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Sarah Palin on Families & Children

Republican Governor (AK); 2008 nominee for Vice President


On Down baby: God won't give me something I can't handle

I never planned on being the mother of a son with special needs. I thought, "God will never give me something I can't handle." And when I found out that my baby would be born with Down syndrome, I thought immediately, "Hey God, remember you promised you wouldn't give me something I couldn't handle? Well, I don't think I can handle this." This wasn't part of my life's plan, and I was scared.

I didn't know if my heart was ready. I didn't know if I was patient & nurturing enough.

But when Trig was bor I understood that God DID know what he was doing! What at first seemed like an overwhelming challenge has turned into our greatest blessing. All the time, it seems that God was whispering in my ear and saying, "Are you going to trust me? Are you going to walk the walk or just talk the talk?" But when they laid Trig in my arms & he just kind of melted into my chest, he seemed to say to me, "See, Mom, God knows what he's doing. He gave me to you, and you to me, and this is going to be a wonderful journey."

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p.153-154 , Nov 23, 2010

Mistake to assume teen daughter was a "good girl"

When my 17-year-old daughter dropped the bomb on Todd and me with her announcements that her adolescence had been prematurely halted and, in most unfortunate circumstances, she was going to have a baby, our little world stopped spinning momentarily. Bristol was a "good girl," and this wasn't supposed to happen. Preoccupied with the enormous job of being governor of the nation's largest state, I assumed that Bristol was making only wise decisions while staying with my sister in Anchorage. I kick myself to this day for my selfish assumption. I made a mistake.

I helped deliver [my grandson] Tripp. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything, but at the same time I knew it all should have been happening ten years from then. A contradiction? Perhaps. But Tripp is a dream; he's the most beautiful baby I have ever seen.

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p. 95-96 , Nov 23, 2010

Founding Fathers took strong families for granted

It sounds strange to us today, given how preoccupied we can be with the problems the family faces, that the men who laid the foundation of our republic said so little about the institution of the family. The founders took it for granted that strong families instilled in children the habits and disciplines necessary for those children to govern themselves in adulthood.

What the founders focused their energy on, then, wasn't a government that sought to control or shape families, but a government that could capitalize on the virtues of trust and self-restraint that families create--a government that could respect and honor good citizens by allowing them to liver and prosper in freedom. The Constitution's relationship to the family, then, was meant to be reciprocal: to depend upon the virtues of family life to make its system of government work, while protecting the freedom of families to create self-governing citizens.

Source: America by Heart, by Sarah Palin, p.111-112 , Nov 23, 2010

Happy family of origin means all is in order in her life

Palin does not have a tortured tale; she is not Obama with his fatherless search for belonging. Palin is just what she appears to be--centered, whole, and happy. This is unquestionably a result of her family's influence on her.

She is unique among those who populate our public life because she is not angry, raging, bombastic, or rude. Instead, she is about her ideas and her vision because all else is in order in her life.

What she may lack is introspection, the gift for soul searching that the lonely, the bruised, and the wronged naturally have. It may cause her answers to come too easily, her principles to be too unexamined. It can make her come off as a lightweight. She is not, of course, but this is the downside of the healthy, happy childhood she enjoyed, and she should know it and seek to dig a deeper well.

Source: The Faith of Sarah Palin, by Stephen Mansfield, p. 71-72 , Sep 21, 2010

Bumper sticker: My kid has more chromosomes than your kid

[After my son's birth with Down's Syndrome,] the number of special needs kids and adults who began showing up at campaign events was spectacular. The number of wheelchairs multiplied, as did the number of kids and adults with various challenges. I remember making eye contact with special needs families and caretakers. This connection was a kind of mutual acknowledgement that said, "Yes! Their lives are precious! They're worthy! And now we're going to let America know that there's no need to be afraid or hesitant. Instead, let's work together to make this world a more welcoming place for everyone with special needs."

