Obama distances himself from campaign’s criticism of Palin

August 29, 2008

MONACA, Pennsylvania – Barack Obama distanced himself on Friday from his campaign’s initially critical statement about his rival John McCain’s choice of first-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice presidential running mate.
 
McCain, a 72-year-old veteran Republican senator from Arizona, picked a political unknown and self-described “hockey mom” who will become the first woman Republican vice presidential candidate.
 
When the surprise decision was announced, Obama was on the tarmac at a Denver airport preparing to depart for a bus tour in the industrial Midwest with his running mate, Joe Biden. The Democratic candidate had just made history by becoming the first black to accept a major-party presidential nomination.
 sarah-palin.jpg
His spokesman, Bill Burton, issued a statement suggesting Palin was too inexperienced to be vice president. “Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency,” it  said.
 
The McCain campaign quickly shot back that it was “audacious” for aides to the 47-year-old first-term Illinois senator to accuse Palin of inexperience.
 
Later in the day, Obama told reporters that the campaign’s early statement was “hair-trigger” and did not reflect his sentiments.
 
“I haven’t met her before. She seems like a compelling person. Obviously, a terrific story, personal story,” he said while touring a biodiesel plant in Monaca, Pennsylvania.
 
Obama said the choice of Palin was “one more indicator of this country moving forward” and a hit against the glass ceiling that has limited women’s advancement.
 
In a phone call to Palin, Obama told her he thought she would be a terrific candidate and wished her luck “but not too much luck,” according to Robert Gibbs, his senior adviser.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage.

- Photo credit: Reuters/John Gress (McCain stands with his vice presidential running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin in Dayton, Ohio, Aug. 29, 2008)

26 comments

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Wow – this is such a blatant insult to women that only someone from McCain’s generation (or a misogynist) could think of this as an equal replacement for an intelligent running mate.

Not only does is Palin just another BIG OIL crony in a party plagued by such accusations, but she hasn’t even displayed the same level of intellectualism or drive that we expect from men. She’s not pushed herself to achieve so that she could go to the best schools. She could have at least earned the grades to go to a Harvard, Yale, or Columbia even if she declined later on.

And her exposure to the world is limited to a town of 9,000 people, and a state with one of the lowest population levels in the country?!? If this were a male candidate would he stand a chance of becoming President? ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!! And Huckabee’s loss during this Presidential season helped prove that.

Worse yet, apparently, her supporters expect that Biden will have a difficult time debating her because he may be overly forceful with her. LOL!!! There’s a very realistic chance that she may become President and she will have to deal with world leaders who will most certainly treat her roughly. If she wants to play the weakling woman then she has NO PLACE in politics and certainly no PLACE IN WORLD politics.

What a pathetic choice!!!

Her only real drive has been to have 5 kids and to tell other people what they can and cannot do with their bodies even though this is a democracy.

Welcome to the Republican version of the Nazi Female leader Gertrud Scholtz-Klink. Another ‘cute’ woman who happened to be a good speaker and the epitome of backwards thinking for both women and democracy.

Posted by kaddie | Report as abusive

This choice of VP was made based on defense. McCain cannot win for Republicans by trying to court liberal Hillary supporters. The choice of Palin is an insult. The women who supported Hillary do so because of her unique qualities, not just because she is a female. This is not a “any woman will do” situation. He could have at least picked someone with sufficient experience like Kay Bailey. Add to that McCain’s camp saying that Obama lacks experience…um…there goes that. AND, he’d only met Palin 2 times prior to today. Sad!

WE NEED TO LET OPRAH AND OTHER CELEBRITIES KNOW THAT OUR COUNTRY CANNOT BE BOUGHT! THIS IS DISGRACEFUL. I’M ASHAMED OF OPRAH FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY ADULT LIFE!

THE BIASED MAINSTREAM “OBAMA” MEDIA IS AT IT AGAIN. AMERICA HAS A QUALIFIED WOMAN RUNNING FOR VP AND MSNBC TALKS ABOUT HOW MANY HOMES SHE OWNS??? OBAMA, THE DNC AND BIASED MEDIA WILL DESTROY OUR COUNTRY.

