Sarah Palin surprised her millions of Facebook followers Sunday with a post on Russia that began “John McCain is right,” a rare embrace of the former Republican presidential nominee whose ticket she infamously joined in 2008.
The former Alaska governor applauded McCain’s take on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his antagonistic relationship with the United States, which the Arizona Republican shared on Fox News Sunday. McCain said President Obama mischaracterized Putin as a “kid in the back of the classroom” and the Democratic leader didn’t appreciate that “Putin does not care about a relationship with the United States, continues to oppress his people, continues to oppress the media and continues to act in an autocratic and unhelpful fashion.”
Palin, whose lack of understanding of international affairs was mocked after McCain picked her for the GOP ticket, not only agreed with McCain, but called him an expert on “Russia, al Qaeda, and foreign threats” whose advice Obama should heed on international affairs.
“Our current president would be wise to hear Senator McCain on these real security threats and to finally start prioritizing our tax dollars to fund our nation’s real national security needs instead of growing the Obama nanny state,” Palin said.
Palin’s comments did not sit well with many of her 3.5 million followers, many of whom see McCain as the type of Republican that conservatives should seek to replace. By early Monday afternoon, 2,400 comments were logged on the post — toward the high end of her recent Facebook activity.
Though critical of Obama on his handling of Russia, McCain of late worked closely with his former political rival and Senate Democrats to pass an immigration bill and then helped broker a compromise that avoided a procedural fight over some of Obama’s appointees.
“Why defend McCain? He says one thing that’s OKAY and another that's telling of false loyalties,” commented Cynthia Matthews. Another commenter, Terry Speelman warned: “Sarah, you should be putting some distance between yourself and Mr. McCain. Lately, he’s shown that he is nothing but a RINO and needs to be voted out.”
Of course, Palin had plenty of defenders as well.
“Couldn’t have said it better myself,” Darly Marks Nelkin wrote. “Keep speaking your mind.”