Inappropriate to lie to public; just don’t answer questions
Q: Describe a situation when you think it’s appropriate to lie to the American people.
A: I don’t think it’s appropriate to lie to the American people. And I think that one of the things I want to change about the culture of Washington is, not just the “big lie,” but also the “soft lie.” The fudging, the manipulation, the spin. If we can restore a sense of trust between the American people and their government, we’re going to go a long way to changing the country for the better.
Q: What about in a national security situation?
A: I don’t think it’s appropriate to lie. I mean, you can put together a hypothetical where there is a national security emergency that is imminent. And you don’t want to provide, for example, the location of our troops. You don’t have to lie in those situations. You simply say, “we’re not answering questions.”
Source: 2008 CBS News presidential interview with Katie Couric , Sep 23, 2008