Following God's Lead: An interview with Sarah Palin - Part 1 (Transcript)

Dr. Tim Clinton: Hi everyone. This is Dr. Tim Clinton. Thank you so much for listening today to Family Talk, a radio production of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I wanted to take a moment to tell you a little bit about our growing ministry here. This new Institute is continuing Dr. Dobson's lifework by fighting for marriages and families. It's no secret that our Christian values are under attack and we must stand up for righteousness and biblical truth, unashamedly.

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Announcer: Today, on Family Talk:

Dr. Dobson: Hello everyone, and welcome to Family Talk. As you know, this is a listener supported ministry that is heard in all 50 States of the United States, including 1300 radio outlets and Puerto Rico. You and other listeners make that outreach possible and we deeply appreciate you for standing with us. Now, you're going to enjoy hearing an interview recorded a few weeks ago between Sarah Palin and me. You'll recognize her name.

This event occurred here in Colorado Springs and was sponsored by the James Dobson Family Institute. Sarah was the first female Governor of Alaska. And while she was there, she accepted her party's candidacy as Vice President of the United States, along with Senator John McCain running for president, of course. That was back in November of 2008.

Sarah broke onto the American scene like a whirlwind. And she captured the hearts and minds of people, literally around the world with her outspoken honesty and her fearless principals and her passionate personality. Now, you're going to hear all that in this interview and we're going to begin with my introduction of Sarah Palin on this edition of Family Talk.

Dr. Dobson: I asked you on the phone if you still love Alaska and you said that you do.

Sarah Palin: I do. I'm happy. Every time that we leave Alaska to come outside, is what we call the lower 48, to see wonderful states like this. As I look around in Colorado, and I see your hills. I want to just jog on up some of those hills, mountains.

Dr. Dobson: That's a 14,000 footer up there, you're looking at. You're calling hills. But you have beautiful mountains there. Are you still a hunter?

Sarah Palin: Yes. I still like to feed my kids that organic protein that God put on the earth for our consumption. And yeah to us, the vegetarian is the old Eskimo word for "poor shot." So, still hunting a lot and fishing a lot just like you.

Dr. Dobson: Did you hunt this year?

Sarah Palin: Yeah. I didn't get a moose but went out for moose and-

Dr. Dobson: That's what you hunt? Moose?

Sarah Palin: Moose and caribou, primarily. And then fish for the salmon and the halibut.

Dr. Dobson: Yeah. So, you do a lot of fishing too?

Sarah Palin: Yes. We commercial fish, so we don't necessarily play with our food all the time with rod and reel. We commercial fish for red salmon and kings at the end of our season in Bristol Bay. But then, we live on a lake, so we do a lot of casting off the dock, even.

Dr. Dobson: Tell us how you got the word that you were going to be a Vice Presidential candidate.

Sarah Palin: Funny time in my life that, oh, nothing was going on. I had just had a baby, as the Governor of Alaska. And, of course, up there, we have these old sour doughs who, it was tough enough for them to elect a woman governor, much less a woman governor who got pregnant while she was serving. But had just had our baby, Trig. And our oldest, our son was heading out for his first deployment with the Stryker Brigade. He was headed to Iraq.

And our teenage daughter, in case you didn't see the front page of the National Enquirer, at the time. Our teenage daughter was ending, prematurely, her own childhood and she was going to have a baby. And all this was happening at once. And I got a phone call while I was presenting, I remember this, I was presenting the Alaska Farm Family of the Year Award.

And got a phone call from Senator McCain asking if I wanted to run. And I said, "Well, just had a baby, my son's going off to war, my daughter's pregnant. I'm the governor of the largest state in the union. Sure. Why not? Nothing else is going on."

Dr. Dobson: That takes guts. And the media did not greet that decision with any kind of warmth. Did they?

Sarah Palin: No.

Dr. Dobson: What did they do to harass you?

Sarah Palin: Well, I was just telling your wife that I was very thankful to have been kind of isolated and insulated, working so hard and so busy on the campaign trail, that I didn't really know everything that they were saying about me and my family. And I'm very thankful for that. Because once I got back home and I saw some of that, I'm like, "Oh, geez, I wouldn't have voted for me either."

Had I known, if I believed everything that they had been writing and saying. It is brutal. And it's very, very difficult as a Christian Conservative to keep going forth. I mean, if it weren't for Christ, oh my gosh, I'd be huddled under that podium in a fetal position just trying to hide from the world.

Dr. Dobson: Yeah, but Sarah, that's not the whole story because a lot of people loved you like crazy and conservatives did.

