Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin recalled thumbing through a stack of note cards, mostly on foreign policy issues, in preparation for her 2008 debate against Joe Biden. An attached note from the McCain campaign instructed “Memorize these.”
Therein may have been one of the problems for the ill-fated campaign.
“It all had to do with for the most part (with) foreign policy issues which were not top of the ticket in terms of issues at the time,” recalled Palin, appearing on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor” in advance of Thursday’s vice presidential debate between her former rival and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.
“We should have talked more about the economy and how Barack Obama would lessen opportunities for economic recovery at the time,” Palin told host Bill O’Reilly.
“Instead, I was asked to memorize a whole lot of things about foreign policy that weren’t as relevant in the voters’ minds as the economy would.”
After looking at the note cards for a number of days, Palin tossed them aside “finally realizing how inconsistent and a bit convoluted some of the answers were,” she explained.
“You know at some point the candidate just has to kind of chuck those and decide ‘I will stand on my own record, my own philosophy, my own principles, making sure that they coincide with the top of the ticket’s views and we’ll go from there in the debate.’”
SEAN HANNITY, HOST OF “HANNITY”: We’re live in Danville, Kentucky where just a short time ago the first and only vice presidential debate concluded. Joining me now is somebody who was, well, mentioned by the vice president tonight and that is former Republican vice presidential nominee, Governor Sarah Palin. Governor, welcome back to the program.
SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Thanks so much, Sean.
HANNITY: All right, let’s get your initial thoughts. I don’t think Joe Biden smiled as uncontrollably in your debate and nor do I think he was as rude and condescending. I’m hearing from a lot of people, on Twitter, e-mails all over the place that this did not go over very well tonight. Your thoughts?
PALIN: Well, I believe that Joe Biden was sent in as the attack dog in this debate to compensate for President Obama’s atrocious showing in his own debate where he was aloof and arrogant and disconnected and really disengaged with what is very important to the American voter.
That was the representation of Obama in his own debate last week. So I believe that Joe Biden was sent in to try to compensate for that, but really tough format, Sean, for someone like Paul Ryan or anyone else up against Joe Biden when the moderator allowed one candidate to absolutely run rough shot over the conversation over the opponent.
That’s a tough format. It reminded me I just told Neil Cavuto of watching a Muscat run across the tundra with somebody underfoot and in this case when it came to style it was Paul Ryan underfoot because of the moderator allowing Biden to do the interrupting, to kind of take control of the conversation.
HANNITY: I would say that maybe there is a lesson to be learned here is that if Martha ever gets married again that probably Paul Ryan should go to her wedding, which I thought was wrong in the first place. Because there’s obviously a conflict of interest.
And it was interesting that every time she seemed to interrupt was well, to bail out Joe Biden and shut down Paul Ryan. But I don’t think it impacted the debate. Some things might have gone unnoticed, governor that I want to get your thoughts on.
When Joe Biden talked about they’re down on America. They bet against America. Holding hostage was another term that he used. Now this is a — he’s working for a president lecturing the country on civility. I wanted to get your take on those particular terms that he used tonight meaning the vice president.
PALIN: You know that inciting-type rhetoric that did not go over well. I believe with those who are rational American voters just wanting to deal with facts and what the true state of the union is and we know the state of the union is not very good right now because of the failed policies of Obama and Biden.
I think what you’re going to see tonight is along with that inciting rhetoric of Joe Biden’s what you’re going to see as a result of that is the mainstream media tomorrow morning will probably want to give a quote/unquote “win” to Joe Biden based on style.
Because Joe Biden came across as passionate having used rhetoric like you just mentioned. Unfortunately, Joe Biden is quite passionate about all of the wrong things. He’s passionate about growing government assuming government is the answer.
Whereas Paul Ryan, more subdued perhaps, I believe more pulled together. But what Paul Ryan was trying to explain is that Republican platform is built on this notion of empowering the individual, middle class.
Just the average everyday American who isn’t looking for government to come in and take more and more of what the fruits of our labor is then redistribute it according to some far away, faceless, politician priorities.
HANNITY: Well, you know, but there are certain lines that I thought were very, very interesting, actually got some audience reaction tonight. And you know we’ve got to build our cars in Finland? You know, have our windmills built in China?
The $90 billion that were wasted on so called green energy jobs? Where are the five million jobs that they had promised? Unemployment rate in Scranton, Pennsylvania went up significantly 8.5 percent to 10 percent.
You know, it’s very interesting. The piggy bank ObamaCare line. Hand in cookie jar. Then, of course he laid out the facts America’s not better off than it was four years ago.
Fewer Americans working, $6 trillion in debt and that he’s offering a very different vision and very serious, very methodical, very intelligent way to the American people. What does the country want?
PALIN: Right, what you’re suggesting there is the substance of the arguments made tonight. How important the substance was, not so much the style. I honestly think at this stage of the race, people are not so obsessed with who’s going to come across more intelligent or more passionate based on words, terminology used, but what is the substance?
What is behind their beliefs, their policies? What is their own record? What I was hoping is that Paul Ryan would have the opportunity to bring up Joe Biden’s energy record and how he’s been so opposed to domestic drilling of our resources and development here on and within our own shores.
You know, it was Joe Biden who 30 some years ago actually voted against the TransAlaska Oil Pipeline, which has dumped 18 billion barrels of good, clean energy into American markets.
Yet, Joe Biden opposed it back then and opposes capping our own resources today. That is why you can see the cost of energy so sky high affecting every good, every service in America.
HANNITY: Well, all I can say is I can’t wait to get back to our studio tomorrow night and montage Joe Biden and his facial expressions all throughout the debate.
I think that’ll be a big story by the time we get back. There is was instant poll I saw that had Ryan ahead. Every focus group I’m hearing from did not like the tone, the condescension, the arrogance, and the interruption of the vice president.
So we’re going to watch very closely. Governor Palin, great to see you as always. Thank you so much for being with us.
PALIN: Thank you, Sean. Let me remind you one thing too though. The truth told can’t be all lies when can invent. When Joe Biden told some truths about debt panels, but he told it out of context with an intention to skew what the true meaning and the truth behind the policy issues are. That’s as bad as actually telling a lie so just keep that in mind when you talk about the verbiage that Joe Biden chose to use tonight.