Even though Palin was unaware of the foundation of President Bush’s national security strategy, some in the media have come to her defense, arguing that ordinary Americans don’t know about it either. In short, the vice president of the United States shouldn’t be any more intelligent than “most” Americans:
— CNN’s Jessica Yellin: The question is given that many Americans themselves don’t know what the Bush doctrine is… it’s unclear how much of a fallout that would be — that question and the answer would have.”
— CNN’s David Gergen: She didn’t know what the Bush doctrine was. But I don’t think most people know what the Bush doctrine is or was.
CNN’s Candy Crowley dismissed the gaffe by saying that regular Americans don’t care. Fox News’s Juan Williams gave Palin a pass because he admitted that he also wouldn’t have been able to answer the question:
WILLIAMS: I thought actually Charlie did try a gotcha question with this business about the Bush doctrine – which if you ask me in the middle of the night, I would have been: “What? What?”
Watch a compilation:
On MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Rudy Giuliani also tried to defend Palin, saying that three of this friends didn’t know what the Bush Doctrine was when he asked. But NBC correspondent Andea Mitchell quickly jumped in, noting that Giuliani’s friends “are not running for Vice President.”
In fact, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has used a similar argument when trying to explain away a foreign policy gaffe. Earlier this year when a reporter confronted McCain on his inaccurate claim that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is leading Iran, McCain said that because the “average American” thinks Ahmadinejad is Iran’s leader, then that’s good enough for him.