CNN’s Jack Cafferty Bashes Palin: ‘Shades of President Bush’

Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator | NewsBusters.orgCNN commentator Jack Cafferty blasted Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Tuesday’s The Situation Room over her refusal to cooperate with the Alaska state legislature’s investigation into the firing of Walt Monegan, the former Alaska public safety commissioner: "Palin is refusing to cooperate with the investigation -- shades of President Bush, right? Embarrassing investigation? Just refuse to cooperate and claim it’s all someone else’s fault." He later characterized this move by the Alaska governor, stating that it "goes a long way toward explaining why Sarah Palin is reluctant to do interviews or hold news conferences."

Cafferty then gave some details over this refusal: "Palin says the probe has been hijacked by the Obama campaign for political gain. But Monegan was fired and this investigation began long before Palin was ever named to the Republican ticket, clear back in July. The Obama campaign denies the accusation. McCain’s people say that Palin will not cooperate with the investigation because it is ‘tainted.’ They insist Monegan was fired because of insubordination."

The McCain/Palin campaign might have a point about the investigation being "tainted," since the Democratic state senator heading the so-called Troopergate investigation, Hollis French, officially endorsed Obama in July, the same month as the beginning of the investigation. He is also pictured on the Obama campaign website in front of Obama ‘08 signs and behind a podium with the Obama logo on it. When Alaska State Representative John Coghill, a Republican, petitioned the Legislative Council of the Alaska legislature which appointed French to remove the Democrat from the probe, his request was turned down.

On Monday, Palin’s lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, released a 19-page brief on the firing of Monegan, as reported by the Anchorage Daily News. In this brief, Van Flein revealed that Monegan had participated in a press conference with the same Senator French, in which the two pushed an alternative budget plan to the governor’s proposed state budget. This is one of several cases in which Monegan display insubordination on budget manners, according to Van Flein, and what Cafferty was probably referring to in his monologue.

After giving his "Sarah Palin is reluctant to do interviews or hold news conferences" statement, Cafferty asked his Question of the Hour: "What does it mean that Gov. Sarah Palin is refusing to cooperate with the investigation into the firing of her public safety commissioner?" At the end of the hour, he read some of the responses to the question, and all but one of the slammed Palin in this manner, except the last, which cynically quipped that the governor "is better prepared to be vice president than any of us thought," since she has apparently been "taught the values of ‘executive privilege,’ and is apparently a quick learner."

The full transcript of Cafferty’s monologue, which began 8 minutes into the 4 pm Eastern of Tuesday’s The Situation Room, and the viewer’s responses to his question, which came just before the top of the 5 pm Eastern hour:

-4:08 pm Eastern:

JACK CAFFERTY: Governor Sarah Palin is being investigated by lawmakers in her home state of Alaska. At issue -- Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and whether he was fired because he refused to pink-slip a state trooper who divorced Palin’s sister. But Palin is refusing to cooperate with the investigation -- shades of President Bush, right? Embarrassing investigation? Just refuse to cooperate and claim it’s all someone else’s fault.

Palin says the probe has been hijacked by the Obama campaign for political gain. But Monegan was fired and this investigation began long before Palin was ever named to the Republican ticket, clear back in July. The Obama campaign denies the accusation. McCain’s people say that Palin will not cooperate with the investigation because it is 'tainted.' They insist Monegan was fired because of insubordination. Palin has not been subpoenaed, but last Friday, Alaska lawmakers voted to subpoena her husband, several aides, and a lot of telephone records. This kind of stuff goes a long way toward explaining why Sarah Palin is reluctant to do interviews or hold news conferences.

Here’s the question: What does it mean that Gov. Sarah Palin is refusing to cooperate with the investigation into the firing of her public safety commissioner?

-4:58 pm Eastern:

JACK CAFFERTY: Marie in Minnesota writes, 'The woman is ridiculous. She won't answer questions from the media. She won't answer questions from the voters, and she won't answer questions related to this investigation. It's obvious she is not prepared to be vice president. At some point, the American public deserves to have their questions answered.'

Eileen says, 'What else can it mean? Her handlers know she has something to hide, so let's blame the Democrats. So what if the facts are that the Republicans are the majority who opened this investigation. It began, I think, back in July.'

Bruce in [St. Paul,] Minnesota: 'For the same reason Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and anyone remotely connected to them will not honor congressional subpoenas. The same reason Nixon wouldn't cooperate with the Watergate investigators. The same reason Bush wouldn't produce his Air National Guard records. Laws are for suckers like us.'

Sasha writes, 'Palin failing to cooperate with the investigation, along with the McCain campaign not letting her do any more interviews or press conferences on her own, says there are question marks about her and this situation. Where did the Straight-Talk Express go?'

Pablo in [Charles Town,] West Virginia: 'It means they need more time to put lipstick on the pig or bulldog or whatever animal they're trying to disguise before the American people can see it for what it really is. My guess is it's a weasel.

And Debra writes, 'It means she's better prepared to be vice president than any of us thought. Following in the footsteps of our current V.P., she has been taught the value of 'executive privlege,' and is apparently a quick learner.'

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center