After her vacation last week, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo traveled to Alaska to interview Gov. Sarah Palin. The interview, which took place on Monday, was focused on issues of the economy and drilling in Alaska for use in a broader special on oil. Bartiromo did ask Palin whether she was in the running for McCain’s VP slot. Palin told Bartiromo that she and McCain “had talked.”
The interview will air later today on Closing Bell at 4pmET on CNBC.
> Update: Bartiromo on MSNBC at 11:55amET: “When I talked to people about her, they were praising her. They said the first thing she did was get rid of the plane, the cooks and the help. She didn’t want this elitist attitude. She said, ‘I’m going to travel commercial. My kids aren’t going to eat this food from this chef’. She tried to appeal to the masses.”
> More: The CNBC transcript is after the jump…
BARTIROMO: I WENT TO ANCHORAGE, ALASKA. MY TEAM WITH ME THERE. ALSO WENT TO THE NORTH SLOPE IN ALASKA THIS WEEK. WE ARE JUST BACK FROM ALASKA AND ON MONDAY I SAT DOWN IN AN EXCLUSIVE WITH GOVERNOR PALIN. I ASKED HER SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE ISSUE OF THE DAY WHICH, OF COURSE, IS ENERGY.AND THE BIG DEBATE OF WHETHER OR NOT WE SHOULD BE DRILLING. SHE IS MAJOR BULL ON DRILLING AND OPENING UP ON ANWAR AND THE NORTH SLOPE. HER HUSBAND WORKS ON THE NORTH SLOPE. SHE CALLED HIM THE FIRST DUDE OF
THE STATE, AND THE SLOPER, AS THEY ARE CALLED. HE SEPARATES THE OIL FROM THE WATER. LET ME GIVE YOU A COUPLE OF QUOTES FROM THE INTERVIEW THIS EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WILL BE ON “CLOSING BELL” LATER TODAY.
SHE SAID, LOOK, WE TALK A LOT ABOUT THE AREA THAT PEOPLE ARE DEBATING. AND WHETHER OR NOT THIS AREA IS GOING TO IMPACT THE WILDLIFE THERE, IF, IN FACT, WE WERE TO DRILL THERE, SHE SAID WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT ANWAR AND THE AREA THAT NEEDS TO BE UNLOCKED, SO THAT WE CAN EXPLORE MORE AND SO THAT WE CAN DEVELOP THESE BILLIONS OF BARRELS OF OIL, IT’S A SWATH OF LAND THAT IS ABOUT 2,000 ACRES IN SIZE. 2,000 ACRES IN SIZE. THAT IS OUT OF 20 MILLION ACRES IN TERMS OF THE ENTIRE PLAIN OF ANWAR. IT’S ABOUT THE SIZE OF LAX AIRPORT. SO THAT IS HER ARGUMENT AS FAR AS THE REASONS FOR DRILLING.
AND OPENING UP OUR OPPORTUNITY TO SEEING OUR OWN OIL AND NATURAL GAS AND RELYING LESS ON FOREIGN OIL. HOW LONG DOES THIS PROCESS TAKE? GOVERNOR PALIN TOLD ME IN THAT EXCLUSIVE ON MONDAY THAT FROM START TO FINISH IT IS PROBABLY ABOUT SEVEN YEARS. BUT WE COULD GET STARTED IMMEDIATELY AND HAVE SOME OIL FLOWING EVEN EARLIER THAN THAT. SHE SAYS THAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT 2,000 ACRES. THAT IS LIKE A POSTAGE STAMP ON A FOOTBALL FIELD. THAT WAS HER QUOTE. IT IS ABOUT THE FOOTPRINT SIZE OF LAX AND A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE ASSUMED THAT IT IS SOME MOUNTAINOUS GREEN VALLEY AREA THAT IS EXTREMELY PRISTINE. NOW WHILE WE WERE THERE, WE DID SEE CARIBOU AND BEARS.ALASKA IS BEAR COUNTRY. THAT REALLY WHAT STOPPED CONGRESS FROM PUSHING THIS ISSUE FORWARD AND ALLOWING US TO DRILL IN THIS ANWAR AND NORTH SLOPE AREA.BUT HER BEING ON THE TICKET NOW GIVES YOU A LOT OF REASONS TO BELIEVE THAT, IN FACT, SHE WILL BE ABLE TO GET THIS THROUGH.
