THE BLOG
10/22/2010 09:00 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Lisa Murkowski Says Sarah Palin Is Not Qualified for Presidency

After the Oct. 18 Senate debate organized by Alaska Dispatch online magazine, I interviewed Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who is running as a write-in candidate to retain the control of her Senate seat.

In a plain-spoken answer she gave to one of my questions, she said former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is not qualified to be President of the United States. You will see the transcripts of the entire interview below.

First, at the Alaska Dispatch debate, Sen. Murkowski made a case on why Alaskan voters should prefer her over her opponents based on her vast experience and seniority. She also talked about jobs, and the need to focus on affordable energy within the community. She mentioned, among other things, that she does not want Sen. Claire McCaskill (D- Mo.) setting the agenda for Alaska Native Corporations in the U.S. Senate. Her Democratic opponent, Scott McAdams, discussed his plans to improve Alaska's economy, create jobs and expand economic opportunities. He also touted his executive experience as Mayor of Sitka as an asset for his Senatorial aspiration. Though Republican nominee Joe Miller did not show up, his absence was not felt either, as both McAdams and Murkowski engaged the audience as they discussed substantive issues important to Alaskan voters.

Miller, whose private security guards arrested and handcuffed the editor of the Alaska Dispatch in a bizarre manner on Sunday, missed an opportunity to engage his rivals.

(Sen. Murkowski's terse answer to my question about Sarah Palin's presidential qualifications is at the end of the first clip.)

Read the transcript from my interview with Sen. Lisa Murkowski:

Ademola Bello: Joe Miller told me in interview I had with him that the carbon tax you voted for harm Alaska development, and the carbon trade you proposed harm Alaska development. What do you have to say?

Senator Murkowski: He is incorrect. He either misstated or has lied. I have not voted for a carbon tax. In fact, I fought against advance the carbon trade proposal that was before the Congress this summer and effectively worked to kill that legislation that the President is moving.

Bello: You missed vote on bill that would have repealed the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" measure, which prohibits openly gay military personnel from serving. How would you have voted on it?

Murkowski:I believe, as the Obama administration believes right now, that advancing this or repealing 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' before we have the information back from the men and women in the field that we asked of them is the inappropriate step.

Bello: You have run TV Ads against Tea Party Movement or Tea Party Express. Do you think the Tea Party is bad for America?

Murkowski: I think the Tea Party Express have moved into Alaska. They are California based group, they are basically telling Alaskans what they should be doing with the Alaska Senate seat. I object to that organization involvement in our election.

Bello: Why are you running as a write-in candidate after you failed to clinch the Republican Primary?

Murkowski: Specifically because of the two-party system, the individuals that are represented on the two parties ticket. Joe Miller only got about 12 percent, McAdams got about three and half percent. I think there are about 85 percent of Alaskans who chose not to support either one of the traditional party nominee. Those 85 percent have asked, so many of them have asked for an option. I'm giving them that choice in this write-in candidacy.

Bello: Do you think Sarah Palin is qualified to be President of the United States?

Murkowski: No.

Bello: She is not qualified?

Murkowski: No.

Bello: The Alaskans I talked to said you have not done anything, or they don't know your position regarding outsourcing. What are you going to do in the Senate to prevent outsourcing of jobs overseas?

Murkowski: I have been working very hard to make sure that job and economic opportunity that we create here in this country are for United States citizens. We need to revoking, to make sure that our tax policy encourages those jobs here in this country and not tax policy that encourages other to look to other countries for exporting jobs.