October 24th, 2008
04:25 PM ET
6 years ago

Fact Check: Did Albright agree Obama would 'invite' an international crisis?

The Statement
Speaking on Fox News's "Hannity & Colmes," Republican vice-presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin expanded a GOP attack that Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama's running mate said his presidency would invite international trouble. "And it wasn't just Biden making that comment," Palin said. "That was confirmed by former Secretary Madeleine Albright, where she said yes, she believes that Biden was just stating fact. Now, I don't want a president who invites that kind of testing."

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The Facts
On Sunday, October 19, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden was speaking at a fundraiser in Seattle, asking for support in the event Obama is elected. "Watch - we're going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy," Biden said. "I don't know what the decision is going to be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history, and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it is going to happen."

The McCain campaign seized on the comment to argue Obama is not experienced enough and that a lack of experience will encourage nations like Russia and groups like al Qaeda to challenge his resolve. The Obama camp has responded, arguing that Biden meant to say that the next president will be tested regardless of who is elected.

Speaking Wednesday, October 21, on CNN's "American Morning," Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state and an Obama supporter, was asked about the statement. "Well, I think it is - it's just a statement of fact, frankly. And in my book, I talk about the fact that ... something unexpected, you always have to be prepared for that. And that's why, I actually think that Senator Obama is a terrific person to be president because he has this capability of assessing the situation in a calm way, of listening to a lot of different opinions ... ."

She continued, "Well, I think that what you see is the fact that there's something happening in the world all the time. ... So, I think that it's a statement of fact, and I think Barack Obama is a terrific person to handle it."

The Verdict: Misleading. Palin takes out of context part of a comment by Albright, who was actually praising Obama's ability to handle a crisis


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Fact Check
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