October 3rd, 2008
01:31 PM ET

Did Sarah Palin answer from note cards?

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Editor's note: Below is a partial transcript from CNN's American Morning today:

JOHN ROBERTS, American Morning Anchor: Were you a little surprised at the very beginning that it seemed to me watching this debate that Biden was a little uncertain right off at the top. And looking at the dial testing that we did, the instantaneous dial testing, she kind of rocketed right off the top. And Joe looked like - Joe Biden looked like it took him a little while to find his place.

ED ROLLINS, GOP Strategist and CNN Political Analyst: I think to a certain extent she got off the first best shot where she walked across the stage saying, "Can I call you Joe?" That was a great move. I think she was more comfortable than he was initially. Obviously, he's got a tremendous amount of substance and he expressed the Democrat viewpoint very, very well. But I think she was a big personality. She did what she had to do.

JULIE MENIN, Founder & President of Wall Street Rising: But it's interesting, she used her notes throughout the debate and Biden really did not. And when you are a leader, you don't have time to look at notes. So I found her use of constantly shuffling through her note cards and looking down for the answers very disconcerting and troubling overall.

ROBERTS: Now, you might be not - might not be able to use notes as a leader but when you are a leader and you're actually sitting there in the office, you have a group of people around you and you reach out to them. I mean, they can be here.

ROLLINS: What people have dismissed and having worked for three presidents and having been in the White House for four and having worked with a lot of governors, governors make day-to-day decisions. They can't do all the speaking that the senators can, but they're problem solvers and she has a natural credit for that.

MENIN: But I think at the 3:00 a.m. phone call, you don't have notes in front of you. And in a big crisis, you don't have the opportunity to check notes. And you really need decisive leadership and I didn't really see that from Sarah Palin last night.

ROLLINS: There's a point in 3:00 in the morning Barack Obama does not have Joe Biden on his side either.

Filed under: Raw Politics • Sarah Palin
soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Jason, Rochester Hills, MI

    Noun, Verb, Maverick. Noun, Verb, Also. Noun, Verb, Hockey-Mom. Noun, Verb, Ya'know. Noun, Verb, Energy.

    I have a Noun, Verb scenario that describes your campaign Palin....

    You are delusional.

    October 6, 2008 at 5:12 am |
  2. Lissa E of NC

    Dear Lord help us if those answers were written....her responses were vague, rambling and lacked any substantive content.

    October 6, 2008 at 12:16 am |
  3. bJ

    Who cares if Sara Palin used notes! At least she did not lie like Joe Biden did. He was wrong and lied about Obama's foreign policy several times as well as he lied about the economic crisis being caused by anything but the Democratic Congress. Pelosi and Reid, Dodd and the other Democrats blocked the Republicans who tried to put restrictions on Wall Street and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    October 5, 2008 at 11:45 pm |
  4. jon from iowa

    im proud of her for standing up for what she belives in

    October 5, 2008 at 7:30 pm |
  5. Renata Nicole

    I thought it was funny how she searched her note cards to answer the question about whether she agreed with Dick Cheney's view of the VP role and then foolishly said yes. Ha Ha she admitted to the whole world that she is indeed Dick Cheney with lipstick. The VP position isn't a part of the legislative branch, it is a part of the executive branch. As someone who minored in political science she should know that. But I guess if you are dodging ethics investigations the same way that Cheney is then you would happily agree with Cheney. Like Karl Rove the Palin's don't acknowledge subpoenas. Oh and by the way none of these candidates are currently struggling like most Ameicans. Palin owns a plane and is worth more than a million dollars, McCain's wife is a Budweiser heiress, Obama's wife makes more than 200 grand a year, and Obama has sold successful books, Biden also has a very expensive home, is a professor and does well for himself. I don't like how Palin pretends to be still struggling when she isn't and how McCain never was poor. I do like how Obama and Biden are sure to say we have "been" there. I don't have a problem with wealthy people, I just have a problem with wealthy people pretending to struggle just like me. It is one thing to say I've been there it is another to lie and say you are still there. And can someone please explain to me why it is okay that Palin didn't answer any of the questions.

