Sarah Palin's Political Views

Updated on May 22, 2019

A former governor of Alaska and running mate with John McCain during the 2008 presidential election, Sarah Palin is almost certainly the first candidate for vice president to be known for her speech patterns and background as much as her politics. A self-professed "hockey mom" who served as Alaska's governor from 2006-2009, Palin's political views were a mystery to many Americans, who seemed to know her more for her biography, one-liners and head-scratching TV interviews than for her actual political beliefs. While she and McCain were unsuccessful at winning the 2008 election, in many ways Palin was a precursor to the "populist" and reactionary politics that helped get Donald Trump elected in 2016. This article will attempt to provide an unbiased view of Palin's positions on the key political issues.

Palin's Views on Key Issues

1. Budgeting and Earmarks

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Palin endorsed John McCain's call for eliminating all federal earmarks and wasteful government spending. This position, however, is directly contradicted by her record as governor as Alaska and Mayor of Wasilla. The nonpartisan group Taxpayers for Common Sense estimates that the town of Wasilla received $26.9 million dollars in federal earmarks during Palin's term as mayor. To put that in perspective, if every town in the United States received earmarks at the same rate as Wasilla did during Palin's time as mayor, the federal government would have spent over 1 trillion dollars on earmarks over four years. The last federal budget included 17 billion dollars in earmarks for a one-year period.

2. Health Care

Palin was a vocal critic of the health care bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in March 2010, igniting controversy by misleadingly stating that the bill would create "death panels." During the 2008 presidential race, she supported Senator McCain's plan to give citizens tax credits to help them purchase health care from already existing providers. In the past, she has expressed support for "market and business driven" health care plans. She has not offered specifics on how the tax credit would help cover the 40 million Americans who currently cannot afford health coverage.

4. The War in Iraq

Palin approves of the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq. She has repeatedly admitted that "mistakes were made" but believes that Americans must stay in the country until victory is achieved less they risk "waving the white flag of surrender." She has not offered any specifics on what a final victory in Iraq will look like or a timetable as to how long that process might take.

5. General Foreign Policy

Palin has proclaimed herself to be a supporter of the "Bush Doctrine" and generally supports the handling of the war on terrorism. The governor has repeatedly criticized Obama's assertion that he would negotiate with states like Iran and North Korea, dismissing such a possibility as "dangerous." She has not offered an overarching foreign policy agenda beyond promising that a McCain Palin administration would "make every effort possible to help spread democracy for those who desire freedom, independence, tolerance, respect for equality."

6. Abortion

Palin is a strong opponent of Roe v. Wade, telling ABC News "I think it should and I think states should decide the issue" when asked if the court case should be overturned. She is also an opponent of stem cell research.

7. Gay Rights

Palin has described herself as opposed to "anything but a traditional definition of marriage." While Governor of Alaska, she attempted to block a court order requiring the state to extend health and retiree benefits to same-sex couples.

8. Global Warming

Palin believes global warming is happening, citing her experience dealing with the issues as Governor of a polar state where climate change is being felt the most. However, she does not believe that global warming is necessarily caused by humans, citing natural cycles during a vice-presidential debate in 2008. She has not offered any specific policy proposals on how to combat global warming and climate change.

9. Tax Policy

Palin supports extending the Bush tax cuts and supports Senator McCain's plan to extend an additional business tax cut to business owners to help spur job creation. She does not offer any proposals on how the government will pay for these tax cuts beyond general promises to "cut wasteful spending."

10. Energy Policy

Palin is a strong supporter of increased offshore and onshore drilling, including in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (which Senator McCain opposes). Palin has repeatedly linked energy security to national security and touts domestic resources as a possible route to energy dependence. She has expressed general support for alternative energy programs but has not offered any specific government initiatives or tax incentives to promote these resources.

11. Gun Control

Governor Palin is a strong supporter of the second amendment. She is a longtime member of the NRA and an active hunter, and she has issued statements applauding the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Washington DC's ban on handguns.

I hope this article was helpful and informative. Feel free to leave any concerns or questions you have in the comments. As always, if you can prove that any of the information in this hub is factually incorrect or misleading, please point that fact out to me and I will happy to make changes to these positions.

All quotes and positions are sourced to


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    • profile image

      liam dorn 

      7 years ago

      i love america!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      well all you lazy butts expect everything to be given to you and that is not how it works!!!!! If you want something in life get off your butt and go work for it you all just don't know common sense GO SARAH PALIN!:)

    • peanutroaster profile image


      8 years ago from New England

      Palin's 15 minutes are over.

    • profile image

      taylor jones 

      8 years ago

      i think its all bull crap

    • Newsclipper profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan

      Good hub!

      To bgamall: The war has been going on for many years. If we went there to steal the oil, then where the heck is it? Gas is almost $3/gallon here and shows no signs of going down. I feel a new hub coming on.

