Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel has openly questioned whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has the experience or qualifications to effectively serve as president, the Omaha World-Herald reported Thursday. Also, Hagel’s not buying the argument that Alaska’s proximity to Russia gives Palin any particular edge or special insights about U.S.-Russian relations.
“She doesn’t have any foreign policy credentials,” Hagel said Wednesday in an interview. “You get a passport for the first time in your life last year? I mean, I don’t know what you can say. You can’t say anything.”
Palin was elected governor of Alaska in 2006 and before that was the mayor of a small town.
Democrats have raised questions about Palin since Sen. John McCain picked her as his vice presidential running mate. Most national Republican officeholders have rallied to Palin’s candidacy.
Palin has cited the proximity of Alaska to Russia as evidence of her international experience.
Hagel scoffed at that notion.
“I think they ought to be just honest about it and stop the nonsense about, ‘I look out my window and I see Russia and so therefore I know something about Russia,’ ” he said. “That kind of thing is insulting to the American people.”