ABC has released excerpts from Charlie Gibson’s interview with Sarah Palin, and in one of them, he attempts to catch her out by asking her to explain something she said:
GIBSON: You said recently, in your old church, “Our national leaders are sending U.S. soldiers on a task that is from God.” Are we fighting a holy war?
PALIN: You know, I don’t know if that was my exact quote.
GIBSON: Exact words.
In fact, it was not the exact quote; and the way Gibson quoted her is a complete misrepresentation of what she said. It may, indeed, be close to the opposite of what she said. This is the actual quote, and it’s from an article in a Palin-unfriendly source, The Huffington Post:
“Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending [U.S. soldiers] out on a task that is from God,” she exhorted the congregants. “That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.”
She was asking the congregation to “pray…that our leaders…are sending [soldiers] out on a task that is from God.”
She was precisely not declaring that the task was from God. She specifically said the church’s congregants should pray “that that plan is God’s plan.” There would be no need for such a prayer if it were a fact to her and to them.
Palin quickly followed up with Gibson by saying, “the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words when he said…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.”
This is the Lincoln quote to which she alluded: “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”