Sarah Palin: Obama 'Noble' For Wanting To 'Go Down With The Ship'
WASHINGTON -- Potential GOP presidential candidate Sarah Palin bashed the Obama administration's economic stimulus package on Sunday, saying the White House seems content to "go down with the ship" instead of admitting its economic policies did not work.
"It's very noble of President Obama to want to stay at the helm and go down with the sinking ship," she said on "Fox News Sunday." "But I prefer, and many Americans prefer, that we start plugging the holes ... and start getting rid of this unsustainable debt that keeps sinking our ship. We don't have to go the way of the Titanic."
Palin has not yet announced whether she will run for the 2012 Republican nomination, but she launched a publicity tour last week that has pulled media attention away from official candidates. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney announced his candidacy in New Hampshire Thursday, but he was somewhat overshadowed by Palin when she traveled to the state as part of her bus tour.
Palin, the former governor of Alaska, was coy about her plans for the future, telling Fox News' Chris Wallace she did not intend to take attention away from Romney. She said she is happy to take attention from others, though, such as the current administration, which she said is taking the country down the wrong path.
If she were president, Palin said her economic policies would "go in the opposite direction" of the stimulus, shrinking government and lowering taxes.
She said she also opposes raising the debt ceiling, a Congressionally-mandated limit on the amount of loans the Treasury may take on to pay its spending obligations. The government already reached its debt limit on May 16, and is now acting under "extraordinary measures" to pay interest on its current loans and prevent default.
Palin said Geithner was crying "wolf for the fourth time now" about his deadline for raising the debt ceiling, which he has said must be done by August 2 to prevent default. She said the government should use its revenues to pay off the debt -- a proposal the Treasury Department has flatly rejected as impossible.
"Other things are going to have to wait, we have no choice," she said.
Still, Palin acknowledged that Congress would likely find the votes to raise the debt ceiling. But she said she supported the effort by Republicans to "get something for" their "yes" vote.
Republicans have said they will not support a debt ceiling increase unless it is paired with major spending cuts and entitlement changes for the future. Palin said Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) should not support the debt limit increase without the administration agreeing to drill in the Arctic Refuge, a controversial proposal opposed by many environmental groups.
Palin also said last week's bus tour was about "publicizing Americana" during her appearance on Fox News, which pays her as a contributor. She defended her misstatement about Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere, whom she said last week warned the British that Americans planned to rise up against them. (Revere's famous line was "The British are coming" -- directed at Americans.)
"I didn't mess up about Paul Revere," Palin said. "Part of his ride was to warn the British that were already there that 'hey, you're not going to take American arms, you are not going to beat our own well-armed persons individual private militia that we have.'"
She blamed her previous answer on the media, saying it was a "gotcha question."
Palin also had harsh words for the media's coverage of the House GOP budget's proposal on Medicare, which was offered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).
Palin said she had supported the Ryan plan "from day one" and said Democrats and the media have wrongly claimed the bill would hurt seniors by transforming Medicare into a voucher-like program for seniors in the future. She said the plan is about shoring up the program.
"I am very frustrated with Democrats and with the media for trying to spin Paul Ryan's efforts here in trying to save Medicare," Palin said. "What's being spun is this misconception that he's trying to do away with Medicare. The people who want to do away with Medicare are the ones who want to keep going down the road that we're on, like Obama, because we will have a bankrupt Medicare program."