This is media slime. Sarah Palin was in a Philadelphia restaurant when some guy asked her, basically, she thought our government should fight terrorism. Here's the exchange, according to Jake Tapper:
As Palin was glad handling, a man named Michael Rovito, wearing a Temple University t-shirt, approached Palin
“How about the Pakistan situation?" he asked her. "What’s your thoughts about that.”
“In Pakistan?” she asked.
“What’s going on over there," Rovito said, "like Waziristian?”
“It’s working with Zardari to make sure that we’re all working together to stop the guys from coming in over the border," Palin responded. "And we’ll go from there.”
“Waziristan is blowing up!” exclaimed Rovito.
“Yeah it is," said Palin, "and the economy there is blowing up too.”
“So we do cross the border," he asked, "like from Afghanistan to Pakistan, you think?”
“If that’s what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in," she said, "absolutely, we should.”
As John McCain said on ABC's This Week when host George Stephanopoulos tried to paint this as a major policy break between McCain and the subordinate on his ticket, Palin:
"I don't think most Americans think that that's a definitive policy statement made by Governor Palin. And I would hope you wouldn't, either."
Steph's hang up is that he equated Palin's statement with one made by Barack Obama in a speech to an audience at Washington DC's Woodrow Wilson Center last year.
In that August 1, 2007 speech, Obama bosted:
There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans," he said. "They are plotting to strike again. . . . If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."
That is Barack Obama, the crazed berserker, the go-it-alone cowboy, telling Pakistan that he's prepared to march in there on a moment's notice and begin shooting the place up.
At Friday's debate, John McCain said:
Now, on this issue of aiding Pakistan, if you're going to aim a gun at somebody, George Shultz, our great secretary of state, told me once, you'd better be prepared to pull the trigger.
I'm not prepared at this time to cut off aid to Pakistan. So I'm not prepared to threaten it, as Senator Obama apparently wants to do, as he has said that he would announce military strikes into Pakistan.
We've got to get the support of the people of -- of Pakistan. He said that he would launch military strikes into Pakistan.
Now, you don't do that. You don't say that out loud. If you have to do things, you have to do things, and you work with the Pakistani government.
This scored a point for McCain, and this is why Steph wanted to return the favor for Obama by fictionalizing a policy statement from Sarah Palin which contradicted McCain's line against Obama in the Old Miss debate.
Sarah Palin was talking in general about fighting terrorism, not saying specifically that we should attack Pakistan without working with their government.
But the mainstream media are determined to turn this into something that it clearly is not. From the AP:
McCain chided Democrat Barack Obama during Friday's presidential debate for saying publicly he supports striking terrorist targets inside Pakistan if the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to do so.
[ . . .]
But on Saturday, Palin said much the same thing to a customer at a Philadelphia restaurant, with the press nearby.
No she did not.
And a CBSNews.com blog tries to tell us: Palin Contradicts McCain On Pakistan, Seems To Back Obama’s Position.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Palin said that if there are terrorists there, we cross the border. She did not specify that we would do it without consulting the Pak government, as the media assert. She was giving an off-the-cuff answer to a poorly phrased question, not delivering a policy address.
To his credit, ABC News' Jake Tapper, presented the info without the asinine accusation. A few -- not most -- of his media cohorts, however, are displaying the journalistic skills and the intellectual capacity of a cup of warm, stale beer. Hey, it still gives off the gas.
Well, either that… or they're lying.