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. Sarah Bell

    WASP!!! WomenAgainstSarahPalin

    September 18, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  2. Hacking Email Accounts for the DNC

    wow, the only bigger hack shills in the media for Obama are MSNBC.
    CNN, you're totally inappropriate and biased in your campaign coverage.

    September 18, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  3. Palin is a warrior

    Palin is a warrior, maybe even more tougher than being a POW under the Viet Cong. She battled her way to be mayor, a fighter for Miss Alaska, she was alone fighting against Russia and Canadian aggression as well as her town where she was the mayor and dealt with snow and cold weather. Yup, i know she can save us and save the USA. Hillary who? no way..Palin-McCain 2008 !!

    September 18, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Foreigner watching

    You sure about that;

    you are right; she has a HELL of lot more experience than Obama; ask senator hagel said ; dont insul the intellegenc eof the American people. for Obab's policies; check out

    September 18, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. mitchell

    he needs a cabinet post in the obama administration.

    September 18, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Patricia Miller

    I'm sorry to see Chuck Hagel leave political life. He seems to be one of the few ethical politicians we have. Watching Sarah Palin is like returning to high school. She doesn't appear to be very mature and is just plain annoying to me.

    September 18, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  7. jerry

    Hagel is smart and informed, as well as a man of integrity. He is right about the absurdity of the Palin selection. With a number of decent and competent Republicans to choose from (I'm a Democrat) McCain went out of his way to pick the very, very least qualified one. There's no way around it: you just have to blame Palin on McCain.

    September 18, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  8. Bill

    and Virgina will be blue showed how "intelliginet" Virginia is. By the way , what is intelliginet?

    September 18, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |

    A Republican who speaks the truth !!! Hell must be freezing over !!!

    September 18, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Wayne in Florida

    Why is the Republician VP nominee being questioned about foreign policy expereience, when the all mighty Democratic President nominee has just as little and NO executive decission making experience.

    Who are we voting for? President or VP?

    September 18, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Brian

    God bless you Sen. Hagel ... finally a republican talking some sense.

    Palin is atrocious. I would encourage anyone thinking of voting for McCain because he put her on the ticket to stay home on election day and stick to what you're good at ... reading US Weekly and voting for American Idol contestants.

    September 18, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |


    September 18, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Peggy

    There has been nothing more pathetic than the group of Republican leaders who have said "Sarah Palin is the best thing that could have happened to the party"......"Out of all the people McCain could have picked she is the best choice" quotes from Guiliani....Romney...Pawlenty...etc. Thank You Senator Hagel.

    September 18, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. Maggie

    Not only is it insulting; it's embarrasing!

    September 18, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. Geoff Los Angeles

    Is the Governer of Hawaii an oceanographer or a marine biologist? His state is surrounded by ocean so that should qualify him...right?

    I must give credit where it is due and thank Sen. Hagel for having the guts to speak out against a lightweight candidate that has no business being in this race.

    Go Obama!

    September 18, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Hacking Email Accounts for the DNC

    For the record, CNN is intentionally not covering Biden more to purposefully avoid his non-stop verbal slip-ups from coming to light.

    September 18, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  17. barackobama4prez

    If Republicans want to avoid losing all credibility, they will openly REJECT this ticket.

    September 18, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Old white lady for Obama

    The McCain/Palin ticket:- a recipe for disaster.
    Palin:- out of touch with the majority of women in this country.
    Hagel is surely not alone amongst Republicans, who are dismayed at McCain's irresponsible choice of VP.

    September 18, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Emi

    My son is in the high school marching band. Doesn't that qualify him to be the new quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys? Afterall, he has walked on astroturf...........

    Thank you Senator Hagel, it is a tragedy that so many people need the obvious pointed out to them.

    September 18, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Hacking Email Accounts for the DNC

    Hagel's qualifications to question anyone is a stretch consideirng he's a traitor to his own party.

    September 18, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. @ NYC

    I can see the Doctor's office from my house. Does that make me a doctor??? Or the Sun, I can see it too. Does that make me a solar scientist???

    September 18, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Tired of W, OH

    Boy, CNN. You sure do close out your ticker comments quickly. This was to be posted on the "McCain goes on the attack..." story:

    Instead, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers referred to television news reports citing Obama advisers who believe that economic anxiety could lift the Democratic ticket in the polls.

    Kind of like the republicans were saying that another terrorist attack on U.S. soil would benefit McCain politically? Grow up, old man.

    September 18, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  23. Pete

    Jeez! Chuck Hagel too? If I were a woman, there is no way I would vote for this ticket. She is nothing but eye-candy and IF McCain gets elected she will get stuffed so far into the background the only place you'll ever see here is on CSPAN when she presides over the Senate. She'll be a joke. Is that what you ladies really want? You want to blow your shot at resolving the gender question on this piece of fluff? If she gets in and blows it, it will be another whole generation before a woman gets a serious shot.

    September 18, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. James

    Palin claiming foreign policy experience simply because she is from Alaska is a joke. Seriously, people. Let's be reasonable, particularly when it comes to her claim to be knowledgeable about Russia. For example, does the mayor of Plano, Texas (a suburb of Dallas) automatically qualify as an expert on Mexican political science? Even if he became governor of Texas. You need more. At least G.W. spoke Spanish. Give her credit for what she does know (energy issues) and do not give her credit for what she does not know.

    September 18, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. La Raza

    I once smoked a Cuban cigar. Does this make me have foreign policy experience?

    September 18, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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