October 1st, 2008
08:35 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain defends Palin against experience attacks

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/01/art.dmr.cnn.jpg caption="McCain became visibly frustrated during an interview with the Des Moines Register when he was questioned about Sarah Palin's credentials to be vice president."](CNN) - John McCain defended embattled running mate Sarah Palin in an interview released Tuesday night, telling an Iowa newspaper he thought she had the” experience and knowledge and background” to be president and that he was “proud of her record.”

McCain ticked off Palin’s achievements with the editors of the Des Moines Register – a swing state paper that endorsed his presidential bid before January’s Republican caucuses.

"So, with due respect, I strongly disagree with your premise that she doesn't have experience and knowledge and background,” he said. “I fundamentally disagree, and I'm proud of her record.”

Later, after continuing to counter Palin’s critics, he pointed to what he called a divide between the press and the public on their view of the Alaska governor. “…You and I just have a fundamental disagreement and I'm so happy that the American people seem to be siding with me,” said McCain.

When editors pointed to similar recent assessments from conservatives, McCain responded “Really? I haven't detected that,” attributing those sentiments to the “Georgetown cocktail party” circuit.

“Some people allege that others may have spent too much time inside the Beltway, and too much time not out in touch with the American people,” said McCain. “Some people that know that Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn’t address the American people on television.”

Asked later if he had benefited from taxpayer-subsidized health care his entire life, McCain replied that the question had no relation to his ability to understand the concerns of those Americans who had not.

“You know that's an interesting statement, isn’t it?” he responded. “And I have never been an astronaut, but I think I know the challenges of space. And I have never done a lot of things in my life that I think I am familiar with.”

According to CNN's Iowa poll of polls released September 22, before the first presidential debate, Obama held a 7-point lead (50-43 percent) in the state. Iowa narrowly voted for President Bush in 2004, but gave a major boost to Obama's presidential fortunes earlier this year at the start of the primary season.

Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (260 Responses)
  1. tim

    We are lucky to have real workers, real decision makers and real
    patriots like Senator McCain and Governor Palin running for
    President and Vice President.

    October 1, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  2. Paying Attention

    I would like Palin to be honest with Americans. She would not answer a simple question about what magazines she reads.

    I can decide if she is qualified if I don't know whe she is.

    October 1, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  3. arc, Lugano CH

    The GOP Goebbels propaganda machine needs some oil.

    Joe Biden is in a no-win situation. Even if he sticks to the issues, the GOP will cry foul and accuse Senator Biden of sexism. So he might as well just crush Palin for the good of the country and educated men and women everywhere.

    McCain is a bitter, sickly, old man and a LIAR who due to his age and failing health, would most likely not even see out a first term in office. The only person that world leaders would respect even less than Bush and McCain is Palin.

    October 1, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  4. Critical Thinking

    “Georgetown cocktail party” – is he insinuating that this view is held by a bunch of republican elitists? Republican elitists – isn't that an oxymoron?

    Man – I can't wait for Nov. 4th because I am tired of seeing folk sell out their common sense for votes.

    October 1, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. RC

    Debate camp.... Nuff said

    October 1, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. Abby

    Recently unearthed video shows that just two months after 9/11, John McCain was not only fully aware of the Bush Administration's Iraq War Agenda, but also that he actively helped make the argument for war.

    In an interview broadcast November 28, 2001 on ABC News Nightline, McCain:

    * Said that the Bush Administration would build a case for military conflict with Iraq, and expressed his support for such action

    * Advanced false claims made by the Bush Administration about the threat of Iraqi WMD

    * Connected Iraq with 9/11 by repeating the false claim that 9/11 hijacker Muhammad Atta had met with Iraq intelligence authorities in Prague before 9/11

    Video is at huffington post

    October 1, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. Eric

    People took a chance with Bush, an idiot made sympathic thanks to Rove and company. They won't make the same mistake again. They won't vote for someone who showed she does not even understand the questions she's being asked.

