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McCain: Palin Has National Security Experience Because She Knows About ‘Energy’

By Amanda Terkel on September 11, 2008 at 12:10 pm

"McCain: Palin Has National Security Experience Because She Knows About ‘Energy’"

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Yesterday in an interview with an NBC affiliate in Portland, ME, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was questioned about Gov. Sarah Palin’s (R-AK) national security experience. First, he tried changing the subject to the economy. When the reporter refused to let him slide away, McCain then offered platitudes about how Palin is “right” on every single issue while Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) is “wrong.” Frustrated, the reporter again pressed him for a specific example. McCain simply replied, “Energy”:

Q: Well, you say you’re sure that she has the experience, but again, I’m just asking for an example. What experience does she have in the field of national security?

McCAIN: Energy. She knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America. …. And we all know that energy is a critical and vital national security issue.

Watch it:

As the reporter pointed out, McCain has called “radical Islamic extremism” the “absolute gravest threat” facing Americans. This claim that Palin is a national security expert because she knows about energy seems to be the latest attempt by the McCain campaign to make up qualifications where there aren’t any. (Palin herself tried out this argument yesterday as well.) A look at past attempts by the McCain and its supporters to create national security experience for Palin:

ALASKA IS NEAR RUSSIA

“Alaska is right next to Russia. She understands that. Look, Sen. Obama’s never visited south of our border. I mean, please.” [McCain, 9/3/08]

“You know, the experience that she comes from is what she’s done in government, and remember, Alaska is the closest part of our continent to Russia. It’s not as if she doesn’t understand what’s at stake here.” [Cindy McCain, 8/31/08]

“But the other thing about her, she does know about international relations because she is right up there in Alaska right next door to Russia.” [Fox News host Steve Doocy, 8/29/08]

FISHING ISSUES

“She worked with permitting issues and with fishing issues dealing with the sea fishing industry there in Alaska.” [GOP strategist Tyler Harber, 9/5/08]

OSMOSIS

“As that state’s governor, Sarah Palin would know more by osmosis –- if nothing else –- about the necessity for U.S. anti-missile systems than either Messrs. Obama or Biden.” [Neocon activist Frank Gaffney, 9/2/08]

It used to be that when asked about the economy, McCain would try to switch to talking about national security. Now when he’s asked about national security…he switches to the economy. (HT: Joe Sudbay)

More on Palin’s positions in The Sarah Palin Digest.

Digg It!

Transcript:

Q: Let’s move on to what you say is the number one issue facing the United States in our time, and that is the challenge of addressing Islamist extremism. What credentials does Gov. Palin have in national security, diplomacy, foreign policy, that qualify her to be your partner on that issue — the fight against Islamist extremism.

McCAIN: Well, obviously, the economy is a major challenge facing America —

Q: No, I’m using your words, Sen. McCain. You have said, this summer, that the number one challenge of our time is Islamist extremism.

McCAIN: No. I said the greatest challenge of our time as national security threats. And I’ve also said that jobs and the economy are the number one issue facing America.

But the point is that Gov. Palin was right on the issues. She understands energy, which is one of the fundamental issues of our nation’s security. She was responsible for a $40-billion pipeline that’s going to bring natural gas to the lower 48.

She was right on Iraq, Sen. Obama was wrong. She has more experience than Sen. Obama does. She was right on Russia, he was wrong, as he made moral equivalency between Russia and Georgia at the time that Russia attacked. She was right on Iran, when he was wrong on Iran. She doesn’t want to sit down in face-to-face negotiations with Ahmadinejad or the other leaders. She’s right on foreign policy, Sen. Obama’s wrong. I’m sure she has the experience and judgment necessary to lead this country and I’m confident the American people will agree with her as well.

Q: Well, you say you’re sure that she has the experience, but again, I’m just asking for an example. What experience does she have in the field of national security?

McCAIN: Energy. She knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America. …. And we all know that energy is a critical and vital national security issue.

Update

Brad Johnson notes that Palin doesn’t even know much about oil.


Update

,Shayne at The Zoo applauds the interviewer Rob Caldwell: “This is an actual interview with tough questions asked by what appears to be one of the last real journalists.”

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