Palin Regrets Not Doing More Interviews; Again Denies Africa, NAFTA Confusion

Nov 10, 2008 3:22pm

ABC News’ Tahman Bradley Reports: Reflecting back on the presidential campaign, Sarah Palin now wishes she had spent more time talking with the media.

In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, the Alaska governor explains what she would have discussed had she been more available to the press.

"I would have preferred more opportunity to speak to the media more often, because there were a lot of things that I think it could have, should have said that could have, would have helped John McCain," Palin told Van Susteren, according to a Fox News transcript. "I have such great admiration for him. I honor him. I love him. I believe that he is the best leader that we have in the nation right now, still, is John McCain."

The McCain campaign went to great lengths to shield Palin from press interaction. She avoided all interviewers for two weeks immediately after being announced as the Republican Party’s vice presidential candidate and she rarely was made available to the McCain campaign traveling press corp. She did, however, take part in high-profile interviews with the three network evening news anchors. Commentators noted that Palin’s performances in those interviews — especially her sit-down with CBS’s Katie Couric — fell short of reassuring voters that she was prepared to be a heartbeat away from the presidency.

On other issues discussed in the Van Susteren interview, Palin again refuted the suggestion that she did not know which countries participate in the North American Free Trade Agreement and that Africa is a continent. Palin loaded her answers with details, perhaps trying to show there’s no way she could have made the alleged flops reported by Fox’s Carl Cameron.

On NAFTA, she said, "I remember that discussion, but there was never a question about, well, who are the participants in NAFTA? So for my discussion there to be spun into something that it was not and then being broadcast on national television, again, based on anonymous sources, that’s been another puzzling thing to me."

On Africa, "So we discussed what was going on in Africa. And never, ever did I talk about, well, gee, is it a country or is it a continent. I just don’t know about this issue. So I don’t know how they took our one discussion on Africa and turned that into what they turned it into," said Palin.

"I don’t know, because I remember the discussion about Africa, my concern has been the atrocities there in Darfur and the relevance to me with that issue, as we spoke about Africa and some of the countries there that were kind of the people succumbing to the dictators and the corruption of some collapsed governments on the continent, the relevance was Alaska’s investment in Darfur with some of our permanent fund dollars, I wanted to make sure that that didn’t happen anymore."

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