Ever since Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) announced Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) as his running mate, conservatives have rushed to rebut criticism that Palin has no foreign policy experience by claiming that Alaska is near Russia. Fox News’s Steve Doocy appears to be one of the first to make this claim and even McCain and his wife Cindy have uttered the absurd talking point. But today on Fox News, a “Republican strategist” laid out the specifics of this Russia/Alaska rivalry — fishing:
GREGG JARRETT: In what capacity has she worked with Russia?
TYLER HARBER: She worked with permitting issues and with fishing issues dealing with the sea fishing industry there in Alaska.
Jarrett didn’t seem to take the bait. “Oh, come on. That’s a far cry from major international experience.”
GREGG JARRETT: She has no national security issue – experience. It’s pretty brave of that campaign to put her out there on that, isn’t it?
TYLER HARBER (GOP strategist): It is. You know, one of the things we – one of the most important things that we tell our clients in the political realm is, “Do not be reactive.” If you become reactive, you are going to lose.
I think what you saw last night was Obama being reactive. Current polling shows him trailing McCain when it comes to trust about national security, trust about the war in Iraq, and trust about the war on terrorism. What you are seeing is the Obama campaign becoming reactive.
Now as far as Sarah’s comments, Sarah has dealt with, and has more experience from an administrative standpoint than Obama has. She has visited the Middle East as many times
JARRETT: But she has no foreign policy experience. She doesn’t know anything about —
HARBER: But she does. She does have foreign policy experience.
JARRETT: She does?
HARBER: Now let me point out, she’s worked with Russia – she’s worked with Russia on fishing issues. She’s worked with Canada on transportation issues.
JARRETT: In what capacity has she worked with Russia?
HARBER: She worked with permitting issues and with fishing issues dealing with the sea fishing industry there in Alaska.
JARRETT: Oh, come on. That’s a far cry from major international experience.
HARBER: But that’s still more experience than Obama has.
JARRETT: You guys are going to have a field day with that right? Mary Anne?
DEM STRATIGIST: That’s laughable.