Bill Hemmer hosted a segment with Bob Beckel and Andrea Tantaros this morning.

Hemmer: Alright. Back to the trail now. Presidential hopeful Barack Obama sharpening his response not on his rival John McCain but rather on the VP nominee Sarah Palin. In an interview on Sunday on ABC the lead headline deals with Obama’s response to Palin saying, quote, “She doesn’t have the experience for the job.” But why then is Barack Obama focusing on Palin as opposed to McCain. Let’s talk about that with Bob Beckel, Democratic consultant and a Fox News contributor and Andrea Tantaros, political analyst and Republican consultant. Good morning to both of you, let’s let it rip.

By the way, everywhere I went for the past 3 days, every single person I came into contact with, they’re talking about Sarah Palin. We’re going to discuss that in a moment here about this political phenomenon.

Bob, should Barack Obama even be addressing Sarah Palin’s qualifications, or would you kind of want to keep that focus on the top of the ticket?

Beckel: Everywhere you went they were talking about it. I didn’t realize, I didn’t have that experience. The answer, look, the reason that, uh, the reason that he’s taking her on, and also McCain, I mean he did both, is that they tried to take the “change” message away from Obama. And what he said was – and he’s exactly right – when Sarah Palin said among the changes we don’t, we don’t like the, you know, the uh, these, uh, uh, the federal money coming in to the State of Alaska, and I was against the bridge to nowhere money. well the fact is she was for it then she was against it but she kept the money. And she also hired lobbyists to get $27 million in earmarks for Willisa [sic]. I think that’s how you pronounce it where’s she’s from.

Hemmer: Wasilla.

Beckel: Wasilla? Wasilla, Walissa. Anyway, a little place in Alaska.

Hemmer: 40 miles north of Anchorage, population 7,000.

Beckel: Ah, 7,000. Okay. Good. I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it was that big. The, uh, and so, I would say this; you know, if she wants to, if they want to try to, try to take that change message and they’re not doing what the change is about then he ought to call them on it. Absolutely.

Hemmer: Andrea?

Tantaros: The reason Bob didn’t hear anyone talking about Sarah Palin is because he didn’t leave his house because he was crying his eyes out over the fact that we did pick Sarah Palin and his team didn’t pick Hillary.

Hemmer: Here we go… {laughs}

Tantaros: Bad mistake. So that’s why Bob didn’t hear about it. Look, this is not a fight that the Democrats want. They do not want to debate their top of the ticket on experience versus our bottom of the ticket. You know, Barack Obama has not authored a single piece of legislation. His motto is ‘when the going gets tough, the tough vote present’. This is so different than Sarah Palin who manages a budget in Alaksa of $6 billion. She has 24,000 employees underneath her, she shares a border with Canada and Russia – nobody else can say that. She’s got a bredth and depth on the energy issue, Obama can’t say that. And effectively, McCain has ripped the change mantra out of Obama’s hands. McCain chose an outsider, Obama chose a Washington insider with Joe Biden.

Beckel: She shares a border with Canada and Russia?

Tantaros: She has to deal with…

Beckel: First of all it’s not a border with Russia number one…

Tantaros: Yes it is.

Beckel: But number two what is that supposed to mean? Does that make her an expert in Soviet affairs? I mean, what does that mean?

Tantaros: Bob, it’s still something that no other governor has to deal with. And Barack Obama has…

Beckel: Has to deal with…

Tantaros: to deal with, dealt with zero foreign policy Bob. Three weeks in Karachi does not mean you’re a foreign policy expert.

Beckel: Does she have the Alaskan National Guard defending herself?

Tantaros: Three weeks in Karachi, that’s what Barack Obama said makes him more experienced than Hillary Clinton and John McCain. That is laughable.

Beckel: More exp… more experienced? You’re suggesting now, you’re really with a straight face suggesting that Sarah Palin is experienced and ready to take over the Presidency of the United States, is that what you’re saying with a straight face?

Tantaros: Well, let’s see, she is the vice president, correct? And Barack Obama is number one on that ticket, so he has got to be ready on day one. Correct? So you’re saying that he has way more experience than her? Is that what you’re arguing against her?

Beckel: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Tantaros: How? What does he have?

Beckel: How?

Tantaros: Give me some legislation.

Beckel: Do you know how big Alaska is? It’s about the size of his state senate district number one.

Tantaros: What budget has he had to manage?

Beckel: Number two, she’s been in office less than two years as Governor of Alaska. Frankly the Governor of Alaska, when you say she has to deal with the Russians, I don’t know what she has to deal with with the Russians about. She deals with the energy company and makes a lot of money off dealing with the energy company.

Tantaros: Exactly. Energy.

Beckel: Look, the other thing is, the other experience she’s had, I’ll give you that, is mayor of Walissa, Wasilla, Wasalla, whatever it is, Alaska

Hemmer: Bob you’ll get it right eventually. We have to cut to chase on this…

Tantaros: Bob, you still haven’t given me any reason why.

Hemmer: You made a comment to one of our producers, the following. Now tell me if it’s true or not. You said, “trust me, this rottweiler will self destruct.”

Tantaros: You wish.

Beckel: That is a, that’s a, you know those things are supposed to be personal, but now that you’ve brought it out – thank you – yeah. The answer is remember when she said the difference between…

Hemmer: This is what you told our producers earlier today right?

Beckel: Right. And…

Hemmer: I’m not taking your words out of context in any way?

Beckel: I thought she said the difference in her speech, the difference between a soccer – uh hockey mom and a rottweiler was…

Hemmer: Pit bull.

Beckel: or maybe it was a mistake, was lipstick, right?

Hemmer: I see.

Beckel: So that’s what I was playing off of.

Hemmer: I understand, it’s not sexist then. But you’re still saying that she will self destruct.

Beckel: I believe that she will, by the time, why? because I don’t think she’s up for handling the national stage. And I think before a month is up you’re going to find that what looks like an exciting choice for the Republican base and the religious right is not going to be all that exciting.

Tantaros: Bob, if that’s the only hope you guys have got, I’d get down on my knees and start praying.

Beckel: We’ve got a lot bigger hope than that, a lot bigger hope than that.

Tantaros: It ain’t gonna happen.  And that pit bull? You’d better watch. She bites.




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