CBS’s Smith Asks Palin’s Parents About Criticism of Daughter

Harry Smith, CBS On Tuesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Harry Smith aired the second half of his interview with the parents of Sarah Palin, Chuck and Sally Heath, and described how: "From mayor of Wasilla to governor of Alaska, and now a vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin's sudden appearance on the national scene has been celebrated, and increasingly criticized." Palin’s father responded: "They're digging and digging for the bad side, yeah. And there is no real bad side. They're fabricating a lot of things, which I don't want to go into, yeah."

Smith then followed up: "Is that hurtful to you as parents?" Palin’s mother replied: "Very. Very. Mostly because you know how it affects the kids." After the clip of the interview was played, co-host Julie Chen asked Smith: "Did they talk about how difficult it is to hear their daughter be the butt of so many jokes ever since she stepped out onto the national spotlight?" Smith responded: "Well, you know, it's interesting, because we talked to Chuck about that. He saw the -- at least the first episode from 'Saturday Night Live' and he said that he thought Tina Fey did a good job. I'm not so sure they would have appreciated this past Saturday night's episode, though." Chen replied: "Yeah, I agree." On Monday, Chen remarked on that latest SNL skit, declaring: "Tina Fey has just so much material to work with, this is like, probably a dream come true for her."

Here is the full transcript of the Tuesday segment:

7:30AM TEASER:

HARRY SMITH: And also coming up in just a couple of minutes, part two of my exclusive interview with Sarah Palin's parents. We went to Wasilla, Alaska. They had amazing things to say about their daughter and the family. We'll hear that in just a little bit.

7:35AM TEASER:

SMITH: When we come back from this commercial break, part two of my exclusive interview with Sarah Palin's parents.

7:38AM SEGMENT:

HARRY SMITH: Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, the vice presidential candidates, will square off in a debate Thursday night at Washington University in St. Louis. And we decided we wanted to learn a little bit more about Sarah Palin, so we visited with her parents in Wasilla, Alaska. This is Sarah Palin country. And a visit to her parents home is a little like being in a natural history museum.

CHUCK HEATH: Everything in here has a story and this is my best find, what I consider my best find ever.

SMITH: This one right here?

HEATH: I found this summer. Gold mine, it's called a Steppe Bison and they went extinct about the time of the mammoths.

SMITH: Really?

HEATH: And the mammoths went extinct, oh, 8,000 - 10,000 years ago. And we found him frozen in the permafrost.

SMITH: People who haven't been here, I'm not sure they get Alaska.

HEATH: You have to live here and experience it. Yeah.

SMITH: You got some serious antlers working here.

HEATH: These are -- people say, 'gee, did you shoot all those?' No. Those are all sheds, you know, antlers are shedding.

SMITH: Oh, of course. These are a lot of, a lot of antlers. Chuck and Sally Heath moved to Alaska from Idaho 44 years ago.

HEATH: I told Sally we'd come up for one year, I knew better, but we'll try it for one year and which a lot of guys tell their wives, here we are.

SMITH: What did you think?

SALLY HEATH: I was all game for an adventure. It was going to be a challenge with three tiny kids at the time, but we were willing to do it, young and dumb.

SMITH: The Heath's third child, Sarah, was outspoken and competitive. Did you have a sense what she was going to be when she grew up?

HEATH: No. She sure didn't give us an indication it would be politics.

SMITH: From mayor of Wasilla to governor of Alaska, and now a vice presidential nominee, Sarah Palin's sudden appearance on the national scene has been celebrated, and increasingly criticized.

CHUCK HEATH: They're digging and digging for the bad side, yeah. And there is no real bad side. They're fabricating a lot of things, which I don't want to go into, yeah.

SMITH: Yeah, yeah. Is that hurtful to you as parents?

SALLY HEATH: Very. Very. Mostly because you know how it affects the kids.

SMITH: And they're worried about what the future might hold.

HEATH: I'm concerned about how the kids will adapt to it, that living in Washington D.C., because they're Alaskans, they snow machine and they ski and they do all of these things here. Not too many snow machines in Washington D.C., yeah.

SMITH: Despite having braved the wilds of Alaska for four decades, nothing has quite prepared them for the storm of attention that has followed Sarah. Did you see it coming?

HEATH: The governorship has finally sunk in. But this VP, it hasn't sunk in at all yet, yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I'm still 'what?.'

SMITH: Yeah, yeah? Seemed like a dream almost?

HEATH: Yeah. You know, a dream or fantasy. Yeah, yeah.

SMITH: Good dream or bad dream?

HEATH: Well, I think -- I hope it's going to be a good dream, yeah, I'm sure it's going to be a good dream, yeah.

SMITH: Yeah, yeah.

HEATH: She's never let us down yet, yeah.

SMITH: Yeah, as they say, you almost have to be from Alaska, or at least go there, to get it, to really understand it. And I really want to thank Chuck and Sally Heath for opening up their home to us over the weekend and giving us the opportunity to visit, guys.

JULIE CHEN: Yeah. Did they talk about how difficult it is to hear their daughter be the butt of so many jokes ever since she stepped out onto the national spotlight?

SMITH: Well, you know, it's interesting, because we talked to Chuck about that. He saw the -- at least the first episode from 'Saturday Night Live' and he said that he thought Tina Fey did a good job. I'm not so sure they would have appreciated this past Saturday night's episode, though.

CHEN: Yeah, I agree.

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