Fact Check: Palin Wrong on Former VP Credentials

By Jennifer Parker

Sep 11, 2008 9:04pm

ABC News’ Lisa Chinn reports: During her interview with ABC News’ Charlie Gibson Thursday Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin attempted to deflect a question about the fact she has never met a foreign head of state by saying that “many” other vice presidential nominees in history hadn’t met a head of state either.

However Palin was mistaken, at least where recent history is concerned.

Every vice president over the last 30 years had met a foreign head of state before being elected.

“Have you ever met a foreign head of state?” Gibson asked Palin Thursday.

“I have not,” Palin said, “and I think if you go back in history and if you ask that question of many vice presidents, they may have the same answer that I just gave you.”

However Palin, who obtained her first passport two years ago, would in fact be the first vice president in 32 years who hadn’t met a foreign head of state, if she were elected.

The current Vice President Dick Cheney is a former Secretary of Defense and met foreign leaders in that capacity.

Former Vice President Al Gore was a member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee and went on many congressional trips abroad, known as CODELS, where he met foreign leaders.
Former Vice President Dan Quayle was also a member the Senate Armed Committee and went on many CODELS.

Former President George H.W. Bush was the Ambassador to China before he became a vice president and eventually president.

Walter Mondale, who became vice president in 1977 under President Jimmy Carter, was a senator for 16 years before becoming VP and met foreign leaders

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