Sarah Palin Unedited is a series featuring full, unaltered transcripts of one Alaskan’s public ramblings. If you only read the pull-quotes, that’s okay.
One of the earliest Trump loyalists, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin who was on the presidential ticket in 2008, she joins us now. Governor Palin, thanks so much for joining us.
Thank you so much, Jake.
So Governor, as you know, Speaker Ryan told me on Thursday that he is not ready to support Donald Trump. Now, one of Trump’s spokespeople told CNN that if Ryan does not back Trump, he should not be Speaker of the House. What do you think?
I think Paul Ryan is soon to be Cantor-ed, as in Eric Cantor. His political career is over, but for a miracle, because he has so disrespected the will of the people. And, um, yeah, as the, uh, the, the leader of the GOP, the convention certainly he is to remain neutral and for him to come out and already say he will not support was not a wise decision of his. You know, I think why Paul Ryan is doing this, Jake, is it kind of screws his chances for the 2020 presidential bid that he’s gunning for if the GOP were to win now, that wouldn’t bode well for his chances in 2020 and that’s what he’s shootin’ for, so, a lot of people with their ‘Never Trump’ or ‘Not Right Now Trump’ mantra going on, they have their different reasons, I think that one is Paul Ryan’s reason.
Well, specifically, you talk about being Eric Cantor-ed, Eric Cantor was the House Majority leader who was challenged in the primary by a conservative candidate who got a lot of grassroots support and that was a big surprise; Paul Ryan is facing a challenge in the Republican primary in Wisconsin, the primary is coming up. The candidate, I believe his name is Paul Nehlen—are you planning to support his challenger?
Well that’s a good question, uh, seein’ as I haven’t even gotten to call him and tell him that I’m supporting him, but yes, I will do whatever I can for Paul Nehlen. This man is a hardworking guy so in touch with the people. Paul Ryan and his ilk, their problem is they have become so disconnected from the people whom they are elected to represent, as evidenced by Paul Ryan’s refusal to support the GOP front-runner that we just said, he’s our man! And Paul Ryan and his ilk, again, their problem is, they’re, they feel so threatened at this point that their power, their prestige, their purse will be adversely affected by the change that is coming with Trump, and with someone like Paul Nehlen, that they’re not thinkin’ straight right now.
Well, to be fair to Speaker Ryan, what he told me was he was very concerned about the tone that Mr. Trump has taken, very concerned about some of the things Mr. Trump has said about a temporary ban on Muslims ent—
—ering the United States, about deporting 11-12 million undocumented immigrants in this country, things along those lines. Comments about women, comments about Ted Cruz’s father supposedly meeting Lee Harvey Oswald, that’s what he said he was concerned about. You don’t believe him?
Right, and, and, no! Those concerns are, relatively speaking, Jake, they’re superficial. Talking about tone, and, uh, certain verbage that is chosen over what perhaps Paul Ryan or somebody would have chosen to sa—to articulate. Uh, who cares? We care, the people of America care about getting things done finally! Taking our government back and putting it on our side! It’s all about we the people, and we’re rising up, fed up with people who have screwed the American people by breaking their campaign promises. We worked so hard to get Paul Ryan back in there, and so many other quote-unquote conservatives, and look what they have done.
This weekend Donald Trump really went after Hillary Clinton for her husband Bill Clinton’s infidelities, take a listen. [“Bill Clinton was the worst in history, and I have to listen to her talking about it? And just remember this, she was an unbelievably nasty, mean enabler, and what she did to a lot of those women is disgraceful.”] What do you think of that line of attack?
Well, you know, I think a lot of people may be obsessed with public figure’s personal life, and they’re gonna get all entangled in, uh, you know, past indiscretions or whatever, but I think for the most part Americans are concerned about things like, who will be able to appoint the next Supreme Court justices, which will affect an entire generation comin’ up, I think that’s what people are concerned about, much more so than Bill Clinton’s obvious indiscretions, and Donald Trump having been divorced a coupla times, but ownin’ up to it, things like that, at least for people like me, man! I just think, that’s, like, the least of our worries right now.
Donald Trump is turning his attention, he says, to picking a running mate. Are you willing to be vetted for that job?
Uh, I think I’m pretty much as vetted as anybody in the country could be vetted, uh, already. So, um, I think there are so many other great people out there in America who can serve in this position, I think if someone wanted to choose me, they already know who I am, what I stand for, they wouldn’t be in for any surprises.
