Palin bursts onto the stage with praise for Hillary

In her first appearance on the national stage, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Friday praised Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) for her efforts on behalf of women. 

“I think as well today of two other women who came before me in national elections,” Palin said in her first speech as part of the GOP ticket. “I can’t begin this great effort without honoring the achievements of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and, of course, Sen. Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGOP lawmaker defends Chelsea Clinton after confrontation over New Zealand attacks Klobuchar: Race, gender should not be litmus tests for 2020 Dem nominee Kirsten Gillibrand officially announces White House run MORE, who showed such determination and grace in her presidential campaign.”

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One of the biggest upsides to Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCNN anchor hits Trump: He didn't go to Vietnam 'until he was in his 70s' with 'Secret Service protection' Trump reignites criticism of McCain months after senator's death Graham defends McCain amid Trump attacks: 'Nothing about his service will ever be changed' MORE’s (R-Ariz.) surprising decision to make the Alaska governor his running mate is that she will be only the second woman on a major-party ticket. The McCain camp hopes that the selection of Palin could help make it easier for Clinton supporters to switch sides in the fall election.

“It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America, but it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all,” Palin said.

Democrats immediately rejected the notion that Palin’s selection would help split their party among primary lines.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said McCain is “sadly mistaken” if he thinks Clinton supporters would back him only because he put a woman on the ticket.

“I know Hillary Clinton, and Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton,” Wasserman Schultz said on MSNBC.

“Women in this country don’t want a candidate on the ballot just because of the parts she has,” the Democrat added. “They want a woman candidate running for president or vice president because they support equal work for equal pay, they support a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices, they support expanding access to children's healthcare, they want to make sure that we improve the quality of public education.”