ABC News’ Imtiyaz Delawala Reports: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin dismissed former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell’s endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama as "not much of a surprise," and refused to call for an end to the campaign’s use of robocalls — one of the negative campaign tactics Powell cited as a reason for endorsing the Democratic presidential nominee.
At an impromptu press conference on the tarmac of the Colorado Springs, Colo. airport last night, Palin said she was not surprised by Powell’s endorsement, saying it was "his prerogative" to back Obama over Republican Sen. John McCain.
"That was not so much of a surprise and certainly that is his prerogative, but John McCain and I are very appreciative of the four former secretary of states’ endorsements that McCain has and the over 200 retired generals and other top brass military that have endorsed John McCain and his good ideas on winning the war, so that’s appreciated that we have those endorsements," Palin said.
On "Meet the Press" on Sunday morning, Powell had cited Palin’s lack of experience as one of the reasons for his endorsement of Obama.
"She’s a very distinguished woman and she’s to be admired, but at the same time now that we have had a chance to watch her for some seven weeks, I don’t believe she’s ready to be President of the United States, which is the job of the Vice President," Powell said. "And so, that raised some question in my mind as to the judgment that Senator McCain made."
When asked for her response to Powell citing her lack of experience, Palin responded, "That’s certainly his prerogative to express that also."
Powell also cited the use of robocalls by the McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee linking Obama to former 1970s radical William Ayers as another reason for backing Obama.
"This Bill Ayers situation that’s been going on for weeks, Why do we keep talking about him, why do we have these robocalls going around the country?" Powell said, referring to automated calls made in battleground states last week linking Obama to Ayers. Republican senators Norm Coleman, R-Minn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, who are both locked in tight re-election battles, both criticized the use of robocalls this weekend.
Palin at first dismissed the issue of robocalls as "inside baseball stuff" and "just getting that message out." "If the vehicle to be used is robocalls, that’s the some of the campaign top brass’s call on that," Palin said.
When asked if she would use robocalls if she ran the campaign, Palin said that she wishes the campaign did not have to "rely on the old conventional ways of campaigning that includes these robocalls," saying that voters feel inundated by calls and television advertisements.
"If I called all the shots, and if I could wave a magic wand, I would be sitting at a kitchen table with more and more Americans, talking to them about our plan to get the economy back on track and winning the war and not having to rely on the old conventional ways of campaigning that includes those robocalls and includes spending so much money on the television ads that I think is kinda draining out there in terms of Americans’ attention span," Palin said. "They get a bit irritated with just being inundated, and you’re seeing a lot of that of course with the huge amounts of money that Barack Obama is able to spend on his ads and his robocalls also."
But when pressed, she would not call for the campaign to end their use of robocalls. "I’m not calling for an end to the robocalls, no," Palin said.