CBS: ‘Some Conservatives’ Want Palin Off the Ticket

Katie Couric and Sarah Palin, CBS At the top of Monday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Julie Chen declared: "Palin on the hot seat as she readies for her debate. Some conservatives want Sarah Palin off the Republican ticket." In the segment that followed, co-host Maggie Rodriguez similarly proclaimed: "...the question a lot of Americans are asking this morning, including some prominent Republicans, is whether Sarah Palin is ready." Correspondent Jeff Glor then explained: "Sarah Palin has mostly been kept away from reporters but the interviews she has done are raising eyebrows."

Glor went on to cite one conservative columnist calling for Palin to step down: "But even some conservatives are concerned, including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker who said 'Palin is clearly out of her league' and called for the Alaska governor to leave the race." Based on that, Alex Burns from politico.com concluded: " I think there are a small number of people who will publically say that they're worried about her abilities as a candidate. I think there's a larger number of people who privately express kind of muted criticism and concern."

Following Glor’s report, Rodriguez talked to Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez and University of Virginia political science professor, Larry Sabato. Rodriguez began by asking Sanchez: "Sarah Palin is getting on a plane, going to Arizona to his ranch for four days of intense preparation with his top aides...Do you think four days is enough to stop the bleeding?" When Sabato was asked the same question, he replied: "Well, I've seen students do a lot of cramming in four days, so I guess it's possible that she could manage to learn enough to do reasonably well in that one vice presidential debate, but that's beside the point. Look, if you're running for president or vice president, you shouldn't have a choice. Your obligation is to run the gauntlet of the press corps. Can they be mean and nasty? You bet they can. It's part of the price of running for national office."

At the end of the segment, Rodriguez briefly asked Sabato about Joe Biden: " I just want to know what you're thinking if you're Joe Biden?" Sabato pointed out: "Well, Joe Biden has his own set of problems. He better be careful not to be presumptuous or arrogant or too dominating in the debate. He has to be careful from his own perspective. He tends to be verbose." The Early Show has been silent on Biden’s growing list of gaffes on the campaign trail, including most recently when Biden declared in an interview with CBS’s Katie Couric: "When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on television and didn't just talk about the, you know, princes of greed." Of course the stock market crashed in 1929, before Roosevelt was president, and television did not exist.

Here is the full transcript of the segment:

7:00AM TEASER:

JULIE CHEN: Palin on the hot seat as she readies for her debate. Some conservatives want Sarah Palin off the Republican ticket but in their first TV interview, Palin's parents defend their daughter.

HARRY SMITH: What would you tell them?

CHUCK HEATH: She's ready to do anything she wants to be.

7:07AM SEGMENT:

MAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: You can bet the vice president candidates will be asked about the bailout during their debate on Thursday. But the question a lot of Americans are asking this morning, including some prominent Republicans, is whether Sarah Palin is ready. Early Show national correspondent Jeff Glor is in Columbus, Ohio. Jeff, good morning.

JEFF GLOR: Maggie, good morning to you. This is a state, Ohio, that could, once again, decide this election. It's one of the reasons why we're here. It's one of the reasons why John McCain and Sarah Palin will be here today as the campaign deals with these continued questions. Sarah Palin has mostly been kept away from reporters but the interviews she has done are raising eyebrows.

SARAH PALIN: It is from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there.

GLOR: The most recent, with Katie Couric, provoked widespread criticism from liberals on the web and a lampooning on 'Saturday Night Live.'

TINA FEY: Katie, I'd like to use one of my life lines.

AMY POEHLER: You don't have any life lines.

FEY: Well, in that case, I'm just going to have to get back to you!

GLOR: But even some conservatives are concerned, including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker who said 'Palin is clearly out of her league' and called for the Alaska governor to leave the race.

ALEX BURNS: I think there are a small number of people who will publically say that they're worried about her abilities as a candidate. I think there's a larger number of people who privately express kind of muted criticism and concern.

GLOR: McCain himself was asked about the chatter on Sunday.

MCCAIN: I'm so excited about the reaction that Sarah Palin has gotten across this country, huge turnouts, enthusiasm, excitement. She knows how to communicate directly with people. They respond in a way that I've -- that I've seldom seen.

GLOR: Palin will be interviewed again today by Katie Couric, which you can see on the 'Evening News.' And then Palin is off for a couple of days of debate preparation in Arizona before Thursday's much anticipated vice presidential debate in St. Louis. Maggie.

RODRIGUEZ: CBS's Jeff Glor in Ohio, thank you, Jeff. We're joined now by Larry Sabato, professor of political science at the University of Virginia and here in the studio with me, Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez. Good morning to you both.

LESLIE SANCHEZ: Thank you.

LARRY SABATO: Good morning.

RODRIGUEZ: Leslie, le me begin with you. After she leaves Ohio, at John McCain's urging, Sarah Palin is getting on a plane, going to Arizona to his ranch for four days of intense preparation with his top aides.

SANCHEZ: Sure.

RODRIGUEZ: Do you think four days is enough to stop the bleeding?

SANCHEZ: Well, I think there's definitely an amount of skepticism for any new candidate, if somebody who's new on a national stage. She does need the debate prep time, but also I think once we get past the debate it's going to be a really good opportunity for her to go out in the public and get her kind of bearing. She needs to be more comfortable on the stump and stop being so managed, I think, in the campaign.

RODRIGUEZ: What do you think, Larry? Four days enough?

SABATO: Well, I've seen students do a lot of cramming in four days, so I guess it's possible that she could manage to learn enough to do reasonably well in that one vice presidential debate, but that's beside the point. Look, if you're running for president or vice president, you shouldn't have a choice. Your obligation is to run the gauntlet of the press corps. Can they be mean and nasty? You bet they can. It's part of the price of running for national office. And I think the McCain campaign has made a mistake with Palin in keeping her so bottled up. I think that she would do better if she had been out earlier and more frequently. And she's become, as you noted, a lampoon, an object of ridicule in part because of that Katie Couric interview, which was a real turning point in her campaign.

RODRIGUEZ: I'm wondering if the problem is that she's not prepared, Leslie, or that they're over-preparing her, that they're giving her too many talking points and answers that she's not allowed to just be herself?

LESLIE SANCHEZ: Oh, I think it's probably a combination of both of them. One, she's a new candidate on the scene. It takes candidates some time to get used to the national pressure and the national media scrutiny, and there is national -- it's normal to have that kind of pressure. The media would like to dictate and have more interviews.

RODRIGUEZ: If she didn't have the pressure, would she have the answers?

SANCHEZ: I think it takes time to get comfortable with those policy answers on very intricate details. We have to go back to her executive experience. Her experience as a mayor, the fact that -- don't forget, governors are really strong and good candidates for national office because the founding fathers wanted them to be democ – laboratories of democracy. They wanted to test ideas. I think she's a proven executive in that sense and people need more time to see that capacity out on the road.

RODRIGUEZ: Larry, I literally have ten seconds. I just want to know what you're thinking if you're Joe Biden?

SABATO: Well, Joe Biden has his own set of problems. He better be careful not to be presumptuous or arrogant or too dominating in the debate. He has to be careful from his own perspective. He tends to be verbose.

RODRIGUEZ: Okay, Larry Sabato, said very concisely, and Leslie Sanchez, thank you both.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC