NOTE: This post was originally published on US4Palin. The interview was conducted by AGU-PA State Coordinator Kevin Scholla, and the transcript was prepared by AGU-NY State Coordinator Ron Devito:
Angela Baraquio Grey is on The Palin Radio Update with Kevin Scholla! Baraquio Grey, Miss Hawaii 2000/Miss America 2001 is a champion of Character Education who served on President George W. Bush’s President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation. A teacher and mother, Baraquio Grey uses her platform to defend life and fight for our American values. For more information visit Catholic Speakers Bureau. Also, Sarah Palin thanks our veterans. Plus praise from Palin for Senator John McCain, a simple question for Obama, and Palin’s strong support for Israel. SarahNET Radio’s Steel Resolve, our weekly commentary from Sarah Steelman is also featured.
Grey Admires Gov. Palin, and her Accomplishments
Grey supports and agrees with the concept that you don’t need a title to make a difference. She said her crown is her microphone and that helps her get her feet into doors. She said, once there, "your beliefs, your demeanor and your character will help you stay there." Grey said, "I really admire Sarah Palin for the things she’s been able to accomplish, and I think going through the pageant system, she’s kind of been through the ropes." The former Alaska Governor entered and won beauty pageants in her late teens and early adult life the proceeds of which went to pay for her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. "You get scrutinized and criticized when you’re on stage and I think that’s helped her in her political career. She’s always stayed true to her values and I admire her for that," Grey said.
We Must Invest in our Teachers…
Grey is the first woman of Asian descent and the first teacher to win a Miss America pageant. She has taught in both Catholic and public schools, fighting the unions and fighting for higher teacher pay. "Teachers are under-valued and under-appreciated," she said. The state of education is disheartening…but we certainly need to keep on investing in our teachers, and in our students." Scholla noted that Chuck Heath, Sr., was a biology teacher, Sally Heath a school administrator, and Chuck Heath, Jr. is currently a teacher and certainly appreciate what it takes to be an educator. Scholla also has teachers in his family.
President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation
In 2006, Grey became one of 25 members of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, which she said was an honor. The Council traveled around the country and gave out Presidential Volunteer Service Awards. Grey’s term was two years. "It was such an honor to meet people in the community who really wanted to make a difference and who wanted to help promote volunteerism at all levels," Grey said.
Grey still teaches character education and was a third grade teacher. She took time off, because she is pregnant with her fourth child – her first daughter – who is due around Christmas. She said women play a critical role in character education and in shaping our children’s lives. Further, Grey was a proponent of teaching character education in the schools at a formalized level from the top down and not just isolated to each each classroom. She said character education that keys into what is happening in the home and the larger community is a proactive measure. Part of character education is to make students feel included and reduce or eliminate bullying.
On the Road with Miss America
As holder of the Miss America crown, Grey has testified before Congress, and interviewed former Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle, among others. Along with her sisters, Grey operates Living Local with the Barquios. She also maintains a personal website: angelaperezbaraquio.com. She spoken at the Pentagon and at the White House on the National Day of Prayer, spoken at the National Governors Association conference in Rhode Island, all of which she said were huge honors. Grey said a Miss America winner travels up to 20,000 miles per month during a year of service, which viewers often forget about once the crown is bestowed.
Similarities and Connections to Gov. Palin
Scholla observed that both Grey and Gov. Palin have or have had TV shows. Gov. Palin of course directed and was the main star of Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Gov. Lingle spoke about Gov. Palin at the 2008 Republican Convention. Grey said she would like to meet Gov. Palin one day. She watches Gov. Palin’s interviews on Fox News and Fox Business. "I think she is just wonderful," Grey said.
While Grey has been pro-life as a matter of her Catholic background, her being a teacher and her mother made her appreciate the sanctity of life. The suicide of her brother made her appreciate all the more, "how precious and fragile life is." She continued, "it’s not just ‘oh yeah. Life is sacred.’ You really need to be grateful for the people in your life and tell them how much you love them. You don’t know what tomorrow will bring."
