Salena Zito

Sarah Palin sat down Friday night with Tribune-Review political reporter Salena Zito for a wide-ranging interview that covered the economy, education, energy and the Alaska governor's approach to governing. It was Palin's first face-to-face interview with a print reporter as Republican vice presidential candidate. John McCain's running mate was in Pittsburgh for a fundraiser at the Westin Convention Center Hotel, Downtown.

About stimulating the economy:

Palin: Energy independence ... certainly will stimulate our economy, circulating the dollars that we're presently spending overseas and in other countries; ... but also the clean coal technology that we got to be able to tap into; and the alternative sources of energy; and also, and as we wean ourselves off the hydrocarbons, the conservation efforts that Americans have got to undertake. So, we got that all-of-the-above approach towards energy independence that we need.

But also -- reducing taxes on our businesses, so that our businesses can keep more of what they're owing and what they are producing and what they are earning, and that way they’ll be able to hire more people. That’s how jobs are created.

So, those two parts of the solution ... and then also government spending, reining that in for now so that we can get a handle on this $10 trillion debt. ... We got to get a handle on every agency, every expenditure. Those things that are absolutely vital ... keeping those things going, but then freezing the spending on other areas of government. We get in there and find the efficiencies that can be created and just spending other people’s money wiser than how we’re spending it today to get a handle on that debt.

About small businesses:

Palin: My husband and I ... owned a business ... and struggled to figure out how are were going to offer (employees) health care and make payrolls, some months, of course, being such a struggle. And then ... my sister and her husband just opened up a service station up there in Alaska also. And I think of my sister, Heather, and her husband, Kurt, and I think now how will increasing taxes on a small business like theirs help them? It will not help them. It will prohibit Kurt from hiring more employees and then those people who cannot get that job, they will become more and more reliant unfortunately on kind of a bureaucratic system that sometimes in a way penalizes hard work and productivity. So it’s win-win if business taxes are reduced like I did in the city of Wasilla where I was mayor. I eliminated small business inventory taxes, wanting again for small businesses to be able to grow and prosper and thrive.

About improving education:

Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.