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Sarah Palin Attacks Obama As Not Having Enough Experience And Being Over His Head On Health Care Reform, Then Can’t Answer How To Increase Coverage For Uninsured

Reported by Ellen - March 20, 2010 -

What’s up with Fox News interviewers asking Sarah Palin serious policy questions and acting like she’s going to be able to answer? Is she supposed to be showing off her new-found knowledge, thanks to her policy tutors? If so, it isn’t working. Recently, I noted the ridiculousness of Hannity asking her to opine on the probable outcome of a lawsuit against the federal government if health care reform is passed. She couldn’t answer it, of course. Last night (3/19/10), Greta Van Susteren asked Palin what should be done to cover the 30 million or so Americans currently without health insurance. Palin’s response? Basically, she thinks we should let the states figure it out. This from a former governor who had just gotten through attacking Obama for not being experienced enough to handle health care reform. With video.

“Where did this (bill) go off the rails?” Van Susteren asked early in the interview.

With her lip curled with her perpetual condescension, Palin launched into what some might describe as a lecture about the importance of executive experience. “It really reflects a lack of experience of President Obama’s, which – it was warned about during the campaign that candidate Obama didn’t have executive experience. He hasn’t been an administrator or manager of anything. So to jump into this huge, hugely important responsible position as president of the United States, without the experience to know how to work across party lines and to know how to administer and to manage a team, to get policy through that makes sense… it’s a bit over his head, if you will.”

And let’s see… who might have the kind of executive experience Palin was talking about? Why, Palin does, if you don’t count the fact that she quit her last executive job halfway through her first term and that she has a propensity for making enemies.

Van Susteren, of course, did not recognize the ludicrousness of Palin's statement. Instead, Van Susteren asked, “What’s the strategy for gaining the faith and confidence of those who didn’t vote for you?”

Palin couldn't really anwer. “There has to be that talent or that gift incorporated within you as an administrator to be diplomatic.”

I think we can guess who Palin thinks has that talent or gift that Obama lacks.

But, unfortunately, she almost immediately proved she has absolutely no talent or gift for the actual policy that, you know, goes with the job.

At the beginning of the interview, Palin acknowledged that something needed to be done to fix health care in America. “There are some fixes that are needed, absolutely,” she told Van Susteren.

Then, either ignorantly or out of some kind of wishful thinking (or else a desire to sabotage her by setting the stage for her to make herself look stupid), Van Susteren continued to pretend that Palin might actually have something to say of significance. “What would you like to have seen done in terms of the 30 or so million uninsured. What would you have done?”

Palin obviously did not know. “We need more health care providers for one. There are steps that states can take, like we have taken up here in Alaska, to incentivize more health care providers to come here, to supply more health care and of course, when there is greater demand, and there will be greater demand because baby boomers are aging, we need more health care providers. Let the states take control of some of the health care fixes that we have to see instead of the federal government thinking that it needs to come in and take over everything and run it better than a state or than the private sector can take.” So far, Palin had said nothing about increasing coverage to the uninsured.

Then she gave lip service to some of the Republican talking points. “There are many steps that… the Republicans have introduced or proposed that have been ignored so that we can have interstate competition, with health care coverage purchases.” Then she reverted back to her original “prescription” of dumping it in the states’ laps. “And more of the states’ rights being respected so states can take over some of the problems and fix some of the problems.”

So what did Palin do to improve health care coverage when she was a governor – you know, the administrator who knew how to work across party lines, working in the arena that she thinks should be the one solving health care problems? Van Susteren didn’t ask and Palin never said. She never even said what she thought states should do.

Oh, and during the interview, there was a series of banners across the lower screen about the status of the health care bill. One such banner read, "CBO Est: revised HC bill costs $940 billion over 10 years." There was no banner to point out that the CBO also estimated that the bill would reduce the deficit by $130 billion over the same period. As Media Matters noted, this pattern of highlighting the bill's cost and overlooking its deficit-reducing properties has been a consistent pattern on Fox News programming.