With the Republican ticket gaining in the polls, guests on the Sunday TV talk shows unleashed new attacks on GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, challenging her qualifications for office and her stand on earmarks.
Appearing on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said Palin “doesn’t know anything, and she is not ready to be vice president.”
Referring to Palin’s interview last week with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, Schultz declared: “Quite honestly, the interview I saw and that Americans saw on Thursday and Friday was similar to when I didn’t read a book in high school and had to read the Cliff’s Notes and phone in my report. She’s Cliff-noted her performance so far.”
Another Barack Obama surrogate, Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, challenged Palin’s claim to be a longtime opponent of federal earmarks, The Hill newspaper reported.
“Sarah Palin has taken more in federal earmarks per person than any governor in the history of the planet,” McCaskill said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”
“While John McCain was making fun of DNA earmarks for bears, she was asking for a DNA earmark for seals.”
Former Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles, a Democrat, appeared on Fox News and attacked Palin for her support for the so-called “Bridge to Nowhere.”
“There are serious questions about the stand that Palin has taken on the ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ which she’s always supported,” he said.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson jumped into the fray with an appearance on Wolf Blitzer’s show on CNN.
“Here’s the issue with Governor Palin. She’s a governor. That’s good executive experience. She’s telegenic. She’s smart. But there are just a lot of distortions about her record that are coming out,” he said.
Richardson criticized Palin for claiming she traveled to Iraq in 2007, pointing out that her visit was actually a brief stop at a border crossing between Iraq and Kuwait, Politico reported.
Palin was not without her defenders, however. Carly Fiorina, a senior adviser to John McCain, discussed Palin’s requests for earmarks and noted on ABC’s “This Week” that Sen. McCaskill “conveniently forgets the fact that Barack Obama has asked for almost $1 billion worth of earmarks in a very short tenure in the Senate.”
And Alaska Lieutenant Gov. Sean Parnell said on Fox News that Palin supported the “Bridge to Nowhere” when it was projected to cost a lot less and withdrew her support when the tab approached $400 million.
On “Fox News Sunday,” former Bush adviser Karl Rove responded to Democrats’ criticism of his campaign strategy, saying: “I demand a royalty every time they mention my name. Maybe 25 cents per mention, a buck per mention.”
But he surprised many viewers by conceding that McCain, in his attack ads, had “gone one step too far” by “attributing to Obama things that are, you know, beyond the 100 percent truth test.”
Pundit William Kristol sees the “liberal media onslaught” on Palin as a sign of desperation on the part of Democrats, whose prospects for November have been dimming since Palin was nominated.
Writing in the Weekly Standard, Kristol observes that the Democrats are going after the Republican ticket’s “false claims” and says: “Why? Because McCain is doing well. And because Sarah Palin is surviving — even flourishing — in the midst of the liberal media onslaught…
“Sarah Palin is quickly proving to be more than a match for the mad, mad media.”
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