BY THE WAY, AS FAR AS JOB CREATION, IT’S HUGE IN TERMS OF CREATING JOBS NOT JUST FOR ALASKANS BUT ALSO THE LOWER 48 STATES. BECAUSE THERE ARE RIPPLE EFFECTS. SHE SAYS WE WANT AS MANY DRILLERS AS POSSIBLE. WE WANT TO BE GIVING BUSINESS TO AS MANY COMPANIES AS POSSIBLE TO BE GOING DOWN AS DEEP AS WE CAN TO GET THAT OIL AND NATURAL GAS. JUST TO GIVE YOU A SENSE OF WHAT SHE BELIEVES IS THERE, BECAUSE I SAID TO HER, LOOK, WHAT ABOUT THE ARGUMENT THAT EVEN AFTER WE,YOU KNOW, IF WE WERE TO DRILL IN THESE REGIONS THAT MAYBE THERE IS NOT ENOUGH OIL THERE? SHE SAID IT’S ESTIMATED TO HOLD, GET THIS ABOUT 11 BILLION BARRELS OF OIL AND NINE TRILLION CUBIC FEET OF NATURAL GAS. THOSE ARE JUST THE AREAS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN EXPLORED. SO THIS IS OBVIOUSLY A LONG-TERM PROJECT. BUT HAVING HER ON THE TICKET BASICALLY SAYS TO THE WORLD, I AM SERIOUS ABOUT GETTING THIS ISSUE UNDER CONTROL AN ENERGY POLICY, OF COURSE, WHICH WE HAVE LACKED FOR SO MANY YEARS AND HAVE WATCHED OIL PRICES SKYROCKET AS A RESULT.
SHE WAS SCHEDULED TO GIVE TWO SPEECHES AT THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION BEFORE JOHN McCAIN MADE THAT PHONE CALL TO HER TO MAKE HER — TO MAKE HIM HIS RUNNING MATE. THE FIRST ONE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ON PRO-LIFE ISSUE. BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, SHE HAS FIVE CHILDREN. AND HER FIFTH CHILD HAS DOWNS SYNDROME. SHE TALKED TO ME A LITTLE ABOUT THAT AS WELL. AND SHE TALKED TO ME ABOUT THE BROAD ECONOMY AND ENERGY ISSUE. THE SECOND SPEECH SHE WAS SET TO MAKE WAS ABOUT ENERGY.
SO WHEN SHE DOES MAKE HER SPEECH NEXT WEEK AT THE REPUBLICAN CONVENTION, YOU CAN BE SURE THAT THOSE TWO TOPICS WILL BE ADDRESSED PREDOMINANTLY ENERGY BUT SHE IS ALSO A RIGHT TO LIFER. AND THAT IS CERTAINLY SOMETHING THAT SHE’S GOING TO INCORPORATE IN THE WORDS AS WELL. AGAIN, GOVERNOR PAIL IN FIRST TO GOVERNOR PALIN FIRST TO SPEAK TO CNBC ON MONDAY.
WHEN I ASKED HER HAS JOHN McCAIN APPROACHED YOU TO BE VP? SHE SMILED SHEEPISHLY AND SAID WELL YOU KNOW, SHE LOOKED AT HER PR PERSON, AND SHE SAID WE’VE SPOKEN A NUMBER OF TIMES. AND I WAS JUST SITTING THERE, MELISSA, WAITING FOR MORE INFORMATION. I FELT REALLY THAT WHEN SHE SAID THAT THAT SHE WAS THE PERSON ACTUALLY IN MY GUT. BECAUSE SHE SAID THAT LARGELY THEY SPOKE ABOUT ENERGY ISSUES. BUT IT’S A VERY SMART MOVE. SHE WANTS TO GET THE CLINTON SUPPORTERS. THEN WHEN I SAID TO HER, SO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE IT? SHE SAID, YOU KNOW, WE COULD USE SOME DIVERSITY, HUH? SHE WAS CERTAINLY LOOKING FORWARD TO IT. IT WAS VERY TELLING. WE’LL HAVE THAT LIVE. WE’LL HAVE THAT EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW TODAY ON “CLOSING BELL.”