NOW WE HAVE TWO PEOPLE RUNNING WHO LOVE AMERICA — McCAIN AND PALIN!

GOVERNOR SARAH PALIN IS A GREAT CHOICE FOR ALL AMERICANS! She has lots of experience on many issues and truly cares about America. SHE HAS ACTUALLY “GOVERNED” — OBAMA HAS DONE NOTHING BUT RUN FOR OFFICE, TELL LIES AND MAKE PROMISES.

WHY DID WE ALLOW PELOSI INTO OUR WHITE HOUSE? IN 2004 SHE PROMISED TO UNITE AMERICA. SHE AND HER BIG-WIG DEMOCRATIC MEMBERS OF CONGRESS HAVE CAUSED US FURTHER DIVIDE. WE NEED TO REPLACE ALL DO-NOTHING DEMS IN CONGRESS.

Just remember, Hillary helped Obama get his Senate seat — then he stabbed her in the back. Now the DNC is forcing Hillary and Bill to support him until November. Will they pay off her campaign debt then?

Regarding Obama’s acceptance speech — Tucker Bounds:

“Americans witnessed a misleading speech that was so fundamentally at odds with the meager record of Barack Obama.

When the temple comes down, the fireworks end, and the words are over, the facts remain:

Senator Obama still has no record of bipartisanship, still opposes offshore drilling, still voted to raise taxes on those making just $42,000 per year, and still voted against funds for American troops in harm’s way.

The fact remains: Barack Obama is still not ready to be President.”

WE DON’T NEED A PRESIDENT IN TRAINING!

I’M VOTING FOR THE HONORABLE JOHN McCAIN IN NOVEMBER!

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Posted by CAROLINA GIRL | Report as abusive

i am hardcore republican and i am really upset with McCain pick Palin as VP. This is complete stupidity in part of McCain. I am wondering how much mess-up is allowed before you finally pull the pug. First the 5 million remark and then this. its complete suicidal and is crucify republican party and its virtues.

Posted by Tony | Report as abusive

What a reckless decision.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin is a SOLID one for REAL Conservatives, and announcing the pick today is a strategic masterpiece, knocking out Barack Obama/Joe Biden’s after convention euphoria!.

Did I mention that I loved EVERYTHING she said after being introduced by John McCain?

EVERYTHING!! OsiSpeaks[dot]com

Wow !!!! Slam Dunk Brilliant Move !!!!! If you criticize this choice for VP because of lack of experience or age, then you are really criticizing Obama. She has more experience in all matters and she is the Republican’s #2 choice, not #1. Way to go McCain !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Jeeze | Report as abusive

moronic impression must be set aside. It is some idiot’s idea that the institute makes mankind–no. it is humans who makes institutes. One does not Harvard or Yale to be intelligent–the professor of these institutes teach from books talking about people like John Stuart Mill, who never went to a so called school. This yupiieee nonsense must stop. Palin is an achiever, hard core intelligence and a brave woman.

Posted by surma | Report as abusive

[...] to hang Gov. Sarah and after all the misogynistic statements which have come from Barack Obama, his campaign and many of his fellow Democrat male and sadly, female supporters, I begin to wonder just what is [...]

McCain smell oil in the relationship. Palin’s husband is a oil producer.

Posted by prem | Report as abusive

I was on the fence. I’m green party and I was Hillary from the jump, after she got beat I’ve been considering who to vote for. I was starting to believe the assertions from the right that maybe Obama was too much hype not enough substance. But this is completely insane. This woman is not good for America, hockey mom or not. If this is an example of John Mcinsane’s judgement, I’m not impressed. It undoes all of his arguments to this point. How can he talk about putting America first when he is clearly using her as a ploy to appeal to ex Hillary voters.

Obama’s experience cannot be assailed when he has such a newbie on his ticket.

Palin ended any chance of John Mclosthismarbles getting my vote. I can’t even believe I considered it, now that this has come to light.

