In a recent interview broadcast by Palin employer Fox News, opinion host Bill O'Reilly appeared flustered at the former Alaska governor's lack of substantive response to his leading questions on immigration policy.
Placing Palin in the hypothetical role of "president," O'Reilly asked how many National Guard troops she would send to the U.S.-Mexico border.
"However many you need," she replied. "This is a top priority, this is a national security issue..."
It was all downhill from there.
The host interrupted her. "Alright, so you militarize the border. You finish building the fence; you'd finish the fence from Brownsville to San Diego -- yes?"
"Yep," Palin said.
"Alright," O'Reilly continued. "So now we have 12 million people starin' at you and you say to those people, 'You're in here illegally, you broke civil law by coming in here.' Now, what are you going to do? Are you going to deport them? What are you gonna do?"
Palin tried to "go back to the importance of securing the border." This seemed to anger O'Reilly, who has been known to advocate mass deportations.
"No, but we got that. We got that, governor," he said sternly.
It quickly devolved into a stammering match.
The best Palin offered was, "You're not gonna give them a free pass." Apart from insisting "no amnesty," she gave no real, tangible position on the issue. When pressed on deportation, she claimed to be "uncomfortable" with going "down that path so far," but then insisted that if an immigrant does not work, they should be deported.
"We cannot make it easy on those who have chosen to be illegally here," Palin said. O'Reilly countered: "But we can't starve 'em to death."
Then the Fox host appeared to save Palin from a gaffe on Ronald Reagan's immigration policies. She had suggested that "at some point through immigration reform" illegal immigrants would be allowed to work, which O'Reilly had just characterized as "rewarding bad behavior."
"Let's look at, case history, let's look at case history, let's look at, uh ... you know," she trailed, waiving a hand in the air. "Political hero Ronald Reagan tried to do with three million illegal aliens all those years ago ..."
"Reagan botched it!" O'Reilly interrupted.
"Exactly!" Palin replied. "That's what I'm saying. We learn from history."
Palin's lack of necessarily tangible positions seems to be endemic in some of her recent public statements. As much was said by unnamed reporters mistakenly broadcast by a Fox affiliate offering their unfiltered opinions on a Palin speech at California State University.
One man said he felt like he'd just stepped off a roller coaster. Another said he finally understood why "the dumbness doesn't come through in sound-bytes." Yet another argued that she'd not used a complete sentence or even "made a statement."
In a recent promotional video launched by SarahPAC, she literally takes no position on any issue at all, instead relying on fuzzy statements on how "mama grizzlies" must come together for a conservative victory.
It was enough to earn the mockery of Ruth Marcus, a Washington Post columnist who declared she'd likely qualify as a mama grizzly, if only she knew what they stand for.
Mostly, though, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Palin and the gals -- and this is the insulting part, in which the former Alaska governor purports to speak for her gender. "It seems like it's kind of a mom awakening in the last year and a half, where women are rising up and saying, 'No, we've had enough already,'" she says. "Because moms kinda just know when something's wrong. Here in Alaska, I always think of the mama grizzly bears that rise up on their hind legs when somebody's coming to attack their cubs, to do something adverse toward their cubs.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Well, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a mom. Maybe even a Mama Grizzly -- although I have no idea who or what Palin thinks is trying to do something adverse to my cubs. But I kinda just know when someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s serious, and when someoneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just spouting off. I keep waiting for Palin to stop doing the latter.
Toward the end of O'Reilly's segment, the host declared he's afraid of these so-called grizzlies, then asked Palin to define what they're really "standing" (like an angered bear) for.
She described them as being against anything proposed by Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Nancy Pelosi or the Obama administration.
Crooks and liars quipped: "In the end even Bill O'Reilly looked a bit taken aback by her evasiveness and non-answers, like when a teacher gives you that 'Did you even study for this test?' look."
This video was broadcast by Fox News, as snipped by Crooks and Liars.