    October 1, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  8. MarioB. from Berlin for OBAMA/BIDEN

    "I'm so happy that the American people seem to be siding with me,”... yeah sure... You looked at the Polls? Look at new Polls at real clear politics. Obama +8 in Ohio, Obama + 8 in Florida, Obama + 15(!!!!) In Pennsylvania, Obama + 6 in national Polls... Well McCain. I'm glad you took that Alaska Barbie. She will hurt you even more than she did already. Just wait for the debate tomorrow night. 🙂
    This will be the Final End of your campaign, McSame

    Obama/Biden in a landslide!

    October 1, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Oct 1st

    --are americans really that stupid to vote for mcsame???

    i guess if u are happy how these last 8 yrs been u go for mcsame!

    October 1, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  10. Kevin, Austin TX

    If Mr. McCain, when saying "You and I just have a fundamental disagreement and I'm so happy that the American people seem to be siding with me" he is referring to those who already agree with him, then he's right.

    However, if were to be honest and look at an average of polling data, and anecdotal data, he'd find that his statement above was a lie or a delusion.

    Also, I know the combative nature with the press works to fire up the base, but does McCain and his advisers think it will work with the middle ground – where most remaining votes are to be had?

    October 1, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Arlene, Roselle Il.

    Does John McCain really want us to believe he hasn't
    been in Washington for the last 25 years.
    This is reaction from an old angry man.

    October 1, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Independent White Woman

    McBush “I fundamentally disagree, and I'm proud of her record.”I'm Proud of your Lack Of Judgement !!!!

    October 1, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  13. Rhiannon

    How long do you think you can hold your head up proudly?

    October 1, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  14. Blue Tiger

    Listen to Palin says and then listed clearly to what Obama says. Obama my use flowery words however he never answers the question posed nor does he ever make much sense.

    Obama is at the top of the ticket with minimal experience. Palin is not at the top of the ticket. I'm much more worried about Obama and his ineptitude.

    October 1, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  15. Palin aint our Hillary

    McCain is fundamentally insane and I hope he loses in a fundametal landslide

    October 1, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  16. sue

    This American doesn't side with you in respect to Palin.

    I am interested in the VP debate tomorrow night. My expectations of her pretty much zero. What I'm interested in hearing tomorrow night is whether she can think on her own and put a coherent sentence together.

    October 1, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. Scott NYC Independent

    McCain doesn't get it. Its not only her lack of experience in governing in a state with an extremely small population. Its the fact that she is uncouth, unintelligible and has a very limited scope of the world.

    October 1, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  18. Alaska has Trade Agreements with Russia?

    There are Millions of Beautiful,Intelligent,Strong,Articulate and Hard working women in American that are Heads of households,Mothers,leaders,common-sensed, and financially savy.

    How did the dingy Prom Queen,Cheerleader from High School (and not the Validictorian) make it to this level?

    October 1, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  19. Doug R.

    After tomorrow's debate, McCain/ Palin will be down by 10 points.

    October 1, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  20. Darko

    And now we find out the Moderator for the VP debate is soon to publish a pro-obama book in january.

    Convenient much? What news outlet ISN"T in the tank for obama.

    Unbelievable if she's allowed to moderate Thursday.

    October 1, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  21. Wayne

    The general public does not agree with you John McCain.

    Your judgement is catastrophic and your predictions are wrong as usual.
    Palin will be your downfall in this election, wait and see.

    October 1, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. IND voter

    Hey Laura you comment just Say's your scared of black women who are stronger that your self, you say she will use hate, hate and more hate...your to funny your comment was filled with hate and fear and that's sad...its what wrong with this country because if Obama had a name like David Mitchell and was white with the same issues we wouldn't be having this debate now, he'd be in white house with a land slide.

    October 1, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. Rob

    I can see the moon from my backyard. Does that make me qualified to man the next shuttle mission?

    October 1, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. Barney

    Leave her alone – quit picking on her – she's a woman.

    That's why she'll get votes.

    October 1, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. Matt M.

    Ummm... Senator McCain? Franklin Roosevelt DID appear on television!!!! He was the first President to do so!!!! YOU SCHMUCK!!!!

    October 1, 2008 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
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