I begin the third hour talking with former GOP vice president nominee Sarah Palin about her new book, Sweet Dreams.
The audio: 11-19hhs-palin
HH: So pleased to welcome this hour, Sarah Palin, former governor of [Alaska], former vice-presidential nominee of the Republican Party. She’s the author of many fine books, you can follow her on Twitter, @SarahPalinUSA. Her brand-new is very different from her previous books – Sweet Freedom is a devotional. Governor Palin, welcome back, always a pleasure to talk to you on the Hugh Hewitt Show.
SP: Thank you so much, it’s such an honor. I tell you, you’re doing a great job and you’re teaching a lot of us a lot of things, so thank you.
HH: Well, you’re welcome. Tell me why, I want to talk politics with you, but first of all, devotional, I didn’t see that coming, Sarah Palin, and it’s a beautifully-written book. It’s a typical daily devotional. Christians would be familiar with this – Day Two, 15, Day One, 34, lots of places for notes. Why did you do it?
SP: It is, on the surface, yes, a very typical devotional, but I wanted to do this one different in compiling the lessons, the verses, the parables, different aspects of Scripture, Old and New Testament, that happened to give us the specific, precise answers to the challenges that we’re facing as a nation right now politically and national security-wise even and of course, as individuals because everybody’s facing a challenge or a battle. It is amazing, Hugh, that you can go the Old and New Testament and find answers and solutions to all these things that politicians are really struggling with.
My favorite one, just off the tip of my tongue, is whether we should defend the Second Amendment or not, and here in Luke 22, Jesus is telling us, take up your arms and defend yourself, don’t wait for somebody else to do. So even an issue like whether the Second Amendment should be defended or not is right there.
HH: Sarah Palin, on page 263, day 215, it’s about the wounds of a friend – “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy, multiple kisses” and at the end, you reflect on it, honesty is really the best policy, you advice, “Welcome real friendships into your life and when someone you trust gives you a word of constructive criticism and correction, consider it and apply it. Equally important, love your friends enough to be honest with them as well.” Who is that in your life, other than your husband and your family.
SP: (Laughs) It’s funny you say, “Other than my husband,” because just as you were repeating those words you are speaking, “Yes, that is so Todd, sometimes I just feel like kicking him in the shin for telling me, ‘No, you can’t do that or what are you thinking, Sarah?’”
HH: Yes, but I’m been with you with your husband and I knew it would be tough. That’s too easy.
SP: . . . He knows me better than anyone else, so–
HH: Yes, that’s too easy.
SP: . . . Certainly Todd is the one, but thankfully I have a strong, very involved network of family and friend up there in Alaska and they keep me grounded, believe me.
HH: So when you travel, who do you talk to? I know Todd goes with you to a lot of places. We’ve events together in Denver and other places and he’s always at your side. But when you travel, who do you rely on for that?
SP: Good question, too. ON this trip, as I’m on my book tour, I have daughter Willow and my sister Molly here with me as kind of my entourage. And you know why, Hugh? They are just such a real people. Molly, she’s a single mom working her butt off as a pediatric dental hygienist in her day job, and Willow, she went to trade school and she’s a hairstylist. These are just normal, everyday, hard-working patriotic Americans that I’m surrounded with and so it’s really easy to stay in touch with, I think, the heart of America when you’re living it. And Hugh, speaking of events we’ve done together, I don’t think I ever had an opportunity to tell you how you kind of changed my life in one of th events that we did together when we’re were asked on a panel what is our greatest fear for America or about America–
SP: . . . And your answer was you fear that the younger generation is forgetting what is to be an American, what it means, and ever since you said that, it certainly opened my eyes and ears and my heart to – oh my goodness, that’s absolutely right, if our young people don’t understand the sacrifices that have been made for our exceptionalism and if they take it for granted which is happening now, we’re going under.
