Palin Talks to ABC on Issues

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Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin told ABC News anchor Charles Gibson Thursday that she is confident she is ready to lead this nation should the situation demand it.

Palin also shared more on her belief of God's involvement in the war on terror, Russia, the Israel-Iran conflict, and "the Bush Doctrine."

In her first interview since accepting the GOP nomination last week, Palin said she did not hesitate to accept Sen. John McCain's offer to join him on the ticket. Palin says she never questioned her answer.

Committed to the Mission

"I didn't hesitate. I answered him 'yes' because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that, you can't blink." she told Gibson.

"You have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can't blink. So I didn't blink then even," she said.

God's Plan

Gibson asked Palin about her recent comments in her old church, where she said "Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God."

"Are we fighting a holy war?" Gibson asked.

Palin emphasized she would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words. But, making reference to Abraham Lincoln's comments -- let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side -- Palin said, "I do believe, though, that this war against extreme Islamic terrorists is the right thing.

"It's an unfortunate thing, because war is hell and I hate war, and, Charlie, today is the day that I send my first born, my son, my teenage son overseas with his Stryker brigade, 4,000 other wonderful American men and women, to fight for our country, for democracy, for our freedoms," she said.

Gibson pressed further and asked her about her statement in church where she said, "there is a plan and it's God's plan."

"I believe that there is a plan for this world and that plan for this world is for good," Palin answered. "I believe that there is great hope and great potential for every country to be able to live and be protected with inalienable rights that I believe are God-given, Charlie, and I believe that those are the rights to life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That, in my world view, is a grand -- the grand plan."

Palin on Russia

Gibson moved on to national security issues and specifically referenced Russia and the country's recent invasion of Georgia. Palin said we must continue good relations with Georgia's President Saakashvili and that we've got to keep an eye on Russia.

"For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable," she said.

Gibson noted that Palin may have specific insight into Russia-relations due to Alaska's close proximity to the nation. Palin said Russian land can be seen from Alaska, "they are our next door neighbors."

"We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it's in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along," she said.

Palin on Israel and Iran

Palin believes that under the leadership of Ahmadinejad, nuclear weapons would be dangerous to everyone on the globe.

"First, we are friends with Israel and I don't think that we should second guess the measures that Israel has to take to defend themselves and for their security," she said.

"We have got to make sure that these weapons of mass destruction, that nuclear weapons are not given to those hands of Ahmadinejad, not that he would use them, but that he would allow terrorists to be able to use them. So we have got to put the pressure on Iran and we have got to count on our allies to help us, diplomatic pressure," Palin said.

'The Bush Doctrine'

In his interview, Gibson defined the Bush Doctrine as having "the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us."

Gibson asked Palin if she agreed with that.

"I believe that America has to exercise all options in order to stop the terrorists who are hell-bent on destroying America and our allies. We have got to have all options out there on the table," she said.

ABC in Alaska

Gibson traveled to Fairbanks and Wasilla, Alaska, to conduct three separate interviews with the governor. The first excerpts of interview aired Thursday night on the "World News."

The network will air Palin's interview more extensively in a special prime-time edition of "20/20" on Friday at 10 p.m. EST. Different segments of the interview will air on other ABC News programs, including "Nightline" and "Good Morning America."

Back in Alaska

Palin returned to her home state in part to bid farewell to her oldest son Track, whose National Guard unit deploys to Iraq today. An exuberant crowd welcomed her in Fairbanks upon her arrival. She told supporters she would do her best to make them proud.

The trip marks the first of her solo campaign since spending the last few weeks with McCain.

The governor has proven to be a ratings-grabber during her short time on the American political scene.

Her address to the delegates at the GOP national convention last week was seen by more than 40 million people, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Sources: CBN News, The Associated Press, ABC News

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