GREEN, Ohio — Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, indicated Wednesday that she would release her medical records, which she said would show that she had never been seriously ill.
Palin was the only member of the Democratic or Republican presidential tickets who had not discussed her health or allowed her medical records to become public. The Republican campaign’s silence on her medical history became an issue this week when The New York Times raised questions about the capacity of the Republican presidential nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, to finish out a full term as a 72-year-old survivor of cancer.
Palin was joined by McCain in a joint interview with Brian Williams, anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” during which he predicted that he would overtake the Democratic presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, and win on Election Day.
Palin characterized interest in her medical history as another in a line of intrusive requests by “curiosity seekers.”
“My life has been an open book,” Palin said. “And my life is an open book today, and Americans deserve to know the background, the associations, the affiliations of a vice presidential candidate. I’m willing to continue to be an open book.”
Asked specifically if she would release her medical records, she replied, “The medical records — so be it.
“If that will allow some curiosity seekers, perhaps, to have, oh one more thing that they can either check the box off that they can find something to criticize, perhaps, or find something to rest them assured over, fine,” she said.
“I’m healthy, I’m happy, I’ve had five kids — that’s going to be in the medical records,” she added. “Never been seriously ill or hurt — you’ll see that in the medical records if they’re released.”
Palin calls Obama ‘naive,’ ‘dangerous’
In the first part of the interview, which is airing Wednesday and Thursday on “NBC Nightly News,” Palin also sharply criticized Obama for having said he would be open to direct talks with leaders of Iran and North Korea.
Until it recently removed the designation from North Korea, the Bush administration had branded both countries as terrorist states.
“It is so naive and so dangerous for a presidential candidate to just proclaim that they would be willing to sit down with a leader like [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadenijad and just talk about the problems, the issues that are facing them,” Palin said.
“You have to have some diplomatic strategy going into a meeting with someone like Ahmadinejad or [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-il, one of these dictators that would seek to destroy America or her allies,” she said, adding that Obama’s position was evidence of “ill-preparedness.”
It was a theme that McCain and Palin returned to again and again, repeatedly citing comments over the weekend by the Democratic vice presidential candidate, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, that Obama would face an international crisis within his first six months in office as other, unspecified nations sought to “test the mettle of this guy.”
“The presidency is not a place for on-the-job training,” Palin said, adding that Biden’s observation was “the most telling comment that has been made yet on this campaign trail in all of these months.”
McCain promised that “when I’m president, there’s not going to be an international crisis that Senator Biden can guarantee,” adding: “I’ve been tested. They know me. They know me very well.”
McCain also predicted that he would defy the pollsters and win on Election Day. Asked whether he was discouraged by poll numbers showing Obama opening a lead with less than two weeks to go, he joked, “We got ’em just where we want ’em.”
“I’ve always done best when we’re running a little bit behind and have got to catch up,” McCain said. “Somehow, I’ve been very blessed.
“We seem to catch fire, and lately, we have seen in the last several days ... we’ve seen some uptick. And we’ve got about three or four points to go, and we can win this time,” he said.
By Alex Johnson of msnbc.com