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Now that you've thought about Alaska, what do you think might interest you moving forward?
I will work extremely hard for Alaska, continuing to work for Alaska, but helping other people who can effect this change, whether they're in office or out of office. I don't need a title to do that. I don't need to be sitting in front of a governor's desk. In fact, my intention is to go out and to campaign for people who can effect change all across our nation. I can't do that from the governor's desk no matter how careful I were to be, because we've got lots of double standards hitting us. Other governors probably could travel around and campaign for others and speak candidly, using their First Amendment rights to express what they feel about a person, a candidate, a position. I get hit with ethics-violation charges if I do that. I mean, literally, I do. The first day back from the campaign trail, I met with reporters in my office who kind of bombarded me there in the lobby of the office. I answered their questions and I got hit with an ethics complaint, and it cost a lot of money to fight things like that, and that's ridiculous. But I'd like to work for other people who'd like to effect change, and Alaska's going to play a big part in the effectiveness of America. As our country progresses with energy independence and Alaska's role in national security and Alaska's part, too, in ratcheting down this government overgrowth that President Obama is ushering in.
You sound a lot like someone, campaigning for other candidates, perhaps fundraising for them, who's going to run in 2012. Is that an interest?
I honestly [pausing to brush Piper's cheeks, who has come back in the room] don't know. I cannot predict what's going to happen. I don't know what doors will be open or closed by then. I was telling Todd today, I was saying, "Man, I wish we could predict the next fish run so that we know when to be out on the water." We can't predict the next fish run, much less what's going to happen in 2012.
So you wouldn't rule it out?
Todd and I, our family's always believed in keeping all options on the table and seeing in this case still what is best for the family and what is best for Alaska.
What do you think is particularly wrong with what Obama is doing now?
President Obama is growing government outrageously, and it's immoral and it's uneconomic, his plan that he tries to sell America. His plan to "put America on the right track" economically, incurring the debt that our nation is incurring, trillions of dollars that we're passing on to our kids, expecting them to pay off for us, is immoral and doesn't even make economic sense. So his growth of government agenda needs to be ratcheted back, and it's going to take good people who have the guts to stand up to him, stand up to him and debate policy, not personalities, not partisan politics, but policy to effect the change that we need there. And allow free enterprise and the industrious Americans who run our small businesses and want to raise a family, allowing our families to grow and prosper and thrive, Americans who still believe in those ideals to get in there and effect change. I want to work for people who believe in that.
Two of his big platform issues now are universal health care and your favorite issue, energy, his global-warming plan. What do you think of his positions on both?
His cap-and-trade agenda is a cap-and-tax agenda, and it's going to drive the cost of consumer goods and the cost of energy so extremely high that our nation is going to start exporting even more jobs to China and to other countries that do not have the corporate tax or the equivalent of the corporate tax that the cap-and-trade I call it cap-and-tax agenda is going to usher in. What he needs to be understanding is, we have the domestic supplies of energy in America. It's conventional sources oil, gas, coal, it's nuclear and we have the renewable sources here in America. But if we're not allowed to drill and develop those conventional sources in this transition period between now and when we can rely more on alternative sources, we're going to become more and more reliant on foreign sources of energy and importing more and more goods because they're going to be cheaper over there to produce, and our country is going to be in a world of hurt. And that, of course, has so much to do with his economic policy in thinking that it's O.K. to borrow money from other countries to fund this government largesse that he's believing in. It doesn't make any sense. We need to develop responsibly our natural resources of energy here. This will provide the jobs here, the true economic stimulus is developing our domestic, safe supplies of energy here, and Alaska is the place to look to contribute.
And health care?
And health care too. I remember certainly on the campaign trail, John McCain and his ideas basically, bottom line, allowing businesses to afford to pay for health care, to provide health care and to give employees options, and Obama scoffed at that. His campaign thought that that was ridiculous. It's funny now to hear him kind of go to some of John McCain's ideas. John McCain had some good ideas about bolstering the economy through businesses so that families could afford to pay for health care and making sure that no one was falling through the cracks and not receiving health care. One way you do that is to reduce the corporate tax on our small businesses especially in America. You're going to see Obama increase those taxes on small businesses whether he admits it today or not, he's going to. One thing reporters aren't asking the Administration is it's such a simple question and people around here in the real world, outside of Washington, D.C., want reporters to ask President Obama, how are you going to pay for this $1 [trillion] or $2 [trillion] or $3 trillion health-care plan? How are you going to pay off the stimulus package, those borrowed dollars? How are you going to pay for so many things that you are proposing and you are implementing? Americans deserve to know what the plan is to fund these things, health care included.