    October 5, 2008 at 12:22 pm |
  6. mary

    Did Sarah Palin do her "cram" session with President Bush? I ask this as her use of the word Nuclear or rather Nucular was just crazy!.
    I thought I was hearing things and then she used it over and over again.
    She did not win the debate. Her party was just so thrilled she didn't make a fool of herself again. That to them was pure success!.
    One woman interviewed after the debate said "she could relate to Palin as she felt like she was up up there too!"
    How scary is that? I am smart enough to know I am NOT smart enough to run for such a position. I don't want a hockey or soccer mom or Joe Six Pack making world decisions period. I want someone who has a heart who is brilliant period.
    I am scared for the future of the USA. We are headed back to the dark ages!

    October 5, 2008 at 9:36 am |
  7. Dan

    Sarah Palin reminds me of Miss Teen USA South Carolina.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:35 am |
  8. laura t.

    i was googling palin and the debate the last to see if anyone else noticed the "notes". i think it's worse than notes. in reviewing the debate, i noticed that she turned the page of a small stack of papers several times. i'm certain the debate was scripted. that's why her answers were often inappropriate, off-topic or in the case of the biden moment, cold and unresponsive.

    we don't know what the rules of the debate were because the commission on presidential debates won't release them this year, the first time ever. i wish someone would expose this.

    October 4, 2008 at 3:18 am |
  9. Annie Kate

    So what if she used notes? Some classes let you use notes for the final exam in college. You have to know those notes pretty well though for it to be useful enough to find your answer.

    I did prefer Biden though – he knew his stuff. And he was the picture of a President even though he is only on the ticket for Vice President. The spectre of Palin as VP or President makes me ill.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    October 3, 2008 at 10:04 pm |
  10. Cynthia

    I was just impressed she didn't run off the stage!!!!

    October 3, 2008 at 8:15 pm |
  11. Cynthia

    I was just impressed didn't run off the stage!!!!

    October 3, 2008 at 8:12 pm |
  12. cyndi

    Palin is the republican puppet.
    She had que cards, no doubt! I was not impressed at all. She didn't answer questions and she didn't do a very good dance around them. If you don't know the answer...change the subject ! She did this very poorly in my view. It was so obvious.
    Biden answered every question with a clear objective. He was very polite and I was impressed that he didn't attack her, although I think he should have pressed her to answer.
    I also believe that if he would have came accross as an attack-dog, the republicans would have cried foul and Palin would be hiding in the corner crying because she truely isn't ready to play with the big dogs and she should go home and just stay on the porch.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  13. Gail Centre,AL.

    Everybody uses notes, quit trying to find something. Palin was very good last night. She appeals to the middle class working families. Biden told so many lies I couldn't keep track. Obama made a huge mistake when he picked Biden, he went against his whole campaign slogan-CHANGE, Biden is no change. Obama and Biden ARE the bridge to no where. If you like the way things are now vote for Obama, they'll get even worse.Nancy Pelosi is one GOOD reason not to vote for a democrate

    October 3, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  14. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Obama is king of the teleprompter. So what if Palin used notes. I find it impossible to believe that Biden, who has been a senator nearly his whole adult life, can understand better than Palin what matters to the middle class. I'm much more bothered by the CERTAINTY of having an unfit president with Obama, than the possibility that Palin would end up as president in a McCain term. It is so sad that so many Americans have bought the slick Barrack act. No executive experience, no leadership experience, no legislative accomplishments, and very shaky personal ethics with his associations with Wright, Rezco, Ivers, ACORN, etc. He's not an empty suit. He's a sleezeball hiding in a suit.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:47 pm |

    Okay she was some what good. But what I saw last night was a woman that dance around questions that were asked. And then what were these speeches about the mavrick. that started to get under my skin. what has this Mavrick done? A Mavrick is a person that has done deeds. And Palin you can't lead. you are notv ready.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  16. Linda B, Blackshear, Ga

    Gov. Palin did better then expected, on the area(s) that she is most familiar with, however there were a few questions that Ms. Ifill asked her that she totally ignored and didn't answer.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  17. RBahar