HH: Well, let’s talk about American exceptionalism ,Sarah Palin. I’ll come back to Sweet Freedom which is, of course, linked to HughHewitt.com. A lot of people think that Republicans are cold-hearted and stone-hearted when they say, “Stop the Syrian refugee flow, check it, pause.” As I said to my students at Colorado Christian University today where I’m a visiting professor for this semester, I want everyone to come to America who believes in American exceptionalism. I don’t want people to come who don’t believe in it.
SP: Absolutely, and I just wanted to scream at the TV these last couple of days listening to our president chide and mock and criticize and lie about a segment of the American population that is so concerned for our security so that we can be in a position to help the widows and orphans and we can be compassionate. We do that by being sovereign and secure and fiscally able to help and hear our own president is letting the rest of the world believe we’re intolerant and not compassionate. Oh, if you only knew the heart of America.
HH: It is astonishing and I believe the vote today in the House – 289 in favor of a pause in the refugee program – those are not hard-hearted people, those are security-minded people who are very concerned for the people they represent.
SP: And Hugh, this is huge. Yes, I think it’s like a 289-137 vote right now representing the veto-proof majority – thank you, Lord – so now, going to the Senate. That includes nearly 50 Democrats. This is a significant rebuke of the administration. This is part of a great awakening that I believe is coming where more and more people are saying, “Hey, the status quo has got to go because look what the status quo has gotten us and look where we are on a global stage today where no longer are other nations looking to America to lead. Did you eve think, Hugh, that we would standing behind the French asking them to lead us into battle and win the war against evil incarnate for us. It’s baffling to me.
HH: It is, now let me play some political word games to you. I am not one of these people that try and get Republicans to say bad things about other Republicans, but I’d like you tell me what you think is the strength of each of the candidates as I go through them. What’s the strength for example, of Ted Cruz?
SP: His wisdom, his experience as an attorney to be able to debate and articulate what the right positions and place in the Republican platform are.
HH: What’s the strength of Carly Fiorina?
SP: Private-sector experience. She’s not a politician, thank you, Lord.
HH: (Laughs) Donald Trump.
SP: Oh, he’s above and beyond the candidness that we need and crave. He’s calling it like he sees and it’s most refreshing. I love it.
HH: Rick Santorum.
SP: He has the moral ground covered. He’s letting people know what the time-tested truths that are outlined in our Judeo-Christian foundation of America [are]. He keeps us reminded how important those are.
HH: Marco Rubio.
SP: He’s got a pretty cool life story that’s quite helpful. He’s got some hurdles to overcome when it comes to past positions that he’s taken after the Tea Party worked our butts off to get him elected. So he’s got a few things in front of him for him to surpass in order to regain some of that Tea Party grassroots movement support.
HH: Dr. Ben Carson.
SP: Intelligence. Calm, cool, collected demeanor. He’s got like the antithesis of my demeanor, I think. And I respect that out of him.
HH: Dr. Rand Paul.
SP: Oh I love the libertarian streak. I really do. Obviously, differences on some foreign policy issues but I was watching him today and I’m think, “Republicans, you are idiots to marginalizing his supporters and his dad’s supporters, too.” What his supporters are saying is, “Come on, government, get off our backs and allow us to prioritize our finances, our cultural aspects of our life that influence, let us prioritize according to our own will. Government, don’t do it for us.”
HH: Jeb Bush.
SP: Well, I really like his brother a lot.
HH: (Laughs) Come on, that’s all?
SP: No, no, he did great for eight years in Florida. He really did. Hugh, this is an important aspect of Jeb that people may not recognize, when you’re serving on a local or state level as I have, and I did for like twenty years, you have to work in a non-partisan sense in order to just get things done. Partisanship doesn’t let you balance the budget, get the road paved, get the road plowed, stop the dog-catcher from abusing his authority in your local town. When you serve on the local level as Jeb as on a state level, you learn to get along with people, but you shouldn’t be compromising.
HH: I got three more. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.
SP: Love his candidness.
HH: And Governor Mike Huckabee of formerly Arkansas. You know Mike from Fox.
SP: Yes, I wish I could play guitar like Mike Huckabee does.
