Friday, October 3, 2008
Palin vows to be more accessible in coming weeks
ST. LOUIS - Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, declaring that "my life is certainly an open book," vowed Friday to take more questions from voters and reporters after allowing only a handful of interviews and solo campaign events.
"I look forward to speaking to the media more and more every day and providing whatever access the media would want," Palin said in an interview with Fox News.
Palin said she was disappointed that the McCain campaign decided to stop competing in Michigan, saying she had "fired off an e-mail" Friday morning questioning the move.
"Todd and I, we'd be happy to get to Michigan and walk through those plants of the car manufacturers," Palin said, referring to her husband. "We'd be so happy to get to speak to the people in Michigan who are hurting because the economy is hurting."
Alaska's governor burst onto the national scene just five weeks ago when GOP presidential candidate John McCain plucked her from relative obscurity to be his running mate. After a well-received speech at the party's convention, Palin was effectively barred from speaking to the press except for a few high-profile interviews.
In sessions with ABC and CBS, Palin badly stumbled over basic policy questions, giving weight to growing criticism that she had no experience in foreign affairs and lacked a strong grasp of domestic issues. Even some conservative commentators began dismissing her as ill-prepared to assume the presidency in an emergency.
Palin has also taken few questions from voters at campaign events, sticking carefully to a stump speech rather than joining in the type of town-hall meeting that is a staple of McCain's campaign. Her 90-minute debate Thursday night with Democratic rival Joe Biden has been her longest speaking event since the nominating convention.
In the Fox News interview, Palin denied being "reined in" by nervous McCain campaign aides. But she acknowledged that she needed to communicate more regularly on the campaign trail to be effective.
"I'm accessible. And now that the debate is over ... the wings are flying here," Palin said. "Let's soar, let's get out there and speak to voters and let them know what their choices are."
Palin said she had been "annoyed" in her interviews with CBS News anchor Katie Couric and had been caught off guard when asked what newspapers and magazines she read and to name Supreme Court decisions she disagreed with — questions Palin appeared not to be able to answer.
Her responses, Palin said, were "an indication of being outside that Washington elite, outside of the media elite also."
Of the CBS interviews, she said: "The Sarah Palin in those interviews is a little bit annoyed. Because it's like, no matter what you say, you're going to get clobbered. If you cease to answer a question, you're going to get clobbered on the answer. If you choose to try to pivot and go on to another subject that you believe that Americans want to hear about, you get clobbered for that, too."