She does not share my values, from pro life to polar bears. Drilling? That’s an energy policy? Independence is an energy policy. Drilling? Even Mcrazy said it was nothing more than a stopgap that will have no immediate effect.

Both of these candidates McScarry and Palin are pawns to big oil.

This woman is another player in big oil’s deception. Drilling? Does anybody think that it’s gonna make any difference?

Hillary supporters are too smart to fall for such a silly ploy.

Posted by vinnyasterisk | Report as abusive

This is pathetic. Jon McCain is pathetic. Obama can move people. Thats what a president needs to do. Stop being foolish and support Obama and admit he is the best candidate.

Posted by j | Report as abusive

She must be a good choice – I haven’t seen this many Denocrats upset since the hand-wringing of the Florida recount. Frankly, I’m tired of career poiliticians and intellectual snobs. Welcome aboard, Sarah, I think you’ll make a fine VP.

Posted by JRE | Report as abusive

[...] Obama distances himself from campaign’s criticism of Palin [...]

Sarah Palin can’t be an icon or a political guide for anyone….She simply can’t put anti-abortion and pro-rifles, pro hunting position in the same ideological bag. Utterly stupid, utterly religious false teachings. If you defend life, then defend life as a whole (animals, whales, human beings, plantes, global warming…) and not no just life of unborn fetuses.

For me, this VP pick is just a joke. A very sad joke.

Posted by Mimo | Report as abusive

Unfair of MSNBC to mention how many houses Gov. Palin has? Maybe. But her running mate doesn’t even know how many houses he has – told the press “I’ll have to have my staff get back to you on that.” Hey, all you prospective voters – do you know how many houses you have? And do you think McCain is really in touch with the realities of life for most Americans?

Posted by JimK | Report as abusive

Absolutely a terrific choice. Executive experience, happily married, mom, bright, the whole package. NOW should be touting her but they’re showing they are an Abortion not a womens organization. McCain just got my vote and my money.

Posted by harrijef | Report as abusive

Important point is that VP ESPECIALLY requires foreign policy experience.
Person on this position is not running things (even on town scale), not making appointments. But VP frequently went on foreign missions representing interests of the USA.

What is knowledge of Sara in this area? She graduated from rural University of Idaho with degree in journalism, worked as a SPORT journalist, run small town then small state.

Nothing prepared her for the position she is nominated.

Posted by Eugene | Report as abusive

A REAL AMERICAN AS VICE PRESIDENT?? WHAT A NOVEL IDEA!! This was brilliant on McCain’s part!! A young governor with executive experience; a Mom with five kids — one enlisted in the US Army, and another with Downs Syndrome — ; a husband who is a member of the union, and a TRUE WORKING PERSON; a true Washington outsider; a woman who is intelligent and TOUGH, and PROVEN that she can oust ‘good old boys’ when they break ethical standards; a reformer; a woman who has worked and succeeded in real jobs, and been responsible for a payroll; a conservationist; and wants this country to become energy independent!! She is also young enough that she will be a FORCE for years to come. To BOOT?she would not accept the ?BRIDGE TO NO WHERE? and advised the Congress if Alaska needed a bridge, Alaska would build it!! From the initial reaction of the democrat spin monkeys, she has them VERY concerned, if not SCARED! Their initial demeaning of her serving as a mayor was a far cry from the top of their ticket being a community organizer! At least ? SHE WAS ELECTED! Think they now regret their tasteless comments ? demeaning at best ? sexist at worst! She does not ?talk about change?, SHE MAKES CHANGES HAPPEN!! Rather than talking the talk as many have done in this campaign, Palin has (past tense) WALKED THE WALK! Sure that there are many Democrats who heard her speak in Dayton were asking themselves, “WHY DID WE NOT HAVE HILLARY ON THE TICKET?” Think that the Democrats have — once again — outsmarted themselves. Her speaking ability will challenge that of Obama. SHE IS STRONG!! Think that Sen Biden best brush up on his debating skills — HE WILL NEED THEM!! (Someone also needs to tutor the man with ?experience? on US Army organizations ? specifically the difference between a ?battalion? and a ?brigade?. Sure would not want this ?experienced’ guy giving the commander-in-chief military advice! Believe that McCain came a step closer on winning the presidency on August 29, 2008! PALIN IS MORE IMPRESSIVE THAN I EVER IMAGINED!