So, if he wanted to talk to you about the gig, your phone is right there?
Well, I wanna help and not hurt. And I’m such a realist that I realize that there are a whole lotta people out there who would say, uh, anybody but Palin. I don’t, I wouldn’t want to be a burden on the ticket, and I recognize that in many, many eyes, I would be that burden so, you know. I just, I just want the guy to win, and I want America to win. And um, I don’t know if I’d be the person that would be able to help him win, Jake.
A lot of Republicans are worried about Trump’s poor standing with women voters, which is why I ask about whether or not he should put a woman on the ticket. According to a Gallup poll conducted last month, as I’m sure you know, 7 in 10 voters, women voters, have an unfavorable view of Mr. Trump. Take a listen to something he said this week. [“All of the men, we’re petrified to speak to women anymore! We may raise our voice! You know what, the women get it better than we do, folks. All right, they get it better than we do.”]
As a very prominent female supporter of Donald Trump, do you wince when he says things like that?
Heck no! I’m like, Trump, you know, you’re sayin’ what a lotta other people are thinkin’, he just happens to be the most candid about it, in, in a public arena than most Americans are used to. So no, I don’t wince, and I know the man, and I’ve known him for years, and I so appreciate that he has great respect for women, he listens to the sharp confident women in his lives, his wife, his daughter, those who surround him in business, he listens to even, you know, joe blow hockey mom from Wasilla, if I have an idea that would perhaps make sense with his conservative agenda. Now, I know the man, and I respect him because he respects women.
Let’s talk about Latino voters for a second. Senator John McCain, your former running mate, has publicly maintained that Donald Trump, he doesn’t think will have much of an impact on McCain’s campaign for reelection in Arizona. But behind closed doors, McCain was caught on tape expressing concern that Trump might damage his reelection chances, take a listen. [“If Donald Trump is at the top of the ticket, here in Arizona, with over 30 percent of the vote being the Hispanic vote, no doubt that this may be the race of my life. If you listen to or watch Hispanic media in the state and in the country, you will see that it is all anti-Trump.”]
How is Donald Trump going to improve his standing with Latino voters?
Uh, I give a lot more credit to Latino voters than perhaps the mainstream media would, in just assuming that they, uh, they have kind of a herd mentality and are all going to go to one candidate over another. Latinos, for the most part, are hardworking independent people who just want [cough] they want to be able to have a good job. Those who are here legally, and will follow the rules, uh, that America has set forth, they want to work hard and provide for their family—uh, I sure wish that politicians wouldn’t worry about these racial divides that are, for the most part, made up by those who thrive on division and contention, and instead, politicians worry about perhaps what their record has said about themselves.
Including John McCain?
Well, John McCain and I, we have gone through a lotta battles, separately and together, and I really respect the man, and I think that he doesn’t have any more to worry about with Latinos than perhaps he would have to uh, be concerned with in terms of explaining his record to, uh, the general populace there in Arizona.
—but I don’t live in Arizona, so I haven’t paid as close to attention, uh, as everybody there has, of course.
Donald Trump recently said that he wants to change the Republican Party platform as it relates to abortion, he wants the party’s opposition to abortion to include exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Now, when you ran for vice president, you ran on a platform that has no exceptions. Do you agree or disagree with Trump’s call to change the platform to allow for exceptions?
I don’t want the platform to change, no. That culture of life, that will be built upon the pro-life views that the majority of conservatives and Republicans hold, respect that, I, there’s, I don’t think that there’s a need for that to change. But when it comes to abortion, it’s very sensitive. It’s very, uh, it’s such a personal issue, um, I think that the plank in the platform is the way it should be, and I respect and support and want it to stay that way, and when, when we can conclude that the plank of the platform is fine as is, then we can start talking about what people are really concerned about in this nation, concerned about in this election, and that is, as I’ve said, debt, uh, open borders, uh, illegal immigrants comin’ on over and receiving freebies left and right, instead of our own people, especially our vets bein’ able to receive the benefits that they’ve earned, a growing government that intrusion, that the failed liberal agenda so perpetuates, that’s what people want to talk about.
Governor Palin, thank you so much, best of luck to you. We hope to see you soon.
Thank you so much, Jake.
From a Sunday, May 8 interview with Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” this has been Sarah Palin Unedited.
Image via Getty, gif by Bobby Finger.