Miller (Barely) Admits Sarah Palin Qualified For POTUS, While Dogwhistling To Birthers

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It takes a great deal of talent for a politician to combine a dogwhistle to birthers and a veiled insult to Sarah Palin in just a few sentences. But Alaska Senate hopeful Joe Miller (R) managed to do just that.

In a Fox News interview, Miller could barely bring himself to say he thinks Sarah Palin is qualified to be President of the United States. When he finally did, though, all he could muster was the fact that she clears the lowest hurdle, meeting the benchmarks the Constitution requires of U.S. Presidents.

“Let me make this unequivocal,” Miller said, after jousting with the Fox host for several rounds. “She’s done phenomenal things for this country, there’s no question about that. She’s elevated the debate, critical to our race, and let me tell you also, we know what qualified means, don’t we? We know that we have a constitutional requirement for somebody that’s gonna run for President. Of course she’s qualified.

Those Constitutional qualifications? Be at least 35 years old, and (wait for it) be a natural born citizen! People from Kenya need not apply.Miller’s position on Palin became an issue yesterday, after Miller rankled the Palins by eliding the question of whether he’d endorse her presidential run.

In an interview last month, however, Miller called Palin “a force to be reckoned with,” and pledged to “support her in her endeavors” if she runs in 2012.

[H/T: Political Correction]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM’s senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he’s led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com

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