April 9th, 2010
03:19 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama brushes off Palin on nuclear deal

President Obama on Friday brushed off criticism from Sarah Palin that his agreement with Russia to restrict the use of nuclear weapons amounts to a dangerous sign of weakness.

President Obama on Friday brushed off criticism from Sarah Palin that his agreement with Russia to restrict the use of nuclear weapons amounts to a dangerous sign of weakness.

(CNN) - President Obama on Friday brushed off criticism from Sarah Palin that his agreement with Russia to restrict the use of nuclear weapons amounts to a dangerous sign of weakness.

"I really have no response," the president said tersely in an interview on ABC's Good Morning America. "Because last I checked, Sarah Palin's not much of an expert on nuclear issues."

Speaking on Fox News earlier this week, Palin said the recently negotiated treaty with Russia - seeking a reduction in the number of nuclear weapons held by the two countries - is an "unbelievable" move and that "no administration in America's history I think would ever have considered such a step."

"It's kinda like getting out in the playground, a bunch of kids ready to fight, and one of the kids saying 'go ahead, punch me in the face, I am not going to retaliate, go ahead and do what you want to with me,'" Palin said.

Obama said Friday: "I would say to them is that if the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff are comfortable with it, I'm probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin."

The treaty requires approval from two-thirds of the Senate to go into effect. Some of the chamber's Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, have indicated that they are not ready to support the deal.

"The Senate will assess whether or not the agreement is verifiable, whether it reduces our nation's ability to defend itself and our allies from the threat of nuclear armed missiles, and whether or not this administration is committed to preserving our own nuclear triad," McConnell said in a statement.


Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama • Sarah Palin
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Rob from Maryland

    "Because last I checked, Sarah Palin's not much of an expert on nuclear issues." ... Ture .... But nor are you Mr. President and by signing this treaty you have shown America just how much of a expert you're not!

    April 9, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. We the People....

    And the arrogance goes on.....

    April 9, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. W. Comrie

    Richard Nixon used a grain deal as a carrot to cajole Breshnev into an arms limitation treaty. Guess he and Henry Kissinger believed it was a good idea. So much for Sarah Palin's grasp on history. Funny thing is, Palin reminds me of Spiro Agnew, who Nixon used as an attack dog. Maybe the RNC is taking a page out of the old Nixon playbook and using Palin to say things to feed the fears of their conservative base.

    April 9, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  4. Steve

    Its about time Obama stopped putting up with these constant mosquito bites. Swat them away already

    April 9, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  5. Susan

    Bravo Bravo Bravo Mr. President.......if more of the Republicans had the courage to put Sarah Palin in her place they might get more respect from the rest of this country.......what authority, what experience, what knowledge does this woman have to know anything about Nuclear Issues.......she quit her job as Govenor because it was getting to hot and heavy for her to deal with......so why would anyone want to listen to this woman that has about as much intelligence as a rock......all she can say about Russia is that she can see it from her front porch......her explaination of "Kinda like out on the playground".....is this the best she can come up with......hey Palin talk like an adult we are not kindergardeners.......she is so full of herself and her and becoming a celebratiy has went to her head.....maybe her followers want to listen to her lies and hate and misconceptions of how this country should be operating........but the majority of us don't.........a nuclear bomb is just another powerful gun to her and we all know how she loves her GUNS

    April 9, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Mr. Man

    Mrs. Palin, Sit down and be quiet.

    April 9, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  7. charles

    Ok Sarah what about your beloved Ronald Reagan, this from a November 18, 1981 speech to the National Press Club

    "Now, I have informed President Brezhnev that we will seek to negotiate substantial reductions in nuclear arms which would result in levels that are equal and verifiable. Our approach to verification will be to emphasize openness and creativity, rather than the secrecy and suspicion which have undermined confidence in arms control in the past."

    or this

    The first strategic arms reduction proposal (START) was presented by United States President Ronald Reagan in Geneva on 29 June 1982. Reagan proposed a dramatic reduction in strategic forces in two phases, which he referred to as SALT III at the time. The first phase would reduce overall warhead counts on any missile type to 5,000, with an additional limit of 2,500 on ICBMs. Additionally, a total of 850 ICBMs would be allowed, with a limit of 110 “heavy throw” missiles like the SS-18, with additional limits on the total “throw weight” of the missiles as well. The second phase introduced similar limits on heavy bombers and their warheads, and other strategic systems as well.

    April 9, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. bankerjack

    I am not Republican nor Democrat, but do not need to be to see that Soundbite Sarah, a proven failure in her every role in life, is hardly a resource for learned opinion. Without doubt, Obama is our president, and should be respected for managing the decisions to protect our nation. The republicans made stupid choices in their last administration and we lend short memories by promoting the empty palabras of Sarah Palin as if she speaks with some authority. God save us from our own ignorance.