HH: (Laughs) But how about politically, what’s his strongest suit.
SP: Well, he’s hardcore conservative and I’m always to err on the side of a hardcore conservative as opposed to some “namby-pamby” vanilla “milk toast” “rhino.” No, I respect that Huckabee, you know what side he’s on.
HH: And my home-state governor, John Kasich.
SP: He’s such a good guy because he too has that experience on the state level and then the national level and back down to the state level, if you will, and knows how to get things done, so I truly respect that out of someone who’s willing to be in the trenches with their boots on the ground in say, a governor’s office where you don’t away with abusing your position, just taking it for granted that you’re going to get re-elected. No, you’re so accountable to the people as you’re making decisions on their behalf on such a local level–
HH: I’ll be right back with Sarah Palin.
SP: . . . the most local government would be the most responsive and responsible, so somebody like Kasich gets that.
HH: I’ll be right back with Sarah Palin, her new book, Sweet Freedom linked to HughHewitt.com. Stay tuned.
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HH: 21 minutes after the hour, America. My guest is Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, former nominee for vice-president of the Republican Party. Her brand-new book, Sweet Freedom, is a devotional in bookstores everywhere. Governor Palin, I drove through hometown this summer, Wasilla, on my way to Denali and had spent a couple of beautiful days there, but as I went through Wasilla, we paused whatever the big supermarket was there, a giant whatever-it-is, and there were like a million guns for sale, and I said, “This is why Sarah Palin – she comes from a Second Amendment state,” it’s the most gun-friendly state I imagined the Union, isn’t it?
SP: It is. You know what, growing up I thought every little girl was a lifetime member of the NRA and I thought every girl had a reloading bench out front of her bedroom door in the hallway. That’s how I was raised and we’re commanded in Scripture even to arm ourselves and defend ourselves, not rely somebody else to protect ourselves and to get out to protect the innocent. So I thought everybody was of my ilk.
HH: In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, do you think people are going to arm themselves who’ve previously not done so or double down on their supplies of armament?
SP: Without sounding like some kind of psycho “prepper,” Hugh, I beg them to be prepared, to be vigilant, and really rely on, especially an administration, a higher governmental authority that will not defend the Second Amendment, but those who understand that we can rely on our faith, our security in God, that things are going to be okay at the end of the day. But we’re expected to take care of ourselves. God doesn’t drive parked cars, he gives us the equipment, the talents, the gifts, the passions, and expects us to put them to good use, even in the name of public safety.
HH: So I don’t think you’re a psycho prepper. I had a real psycho prepper on yesterday who’s written his new book, Lights Out, and he’s obviously America’s mainstream media guy, 44 Emmys. He wants to get everyone prepared for the same reason, he thinks the lights are going to go out at some point.
SP: I had no idea he was of that mindset, but I think there at my home in Alaska, we’re that way anyway. I think inherently all our freezers are full of organic meat that we happen to have to shoot first before we eat it, but we got our supplies just because the conditions are pretty tough. I appreciate that you even went up there and kind of experienced some of that, but you were probably up there during the wimpy months–
HH: I was in the wimpy months. I was there in July–
SP: Yes, yes.
HH: . . . And Ted Koppel, by the way, is a psycho prepper, but I recommend Lights Out. Let me ask you, Governor Palin, though, your state is about to embrace drugs. I’m in Colorado, where marijuana is now legal and it’s impacting the state dramatically and terribly. What happened in Alaska, what are you people thinking up there?
SP: Because we got that Libertarian streak in us and I grew up in Alaska when pot was legal anyway, it was absolutely no big deal. I mean, you didn’t smoke it because your parents woulds strangle and if you were a jock and you were a Christian going Eucharist, you just do it, right? I still believe that, but when it comes to picking our battles, for many of us, legalization of marijuana just was never really a bright blip on the radar screen so it didn’t surprise me when the voters of Alaska when back to legalizing it. For some years, it had not been legalized, but I don’t know, I look at the national scene and think, “Wow, of all things to be fighting over and battling over,” especially when it comes to medical marijuana, I think, this is just not my baby.
