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GOP Women Defend Palin, Object to Questions About Her Family

The choice of Sarah Palin as John McCain's running mate has sparked a flurry of debate over balancing career and family and whether even raising such questions is gender bias. GOP Congress Heather Wilson and Mary Fallin give their insights on parenting and politics.

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  • GWEN IFILL:

    Sarah Palin is the first woman ever picked as a Republican vice presidential nominee. For more on the balancing act she faces, we turn to two Republican members of Congress, Heather Wilson of New Mexico and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma.

    I want to read to you both something that Fred Thompson — they released in advance some of the comments he will be making in his convention speech tonight about John McCain. He says about John McCain, "It's pretty clear there are two questions we will never have to ask ourselves: Who is this man? And can we trust this man with the presidency?"

    Both of those questions are being asked about the vice presidential nominee, Heather Wilson. Do you think there's an answer to them?

    REP. HEATHER WILSON (R), New Mexico: Sure. She's the governor of the state of Alaska. She's been a former mayor of a town in Alaska. She's helped run the family fishing business. She's raised five kids.

    You know, the national Washington-centric folks may not know Gov. Palin. I'm glad that Sen. McCain chose someone from outside of Washington who's tried to reform the state capital in one of the most important energy-producing states in the nation.

    So I'm glad that people will have a chance here this week that all of America will have, an opportunity to meet Sarah Palin, because Alaska already knows they've got a pretty good thing going.

  • GWEN IFILL:

    Have you met Sarah Palin before?

  • REP. HEATHER WILSON:

    I have — I met her once briefly. I serve the Southwest. We don't cross that many paths with Alaska. But I've been very impressed by her record and by her broad support in the state of Alaska. She's got — she has one of the highest approval ratings of any governor in the country.

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