ABC News’ Mary Bruce Reports:
On the heels of Sarah Palin’s attempt to oust her from the Senate, Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski had some harsh words for her former governor Monday night. In an interview with CBS’ Katie Couric, Murkowski, who is on the verge of a historic upset in the Alaska Senate race, said Palin lacked the “intellectual curiosity” necessary to govern.
“I just do not think that she has those leadership qualities, that intellectual curiosity that allows for building good and great policies,” Murkowski said in the CBS interview. “You know, she was my governor for two years, for just about two years there, and I don’t think that she enjoyed governing. I don’t think she liked to get down into the policy.”
Murkowski reiterated that she would not support Palin if she decided to run for president in 2012. “She has an ability to connect with people that is really quite remarkable, but she would not be my choice for president,” she told Couric. “I want somebody that goes to bed at night and wakes up in the morning thinking about how we are going to deal with our national security issues, how we’re going to deal with our economy, how we’re going to deal with providing better education or peace in the Middle East and that’s what I’m looking for.”
Although they are still counting the votes in the Alaska Senate race, Murkowski is ahead of Palin-backed, Republican candidate Joe Miller. After Miller’s victory in the primary, Murkowski ran as a write in-candidate. If she wins, Murkowski would be the first candidate elected as a write-in to the Senate since Strom Thurmond in 1954.
Palin is considered largely responsible for Joe Miller’s primary success and for getting the Tea Party actively involved in Miller’s campaign. “She gave the endorsement but she wasn’t up in the state going around and doing events from him,” Murkowski said when asked about Palin’s involvement in the race.
The Senator made clear that she and the 2008 vice presidential nominee “don’t really have much of a relationship.”
“It’s always been a very professional relationship. Since she left the governor’s office we don’t have much in common, I mean we don’t talk to one another,” Murkowski told Couric, adding that “she is not really that keyed into the state anymore. She is looking, obviously at a bigger pond and so we don’t see her up north as much.”