WASHINGTON — Sen. Joe Lieberman on Friday skirted a question on whether vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is ready from day one to be president, saying "thank God" she won't have to be.
Lieberman, I-Conn., who has helped prep the Alaska governor on foreign policy issues, said his pal and GOP presidential nominee, John McCain, is in good health.
"Thank God, she's not gonna have to be president from day one, because McCain's going to be alive and well," Lieberman said in a conference call with reporters.
Lieberman said he was confident that Palin, whose foreign policy background has been questioned by Democrats, could step in and handle the chief executive's job.
"If, God forbid, an accident occurs or something of that kind, she'll be ready," Lieberman said. "She's had executive experience. She's smart and she will have had on-the-job training."
Lieberman added that if Democrat Barack Obama wins the White House, he would support his presidency.
"I hope and pray, and I am working my heart out for McCain to be elected our next president, but if for whatever the reason he is not, I am going to do everything I can to be part of bringing people together across party lines to support the new president so he can succeed," Lieberman said. "What's at stake for our country is just too serious."
Lieberman was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2000 and was re-elected to the Senate in 2006 as an independent.