ERIE, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Sarah Palin made a new push Thursday to remind voters that the threat of terrorism remains very real, despite the current focus on the troubled economy.
In consecutive campaign events in Erie, Pennsylvania, Palin argued that economic concerns are inexorably entwined with American security interests, and that John McCain is the only candidate prepared to handle both issues.
“Gone are the days when we had placed domestic and foreign concerns in two distinct categories and just choose a president according to the priorities of the moment,” Palin said at a rally in Erie. “On November 4, we need to elect a president who can handle the difficulties in the economy and the dangers of the world all at the same time.”
The Republican vice presidential nominee was introduced by former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, an Erie native with national security experience whom McCain once considered tapping as his running mate.
Palin mocked Barack Obama’s 30-minute network ad buy a “warm and fuzzy scripted infomercial” designed to “soften the focus in these closing days.”
“He’s hoping your mind won’t wander to the real challenges of national security, challenges that he is incapable of meeting,” she said.
Palin’s speech came shortly after a meeting across town with several national security advisers at Penn State-Erie. Following that meeting, she read a statement to a small audience that introduced strong new language warning voters that the “far left wing of the Democrat party” - led by Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank – would cut defense spending by 25 percent under an Obama administration.
“They’re preparing right now to take over the entire federal government, folks,” she said. “According to their own stated plans, the first thing that will go will be one quarter of our defense budget.”
Although Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services committee, has said he would favor such a spending cut, Obama has called several times for an increase in defense spending.