Roundtable on Palin's Interview

Roundtable on Palin's Interview

FOX News Special Report With Brit Hume - September 12, 2008


CHARLIE GIBSON: What if Israel decided it felt threatened and needed to take out the Iranian nuclear facilities?

SARAH PALIN, (R-AK) VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, first, we are friends of Israel, and I don't think we should second-guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security.


ANGLE: There is Sarah Palin in her first television interview.

Now some analytical observations from Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of "The Weekly Standard," Juan Williams, Senior Correspondent of National Public Radio, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, FOX News contributors all.

Well, gentlemen, this was her first outing, and Charlie Gibson was clearly trying to see what she was made of, especially on foreign policy, which is never a strong suit for governors. He asked about U.S. raids into Pakistan, holding the line against a nuclear Iran, the war in Iraq, and about Bush foreign policy.

Overall, Fred, how do you think she did?


Look, the only problem would have been if there had been some big gaffe. And certainly ABC would have loved to have had one, the mainstream media would have loved to have seen her commit some gaffe. No doubt the Obama people would have. But she didn't.

And if anybody committed a gaffe, it was Charlie Gibson, where he once--once he misquoted her, and about this question of whether our troops in Iraq are there on god's mission and said she had said that, and she said, "No, I don't think that's my quote." And he said "Those are your exact words."

Well, those were not her exact words, and she corrected him correctly.

But then on this whole question of the Bush doctrine, he said the Bush doctrine was--look, it has been called a lot of different things. But he said it's preemption. We can attack a country before we they attack us.

In fact, though, he had used--earlier, in his career--Richard Starr of "The Weekly Standard" went back and found all these other things that he said, Charlie Gibson had said about the Bush doctrine, and what she said, it was winning the war on terror, is what he called the Bush doctrine in the past.

ANGLE: We will get to that in more detail in a minute.

Juan, what did you think of this whole thing? She sat down there. He peppered her with questions. And, obviously, foreign policy is not something for governors are strong on. How did you think she did?

JUAN WILLIAMS, SENIOR CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: She did fine. If you were a supporter of Sarah Palin before this, you are a supporter of Sarah Palin today.

And if you are an opponent and thought that, as I do, she's had limited experience to have such an exalted position to be nominee as vice president behind 72-year-old John McCain, I don't think you were comforted in any way.

I think you thought that she was someone who had very good media training, someone who had been briefed extensively and prepared for this.

And if there's any concern, it was that she was so quick to say "Yes, I'm prepared. I'm ready for this job." It sounded to me a little bit as if it was a defensive response rather than--to the point of being overconfident.

I think some humility would have served her well because I think most Americans know, look, you may like Sarah Palin, you might think that she is the perfect fit for the Republicans ticket, energized the base, but, gosh, on experience, it's not her strong suit.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: She could have said I am prepared as Obama, and more experienced as an executive.

ANGLE: All right, now, I have another bite we want to listen to which deals with Bush foreign policy. Let's take a listen.


CHARLIE GIBSON: Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?

PALIN: In what respect, Charlie?

GIBSON: The Bush--what do you interpret it to be?

PALIN: His worldview?

GIBSON: No, the Bush doctrine, enunciated September, 2002 before the Iraq war, that we have a right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us.

PALIN: Charlie, if there is legitimate and enough intelligence that tells us that a strike is imminent against American people, we have every right to defend our country.


ANGLE: Now, Charles, critics say she seemed a little unsure of herself there about what the Bush doctrine was. What do you make of that?

KRAUTHAMMER: Fred is right. It was Charlie Gibson's gaffe.

And this was reported by liberals as if it was a huge mistake that she stumbled, she didn't seem to understand what the Bush doctrine was, and he informed her.

Well, he didn't. He got it wrong. He assumed there's one Bush doctrine. In fact, there are at least four versions which succeeded each other over the eight years of this administration.

And the one that is currently understood as the Bush doctrine, the one that has been around since 2005, is the one enunciated by the president in his second inaugural address, "the freedom agenda," in which he said that the success of the liberty at home is dependent on the success of liberty abroad.

And that is what everybody understands today as the Bush doctrine. It superseded the understanding of the Bush doctrine which Gibson had proposed.

If you hear liberals gleefully say that Iraq has destroyed the Bush doctrine, it is not destroying the idea of preemptive war, it is destroying the idea of spreading democracy.

So Gibson is the one who made a mistake, but he had that kind of condescending sneer that you get among the establishment in instructing a person who to them now appears as a moose hunting rube.

ANGLE: Quickly.

WILLIAMS: I don't think anybody knows what the Bush doctrine is. I think it was a "got ya" question by Charlie Gibson.

And nobody knows-Bush doctrine? Come on, four different ones?

KRAUTHAMMER: I got a piece in "The Post" tomorrow that will explain all four versions-

ANGLE: All right. We got to go. One thing is clear, everyone is talking about Sarah Palin in this election, and everyone else is having a hard time getting attention.

For more visit the FOX News Special Report web page.

FOX News Special Report With Brit Hume


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