Down Syndrome comes in a range of severities. Some people with Downs can live self-sufficient lives. Others may be totally dependent. It was after meeting all these amazing people that Todd and I proudly displayed the bumper stickers a very cool group from Arizona sent us, which read "My kid has more chromosomes than your kid!"

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.250-251 , Nov 17, 2009

Daughter & teen mom Bristol helping prevent teen pregnancy

Daughter and teen mom Bristol was criticized from all sides as a hypocrite because she took up the cause of helping prevent teen pregnancy. Critics couldn't understand how she could love her precious son, Tripp, and still wish that he had been born ten years later. She wanted more teens to know that though they had choices to make about contraception, the only surefire way of preventing pregnancy is not to have sex. This pragmatic position was attacked by both the right and the left--the left because abstinence seems to be a dirty word and the right because even mentioning the word "contraception" "send a mixed message." Bristol wasn't trying to draft a national sex-ed policy. She just wanted to help her peers. She simply told teens what she has told her sisters: "Don't make the same mistake I did. Wait."

She graduated from high school on time, while raising her son & working two part-time jobs, and then immediately started college. You don't read about any of this positive progress in the tabloids

Source: Going Rogue, by Sarah Palin, p.371-372 , Nov 17, 2009

Caring for special needs kids is part of culture of life

One of the great privileges given to me last year was the chance to be a witness for the truth that every child has value; to say to special needs children that they are beautiful and loved. And needed. We learn more from them than they from us. Across America, a great change is coming in public policy affecting these children, and Alaska can lead the way. This is a part of the culture of life where every child is cherished and protected.
Source: Alaska 2009 State of the State Address , Jan 22, 2009

V.P. role would include helping special-needs children

Q: Governor, have you spoken with Senator McCain about your specific role in the McCain administration?

A: Sure have. I’m very excited about the role that I will play as his partner. And I will focus on energy independence and reform overall of Washington and tax cuts for Americans and reigning in spending.

Q: These are specific roles that you already talked about?

A: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

Q: That you will take on as vice president?

A: Right. So I’d like to talk about each one of them. And I wish we had hours to talk about this also.

Q: I have nothing to do.

A: OK, good. Because another thing that we’ll talk about also is the role that I will play that is very near and dear to my heart. And that’s helping families with special-needs children and being able to strengthen our National Institute of Health also and find cures for presently incurable diseases.

Source: 2008 Fox News interview on “Hannity & Colmes” , Sep 17, 2008

Special-needs children will have her as a friend & advocate

Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge. In April, my husband & I welcomed our littlest one into the world, a perfectly beautiful baby boy named Trig [who has Down’s Syndrome].

Children with special needs inspire a special love. To the familie of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons & daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend & advocate in the White House.

Source: Speech at 2008 Republican National Convention , Sep 3, 2008

17-year-old unmarried daughter is 5 months pregnant

The 17-year-old unmarried daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.

Bristol Palin, one of Gov. Palin’s five children with her husband Todd, is about five months pregnant and is going to keep the child and marry the father, the Palins said in a statement. Bristol Palin made the decision on her own to keep the baby, McCain aides said.

“We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us,” the Palins’ statement said. “Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support,” the Palins said. The Palins asked the news media to respect the young couple’s privacy.

Source: CNN, “Sarah Palin”, by Steve Holland , Sep 1, 2008

Praised by pro-life groups for keeping Down syndrome baby

The couple have five children--Track, 19; Bristol, 17; Willow, 14; Piper, 7; & Trig, 4 months. Track joined the Army last year. Trig, who was born in April, has Down syndrome. Ms. Palin and her husband knew during her pregnancy that there were complications, though the boy’s condition was not revealed publicly until after he was born. Anti-abortion groups have praised Ms. Palin: “It speaks volumes about her personally and about how she walked her talk,” said the president of a [pro-life] group
Source: New York Times, pp. A1 & A10, “An Outsider Who Charms” , Aug 29, 2008

Recognize the vital role of family child care homes

Source: Alaska Governor’s Office: Proclamation, “Child Care” , Mar 28, 2008

Opposes explicit sex-education programs

Q: Will you support funding for abstinence-until-marriage education instead of for explicit sex-education programs, school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?