Sarah Palin: Well, thank you. Well then, this is a good lesson then in making sure that your voice is heard. Because believe me, and Michelle Bachmann can testify to this too. We feel, so often, that we're out there alone. You know? We feel like, "Okay, hey, church, where are you? Hey, fellow conservatives, you guys need to speak up. Otherwise, none of us are going to want to be out there. We're getting clobbered. It hurts; it hurts our families."

So, just knowing that there was and is a lot of support. Everybody who's in office now, Dr. Carson and others who deserve your support, they need and want and deserve, your voice is very loud in support of those who are serving for the right reasons.

Dr. Dobson: I want to tell you, that's one of the things that frustrates me the most. Because we have people in Washington who believe what we believe. They put it on the line. And they've taken a stand for righteousness and they're hanging by their fingernails. And the Christian people out here, some of them are saying, "We're not political." And they don't even support them in that role. That's discouraging, isn't it?

Sarah Palin: Yeah. No, let me tell you. I'll tell you a little story. But I won't give any names. But what I found during that presidential race ... And when I left as governor of Alaska to join Senator McCain, I had 87% approval rating. It was bipartisan. We were just doing great. Everything was good. Well, when I got home, my ratings just dropped drastically. The Obama Administration, actually sent some people up to Alaska to start clobbering me, us, with ethics violations and lawsuits and all this stuff that was personally bankrupting us, so that my administration would be stymied.

And very frustrating, too. Every once in a while- not Dr. Dobson, he was the good one- but to get a call or a note from say, some big pastor, mega pastor, a famous one who'd say like, "Hey girl, hang in there. I'm Praying for you. You know, you got support." And I was always like, "Well, why don't you do something about it? Could you like blog something nice? Or could you say something nice? And could you get your people to really stand up?"

Not necessarily for me, but for the Christian Conservatives who are willing to be out there, with that target on the front and the back, to do what is right. It took me aback that some of these faith based leaders would secretly give you that little love note, that oomph, "We're for you." But publicly they wouldn't.

Dr. Dobson: I remember a time when the media was coming to Alaska to search your records and letters and confidential files and anything they could find to embarrass you. I know what the president must be going through to wake up every morning knowing that before the end of that day he's going to be ripped into for things that probably aren't fair. Some of them are, but the motive is very clear. And you were aware that they were doing everything they could to find something to embarrass you, didn't you?

Sarah Palin: Right. I'm thankful for President Trump, that he does have that faith base of leadership around him. In fact, I can admit I'm a little bit jealous of it. You know? Had I felt like we had more of that all those years ago, it would have made it a little bit easier, I think. But very thankful, that I think a lot of Americans learned their lesson too, to see what the media is capable of doing to caricaturize somebody.

Dr. Dobson: Yeah.

Sarah Palin: And to turn that person into somebody that they are not. I think a lot of people learned that lesson over these years. And I feel that President Trump, thankfully has more vocal support than maybe officials in the past have had. And that's needed because if you consider the triple threat that he's up against, of course, everybody in the Democrat party. And 99% of the media.

Dr. Dobson: Hollywood.

Sarah Palin: And then, the obstructionists within our own party, his own party. He's up against those three factions. And yet, he's doing what he told us that he would do as a candidate. And isn't that refreshing? So, I would just really encourage you all to, again, make your voice known, make sure that your president knows that you are there supporting him, because he needs it. Believe it or not, he's humble enough to tell you that he needs it. He appreciates the support. Melania definitely appreciates the support. And if I may speak for President Trump, I know that he would tell me to tell you all, thank you for voicing that encouragement for him.

Dr. Dobson: And I can verify that, too. Sarah, you told me in a very candid conversation that your support for him really played havoc with your family.

Sarah Palin: Yeah.

Dr. Dobson: How?

Sarah Palin: Todd reminds me that when I came out and supported President Trump. And I was one of the first to come out real early, one of the first conservatives to say, "Nobody else is going to beat Hillary. I love all these other candidates. They're my friends. I love them, but it's going to take something different to beat the media and what they were going to orchestrate. Which they have orchestrated. And the deep state and pop culture and everything else. It's going to take a different kind of candidate."

And I recognized in Donald Trump that he would be that candidate. So, coming out and supporting him early, there was more hate and vitriol thrown our way since back in '08. It was really tough. I lost jobs. And I know I'm not the only one. A lot of people who came out and supported Donald Trump, they lost relationships, lost jobs. Some people in my circles, they still don't talk to me because of it. But, yeah, it was-

Dr. Dobson: But your family also fail to understand what was going on here.

Sarah Palin: Right, right. Yeah, absolutely. And I've seen that too in some other families that it kind of has compounded maybe some other issues that, yeah, the politics of our president actually can influence and create an atmosphere in a family. Which, doggone it, I wish that wasn't the case.

