From NBC/NJ's Matthew Berger
RENO, Nev. -- Sarah Palin used a heavy dose of sarcasm Tuesday to suggest that Barack Obama is unprepared to serve as commander in chief, laying out scenarios she said made the country vulnerable to an international crisis under his watch.
Palin fed off the words of Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, who suggested Sunday that Obama would be challenged by an international crisis in his first six months of office. At a rally at the Reno Convention Center Tuesday, Palin described four scenarios "that would place our country at risk in an Obama administration," including sitting down with dictators and sending American troops to Pakistan over the objections of the country's leader.
"But I guess the looming crisis that most worries the Obama campaign right now is Joe Biden's next speaking engagement," Palin said. "Let's call that crisis scenario number five."
Palin also highlighted Obama's opposition to the surge strategy in Iraq and a reaction of "indecision and moral equivalence" when Russia invaded Georgia earlier this year.
But it was her comments about Pakistan that were most striking. Palin said that Obama advocates for "invading the sovereign territory of a troubled partner in the war against terrorism." The governor herself said last month she would support U.S. forces crossing the border from Afghanistan to Pakistan to prevent terrorism, but the campaign, and McCain, later clarified the remarks.
"See, the real problem is that these warnings from Joe Biden are similar to his earlier assessment," Palin said Tuesday. "It wasn't that long ago that he said Barack Obama wasn't up to the job, he's not ready to be president. He said, I quote, 'the presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.'"
The McCain campaign worked hard to draw attention to Palin's remarks, alerting television networks beforehand and sending out excerpts as it was being delivered. McCain had used Biden's comments to attack Obama himself a day earlier.
"The same Joe Biden said he would be honored to run on the ticket with John McCain because, he said, 'the country would be better off with John McCain,'" Palin said. "And finally then, here we have some common ground because I do want a president, too, who spent 22 years in uniform defending our country."