A: Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.

Source: Eagle Forum 2006 Gubernatorial Candidate Questionnaire , Jul 31, 2006

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Families & Children: Sarah Palin on other issues:
AK Gubernatorial:
Sean Parnell
AK Senatorial:
Lisa Murkowski
Mark Begich

2011 Special Elections:
CA-36:Jane Harman(D)
CA-36:Janice Hahn(D)
NV-2:Dean Heller(R)
NY-9:Anthony Weiner(D)
NY-26:Chris Lee(R)
NY-26:Kathleen Hochul(D)
Retiring 2012:
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)
Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)
Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-8:Dave Reichert(R)
Running for Senate:
AZ-1:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
UT-3:Jason Chaffetz(R)
Dem. Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-7:Terri Sewell
CA-33:Karen Bass
DE-0:John Carney
FL-17:Frederica Wilson
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
LA-2:Cedric Richmond
MA-10:Bill Keating
MI-13:Hansen Clarke
RI-1:David Cicilline
GOP Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-2:Martha Roby
AL-5:Mo Brooks
AZ-1:Paul Gosar
AZ-3:Ben Quayle
AZ-5:David Schweikert
AR-1:Rick Crawford
AR-2:Tim Griffin
AR-3:Steve Womack
CA-19:Jeff Denham
CO-3:Scott Tipton
CO-4:Cory Gardner
FL-12:Dennis Ross
FL-2:Steve Southerland
FL-21:Mario Diaz-Balart
FL-22:Allen West
FL-24:Sandy Adams
FL-25:David Rivera
FL-5:Rich Nugent
FL-8:Dan Webster
GA-2:Mike Keown
GA-7:Rob Woodall
GA-8:Austin Scott
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IL-10:Bob Dold
IL-11:Adam Kinzinger
IL-14:Randy Hultgren
IL-17:Bobby Schilling
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IN-3:Marlin Stutzman
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-8:Larry Bucshon
IN-9:Todd Young
KS-1:Tim Huelskamp
KS-3:Kevin Yoder
KS-5:Mike Pompeo
LA-3:Jeff Landry
MD-1:Andy Harris
MI-1:Dan Benishek
MI-2:Bill Huizenga
MI-3:Justin Amash
MI-7:Tim Walberg
MN-8:Chip Cravaack
MO-4:Vicky Hartzler
MO-7:Billy Long
MS-1:Alan Nunnelee
MS-4:Steven Palazzo
GOP Freshmen
in 111th Congress:

NC-2:Renee Ellmers
ND-0:Rick Berg
NH-2:Charlie Bass
NH-1:Frank Guinta
NJ-3:Jon Runyan
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NV-3:Joe Heck
NY-13:Michael Grimm
NY-19:Nan Hayworth
NY-20:Chris Gibson
NY-24:Richard Hanna
NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle
NY-29:Tom Reed
OH-1:Steve Chabot
OH-15:Steve Stivers
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OH-18:Bob Gibbs
OH-6:Bill Johnson
OK-5:James Lankford
PA-10:Tom Marino
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-3:Mike Kelly
PA-7:Patrick Meehan
PA-8:Mike Fitzpatrick
SC-1:Tim Scott
SC-3:Jeff Duncan
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-3:Chuck Fleischmann
TN-4:Scott DesJarlais
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-8:Stephen Fincher
TX-17:Bill Flores
TX-23:Quico Canseco
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
VA-2:Scott Rigell
VA-5:Robert Hurt
VA-9:Morgan Griffith
WA-3:Jaime Herrera
WI-7:Sean Duffy
WI-8:Reid Ribble
WV-1:David McKinley
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Page last updated: Nov 06, 2011