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

Hagel: Palin experience a ‘stretch’

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. ChrisP


    September 18, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Candy West Virginia

    Wow, an honest Republican! Amazing! I didn't think there were ANY out there. Palin, besides being horribly unqualified and clueless she is a liar.
    And to You sure about that? – Obama is a Constitutional Law Scholar, taught Law Scool for 12 yrs, 8 yrs in the State Senate and 4 yrs in US Senate, co wrote and co sponsored 131 bills and has run the most successful, progressive minded campaign in history. Palin is no where near his level and there is no comparison between the two. Palin is hamburger, Obama is filet mignon.

    September 18, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. David Goldman for OBAMA





    September 18, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. Puffin

    Irespect Hagel. He is correct. Palin is over her head on everything. McCain is not patriotic if he is lies about her record to American people.

    September 18, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Redphilly

    Perhaps Obama hasn't run anything. But Palin has and she failed. Ask a Mr. Lungren of Alaska.

    September 18, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. shirley ann

    Sen. Hagel,
    I agree with you 110% That woman is a bunch of FLUFF!! Shame on McCain. I think the old guy is losing his mind. I'm serious!!!

    September 18, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Sean Smith

    Sen. Hagel is a smart man. We should not be fooled by people attemping to claim they have experience. The facts are what they are. Look, I can say I have experience with running a business (which I do), but does that qualify me to be the head of AIG? Not really. or Really? Point being, does the experience one has equal to the job at hand?

    September 18, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Bigbubba

    Palin is the most qualified Republican, male or female, to be first in line for the highest office in the land. She is more qualified than any Republican woman incuding the Secretary of State, Rice. She is more qualified than any male Senator, Congressman, Governor or cabinet member. Otherwise, why would John McCain choose her to be his running mate?
    Let's face it. Being the sportscaster on a very small television station, Miss Wasilla, Mayor of a town that would hardly register in any other state and a two year governor with a record of flip-flopping, ethical misconduct and proven lies on the campaign trail is an outstanding record for a Republican. They will build monuments to this woman, mark my words.

    September 18, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. Justin, ny

    I can see Iraq and Iran on a map – can i be president too?

    September 18, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Robin in SC

    Thank God...a Republican in the public spotlight has the courage to actually say aloud what others in his party know but are trying desperately, but unsuccessfully, to cover up!

    September 18, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. Chuck

    What an Intelligent Man.

    September 18, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. MHogan

    Indeed, we should be seeing and hearing more of Biden. He has a lot to offer the American people and we can all learn from him. I don't understand why he is not getting more coverage. As some one else mentioned, Biden is getting the short end of the stick when it comes to Press Coverage.

    September 18, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. carl

    These questions of her capability and experience are clearly sexist based on pronouns such as "she" and "her" used in the story. That would never happen in a story about Biden.

    I suggest the liberal press immediately cease all inquiries therein until after the election. LIke britney says, I think we should just trust our leaders.

    September 18, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Lovely in VA

    I'm glad we have 48 more days for republicans to express their views. Gets better every day!!

    September 18, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. Republican no more

    At least some of her own party can come out and tell the truth for once. Absolutely incredible! What is she going to do if Russia decides to attack Georgia again? "Oh I am a mother with a special needs child... I have killed a moose before...I stopped a bridge I really wanted but found out others didn't , so then I stopped it....I came in second place in a beauty contest. I went to 4 different colleges..I have a journalism degree from Idaho state tech university a & m bible community college for women. " Come on, John McCain...Alaska? Alaska? Alaska? And...I thought you were about country first.

    September 18, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Chris from Nebraska

    OK, Sen. Hagel, I was one of the last Nebraska Republicans defending your actions, but no more. You seem hell-bent on single-handedly sinking the Republican Party that you allegedly belong to. Well, this Republican can't wait to vote for Mike Johanns, and send a real Republican to Washington instead of a RINO like Chuck Hagel.

    September 18, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. bob

    Poor Chuck Hagel. Pity him cause he probably wont have a job past November

    September 18, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. CG

    Alaska's proximity to the North Pole must put Sarah Palin on a first-name basis with Santa Claus too!!

    September 18, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. No Palen

    Hagel has is right.....Palen knows nothing about foreign policy. One trip overseas in her life is a joke. McCain is a joke for picking her.

    September 18, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Peter Zheutlin

    I was on a plane once that stopped to refuel in Anchorage. I got off and wandered around the terminal. I am, therefore, an expert on Alaska and I can tell you, based on that experience, that you cannot see Russia from Anchorage, even on a clear day. However, if you go to the right spot in Alaska, on a clear day, you can see some chunk of rock that is part of Russia. Now, since Palin's claiming all this expertise about Russia based on that fact, my question is whether she personally has ever been to that part of Alaska where you can see Russia. If so, there's no doubt about it. She's ready to have her finger on the nuclear button.

    September 18, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Tim from Buffalo

    I live a mile from Canada, perhaps I could be secretary of state!

    September 18, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  22. Team America

    I live in Omaha and truly respect Sen. Hagel. My question to him would be...In his own words, he says Palin's experience is a "stretch." Would he rather have the experience questioned of a VP candidate, or the Presidential candidate?? Of course he won't say it, but everyone knows that Obama has the same lack of experience as Palin.

    And I just have a hunch about this....but I bet Palin could take Obama in a game of one on one. He strikes me as a guy who is afraid of contact, and she's a girl who goes looking for it.

    September 18, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Cindy Nelson

    What is Senator Hagel? A Republican that I can respect?
    Is there such an Animal?
    I'm shocked. I will have to pay attention to this man, because maybe he is actually a good guy. Kudos to him for telling the truth. I love it.

    September 18, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  24. Bigbubba

    By the way, I can see a bank from my house. That does qualify me to be the Secretary of the Treasury.

    September 18, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  25. BK

    Chuck tell everyone what experience Obama has. A lawyer and a community organizer and he is running on top of the ticket. Change! What change Biden has been in the senate longer than McCain. Obama had to put Biden on the ticket because Obama has no experience. McCain is at the top of the ticket the way it should be.

    September 18, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
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