Though Grey got pregnant with her fourth child in March, she had a miscarriage prior and she said it was devastating. "I never thought I would lose a child that way….I believe that life starts at conception. When I went into the hospital and saw that baby, we celebrated and then six and one half weeks later there was no baby, and so for someone to say ‘it wasn’t really a life anyway,’ – are you kidding me? Of course it was a life! When did your life start? Did it start halfway through your conception?" Gov. Palin documented her two miscarriages in Going Rogue and the devastation she felt over the loss of those lives.
Grey said the most dangerous place for a child in America today is in the mother’s womb, because of the possibility of abortion. She said there is no difference between a mother who kills a two-year child and one who aborts pregnancy. "Killing is killing." She opposes ObamaCare not only as a businesswoman but also because it forces taxpayers to fund abortions, sterilizations, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception against the consciences of those who don’t believe in those them.
She spoke of a Vietnamese friend who came here seeking freedom and who said we are in danger of losing it. "America should stand up for the principles that our Founding Fathers created," Grey said.
Pageant Contestants Conservative, but Belittled by Left
Scholla said most beauty pageant contestants tend to be conservative, but leftist feminists belittle them and the whole institution of pageants. Grey said many women are conservative because of their Christian background. "I think liberals attack the pageant world, because on the outside it looks like a feminist type of thing. I don’t know if Sarah Palin has talked about this with her experience in the Miss America system.
Differences Between Miss America and Miss USA
"But for me – and people don’t really get it until they see me or they hear me speak, or the meet me or they kind of meet other women who are in the Miss America system which is very different from Miss USA – and honestly I did not know the difference between Miss USA and Miss America. Miss America is the largest scholarship provider for young women in the world. There is also a talent portion, as opposed to Miss USA – there is no talent portion," she said.
Grey said Miss America is non-profit and Miss USA is for profit. Miss America winners go on a 20,000-mile per month speaking tour on a platform of the contestant’s choice. "Quite literally, you’re on a speaking tour always to a different city every 18 to 36 hours, and speaking to different kids from kindergarten to college, and Senators and Governors, and the White House, and the Pentagon, and etc." Grey said. She said Miss America is "actually a job you apply for." With the $100,000 scholarship assistance, she was able to pay for her Bachelors and Masters degrees, as well as her California credential.
Grey said the pageant system is not sexist and not belittling. Quite the contrary, it afforded her the opportunity to do things she otherwise would not have done. She’s made friends, become a strong public speaker and skilled at working with the media. Grey said the pageant system helps women; it does not hurt them.
Steel Resolve: Obama Made Susan Rice the Target…
Sarah Steelman said Obama made UN Ambassador Susan Rice the target by putting her before the public to be the messenger about Benghazi rather than Hillary Clinton, who is the Secretary of State. Steelman said the questioning by McCain and others about the Obama administration’s actions – or lack thereof – in Benghazi were entirely appropriate. "No one was besmirching her reputation. All three of those Senators: McCain, Graham, and Ayotte, thankfully have asked legitimate questions about Benghazi from Day One and they get no answers. That’s outrageous!" Steelman said.
"It has been two months that four Americans lost their lives – as the President said, and he acts like, ‘gee, yeah. I guess it’s time we find out what happened.’ Why hasn’t he demanded answers? Why is he allowing it to take this long? Why doesn’t he demonstrate any concern other than words? This is his administration, his State Department, his CIA, and his Defense Department, and it appears to be in shambles. That is outrageous. While Israel responds to being attacked by Hamas – as they should – it takes Obama two months to figure out answers. While they act, we twiddle our thumbs. I just don’t get it. Most leaders who care about their people act with a sense of urgency. As citizens, we should be thankful to Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte for being relentless about finding out the truth about Benghazi. Let’s just hope Rome doesn’t burn in the meantime," she said.
Complete Audio Transcript of Interview with Angela Baraquio Grey
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