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Saakashvili Gets Pinned on Palin’s Russia Experience

saakashvili092508.jpgGeorgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili goes on Fox News Channel for an interview Neil Cavuto, and quickly finds himself pressed up against a wall to declare his preference for the Republican ticket over the Democratic. Doesn’t Cavuto know who the Kremlin wants to win? Saaskashvili makes a narrow escape from the questioning, but check out the transcript below for some very awkward and funny moments (though probably not as cringe-worthy as this one). You can see that Cavuto smells blood after the president describes Biden as “smart” and Palin only as “delightful.”

SAAKASHVILI: Well, first of all, I met both of them. I mean, Joe Biden is a longtime friend, amazingly smart guy, who gets very good perspective on Georgia’s situation. I met Sarah Palin. She was wonderful. She was absolutely delightful. CAVUTO: Did you have or get a sense of any of those doubts that some of your colleagues at the U.N. have? SAAKASHVILI: Look, I don’t know who was — I mean, I — first of all, I have huge, you know, trust in America’s people judgment. That’s why America is so attractive for us, that this is elections. You know, people have wise judgment. And, in the end, they will decide. And, so, I can hardly comment on individual candidates, at least beside the things what I have said. But it’s very important to remember that, when Ronald Reagan was coming in, everybody was saying: “Who the hell is that guy? He doesn’t know anything about politics.”

You know, the fact that I’m sitting here now, with — I mean, with — title being president of Georgia, well, maybe it is Vladimir Putin’s worst nightmare, but, still, I’m sitting here. I represent independent nation. We still have bright outlook for the future, despite all the problems we have encountered. Some people are trying to reverse it.This is thanks to Reagan. And he had tremendous intuition. The main thing he had, he sensed where the fight for freedom was, where…(CROSSTALK)CAVUTO: Did you get that same sense out of Sarah Palin?SAAKASHVILI: Well, again…CAVUTO: Yes.SAAKASHVILI: I mean, I was very pleased to see her. I don’t want to make any comparisons…CAVUTO: Who do you like more?(LAUGHTER)SAAKASHVILI: Well, as I said, we…(CROSSTALK)CAVUTO: I will let you start an international incident here. Who’s your favorite?(LAUGHTER)SAAKASHVILI: Well, I think, you know, I really cannot choose at this stage because, as I said, we have been supported. We had bipartisan support, the main support we have been getting. I have been — I came here to the states, right, and I have been met by people, and they have been, you know, telling me: “Oh, you know, President, hold on. We are on your side.”This is American people. This is New York. But we have felt it from other places in America as well.CAVUTO: So, Democrat or Republican…(CROSSTALK)SAAKASHVILI: Yes, it is a bipartisan issue.CAVUTO: OK.SAAKASHVILI: As I said, you know, I have been inspired for many years — today, I said that — by Senator McCain. He has been great inspiration, great leader for the — I mean, for all of us who value freedom…(CROSSTALK)CAVUTO: Right after — right after this thing, he came to your defense immediately.Now, Barack Obama was cautious, waited a little bit. You said a lot of nice things about John McCain. Maybe you said some nice things about Barack Obama.SAAKASHVILI: Barack Obama called me and he…(CROSSTALK)CAVUTO: When did he call you?SAAKASHVILI: I mean, he called within a few days after…(CROSSTALK)CAVUTO: How soon did John McCain call you?SAAKASHVILI: I think John McCain was the first to call, but Obama was very competent, very supportive. He called me…CAVUTO: You’re not going to dis anyone, are you?SAAKASHVILI: He called me several times. And I have to tell you, Joe Biden…(LAUGHTER)SAAKASHVILI: … Joe Biden go to Tbilisi, on the site, on day two. He was the first one to come with a very concrete program. We should do A, B, C, D.CAVUTO: OK.SAAKASHVILI: And that was very impressive. I was very impressed by that.But, of course, you know, as I said, it’s up to the judgment of American people. You know, we…CAVUTO: All right.SAAKASHVILI: All these people who I’m talking about, not only we are trying to have interaction with them, but we are inspired by them.CAVUTO: OK.SAAKASHVILI: And we are inspired especially by the people who want — will elect them in the future.CAVUTO: You’re very good at this political answering thing, Mr. President. You got that down.Mikheil Saakashvili, thank you very much, Mr. President.SAAKASHVILI: Thank you so much…(CROSSTALK)CAVUTO: So glad you’re safe.SAAKASHVILI: Thanks a lot.CAVUTO: We got a little concerned with some of that video we were showing. All right.