elections, and these are the worst.....

    October 24, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  23. Sarah Palin is a Lousy Mother and Grandmother to be!

    Now perhaps she can get off her self-righteous butt and take care of her children. She has a special needs son that she parades around to get lingering sympathy votes and a teenage daughter due to give birth in December. The country will be just fine in the hands of Obama/Biden so she should refocus her energy on her family. The GOP should allow her to keep the clothes as a consolation prize. She was runner-up for Ms. Alaska now she will be runner-up as V.P.

    October 24, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  24. Matt

    Palin: What happens when you dress a chimpanzee in a $2,000 skirt-suit and $800 knee-high boots, paint its face, train it to repeat what it is told and stand it in front of a microphone. People love a chimp in human clothes. You sure it wasn't Palin driving that Segue the other day?

    October 24, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  25. mary

    I hear voter fraud has already begun at the polls. what is going on is obama votes are going to mccain. Obama open your eyes and start educating your electorates on what to do when they see that happens at the polling stations.
    Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 24, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
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