September 18th, 2008
02:50 PM ET
6 years ago

Hagel: Palin experience a ‘stretch’

Sen. Chuch Hagel said Palin 'doesnt have any foreign policy credentials.'.'
Sen. Chuch Hagel said Palin 'doesnt have any foreign policy credentials.'.'

(CNN) – Sen. Chuck Hagel has become one of the most prominent Republicans to openly question VP nominee Sarah Palin’s qualifications on Thursday.

"She doesn't have any foreign policy credentials," Hagel said in an interview with the Omaha World Herald. "You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don't know what you can say. You can't say anything."

On her first overseas trip last year, Palin traveled to Kuwait and Germany to visit Alaskan National Guard troops.

In defending her own foreign policy experience, Palin has said that Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her international expertise. Hagel, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called that notion “insulting to the American people.”

"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," he added. "I think that's just a requirement."

Hagel, who broke with fellow Republicans over the Iraq war, has said he will not endorse either major party candidate. The Nebraska senator has said he would have considered being Obama’s running mate and was rumored to be on his VP short list.

Although Hagel is a longtime friend of GOP presidential nominee John McCain, he traveled to the Middle East with Obama in July. Hagel also came to Obama’s defense in May after the Democratic nominee and McCain had a dispute over the best way to deal with Iran.

Hagel, whose Senate term is drawing to a close, is not running for re-election to the Senate.


Filed under: Chuck Hagel • Sarah Palin
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. no trickle down...

    Yes thats right, at 'stretch'... like the span of the bridge to no-where.

    All McCain and Palin have been doing throughout this campaign is being 'insulting to the American people!'

    September 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Daniel M

    We love you Chuck! :) I hope your life after the Senate is more honest.

    September 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  3. Ex-Republican for Obama

    Hagel, thanks for the sanity. Atleast you get it!

    Sarah Palin is a criminal that needs to incarcerated. McCain's judgement in picking her is an obvious sign that the man has no ability to lead this country.

    What a joke this must be to the rest of the world! I will be truly ashamed of America if we elect the GOP ticket.

    September 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    CHECK THAT!!! I am off my game today! I thought it read HAGEE! Hagel is a good guy. CNN please don't post that last comment of mine! Hagel is right on about Palin and a valued Obama supporter!

    September 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  5. D&D

    I mean guys, let's be honest here: What else do you need to be convinced that Obama is THE right guy for the job?

    September 18, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. roy

    "I can see Russia from my House" – Tina Fey as Sarah-dippity

    September 18, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  7. Reason

    McCain is a douche. Vote Obama 2008.

    September 18, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  8. John

    Please... lock me in a hotel room with a staff of policy advisors for 3 weeks and I'd be able to answer the questions she's getting, too... Hagel hit the nail right on the head.

    September 18, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. john long

    Is Obama a comedian or a politcian. I can't really tell anymore. His jokes really do suck though! He called McCain Dennis Kucinich because of Palin. This dude is stupid. Go ahead CNN moderator. At least you got to read it.

    September 18, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. sandee in Portland

    Go, Senator Hagel. Even members of her own party realize she is not qualified to be V.P. Since he is a friend of McCain, to bad he didn't voice this to him before he picked her. But, then McCain probably wouldn't have listened anyway. He needed to select a female to get my female sisters to vote for him. Wish he had picked a more qualified female; that might have helped.

    September 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. D Murray-Atlanta

    Thank you for being honest, Gov Parlin just isn't ready for this position. We can't just bury our heads in the sand, this is about our country people.

    September 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  12. sky

    Say no to McPain

    September 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  13. Former Republican for OBAMA

    I DIDN'T THINK IT WAS POSSIBLE TO

    STRETCH ANY THING THAT MUCH.

    September 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  14. worried

    I just don't understand why Mr. McCain snubbed Mitt Romney. I was excited by Sarah at first, but with all this coming out about her using a personal yahoo account for government work, I am questionning her judgment. Mitt Romney understands the economy, and has strong judgment about how to proceed in the world. I am afraid it will be Obama in 2008. All I can hope for now is Romney 2012...

    September 18, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  15. Count VA 2008 ... were making it Officially BLUE

    First OFF: Chuch Hagel is very sexy

    Second: In defending her own foreign policy experience, Palin has said that Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives her international expertise. Hagel, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called that notion “insulting to the American people.” THANK YOU : SOMEONE HAD TO SAY IT.....THE MEDIA SURE WON'T

    September 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  16. USAF Staff Sergeant

    I love that he can be honest. I really doubt all these Palin supporters truly think she's a great choice. I believe they are saying they love her to fool themselves and try to fool the rest of us.

    September 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  17. J from DC

    I dont think anyone was voting for her experiance, on her stand on the issues anyway. It is because she is a women, and you cant say that.

    September 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  18. Tristan

    Lol. It is hillarious that Palin thinks that Alaska being so close to Russia gives her 'expertise.' This woman is a joke and a disgrace to woman leadership.

    September 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  19. Chardonnay

    this proves not all republicans are stupid...now i totally respect hagel...he will not vote for Obama but at LEAST he admitted the truth about palin...

    September 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  20. Bob

    Wait a minute, Senator Hagel!
    Sarah Palin can see RUSSIA.... if she travels about 1,000 miles from her home to a remote, uninhabited island in the middle of the Bering Strait, and, of course, if the weather is good.
    Now, what can YOU see from Nebraska? South Dakota, Iowa, Colorado, MIssouri, Kansas and Wyoming..... now, how many of THOSE are foreign countries, anyway?
    Geez, at least if you lived in Alabama, you could claim to be able to see Georgia, which we all know is being occupied by Russia.

    Some foreign policy expert YOU are, Senator Hagel......

    Why, in her first interview, she stated that we shouldn't allow Russia to control its own oil and gas...... she's obviously the expert, eh?

    September 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  21. Billy

    But I thought if you could see Russia from your house you were perfectly qualified to be VP.

    Palin is irrelevant.

    September 18, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  22. Texas for Obama

    Thank you Senator Hagel. Finally a Republican who speaks the truth.

    September 18, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  23. Michael

    Hagel, why don't you find another party? I am so tired of you.

    September 18, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  24. Michael

    The next thing we know, Palin will tell the Russians that it is one thing to invade Georgia, but they better leave Alabama alone! Then again, she probably thinks that the Gulf war was fought on the beaches of Galveston and Pensacola. Anyway, we need to give her a break. She makes quite a good cheerleader, now, doesn't she? The GOP has always loved its celebrities, now they have one. What get's me is they always push "values," and values are very important, seriously. One of the best values is honesty. Do we really want another 4-8 years of our administration trying to hoodwink us?

    September 18, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. kobs

    It speeks volumes to MCcain's judgement and since the covention we got a lot to show the wimp he is despite being a war hero given that he could not control his own "steff meeting" or "old boys club" as the went wild and dished out lies !!!

    September 18, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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