John McCain seeks Sarah Palin’s advice often

NPR’s Steve Inskeep interviews John McCain: Senator, as you know, the vice presidential debate comes on Thursday — your running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, against Joe Biden. Gov. Palin has been asked about her foreign policy qualifications and cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as one reason she’s qualified. I’d like to ask you, senator, what ...

NPR's Steve Inskeep interviews John McCain:

NPR’s Steve Inskeep interviews John McCain:

Senator, as you know, the vice presidential debate comes on Thursday — your running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, against Joe Biden. Gov. Palin has been asked about her foreign policy qualifications and cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as one reason she’s qualified. I’d like to ask you, senator, what specifically do you believe that Alaska’s proximity to Russia adds to Palin’s foreign policy qualifications?

Well, I think the fact that they have had certain relationships, but that’s not the major she has stated, and you know that. The major reason she has stated is because she has the knowledge and background on a broad variety of issues, including probably the major challenge of America, and that’s energy independence. And she has been responsible, taken on the oil companies, and we now are going to have a $40 billion natural gas pipeline. She has oversighted the natural gas and oil and natural resources of the state of Alaska and, by the way, quit when she saw corruption there. She has the world view that I have. She is very highly qualified and very knowledgeable.

Given what you’ve said, senator, is there an occasion where you could imagine turning to Gov. Palin for advice in a foreign policy crisis?

I’ve turned to her advice many times in the past. I can’t imagine turning to Sen. Obama or Sen. Biden, because they’ve been wrong. They were wrong about Iraq, they were wrong about Russia. Sen. Biden wanted to divide Iraq into three different countries. He voted against the first Gulf War. Sen. Obama has no experience whatsoever and has been wrong in the issues that he’s been involved in.

But would you turn to Gov. Palin?

I certainly wouldn’t turn to them, and I already have turned to Gov. Palin, particularly on energy issues, and I’ve appreciated her background and knowledge on that and many other issues.

Does her energy qualification extend to the international energy market?

Of course, that’s what it’s all about. It extends to a broad variety of issues, from her world view of the threats that we face of radical Islamic extremism, to specific areas of the world. I’m very proud of her, and proud of the knowledge and background that she has. She’s also been a governor of a state, and she has been involved in running a bureaucracy, she has been in charge of running a state, and it’s not an accident that she’s the most popular governor in America. I remember, in all due respect, that some people, when Ronald Reagan came out of California, said he was totally unqualified. I remember an obscure governor of the state of Arkansas that people said he was totally unqualified. This kind of thing goes on, usually in Georgetown cocktail parties.

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