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. bobbi

    mccain is treating palin like a mistress,is there more there than we know? could there be another BRAD HANSON??

    October 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. Bill (Louisiana)


    John McCain don't need to defend Sarah Palin. He needs to stop acting like a malechovinist when he campaigns with her. It appears to me and many others that he does not allow her time to respond to questions in his attitude and body language when he cuts her off before she can give a response. In the beginning she looked as shocked as I did. Now she seems to be gunshy to say anything for fear it is not what you ar your campaign manager wants her to say. John and his manager are killing his chances. I am a republican and recently decided to vote for the Obama-Biden ticket because I don't trust the McCain-Palin ticket. It has nothing to do with popularity, it has to do with the issues and who appears to be truthful.


    October 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  3. Joe "Cant Afford a 6-Pack" American

    I am fundamentally SURE that she is un-qualified to be a VP.

    October 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Kerry

    How many American homes had television when FDR was running? I'm going to take a wild guess and say that it was a lot fewer than today and that campaigning has therefore changed since then.

    October 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  5. Tom Swift, Shopton USA


    Hey... where is First Dude Todd Palin?

    He takes an active rold in co-governing Alaska with his wife, and spearheaded the drive to fire the Alaskan State Trooper, et. al.

    Why is he not speaking at campaign rallys, or out on his own campaigning?

    What are they hiding?

    Jill Biden, Michelle Obama & Cindy McCain are all very active with interviews and campaign appearences. Chelsea Clinton did a great job for Hillary.

    Are they afraid to let the man speak?

    Are they afraid that Sarah in the brains of the family?

    What are they hiding?


    October 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Newsflash! Putin Invades Alaska's Airspace Between Palin's Ears

    I have appliances in my house with more smarts, tact and personality than the McCain/Palin ticket.

    October 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  7. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    Newsflash for the out of touch McCain: NO ONE BELIEVES YOUR B.S. ANYMORE!

    You don't believe your own words-why should America?

    McCain has lost ALL lf my respect.

    October 1, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  8. Never let them see you sweat....


    October 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  9. Greg in Colorado

    We aren't scared we are right!!!!


    October 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  10. dfoster GA

    Tim ... you're an idiot, just like Palin.

    October 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  11. Tim

    I can't believe people will actually vote for these two. Of course, we are talking about the people who gave us Dumbya, twice. Look how well that worked out.

    October 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  12. NYC loves Obama

    John McCain, putting the “ick” in maverick.

    October 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  13. Dane

    Apparently Mr. McCain is wrong as well with that swipe at Biden. It was actually Herbert Hoover that Biden was referring to, He got the president wrong as well as saying TV was out then.

    October 1, 2008 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  14. Amazing


    Both dems and republics are afraid, but not what you think. If the republicans happen to cheat and win, Sarah Palin isn't experienced. Perhaps in time. But, not right now. perhaps never.

    Our country has a huge problems, we need a balanced ticket to conquer these issues. Not a hockey mom that is clearly not ready.

    You comments are stupid and obviousely, you aren't thinking of country first.

    October 1, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  15. laughing all the way to a democratic victory

    Reality Check!!!!! Don't you think he should have thought about this prior to picking her. It just shows his lack of judgement. I question decisions like this as to whether he is qualified or not.

    October 1, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  16. Tom in CA

    While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75 year old rancher, who's hand was caught in the gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Palin and her bid.

    The old rancher said, "Well, ya know, Palin is a 'Post Turtle'."

    Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a 'Post Turtle' was.

    The old rancher said, "When you're driving down a country road you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a 'Post Turtle'."

    The old rancher saw the puzzled look on the doctor's face so he continued to explain. "You know she didn't get up there by herself, she don't belong up there, she don't know what to do while she's up there, and you just wonder what kind of dummy put her up there to begin with."

    October 1, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  17. dfoster GA

    Why does she need Debate Camp? Isn't debating something we all learn to do in High School?

    October 1, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  18. andrew

    Republic, is enough this term 8 years along with MCBUSH's experiences..... gooooooo Democratic for long life

    mcsame's experiece is in 20th century & obama's judgment , and wisdom is coming.... goo democratic..

    October 1, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  19. Jim from Ohio

    McCain's pick of Sarah Palin was a desperate move to get to Hillary's base, but it backfired big time. Now it's too late.

    October 1, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  20. Billy

    McCain went with a gimmick pick in Palin. Palin was the mom next door. Then America was reminded of the serious economic times ahead and realized that the mom next door simply wasn't qualified to lead the country.

    McCain is trying to swim with a dead moose tied around his waist.

    October 1, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  21. Texas Witch Twister


    October 1, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  22. WBurki

    McShame is going down big time. Palin is an airhead, the only thing working for her is that some hardcore cons like her, these are the same idiots who voted for Bush in '00 and '04

    October 1, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  23. Debate Time

    Look, Palin needs to start anwering questions when asked. She either gives a very general answer or no answer at all. If she does not actually answer the debate questions with some detail, everyone should at least agree that she lost the debate.

    October 1, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  24. Chuck

    "Judge not lest ye be judged."

    Wait until AFTER the debate. Why is the media always trying to tell us what to think?

    Think for yourself!!!!

    October 1, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. indy chris

    "I didn't decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I'd had the ambition for a long time."

    John McCain

    October 1, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
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