Dr. Dobson: Well, you continued through the campaign. Was the Senator, Senator McCain fair with you? What's your assessment of that time with him?

Sarah Palin: Yes, he was. And I still love him and his memory. Those, though, who ran the campaign, they were stinkers. And they're real liberal. And you'll see them on MSNBC as the hosts and as the contributors. And that should say it all.

Dr. Dobson: You're talking about the people who ran the campaign?

Sarah Palin: They were actually the ... Those who ran the campaign. One, she was the press secretary spokesman for us, she's a host on MSNBC now. She didn't even vote for us. And she proudly said she did that.

Dr. Dobson: What was she doing there?

Sarah Palin: See, they're in it for a season, not for a reason. It's a business to them. They're not in it for a cause. You know?

Dr. Dobson: Yeah.

Sarah Palin: They don't have that passion. It's just what they do. And they'll go with the flow. In my world, only dead fish go with the flow. But in their world, that's what they do in order to get a paycheck. So, a hostess on MSNBC, she was kind of the head PR gal for the campaign. And the head strategist, I don't, maybe we called him the manager of the campaign. He's of the main contributors on MSNBC.

And they don't hesitate to take a shot at any conservative that they can. And they were running the campaign. So, is it any wonder that, doggone it, I always have to apologize that we lost, came second out of two? Really sorry about that. But is it any wonder?

Dr. Dobson: Do you have any regrets from that time?

Sarah Palin: You know what? For as much as I was just kind of whining about it, absolutely not. No regrets and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. And I'm just very thankful that we had the opportunity to connect with so many Americans. And hopefully Americans could see that there's still people out there who do want to serve in public office. As you'll hear from Dr. Carson. I'm sure, also reflecting that, who know that our nation was founded on the Judeo-Christian principles that allowed us to be the greatest nation on earth.

And those of us who still believe in that and want to make sure that, especially for the younger generation, share that, tell them why those time-tested truths within our Judeo-Christian foundation. Why they are so important and why they will save our nation, our sovereignty and our solvency. Hopefully we were able to show Americans that there still are people out there who are willing to take those shots, those darts and arrows in order to serve.

Dr. Dobson: Let's talk about your family. You have five kids, five grandkids, and your daughter Willow is carrying twins.

Sarah Palin: You know so much. He's amazing. He even remembers the names. Yeah. Our daughter Willow and her husband, Ricky, they're having twins. And that'll be in about another month. So, then we'll be up to seven grandkids. And yep, five wonderful kids. Don't believe what you read about them in the paper because they're wonderful. They're awesome. And they're my world. Yes.

Dr. Dobson: And you live in an airplane hangar?

Sarah Palin: Yes.

Dr. Dobson: In the back of the hangar? Describe that for us.

Sarah Palin: Well, and that's not atypical in Alaska. A lot of people, their dream is to have the coolest hanger in the state. And then, you have a really cool house that's attached to it. So, on our property we have the hangar, and the office, TV studio, even there. And then the residence also.

Dr. Dobson: Fox News put that there for you?

Sarah Palin: Yeah. I lost my job though, after seven years with Fox during the supporting the Trump stuff. But, I don't know. I can't even tell you how much it cost them to come up to Alaska, and with the satellites and to build the studio and, oh, man, knock on wood, I guess. They've never even come back to collect any of that. So, it's still sitting up there. And they can control the camera and everything from New York city.

They control that up in my office in our studio. And they control the lights and all that. So, I'm always telling my kids, "Don't be sneaking up there thinking you're doing anything because they can see you there in Fox News territory."

Dr. Dobson: Was the child that was conceived during the campaign, Trig?

Sarah Palin: Trig was 16 weeks old when I hit the campaign trail. Yes.

Dr. Dobson: Is he the child with down syndrome?

Sarah Palin: Yes, and he's the best child in the entire world. He's the best thing that ever happened to me. He's amazing. Yes.

Dr. Dobson: They're happy kids, aren't they?

Sarah Palin: Happy, sweet. Well, you know what's cool about him though? Is he's so normal in that he can be a stinker just like any other kid. And when he's a stinker, it makes me feel like, "See, he's normal. He's just like, your stinker of a kid." He's awesome. And he's, I mean, talk about God teaching you that even in less than ideal circumstances, man, there is beauty for ashes and God, he can turn any situation into such a good, good situation when we hand it over to him. And Trig's birth is a good example of that.

Dr. Dobson: What was your personal reaction when your physician told you you were carrying a Down's baby?