    April 9, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  9. Karl Larson

    gives us something to look forward to when Her Palinness gets to be Boss. .Nuclear Armageddon

    April 9, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  10. Ramon F. Herrera

    Run Sarah, run!!

    A big Palin supporter :-@

    (for those who don't know, the emoticon above expresses tongue-in-cheek)

    April 9, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. Republican not buying it..

    Why is this woman so stupid? She is hurting my party and does not speak for the true republican. Regan did a comparable arm treaty when he was president, doesn't this naive circus show understand this fact? So I guess my hero Regan is as radical now? Go away Sarah, just go away.

    April 9, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. JoeMama

    "It's kinda like getting out in the playground, a bunch of kids ready to fight, and one of the kids saying 'go ahead, punch me in the face, I am not going to retaliate, go ahead and do what you want to with me,'" Palin said.

    But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.
    —Luke 6:27-31. NIV

    April 9, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. MikeMaz

    So somehow reducing nuclear weapons to a number that is still in the hundreds is somehow a bad thing? Sarah Palin has no idea what she is talking about and the republicans are simply just trying to debate him on every single thing.

    April 9, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. James T

    As an old school conservitive I agree with Obama on this occasion. Palin may think she knows what she is talking about but if I recall Reagan made a simular deal in the 80's that was then signed into law by Bush senior. As a candidate you may not have all the experiance but once you become president you get a better grip of the subject on arms deals. Just remember that Palin hasn't been briefed everyday as Obama has been. So yes Obama has a bit more knowledge on this topic

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Jack

    I know that I am not the only person who is absolutely terrified by this woman. Two heads of State negotiate an agreement with regard to the use of nuclear arms and Sarah Palin makes an analogy that "it's KINDA LIKE GETTING OUT IN THE PLAYGROUND"!!!!!!!!!!!!! She can't be serious, right? wrong, she is being serious. This is the most insighful response in her arsenal (no pun intended)? Her IQ is about what it was in 8th grade and hasn't moved since. The question that she must be asked is "what would you have done? If she wants us to believe that she is a legitimate player in the political arena, then let's stop with her childish remarks and hold her accountable for an adult response.

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. Gary Rider

    While I delight at Obama " hitting back" .....its kinda like smacking a retard , it feels good, but you really shouldn't do it.!

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. Eric R.

    I love Pres. Obama. "if you fellin' like a pimp then gonin' brush your shoulders off." don't even worry about Sarah or them other haters who want to find fault in all that you do. Just keeping making us a better country and history will show your successes. Obama 2012!!!

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Wil

    This is the exact thing their beloved Reagan wanted and he is on tape saying and the republicans are against it. If Obama is for it they are against it if he is against it they are for it just who is really playing the childish games Palin.

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Courtney

    I'm not much of a Palin fan either, but that was very unprofessional of the President!

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. TW

    Sarah Palin is simply a pure American. Obama is simply NOT.

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  21. Chuk

    I think the sooner Palin keeps her trap shut, the better. She has exposed her idiocy too long and will never amount to anything politically except among her hill billy kind.

    Let's consider:
    The US is the most powerful nation on earth.
    The US has more nuclear weapons than any other on earth.
    The US is the only nation that has used a nuclear weapon on another nation.

    It seems to me that the US is in prime position to lead in solving this dangerous problem. You can't lead by threatening other nations. The best leadership is one done by example.

    When was the last time anyone peeked into the US arsenal and complained about the constant ramp up of weapons. But that's what the US does to other nations. And by the way, the US has never called out any of its allies for building weapons. Does Israel own weapons? That's a question that's taboo until it comes to Iran.

    Back to the real issue here: finally, we have a president who is willing to lead the world out of the nuclear problem by example and idiots like Pallin won't get out of his way. Here's an advice, the US cannot build its way to security with more nuclear weapons. Just like Israel cannot fights it way to security by not helping those who are trying to help it!

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  22. Lee

    In other words, McConnell, you've already decided to oppose it to score political points and you haven't even seen it yet. You are the true leader of the Party of No.

    April 9, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. Michael S in Texas

    Once again, Palin isn't much of an expert on...well....anything. Her God, Ronald Reagan, advocated cutting nuclear weapons by a third, which is what Obama's treaty seeks to do. Last time I checked, Reagan was president for a few years.

    April 9, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. MillieBea

    People praise Palin for expressing things in such folksy ways- but I wonder- is that how they are explained to her in the first place? Her comments always make great sound bites- but there is never any indication that she actually understands the depth of anything she is discussing. Let me out it in her terms- it's like watching a football game on TV and they have a shot of the pretty cheerleader-she may make you watch, but she isn't going to help you win the game. I'm sorry but serious diplomats do not reduce nuclear warms to an analogy about playground antics-

    April 9, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. Matt

    This coming from the quitta from Wasilla....she leaves the governors office in Alaska so she make more MONEY in speaking engagements...sounds like a Republican....

    April 9, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
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