CNN’s State Department correspondent Zain Verjee insisted that Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin "just won't be able to handle" foreign crises like the conflict between Russia and Georgia during an interview with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice which aired on Monday’s American Morning.
At the beginning of the short interview, Rice complimented the Alaska governor for her "terrific speech" at the Republican convention. Verjee then asked, "Does she have enough experience to handle the kind of things that you need to have?" When the Secretary brushed aside the question, Verjee pressed her on the experience question: "But, a lot of Republicans are also saying that she just lacks the experience. I mean, you can dispatch Vice President Cheney to deal with the Ukraine and Georgia. But Sarah Palin just won't be able to handle it."
In response to Verjee’s matter-of-fact statement, Rice replied, "There are different kinds of experiences in life that help one to deal with matters of foreign policy."
The full transcript of the interview, which aired 5 minutes into the 8 am Eastern hour of Monday’s American Morning:
KIRAN CHETRY: Well, one of the big questions about Sarah Palin is whether she has enough foreign policy experience to be vice president. Well, our Zain Verjee caught up with a woman who has -- who has a lot of foreign policy experience of her own. That's our Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
ZAIN VERJEE: Kiran, Secretary of State's Condoleezza Rice was in Libya, to meet with Muammar Qadhafi. While she was here, we asked her to weigh in on the question of Governor Sarah Palin's experience.
CONDOLEEZZA RICE (from taped interview): I thought that Sarah Palin gave a terrific speech, and not to get into the politics of it -- you know, she's governor of a state here in the United States and she came across extremely well.
VERJEE: Does she have enough experience to handle the kind of things that you need to have?
RICE: These are decisions that Senator McCain has made. I have great confidence in him. I'm not going to get involved in this political campaign, because as Secretary of State, I don't do that. But, I thought her speech was wonderful.
VERJEE: But, a lot of Republicans are also saying that she just lacks the experience. I mean, you can dispatch Vice President Cheney to deal with the Ukraine and Georgia. But Sarah Palin just won't be able to handle it.
RICE: There are different kinds of experiences in life that help one to deal with matters of foreign policy.
VERJEE (on-camera): There was a lot of speculation that Secretary Rice herself could become the Republican vice presidential candidate. But she's always maintained that she just wants to go back to Stanford to teach.