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O'Reilly grills Palin on oil spill

Via the Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan, this Sarah Palin interview on "The O'Reilly Factor" is tough to watch. I don't say that out of satisfaction. I said on MSNBC's "Countdown," the day Palin attacked Joe McGinniss, that I was disappointed by Palin's use of her megaphone to hype that story instead of talking about the disaster in the gulf. It's not clear, in this interview, that she has much to say.

The killer bit:

O'REILLY: Obama obviously doesn't know how to stop the leak. Do you know how to stop it?

PALIN: Well, then what the federal government should have done was accept the assistance of foreign countries, of entrepreneurial Americans who have had solutions --

O'REILLY: Who?

PALIN: -- that they wanted presented.

O'REILLY: Who?

PALIN: They can't even get a phone call returned, Bill. The Dutch. They are known in the Norwegian. They are known for -- for dikes and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills.

Partial transcript below the fold.

So what is your solution here, Governor? What would you do tonight? Tell the nation tonight what you would have said your main point in that speech? Go.

PALIN: Stopping the gusher. That's the Number 1 priority of the nation.

O'REILLY: But nobody knows how to do it?

PALIN: We need to make sure that all technology is being thrown at this problem.

O'REILLY: Nobody knows how to do it?

PALIN: Well, we haven't had the assurance that president -- we haven't had the assurance by the president that that has been his top priority. Instead, what his top priority is, Bill, is cap and tax. It is using this crisis -- not letting it go to waste, but to use this crisis to increase the cost of energy.

O'REILLY: All right, if that happens --

PALIN: And that is not going to solve any kind of economic recovery that we have.

O'REILLY: Are you telling me that you don't think the president's top priority is stopping that leak? Is that what you are telling me?

PALIN: What I'm telling is you that is not what I am hearing and what the American public is hearing from the top official in our government. And that's why those poll numbers show that, no, the public -- we don't know where to turn. If we can't trust BP to be able to fix this leak, we know we can't trust government because they've had eight weeks of overseeing, of regulating and kind of coaching this whole process, this whole issue of stopping the leak. And they haven't succeeded in doing it.

O'REILLY: Okay.

PALIN: So the people are very, very frustrated.

O'REILLY: And that's right.

PALIN: We have to know -- we have to know that President Obama's Number 1 priority is to stop the leak.

O'REILLY: But I'm assuming that it is. And I am assuming that it is. But, look, the reason I'm pleased to have you on the program tonight is that there is not a governor in the United States who has more experience than you do dealing with the oil companies. You've already said you can't believe them, that their word doesn't mean much when you are debating issues as far as the oil company's interest and the interest of the people. You can't believe them. Okay.

Now, the oil company BP says we don't know how to stop the leak. We're going to try X. We're going to dig another well. We're going to do this. We don't know. We don't know. Obama obviously doesn't know how to stop the leak. Do you know how to stop it?

PALIN: Well, then what the federal government should have done was accept the assistance of foreign countries, of entrepreneurial Americans who have had solutions --

O'REILLY: Who?

PALIN: -- that they wanted presented.

O'REILLY: Who?

PALIN: They can't even get a phone call returned, Bill. The Dutch. They are known in the Norwegian. They are known for -- for dikes and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills. They offered to help and, yet, no, they, too, with a proverbial can't even get a phone call back. That is what the Norwegians are telling us, and the Dutch are telling us, and then the entrepreneurial Americans.

The company in Maine that has the -- the boom and the -- the absorbents, those companies that are waiting for the Obama administration eight weeks later for the regulators to come in and say, okay, we'll purchase from you now. We'll do all that we can. That's where some of the frustration is.

By David Weigel  |  June 16, 2010; 3:15 PM ET
Categories:  Sarah Palin  
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