Nearly two weeks after the start of massive protests in Egypt, Sarah Palin has broken her media silence and begun attacking President Obama for his response. But even with all that time to study the situation, huddle with advisers, and ponder the uprising's consequences, she's offering little in the way of specific complaints or actual solutions.
As usual, Palin has turned to a friendly interviewer and a friendly audience. This time, rather than calling on one of her Fox News colleagues, Palin has selected CBN News White House correspondent David Brody for the exclusive. The interview will air Monday on Pat Robertson's The 700 Club.
Brody provides the following transcript of Palin's Egypt comments, which he notes are “the first time she's talked publicly about the situation”:
On the situation in Egypt: (Video coming after 9pm ET Sunday Night)
Sarah Palin: “Remember, President Reagan lived that mantra trust but verify. We want to be able to trust those who are screaming for democracy there in Egypt, that it is a true sincere desire for freedoms and the challenge that we have though, is how do we verify what it is that we are being told, what it is that the American public are being fed via media, via the protestors, via the government there in Egypt in order for us to really have some sound information to make wise decisions on what our position is. Trust but verify, and try to understand is what I would hope our leaders are engaged in right now. Who's going to fill the void? Mubarak, he's gone, one way or the other you know, he is not going to be the leader of Egypt, that that's a given, so now the information needs to be gathered and understood as to who it will be that fills now the void in the government. Is it going to be the Muslim Brotherhood? We should not stand for that, or with that or by that. Any radical Islamists, no that is not who we should be supporting and standing by, so we need to find out who was behind all of the turmoil and the revolt and the protests so that good decisions can be made in terms of who we will stand by and support.”
On President Obama's handling of the crisis in Egypt:(Video coming after 9pm ET Sunday Night)
Sarah Palin: “It's a difficult situation, this is that 3am White House phone call and it seems for many of us trying to get that information from our leader in the White House it it seems that that call went right to um the answering machine. And nobody yet has, no body yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and I'm not real enthused about what it is that that's being done on a national level and from DC in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt. And in these areas that are so volatile right now because obviously it's not just Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And we do not have all that information yet.”
Notice anything missing in those responses? Like, for instance, any specifics about what Palin would have preferred Obama do, or different actions she would have taken in his place?
Palin says that the United States “should not stand” for a government where the Muslim Brotherhood “fills the void.” What does that mean? If the Muslim Brotherhood takes control of Egypt, does she want to cease U.S. aid to the country? Does she want to invade to force them out of power? Does it matter if they are elected into power by the people of Egypt? What if they are a minority partner in a broad governing coalition? Would that still count as “fill[ing] the void”?
Palin goes on to say that “the 3am White House phone call” “went right to um the answering machine,” citing as evidence that “no body yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and I'm not real enthused about what it is that that's being done on a national level and from DC in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt.”
It's hard to find substance in that particular word salad, but Palin appears to be criticizing Obama for not telling us who Mubarak's successor will be. This is an odd critique, since President Obama doesn't actually rule Egypt, and isn't really in a position to dictate to the Egyptian people who their next leader will be. Mubarak hassaid that he will not seek re-election; the administration has called on him to step down immediately. Meanwhile, the newly named vice president Omar Suleiman is negotiating with opposition leaders about what a transition ] could look like.
Luckily for Palin, no one in the media seems interested in the astounding lack of substance in her partisan attacks on Obama. Instead, as usual, they are simply serving as stenographersfor her talking points.