Tags: Barack Obama | Sarah Palin | sarah palin | spars | today show | hosts | obama

Palin Spars With 'Today' Show Hosts Over Obama Comments

NBC News/Today

By    |   Monday, 01 February 2016 10:22 AM

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, in her first television interview since announcing her endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, started her Monday appearance on the "Today" show by praising Trump, but ended up arguing with hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie after they abruptly shifted topics to focus on her comments about her son and post-traumatic stress disorder.

"I was told that this interview is about the caucus tonight in Iowa, and right on, who will it be to put America back on the right track and restore constitutional government that we're lacking today," Palin argued with Lauer and Guthrie. "I said, right on. I'll talk about that, sure."

"You said that President Obama may be to blame for some of the PTSD that's out there," said Guthrie.

"I never said that," Palin said. "Let's start piece by piece. You guys brought me here to talk about Iowa politics and the caucus tonight, not to talk about my kids. That was a promise. As things go in the world of media, you don't always keep your promises, evidently."

She further denied that she blamed President Barack Obama for PTSD or the problems being faced by her son, Track, an Iraq veteran who was arrested on domestic charges the same week Palin made her endorsement announcement.

"I never blamed President Obama," Palin said. "What I have blamed President Obama in doing though is this level of disrespect for the United States military that has made manifest in cutting budgets, in not trying to beef it up and let our military do the job they're trained to do. And in specific issues we're talking about that are so hot today specifically, let's get in there and utterly destroy ISIS."

"As we know, our United States military can do it," she continued. "Yet, we have a commander in chief who seems to kind of want to allow the enemy to be poking at us. That's unacceptable to most Americans. Certainly to me."

And when asked if she regrets her comments about her son, she demanded: "What did I say that is offensive?"

"I don't regret any comment that I made because I didn't lay PTSD at the foot of the president," Palin argued. "I did say though that there is – and adamantly that our president needs to let the military do their job. If you have a specific quote, it allows the media to be credible if you would tell me what you're talking about."

Lauer told her that there were no specific promises made about the content of the interview, and that it would be her first since her endorsement, just before cutting the interview short – and moving on to weatherman Al Roker, and his interview with an Iowa woman who had built a statue of a cow made of butter.

The conversation did start out about Trump, with Palin saying it "wasn't tough" to pick him over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, whose Senate race she had endorsed.
She also commented on the appeal she and Trump have with evangelical voters, but wouldn't comment on the front-runner's religion.

"I hope voters aren't trying to find the most Christian-y, godliest candidate out there," said Palin. "Who are we to judge one others level of faith? Our Christian quotient, if you will. Hopefully, people are looking for he who has that record of success that proves he can get the job done for us, finally."

Also, when asked if Trump is a "true conservative," given his admissions to donating to Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, in the past, Palin compared him to the late Ronald Reagan, who "was a registered Democrat and saw the light."

And Palin returned to the show in its 9 a.m. hour to speak in a much-less contentious exchange with NBC's Willie Geist, telling him that being on the stage as an endorser, rather than a candidate like when she was John McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential campaign, is "very freeing."

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"No shackles, I can do and say whatever I want to," she told Geist. "They tried eight years ago and it was part of the problem, why things didn't go so well. No, a person is wired to be free, to be able to say what they want to say, go where they want to go. You know, that's the beauty of America, too."

She told Geist she brings her very conservative stance to Trump's campaign, as she is "very much a right-winger, proudly clinging to my God, my guns and my Constitution. I think I speak for a lot of Americans who have those same values."

Palin also offered an opinion on Hillary Clinton's Democratic campaign: there is a part of her that would be proud to have a woman as president, but she prefers "many, many other women" instead of Clinton. Also, she said, the former secretary of state would not be a good leader if she pursues President Barack Obama's agenda.

And, she wrapped up the second interview with an opinion on impersonator Tina Fey, saying she's helping the comedienne with her "job security" at "Saturday Night Live."

"I think she's very talented, yeah," said Palin. "The way that they make her up, I think she looks like me."

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Former Gov. Sarah Palin, in her first television interview since announcing her endorsement of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, started her Monday appearance on the "Today" show by praising Trump Monday, but ended up arguing with hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah...
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Monday, 01 February 2016 10:22 AM
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