DENVER – Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin describes herself as a "hard-core pro-lifer" and expresses confidence that in spite of disheartening polls, "putting this in God's hands, that the right thing for America will be done at the end of the day on Nov. 4."
In an interview with evangelical leader James Dobson that aired Wednesday, Palin said she thought Republican presidential candidate John McCain would implement the GOP platform if elected — "I do, from the bottom of my heart" — but McCain doesn't support the platform on three issues important to evangelicals: abortion, gay marriage and embryonic stem cell research.
The platform calls for a constitutional ban on gay marriage, an issue McCain says should be left to individual states. Similarly, the platform seeks a constitutional ban on all abortions; again, McCain supports allowing states to decide the question. McCain supports research using embryonic stem cells, which the platform opposes.
Palin called it a "strong platform" and told Dobson, "They are there, they are solid, we stand on them and, again, I believe that it is the right agenda for the country at this time."
The Alaska governor talked by phone with Dobson for about 20 minutes Monday while she was in Colorado campaigning. Dobson's Focus on the Family radio program aired the interview Wednesday.
Dobson asked whether Palin was discouraged by polls showing the GOP ticket behind.
"To me, it motivates us, makes us work that much harder," Palin said. "And it also strengthens my faith, because I'm going to know, at the end of the day, putting this in God's hands, that the right thing for America will be done at the end of the day on Nov. 4. So I'm not discouraged at all."
Palin has not focused on her faith on the campaign trail, but it clearly has energized evangelical leaders like Dobson, whose radio show reaches an estimated 1.5 million Americans daily.
Dobson has come around to supporting the McCain-Palin ticket after previously saying he could not in good conscience vote for McCain. He endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee late in the primaries.
Palin thanked Dobson and supporters for their prayers and — when Dobson inquired about the importance of faith in her life — said: "It is my foundation, yes, my Christian faith is."
She also used terms like "prayer warrior" and "intercession" — words that might be unknown to the average listener but are common vocabulary in Pentecostal Christianity. Palin spent 20 years in a Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church, but she usually refers to her faith generically as Christian, not even evangelical.
"It is that intercession that is so needed and so greatly appreciated," Palin told Dobson. "And I can feel it too, Dr. Dobson. I can feel the power of prayer, and that strength that is provided through our prayer warriors across this nation."
She continued: "When we hear along the rope lines that people are interceding for us and praying for us, it's our reminder to do the same, to put this all in God's hands, to seek his perfect will for this nation, and to of course seek his wisdom and guidance in putting this nation back on the right track."
Describing herself as a "hard-core pro-lifer," Palin said the birth of a son with Down syndrome was "this opportunity for me to really be walking the walk and not just talking the talk. There's purpose in this also and for a greater good to be met there."
Palin said the campaign had to have faith that its message will be heard "minus the filter of the mainstream media."
"That filter has to be erased," she said. "So we have to have faith in the wisdom of the people that they'll understand what our message is. But even bigger that then, I have to have that faith that God is going to help us get that message out there."