    • I am DB Cooper profile image

      I am DB Cooper 

      9 years ago from Whereabouts unknown at this time

      Thanks for this unbiased hub on Sarah Palin. One thing I'd like to add is that although she has always stated that she's a supporter of the Bush Doctrine, when she was asked what that meant in an interview she had NO idea. She didn't even seem to know that Bush Doctrine was related to foreign policy. That's not a "gotcha question", it's just plain scary. When she couldn't name a single specific newspaper or magazine she read in the Couric interview, I let it go as just a mental lapse due to the jitters, but a potential future presidential candidate has to know some details about the foreign policy she claims to support.

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 

      9 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      I doubt I could ever trust Sarah Palin enough to vote for her. I really do believe she has her mind made up, so don't confuse her with the facts.

      Just the same, she has allies, and some of them are very powerful, influential and wealthy people, and now that the Supreme Court has given free-reign to companies and unions to spend huge amounts of money, I can foresee a scenario where she is so greatly publicized by big business that she could, indeed, become a president of the United States. We have seen that presidents can indeed be elected by the power of the dollar.

      And when that day happens, some will cheer, but many will suffer.

      While Obama has his own faults, I like him better than I ever could Palin, mainly because he is not as ideologically driven as she is, even if he does have some questionable people around him. Of course, some people are still under the self-perpetuated dillusion that Obama is some sort of Communist, Socialist, Fascist dictator. That is, quite plainly, rubbish. Same crap people said about Bush. turned out to be untrue with him, also untrue with Obama.

      I am hoping that Obama sees that he needs better advice and consent from those closest to him, people who "get it" and are unafraid to speak out when they believe he is on the wrong track.

      In Palin's case I would be afraid that she is so defensive she would get rid of people who tried to tell her the facts, and then would find some Old Testament reasoning for why she just declared WW III in Iran and/or North Korea.


      Chef Jeff

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      9 years ago from US

      bgamall said it...

    • hglick profile image


      9 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Great Hub! There has never been one person who has been on the political stage for such a short period of time that has brought out the extreme fury of the far left. This is because she has more EXECUTIVE experience on her little finger than the current leader of the free world will have in his lifetime. That is what scares them the most. I talk to my liberal friends who can't tell me who the current Vice President is, but they know Sarah Palin and they hate her. The only problem is, They don't know why. Early on,before I really knew who Obama was, I thought that he and Palin would have been a great multi-party dream ticket. Now that I've seen Obama's lack of leadership skills and failure to surround himself by good people, I would never consider him again, but I definitely would consider her.

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Good hub.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      9 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Tuesday, November 17, 2009 8:36 PM

      By: David A. Patten

      It's no secret that former GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Fox News host Glenn Beck share great respect and admiration — so their fans can be forgiven for wondering: Is a "dream ticket" of Palin-Beck ticket completely out of the question?

      Perhaps not.

      Palin initially chuckled when Newsmax broached the idea. But then she had some serious words of praise for the popular Fox personality.

      "I can envision a couple of different combinations, if ever I were to be in a position to really even seriously consider running for anything in the future, and I'm not there yet," Palin tells Newsmax. "But Glenn Beck I have great respect for. He's a hoot. He gets his message across in such a clever way. And he's so bold — I have to respect that. He calls it like he sees it, and he's very, very, very effective."

    • Ivan the Terrible profile image

      Ivan the Terrible 

      10 years ago from Madrid

      As for Sarah Palin - do not ever underestimate the ability of people to follow the mundane as if it were something truly special.

    • bgamall profile image

      Gary Anderson 

      10 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Sarah Palin said that our war in Iraq was holy. But I believe was in order to steal oil. Nothing holy about that. Palin is a dangerous dominionist wacko.  

      And the neocon belief in the spread of democracy is really the belief in the spread of American power and control of the world, advocated by the neocons of PNAC. If you want to learn more read my political hubs on the subject or type in PNAC and Leo Strauss into Wikipedia. Strauss taught the neocons and believed you preserve the shell of democracy but lie to the masses. That is WMD folks. Wolfowitz was Strauss's prize student!

    • profile image

      the good and the bad 

      11 years ago

      thanks for the brief political views. now i kinda have an understanding. i'm just now 18 and i want to know who would be best as president of the united states. i never liked or listened to politics, but now that people are saying things or spreading rumors; it got me interested and now i want to vote.

      i'm still having trouble, but i'll keep asking for people's comments.

      this is going to be a close election. i fear in the future. but we all have to make the best of the outcome.

    • FoursX2 profile image


      11 years ago from Laguna Niguel, CA

      Good job ajherrma! Too bad this type of impartial treatment isn't more common.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      Do you actually think Palin has views that in any way differ from her patron's? And if she does, can she express them?

      But your post is a good effort at a non-partisan presentation of her (McCain's) positions.

      What is your opinion of her as a potential president? [I think you can guess what my opinion is.]


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