In an interview with the Omaha World-Herald, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) questioned whether John McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, has the experience to be president of the United States:
“I do think in a world that is so complicated, so interconnected and so combustible, you really got to have some people in charge that have some sense of the bigger scope of the world,” Hagel said. “I think that’s just a requirement.”
So is Palin qualified to be president?
“I think it’s a stretch to, in any way, to say that she’s got the experience to be president of the United States,” Hagel said.
In a recent interview with ABC News, Palin explained her national security credentials by claiming, “You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.” Hagel said that such answers are “insulting to the American people”:
“I think they ought to be just honest about it and stop the nonsense about, ‘I look out my window and I see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia,’” he said. “That kind of thing is insulting to the American people.”
Hagel, who is retiring from the Senate, concluded that Palin “doesn’t have any foreign policy credentials.” “You get a passport for the first time in your life last year?” he asked. “I mean, I don’t know what you can say. You can’t say anything.”
Hagel has traveled to Iraq six times, most recently accompanying Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Jack Reed (D-RI). While on the trip, Hagel repeated his calls for a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. “It is now time for the United States to start accepting the sovereignty of that country in ways that are real,” he said. “And that means for us to responsibly start unwinding our military presence.”
“Rove said Palin was a ‘political pick’ just as Sen. Barack Obama’s choice of Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden was, and that she is not the most qualified candidate.”