Sarah Palin: I was 12 weeks along. And I didn't tell anybody that I was even pregnant, only Todd and the doctor and I knew that. In fact, I went seven months without telling anybody I was pregnant. And in Alaska you can do that because you just put on more layers, more layers. You know? It was cold. And I Didn't tell anybody till I was seven months. And then I had Trig early. He came early at seven and a half months.

So, reporters to this day, we call them the Trig Truthers. They still don't believe that Trig is mine because they say "She was only pregnant for two weeks." That's what they say. But being told that at 12 weeks it ...

Dr. Dobson: It scared you, didn't it?

Sarah Palin: Scared the crud out of me. Because I thought, "Wait, this isn't part of the plan. This isn't what I would have dialed up and asked for. And God you always tell us that you'll never give us anything that we can't handle." I was always preaching that, and I think what God spoke to me about was ... and I was always so pro-life preaching it. Was, "Are you going to walk the walk? Or are you just going to talk the talk?"

Dr. Dobson: Were you ever tempted to abort him?

Sarah Palin: Well, the doctor's office kind of makes that tempting, whether a mom wants to hear it or believes it. So, many of the most caring doctors, maybe it's illegal not to, but they present that option to you with a little bit of the suggestion that, "No one will ever know." And in my case, no one would have ever known. And not that it was tempting because I was as pro-life then as I am now. God allowed me though, to learn through that experience what other women and young girls probably go through.

My teenage daughter too, what she went through with society planting that seed in your mind that, "Oh, an inconvenience." Or "Oh, something that you're not expecting and maybe you're just not equipped to be able to handle what's coming, so kill the baby." Thankfully, I had within me, all of the knowledge and all the appreciation for life that, obviously, I was going to happily have Trig.

So, as the months went on, though, to tell you the truth, my doctor had given me a book about children with down syndrome at that first appointment when she had diagnosed it. And I couldn't even open the book. I couldn't. I just didn't feel like I was prepared. I didn't know if God really was going to prepare my heart and make it big enough to really handle it. But the minute Trig was born, though, it was like, "Oh, the greatest answer to prayer ever." God opened my eyes to perfection, which Trig is to us.

Dr. Dobson: Oh, well, that's beautiful.

Dr. Dobson: Well, this is James Dobson, again, and I enjoyed my interview with Sarah Palin. We're going to have to end the first half of that interview now with the former Governor from Alaska. Before I did this interview with her, I asked her if there are any topics that were off limits, anything that she didn't want me to ask her about and she said, "No, you can talk about anything you want to, including my marriage."

It was announced in the media that her husband had decided to divorce her. And again, I asked if I could talk to her about that and she said, "I have not discussed this with any member of the media. I haven't discussed it with anybody, essentially, but this is a good place to do it. So, you ask me anything you want to." And I did and that is recorded. And that's what you're going to hear on tomorrow's broadcast. And I hope you won't miss it. It is inspirational.

Before closing today, I just want to share some good news with you. Several donors heard that the James Dobson Family Institute had a pretty difficult summer. The contributions were thin. And they contributed $325,000 for a matching grant. Any gift that you make to this ministry is doubled against that grant of $325,000. I know not all of you can help us. Those who can, we would certainly appreciate your support. This is James Dobson with the James Dobson Family Institute and I hope you'll be with us tomorrow at this same time. God's blessings to you all.

Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.

Dr. Dobson: Considering how expensive and difficult it is to be a good parent. Many people wonder these days why anyone would want to even have children.

Announcer: Dr. James Dobson, for Family Talk:

Dr. Dobson: I'm reminded of a woman who boarded a Los Angeles bus a few years ago and sat in the seat behind me. Her hair was a mess and the black circles under her eyes revealed a state of utter exhaustion. As she stumbled past me with seven rambunctious youngsters, I asked, "Do all those children belong to you? Or is this some kind of picnic?" She looked at me through squinted eyes and said, "They're all mine and believe me, it's no picnic."

The woman is right. Parenthood is an assignment that demands everything we can give it. And to do the job right, requires some sacrifice and maybe even a few tears. And yet, nothing worth having comes cheap anyway. Speaking as a father, there's never been a greater moment in my life than when I gazed into the eyes of my newborn daughter, and then five years later, my son.

What could be more exciting than seeing those tiny human beings began to blossom and grow and learn and love? And what reward could be more meaningful than having my little boy or girl climb onto my lap, hug my neck and whisper, "I love you, daddy"? Yes, children are expensive, but they're certainly worth what they cost us.

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Dr. Clinton: Hi, this is Dr. Tim Clinton. Thanks for listening to Family Talk. If you're hurting, you got troubles in your life, going through deep waters, we'd like to talk with you. You can call us toll free right now, 877-732-6825. That number again, toll free, 877-732-6825. Or reach us from our website at We're here to help you.

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