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. elm

    I guess Chuck Hagel will now "disappear" or be banished like Carly Fiorina!

    September 18, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. McCryptKeeper/Cruella 08

    On Larry King, Paul Begala said, "I can see the moon from my backyard, but that doesn't make me an astrophysicist!"

    September 18, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. carolflowery

    and you sir are a traitor

    September 18, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  4. Bryan, Michigan

    I live near Canada, I know a mayor that drove our town in debt after being in the black, and I can be caoched to give speeches and avoid the press.

    How come McCain didn't pick me? Because I don't wear lipstick?

    September 18, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  5. Foreign observer

    I can see the moon from my homeplace. Therefore I am an expert on moon exploration.

    September 18, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  6. GaRedNeck

    I have almost always voted Democrat, but I might have voted for Bob Dole had he not changed once he won the nomination. Senator Chuck Hagel is another Republican I might have voted for if given the chance. I respect him, and his opinions are usually based on thoughtful consideration and not knee-jerk party politics.

    September 18, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  7. MLD

    Hagel is not running for re-election because he would lose. He then attaches himself to other losers like Obama who will still pay attention to him.

    Obama's crowd is dillusional in every direction.

    September 18, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    You sure about that? September 18th, 2008 4:20 pm ET

    says the guy who considered running as obamas veep

    she's as experienced as obama.. enough said
    _____________________________________

    Are you sure about that experience.....check your facts; please. Are you one of those mindless people that also speak of "executive experience?" Don't be a puppet; so easy to control your thoughts. Not only does Obama's experience CRUSH Palin's. but his EDUCATIONAL background far supports his qualifications. What's her educational background???? She only has a BA, in JOURNALISM, which took, um.....5 years and several institutions to achieve.

    Further, Bush had experience, so did his dad......and what exactly did they do to help our country? You speak of experience like there is validity in your statement. Go do your homework, don't waste your vote on stupidity.

    September 18, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. Reality

    HAGEL is one of the few honest Republicans. He is soooo right on about Palin being a stretch for VP of the US

    OBAMA / BIDEN 2008

    HAGEL Secretary of Defense or of State

    September 18, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. Beth

    Go Hagel! Thank you for telling the truth!

    I live in Detroit, only minutes away from Canada, I guess that makes me a foreign policy expert too!? Wow! I'm adding that to my CV!

    September 18, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. M. Winners

    Thank you for your insightful analysis of Gov. Palin's "qualifications" Sen. Hagel. It's obvious from McCain's vetting of Palin he didn't do such a good job.
    Happy to see some one add some sanity to the deliberations...

    September 18, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. Steve in CA

    For a few seconds, I was worried about the GOP VP Pick. But then they let her open her mouth. BIG MISTAKE! This is the woman who's ready to get tough with Russia. That way, we can cut taxes, remove all government regulations, and spend the balance on the military! Cold War, Part II.

    September 18, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Darren

    Hagel is one of the Republicans who never abandoned his genuine love for this country. This country is at its best when the liberal and the conservative arguments are both being presented by sides that genuinely have the country's welfare as the priority. The last decade or two has seen the conservative voice hijacked by a group that put their own selfish interests ahead of the country's. The result is that they've killed the GOP – exept for men like Chuck Hagel who never surrendered to the infiltration.

    Obama's Secretary of Defense? This LIB has no problem with that.

    September 18, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  14. ez

    Mr. Hagel has to be the next Secretary of Defense. Dude is awesome!

    Republican voting for Obama/Biden 08

    September 18, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  15. PEG

    AND WHAT MAY I ASK IS OBAMA'S EXPERIENCE

    September 18, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. undecided in ohio

    I'm going to Taco Bell for dinner to get me some foreign experience!

    September 18, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. Trysh, Los Angeles

    I live 3 hours from the Mexico border and my Dad was a POW in Vietnam; Can we run for President and VP on a Father/Daughter ticket?

    September 18, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  18. troy of Mississippi

    Sen.Hagel, thank you Sir! Now you are putting your country ahead of your party. I am a retired first sergeant of the U.S. Army. It makes me proud when anyone can stand up and tell the truth. Mc Cain you were wrong to chose Palin for VP. There are too many servicemembers and their families lives at state. Don't allow our military to be placed in danger at the hands of Mc Cain and Palin. tld

    September 18, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  19. canuck

    chuck, you are right, but how much experience does the guy at the top of the other ticket have? oops that doesn't matter when you are vying for a cabinet position. all lets get some perspective!

    September 18, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  20. I speak only the truth

    I can see the moon and stars from my back yard, but that doesn't make me an expert on astronomy, or does it? lol

    September 18, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Foreign observer

    I can see the moon from my homeplace. Therefore I am an expert on moon exploration.

    September 18, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  22. Chipster

    How much does Palin know about the Constitution. Sen. Obama taught constitutional law for 12 years. Palin is a religious wacko with a record of abusing the little power she actually had. What will she do with more power? Let's not find out.

    September 18, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  23. Patrick, Fairfield, CA

    Coming from within the Republican Party, Hagel speaks with great experience and is telling the truth about the one-hit wonder, Sarah Palin. Hagel's pictures of her credentials are factual and enlightening. I am glad he has decided to stand up and point this out to the American people.

    September 18, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  24. USA '08

    But she built a hockey rink on land she didn't have rights to and people play hockey in Russia.

    McCain's judgement has clearly left him. Does he really think she could function as the president if he couldn't? She scares me. A lot.

    September 18, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Mike Dallas

    Finally, a Republican with enough sense to stand up and try and take make his party for the religious fascists.

    I am for Obama, but I do believe in a two party system. I find it sad that the Republican party has literally been reduced to the current traveling circus. If more of The Hagel's do not step up, the party will have lost all crediblity completely.

    For example, do ALL Republicans believe that the fact that Alaska is close to Russia gives her foreign experience??

    Say it to yourself slowly, do you not see how at least half of America finds that comment not just stupid but absurd!

    Of couse, do not take my advice just keep on keeping on!

    September 18, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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