"Palin Explains Her National Security Credentials: ‘Energy’ And The Fact That ‘You Can See Russia From Alaska’"
In his interview with Sarah Palin that aired this morning on Good Morning America, ABC’s Charlie Gibson challenged the governor on whether she has any national security experience. Some highlights from the interview:
On National Security Credentials:
GIBSON: When I asked John McCain about your national security credentials, he cited the fact that you have commanded the Alaskan National Guard and that Alaska is close to Russia. Are those sufficient credentials?
PALIN: Let me speak specifically about a credential that I do bring to this table, Charlie, and that’s with the energy independence…
On Alaska National Guard:
GIBSON: Have you ever given any kind of command decision to the Alaska National Guard?
PALIN: We have called up National Guardsmen to help in other states who have gone in emergency status. We have assisted there.
On Traveling Outside The Country:
GIBSON: Had you ever traveled outside the country prior to your trip to Kuwait and Germany last year?
PALIN: Canada, Mexico, and then yeah — that trip was the trip of a lifetime to visit our troops in Kuwait and stop and visit our injured soldiers in Germany.
On Visiting With Foreign Head Of State:
GIBSON: Have you ever met a foreign head of state?
PALIN: I have not and I think if you go back in history and you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer.
PALIN: We’ve gotta keep an eye on Russia. … You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.
GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing inside Georgia?
PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relations with all of these countries, especially Russia.
PALIN: Of course I’ve been focused on the war. Of course I’ve been, as every American has been.
GIBSON: Why’d you say this though? “I’ve been so focused on state government, I haven’t really focused much on the war in Iraq.”
PALIN: It was an honest answer for the question that day by a reporter asking me about Alaska Business Monthly issues, was my focus being on energy independence and security — those things that Alaska could supply to help make this country better and safer.
Watch a compilation:
A number of the claims that Palin made were false. She has never issued an order to the Alaska National Guard and every vice president “over the last 30 years had met a foreign head of state before being elected.” In addition to saying that she hasn’t “really focused much on the war in Iraq” in March 2007, Palin also called for “an exit plan” from Iraq. Although she can see Russia from some parts of Alaska, Palin has never actually traveled there.
More on Palin’s actual record in The Sarah Palin Digest.