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. Frantz from Atlanta

    Thank you Mr. Hagel!

    September 18, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Julie

    Here stands one man willing to say what so many of the other, more cowardly Republican legislators are thinking and speaking of privately.

    Chuck Hagel is a Republican leader who speaks the truth.

    He may be the last man standing before this race is over.

    September 18, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  3. cnn junkie

    but but she can see russia from her house LOL!!!

    September 18, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  4. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Sarah Palin: The Clarence Thomas of Women.

    September 18, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Bulldog

    John McCain and Sarah Palin want to blame Wall Street for our economic mess we are in today like they did today in Iowa. The problem is that Wall Street would NOT have been able to do what they've done if John McCain and his great friend and economic adviser Phil Gramm didn't push a deregulation bill in 1999 that took away restrictions on bank and financial firms that were put in place after the Great Depression.

    John McCain has a DIRECT responsibility for the economic mess we are in but he wants to try to blame everyone else. What happened to "the buck stops here"? John McCain is a fraud.

    September 18, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Observer

    Ouch....I just might have to sue Senator Hagel. I laughed so hard when I read his comments I feel out of my chair! Oh well, I guess it's a good pain....
    Palin is a hoot!

    September 18, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. RDS

    Funny how when someone mentions Palins specific creditials none of her supporters on this board can actually point to one thing she has. Instead they try to deflect the attention back to Obama...priceless!

    September 18, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  8. Frank Dicken

    The truth is there are many republicans that are thinking the same thing but the big red curtain wall is holding them back from saying anything. I think Hagel wants to jump ship. Obviously for reelection purposes. I'm good with that. Come on board. Every American is welecome to the Democratic way....

    Obama / Bidin... WIn WIn

    September 18, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Midwest

    My issue is that if you want reallchange in Wsahinton..
    There should laws wriiten that have term limits on Senators and Representatives.

    Democrats and Republicans alike once they reach Congress do not worry about anything else but how to stay there..

    Do you think eiher canidate will change anything with the same people voted in.. and than start worrying about how to stay in Washington..?

    September 18, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. Just a Mom

    In my eyes, Sen. Hagel is a respectable man.

    September 18, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. John in Binghamton NY

    I don't know how anyone honestly disagree with what he said.

    If she is so ready than why is she being protected from people who want to ask real questions? I don't recall anyone else being protect like that other than Chelsea Clinton, but she is a kid and not running for anything.

    You think she knows as much about the world as Obama? Really? Want to bet your life savings on who would win a test of knowledge?

    Obama has a better understanding of the world and the concept of diplomacy than McCain.

    I got news for you. The price of gas has a lot to do with tensions in the middle east and barking at Iran isn't going to help. Speak softly and carry a big stick.

    September 18, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Dana

    Chuck Hagel is the silver lining of the GOP. The one bright spot in their party. Intellegent people understand that Palin was chosen just to divert America's attention from Obama. Her 15 minutes is just about up.

    GO-BAMA/BIDEN
    P.S. Speaking of Biden... Let's see and hear more about him!!!

    September 18, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. National Holiday in 2009

    I just hope we get a day off ... like we did for Nixon, Ford & Reagan.

    September 18, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. JusLaugh

    It's funny that whenever Palin is mentioned that the republicans are so quick to thow Obama out there....

    Has anyone noticed that she is running against Biden? Let's compare apples to apples here.

    They republicans are just trying to spin a really bad decision made by McCain into an "I meant to do that" moment when they trump up her experience.

    Obama is irrelevant when discussing Palin. It seems by recent news that he has already done many of the things she is proposing to do, anyways.

    September 18, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. McCryptKeeper/Cruella 08

    Oh Yeah he's a RINO, blah blah blah

    Do you folks REALLY think seeing Russia from Alaska is foreign policy experience? If you do, you're as dumb as your President.

    September 18, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Brian L

    I hear Palin has great influence with Santa Claus because of Alaska's proximity to the North Pole. Give me a break!!

    September 18, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. Debbie

    It has been said that the press is being unfair to Governer Palin, and they favor Senator Obama.

    I do not listen to any of them. But, I will listen to Senator Chuck Hagel.

    September 18, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Creative Woody

    I live next door to a doctor. Go ahead and ask me for medical advice.

    September 18, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Sarah

    The scary thing: She is planning to fight Russia if it attacks its neighour Georgia?. I find this is very serious immaturity. People like Palin should not be trusted on the world deadliest weapons!

    September 18, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. jwn in south carolina

    I can drive a car, does that make me a mechanic?

    The woman is goofy and dangerous!!!

    September 18, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Enough !!!

    Apparently this joke of a candidate, like McSame, cannot use "the Google" either. Before making her transparency proposal to the feds, Sarah Pa_Liar should have had one of her campaign trainers do a Google search for a federal gov transparency website.

    September 18, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Sacto Joe

    What's the difference between Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin?

    Lipstick!

    September 18, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Paying Attention

    Amen !!! She is an insult to our intelligence. I can see my neighbors house across the street. That does not mean I know anything about them.

    People please read all you can about the real issues and what they have actually done.

    September 18, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  24. Debby

    Well when Bill Clinton ran for President he didn't have any foreign experience and was a Governor just like Palin. He became one of the greats out there with both foreign policy and the economy. If anyone has been to Alaska you can see Russia from one part of the state so I don't know why Hagel thinks that is insulting to America. I find this whole attack on Palin disgusting. Her qualifications well puts her to make decisions for the country just like Clintons did when he was running. Hillary was mocked for the same thing by her own party and I see they are doing the same to Palin by paid Obama supporters on these blogs.

    September 18, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. Women for Obama/Biden

    Hagel you are a sexist and a DEM....oops(Rep..) Hagel you are now sentence to a cone of silence for telling the truth all interviews are from now cancelled.

    September 18, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
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