Giuliani: Palin More Qualified Than Obama

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani on "Face The Nation." CBS

Speaking on Face The Nation Sunday, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who was announced Friday as presumptive GOP nominee John McCain's running mate, is more qualified to be president than Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

"You know why? She had to make decisions," Giuliani told Face The Nation anchor Bob Schieffer. "All Senator Obama has had to do is talk. That's all he does."

Palin, who is 44 years old, has been the governor of Alaska for less than two years. Previously, she served two terms as mayor of the town of Wasilla, Alaska, whose population in 2000 was 5,470.

Citing her executive experience, the Republican National Convention keynote speaker called Palin "somebody of accomplishment" because "she's vetoed legislation, she's taken on corruption, and in her party, and won. She took on the oil companies and won. She administered a budget successfully."

He also said Obama "is the least experienced candidate for president in the last 100 years."

"I mean, he's never run a city, he's never run a state, he's never run a business, he's never administered a payroll, he's never led people in crisis," Giuliani said.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent who caucuses with Democrats but supports McCain, told Schieffer that McCain's decision to add Palin to the ticket "is a little bit like opening a door and letting some fresh Alaska air into Washington.

"I think here he wanted to send the message, get somebody fresh, somebody really who represents the other America outside of Washington where people don't care whether you have an 'R' or a 'D' after your name, they just want you to get something done to help them deal with the problems they have," Lieberman said. "And Sarah Palin comes from that other America."

Carly Fiorina, a senior McCain advisor, called Palin "a person of great accomplishment" and suggested she excites women because she is "a woman trying to balance her work life and her family life, not to mention her incredible track record of reform and taking on, as she said, the good old boy network."

Fiorina said Palin's anti-abortion rights position would not keep former Hillary Clinton supporters from backing a McCain-Palin ticket.

"I think, frankly, the Democratic Party has done a disservice to women by trying to hold women hostage to the issue of Roe v. Wade," she said. "The truth is the most important issue to women, all the polls say this, is the economy. Women are not single issue voters. Yes, there are some women for whom the issue of reproductive rights trumps everything else. But the truth is most women are not that way."

Also appearing on Face The Nation, New York Times columnist David Brooks suggested McCain chose Palin to shift the focus from Obama to his ticket.

"You can see why McCain took her," he said. "She risked her political career to take on the special interests in her own party, she took on the oil companies. She's like McCain. McCain wants to change this campaign from change to, from left to right, he wants to make it, 'I'm going to clean out the stables.'

"But then we see the risks," Brooks continued. "She has no experience, basically. People are going to be nervous about her. And what it says about John McCain [is], some people drive the aircraft carrier, they have a big team around them. Some people take off from the aircraft carrier, they're lone fliers. John McCain is a lone flier. This was a 'lone flier' choice, it was risky.

"Do people want a risky president? The pluses and minuses are huge in this pick, and that's why we're talking about it."

Giuliani said "there's no question" that McCain would put the focus of the Republican National Convention "on the South and on Louisiana and Mississippi" because of Hurricane Gustav.

"Senator McCain has already indicated that it would be inappropriate to have celebrations, that things have to be scaled back," Giuliani said.

Lieberman, chairman of the Senate's Homeland Security Committee, said, "We are 1,000 percent better prepared today than we were before Katrina.

"We have the full resources of the federal government prepositioned, supplies and equipment, communications equipment, and the resources of the United States military already on the scene helping to evacuate sick patients from hospitals," he said. "So we are as ready as you could possibly be. What we have to hope and pray of course is that the storm does not go beyond the capacity of the levees to protect New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast."


Read the full "Face the Nation" transcript here.
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