HH: It’s such a bad thing here in Colorado. Another time, we’ll talk about it. But I got to talk to you about the former Secretary of State and former First Lady Hilary Clinton. First let me play for you a clip that she had to say on Saturday night when she was asked about campus unrest. The First Lady pulled this royal moment out of her pouch. Play it, please.
HC: Well John, I come from the ‘60s long time ago. There was a lot of activism on campus, civil rights activism, anti-war activism, women’s rights activism, and I do appreciate the way young people are standing up and speaking out.
HH: What do you make of that, Sarah Palin?
SP: She came from the‘60s, well I came from the ‘80s and thank God, under the tutelage, politically-speaking of Ronald Reagan, is when I politically came into being, so I understood what it means to be self-sufficient and to be not with this “herd-sheep” mindset of whining and moaning over things that really don’t amount to a hill of bees if you keep them in perspective and she’s perpetuating a problem, Hugh, where she’s enabling kids who have it pretty doggone good on a college campus. I’m watching the Yale students griping and moaning suing persecuting – oh, give me a break. No, those of us who’ve grown up in maybe, a different era, and certainly, different conditions in their lives, real-world conditions in our lives. I think we’re better able to appreciate what it takes to just make it on your own. It’s hard work and it is faith in something greater than self and it’s an opportunity to serve something greater than self. That’s what she’s missing.
HH: I’m a Harvard guy, so I’ve heard “Yalies” whine my whole life, Governor Palin. But nevertheless, I h ave to ask you about the former Secretary of State. Do you think she’s a formidable candidate or do you think any of those Republicans we covered in the first segment can beat her.
SP: She is going to be the nominee and the skids are greased for her. So the GOP nominee has got to be, day one, who will not hold back any punches, if you will, that they got to be the fighter for America who is not afraid to get flacked with a sexist label across their forehead. Peel that off, GOP nominee and make sure you’re coming after Hilary Clinton on principal and her record and her intentions for this nation. Ignore what the mainstream media is going to do to you when they call you a sexist just because you’re going to take her on for her idiotic actions over the years. Someone’s got to be a fighter like that on the GOP of the debate when it comes to those weeks and months heading into the general.
HH: Would you endorse any of the Republicans who are left, do you see yourself supporting whoever the nominee is from that list?
SP: Oh my goodness, I’m so excited for any of them to be the nominee. They all have, as we went through the list, great attributes, but yes, as the weeks go by, and still so many months to go of course, I probably will jump out there. I just don’t want my endorsement to hurt the guy, if you know what I mean (laughs).
HH: Do you think you’ll endorse before Iowa?
SP: I don’t know. That’s pretty soon. I just know, Hugh.
HH: Let me ask you, who has the won the debates thus far, the Republican debates. We’ve had four of them, well, we’ve had three-and-a-half, the “Hindenburg debate,” the CNBC debate. Who’s won the four debates, do you think?
SP: Well, maybe I’m biased, but I’m always really tuned into what Ted Cruz says because I have such great respect for his experience and his wisdom when it comes to how to protect our constitution and maybe I’m biased because I love it when Trump gets his “dukes” and will fight it out in the arena of ideas. And at the same time, I think Kasich has done really well, but we’ve sort of, underestimated, I guess, underappreciated, in some respects because he knows how to get some things done on a practical level. So I don’t know, just watching it all – and Dr. Carson, too, with his real-world experience which has nothing to do with politics and that’s refreshing. Just everyone of them, Hugh, I’m really excited as opposed to the other side of the aisle where there’s no diversity and we’re the party of diversity.
HH: You’re right about that. Sarah Palin, I think I detected a little bit of a Cruz list, but we’ll see. I appreciate you’re coming on so much. Sweet Freedom, a devotional, in bookstores in time for Christmas. Former Governor Palin, always a pleasure. God Bless You, thanks for joining us.
End of Interview