EXCLUSIVE: President Obama on Nukes, Palin, Confederacy and Iran

Obama brushes off criticism from Palin, questions Va. Civil War controversy.

ByABC News via logo
April 8, 2010, 1:26 PM

April 9, 2010— -- After signing the historic nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia, President Obama, in an interview with ABC News, pushed back against critics who say his new nuclear weapons stance is too soft and leaves the United States vulnerable to attack.

The scene at the signing at the historic Prague Castle in the Czech Republic Thursday was one of cooperation between the United States and Russia, but back home, the Obama administration may face a challenge getting the treaty through the Senate.

Obama brushed off criticisms from former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin about his nuclear weapons policy.

"I really have no response. Because last I checked, Sarah Palin's not much of an expert on nuclear issues," he said in an exclusive interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

Earlier this week, the Obama administration announced plans to end the development of new nuclear weapons, and iterated a new policy, not part of the new treaty, that the United States would not use nuclear weapons against any country that has signed and is abiding by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, even if it attacks the United States with chemical or biological weapons.

In an appearance Wednesday on Fox News, Palin compared Obama to a kid in a playground who is asking for a punch in the face.

"It's unbelievable. Unbelievable," said Palin on Sean Hannity's program. "No administration in America's history would, I think, ever have considered such a step that we just found out President Obama is supporting today. It's kinda like getting out there on a playground, a bunch of kids, getting ready to fight, and one of the kids saying, 'Go ahead, punch me in the face, and I'm not going to retaliate. Go ahead and do what you want to with me.'"