    Sarah Palin MUST NOT become VP. Her performance last night was nothing short of plastic and silly and pathetic. We deserve better and must have better – much better!!! Demand the leadership we deserve, and don't let the spin doctors paste a smile on a pretty face and call it leadership.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  18. Becky

    If you had relatives that talked the way she does, 'betcha', 'gotcha', 'say it ain't so, Joe', 'Joe six-pack'...you'd sit them at the back table during the reception. She's an embarrasment to the Republican party but they are too stubborn to admit it. True, professional leaders don't talk in cutsie talk. Hillary never had to stoop that low. As far as setting the bar low for her and her exceeding expectations during the debate, when you run for office of Vice President of the United States you should have a very, very high bar set for you.... and be prepared to jump over it. It's incomprehendable that anyone would support her candidacy. By the way, I wonder if anyone lost their job, writing 'OBiden' on her cue cards.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  19. Patricia

    As I watched the debate my mouth would fall open at some of her responses. Sarah Palin is running for the second highest position in government and she's talking in circles. I was lost in her words several times. Why should a woman who runs a home and has kids use this as credentials for VP? I don't hear many men using a wife and children as a resume for public office or any office for that matter.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  20. Gail Centre,AL.

    Sarah Palin did fine last night, I think she suprised Biden he looked sort of lost somrtimes. This is the same woman that CBS showed sound bytes to try and make her look stupid. Well it didn't work, plus Katie Couric is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  21. Frieda

    Look at you CNN..you can not admit she did super well and your guy with 40 years of experience had to exaggerate and lie 22 times to make a point.

    So you haters! can NOT digest that Palin is a smart politician, so now you are trying find a reason that she cheated.

    People who hated Bush are trying to transfer their hate to Palin. They must hate someone to be validated...so sad!

    October 3, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  22. Lilibeth

    I'm glad she uses note cards, because I have a note for her:

    Thanks, but no thanks.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  23. Deirdre

    This morning I watched Palin in an interview blame Katie Couric for not asking her the right questions. She told what she wanted Katie to ask her and what she was ready to talk about. CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG, BUT WHEN DOES A JOB INTERVIEWER ASK THE INTERVIEWEE QUESTIONS THAT THE INTERVIEVEE WANTS TO ANSWER? FUNNY HOW SHE AND MCCAIN LIKE TO BLAME, BLAME, BLAME for their own mistakes. We can't take four years of this behavior and it's quite an insult to MY INTELLIGENCE! AND SO IS CRAMMING FOR A DEBATE. We don't have time for anyone to CRAM in The White House!

    October 3, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  24. Jim M

    CANADIAN, you were correct in every point. If Palin didn't know the answer or didn't want to respond to the questions she was asked, she simply rephrased a previously given answer to fill-in her alotted time slot.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  25. michael

    palin is a rank amateur. her recent crash course on world civilization, politics and international relations can't disguise her amateurishness. i'm sick to death of the hockey mom, joe six-pack, cutesy, folksy, main street, home kitchen, gosh and golly crap. get real – life isn't leave it to beaver. to tackle the problems of health care, the u.s. economy, national security, etc. requires intimate knowledge of our national institutions and a willingness to acknowledge that the problems are highly complex. not everything can be boiled down the simplicity that palin's beverly hillbilly approach is best suited for.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  26. Mitchell Jacobs

    Did Palin do well? Yes, but she couldn't do worse as the bar was set so low for her and so high for Biden. Everyone is saying how better she is with a live audience. I wonder why? Maybe because each time she read from a script and had weeks to prepare. At a press conference you are not going to have time to prepare. You have to be on your feet and answer on the fly. That's something that palin can't do.

