Sarah Palin on immigrants: ‘When you’re here, let’s speak American’


Palin speaks English with Jake Tapper. (CNN)

Sarah Palin says Spanish-speaking immigrants should speak “American” while they’re in the United States.

“I think we can send a message and say, ‘You want to be in America? A. You better be here legally or you’re out of here. B. When you’re here, let’s speak American,'” Palin told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an interview that aired on "State of the Union” Sunday. “I mean, that’s just — let’s speak English and that’s kind of a unifying aspect of a nation — the language that is understood by all.”

Palin’s comments were in response to the dustup between Republican presidential hopefuls Jeb Bush and Donald Trump after Trump suggested candidates not speak Spanish while on the campaign trail. Bush, who speaks Spanish, called Trump intolerant.

“I don’t know what choosing to speak English or Spanish in a conversation, what that would have to do — somebody opposing it — with tolerance or not,” Palin continued. “I think it’s a benefit of Jeb Bush to be able to be so fluent in Spanish because we have a large and wonderful Hispanic population that is helping to build America, and that’s good, and that’s a great relationship and connection that he has with them through his wife and through his family connections.”

Trump, the current frontrunner in the race for the 2016 GOP nomination, has said he would consider Palin for a post in his administration.

Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee, said she would consider the position of energy secretary in Trump’s cabinet.

“I think a lot about the Department of Energy, because energy is my baby,” Palin said. “Oil and gas and minerals, those things that God has dumped on this part of the Earth for mankind’s use instead of us relying on unfriendly foreign nations.”

And Palin’s first recommendation as head of the federal energy department?

“I’d get rid of it,” she said. “And I’d let the states start having more control over the lands that are within their boundaries and the people who are affected by the developments within their states.

"If I were in charge of that, it would be a short-term job,” Palin added. “But it would be really great to have someone who knows energy and is pro-responsible development to be in charge.”

The former Alaskan governor’s appearance on CNN came on the heels of President Barack Obama’s recent trip to her home state, where among other things he highlighted the impacts of climate change, renamed Mount McKinley — the highest peak in North America — as Denali, and took photos of himself and Bear Grylls using a selfie stick.

“How about if he, while he was up here, he had as a president carried a big stick instead of a selfie stick?“ Palin said. "He could start publicly berating these countries that are sticking it to us with the messages that they’re sending.”

In an op-ed for the Independent Journal, Palin chided the president for what he "missed” during his Alaskan swing: the Hubbard Glacier, “which is actually growing”; oil industry workers and active-duty military personnel; “vast untapped natural resources trapped in the desolate ANWR region”; and Chinese warships off the Alaska coast.

On CNN, Palin also mocked the president for spending “the time, the effort, the political capital even" on renaming a mountain “when the Middle East is a tinderbox” and “our economy still sucks.”