Posted by Buckeye Gal in Ohio | Report as abusive

Under the US constitution the position of President has a lot of power for a reason: the position is designed for someone who has no problem making courageous decisions. However Obama and Biden are both career legislators who have never had any reason to evidence any real personal courage. Clearly Obama and Biden would be more suited to running for majority leader of the Senate, not for President and Vice President.

On the other hand both McCain and Palin know what courage means and how to use it to make decisions, in Palin’s case by criticizing the Alaskan Republican establishment as corrupt and running against an establishment incumbent Governor. She has also never had any problem taking courageous decisions as Governor. Also McCain has clearly made a very courageous decision to select Palin as his running mate.

Posted by Chris Baker (US) | Report as abusive

…it’s about the OIL dude!

Jesus

Posted by Stanley Roberts | Report as abusive

boy am I glad I don’t live in America, even your elections are over-the-top, just like your people. How can the world’s superpower be such a big joke?

Posted by Jeremy, NZ | Report as abusive

wow. lack of education is palpable in the republican department.

Posted by olivia | Report as abusive

i wasn’t even going to vote this november after the beating hillary took, and then the total HYPOCRICY of the dem convention (i couldn’t even watch the fake smiles on the clinton’s faces, and the over-the-top pagentry). i was so disillusioned. then along came sarah. all i could think of was what a huge mistake obama made by not choosing hillary as his VP. the dems should be worried. the talking heads and the media can’t believe they might have been outmanuvered by the republicans. what might happen to their inexperienced golden boy now? his ego is so huge that he WOULDN’T consider hillary because she might actually outshine him. the whole process disgusts me. the VP spot should go the the person who had the second most votes. now that’s fair. to have to be “forced” to vote along with your party even if you don’t like the candidate (or his VP choice) is ridiculous. i think that sarah has at least as much “experience” as first-term senator obama. and she is only the VP, not the president. as far as “foreign policy experience” goes, she seems like someone who is smart (who gives a rat’s behind she did’nt go to harvard), a quick learner, interested and interesting, and at the very least….charming. this democrat doesn’t believe either presidential candidate will get much done in the first 4 years, so i’m willing to jump on sarah’s bandwagon, and give her a chance to shine in the national and international spotlight.

Posted by kelly moran | Report as abusive

Wow, you wouldn’t think that an ‘inexperienced’, ‘uneducated’ and ‘pathetic’ choice would inspire such fear and loathing from Democrats right out of the box. If it were true, it would be the Republicans who were upset, not the Democrats. You’re just confirming that he made the right choice. (Who’s pathetic?? LOL)

Posted by Jeff Smith | Report as abusive

THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WHITE MALE LIVES TO AGE 72.

Is Palin ready to be our President? No. This VP choice is a political nightmare and an insult to women. Does McCain think that the American woman would vote for Palin just because she is a woman? That she is interchangeable with women who have experience and a proven tract record? I think this just points out how he thinks of women in general as a lessor mindless class.
McCain’s first duty would be to protect America in case of his death. DID MCCAIN MAKE AN EXECUTIVE DECISION OR A POLITICAL ONE? WOULD PALIN BE READY TO BE OUR PRESIDENT? NO!

Posted by Nancy | Report as abusive

Palin is a political rube who is being used by sexist McCain. This is an example of his rash and dangerous decision making tendencies. He has stabbed the Republican faithful in the back.

Posted by Barbara McCall | Report as abusive

If Sarah Palin were a Democratic candidate, who was leaving her four month old child to go on such a major campaign, thousands of miles from home, what would the Republicans be saying?

Posted by Sheep Farmer | Report as abusive