    Now for the debate. How can someone say she killed it. She read from a script. Just look at the tape when it wass Biden turn to answer or even when she did. At time she was looking down when starting an answer. In a debate you are supposed to answer the question not draw back to something you are comfortable with it. That's a cope out. Would people or so called experts be saying the same if Palin was a man? The answer is no. Just look at Biden. The same people and experts said that Biden shouldn't be hard on Palin because it wouldn't look good and people would feel sorry for Palin as she is a woman. He followed that plan and is getting hammered for not grilling Palin. Yet, Palin was alllowed to do it. She took advantage because she was a woman. That's not right. That's not the way to further woman's rights nor is the way by just voting for McCain because his mate is a woman. Vote on the issues not on the gender or color of the candidate.

    When you are just about to get surgery and see on the wall a degree from John Hopkins you get that sense of security, alebit false. You don't get that if the degree was from Panama. This applies to Palin. Maybe in four years she will be more seasoned but not know. I don't want a soccer Mom or Dad as my next President I won't a leader. The soccer Mom or hockey Mom in Palin's case is good for the PTO but not for the Presidency.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  27. Mindy Chatsworth, Ca.

    The issue is NOT reading from notecards! The Republicans had a carefully crafted strategy for Sarah Palin and it worked. They fed her just enough information, made sure she would focus ONLY on the one or two issues that she knows regardless of the moderator's questions, and try to disarm the viewers with her folksy tales of good ole family values.

    I couldn't understand what was going on with all that winking. At first I thought it was a nervous tic and then I thought maybe she was flirting with someone in the audience. But then I realized that this was all part of the PLAN. Try to smile cutely into the camera, blabber on incoherently about global warming for a minute, then segue into the platitudes about maverick, reform, change, patriotism, God, country, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

    I think Palin was a good performer last night. She stuck to her limitations and only stumbled on the rare occasion when she actually tried to answer questions on foreign affairs like Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. She even mispronouned the name of the general heading our forces in Afghanistan. The carefully rehearsed, say it ain't so, Joe, was phony and clearly rehearsed to death.

    Palin only came off decent because the bar was set so low that if she just managed to stand upright she would have exceeded expectations. I think Joe Biden has the patience of a saint. God bless that man for never correcting her, never being condescending, never giving the Republicans the opportunity to call him sexist. It can't have been easy. Biden is a truly gifted, brilliant man who had to stand there and be lectured by some nobody from nowhere who never actually learned anything worthwhile in her life.

    Palin passed the test, but only because she robotically performed the mannerisms and catch phrases painstakingly crafted for her. This woman is an ignorant, pathetic excuse for a vp candidate. What did Abraham Lincoln famously say – You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time, but you can't fool ALL of the people ALL of the time. Take that, Palin!

    October 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  28. C. Bass

    She didn't need notes. All she had to do was say "surge" and "energy" for 90min no matter what question was asked. I tried this at home and I did not hurt myself.

    What's for dinner dear? Energy.
    Did any mail come? Surge.
    How come my heating oil bill is twice what it was last year? Energy.
    Why are the neighbors selling all their stuff? Surge.

    See this stuff really works!!!

    Dick Cheney with lipstick '08!!!!!

    October 3, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  29. Jo Ann

    According to the polls conducted by the MSM Biden may have won last night's debate, but he is not Obama, and his performance is more evidence that Obama is not ready to lead.

    If Obama wins in November I know I would feel more comfortable if Biden was at his side when that 3am call comes!

    BTW, I wonder how well Anderson, or any of the other journalists at CNN would do without the assistance of Teleprompters or "note cards?" You might want to put it to the test sometime.

    Jo Ann
    North Royalton, Ohio

    October 3, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  30. David from Kentucky

    Even with note cards, she didnt answer the questions. I thought Gwen
    let her slide on that many times. The BS meter is out of service due to

    October 3, 2008 at 4:15 pm |

    I'm happy for Gov. Palin that she rebounded from her embarassing performances of the past few weeks. But with or without notecards, she has yet to demonstrate even remedial knowledge of any issue. Beyond that, even if she was brilliant and nuanced, which she's not, she is part of a ticket that keeps refering to generic change without actually proposing any specific change. "putting an end to greed on Wall Street" is not actually a proposal. "Reforming Washington" is pretty vague. So when she gets that 3:00 phone call, I hope she's back home in Alaska.

    October 3, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
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