April 2nd, 2008
03:40 PM ET
7 years ago

McCain says 20 names on the VP list, takes dig at Quayle


Watch McCain's comments on his VP process.

(CNN) - John McCain said Wednesday he's compiled his initial list of potential running mates.

The presumptive Republican nominee said on his campaign bus that the list has approximately 20 names on it, but said it will take "weeks if not months" to narrow the list down.

"It's the same process that has been used by Democrats and Republicans," the Arizona senator said. "It's not an unusual thing. You put the list together and then you just could do a cursory kind of a look that I guess you could do on Google."

McCain also said he hopes to name his running mate before the party's convention in September, as has been the practice in several recent presidential elections.

"I'd love to do it earlier in the run than later, but it depends on the process," he said. "We just really haven't gotten far enough along in the whole thing to really be able to even predict what we're doing, seriously."

In 2004, John Kerry announced his selection of John Edwards in early July - more than six weeks before the Democratic convention.

But McCain said he did not want to rush the process, hoping to avoid what he said were mistakes past nominees had made in choosing a vice presidential candidate. Specifically, McCain singled out the first President Bush's selection of then-Sen. Dan Quayle who had "not been briefed and prepared for some of the questions."

"I'm a great friend of Dan Quayle's and I think he was a fine senator," McCain also said. "I just think that it was you know, a lot of people in retrospect would have thought maybe the process should have been...I just think you have to have a measured process, make sure that you have taken every, all the factors into consideration and then decide."

Related: McCain mulls list of potential running mates

- CNN's Dana Bash and Alexander Mooney contributed to this report

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. After further review,Texas

    Make sure you get a man like Cheney to pull your strings John while your napping on the job.

    April 2, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  2. Bayou Joe

    I hope he chooses a woman as his running mate. Condi comes to mind. Or how about the First Hispanic VP. Choose me. Choose me.

    April 2, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  3. Dan in CO

    CNN...again with the provocative and misleading headlines.

    McCain took nothing remotely resembling a dig on Quayle. He merely said he was ill prepared

    April 2, 2008 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |

    John, the Democrats are making the same mistake again in their process of selecting OBAMA. Another Moron.

    April 2, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  5. NW Independent

    James Dodson says McCain isn't doing enough to reach out to conservative.....this is the best endorsement for Senator McCain I can think of. Because by conservative, Dodson means, right wing bigots!

    Go John, please stay firmly planted in the middle. We have two left wing nuts that want to replace a right wing nut!

    April 2, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Obama support in Iowa

    To Pennsylvania Voters:

    To those of you who plan to participate in Rush Limbaugh’s Operation Chaos:

    This is a reminder that unless they have changed the 10 Commandments without my knowledge, lying is wrong. If you vote for a candidate that you do not support, that is lying. I would also like to remind you of the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If you had a Candidate you believed in, would you appreciate an attempt to defeat that candidate with dishonest tactics? Isn’t that what we want to get rid of in our Government? I encourage you to support the candidate of your choice. I just hope you listen to your heart and do what is right.

    April 2, 2008 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  7. RSP

    Take a look at this man. He has integrity, experience, wisdom and loyalty to our country. How does Senator Obama, with little political experience, with bias against white people as evidenced by his choice of pastor in Reverend Wright stack up against him? Obama is an admitted drug user. How will that affect his stature in dealing with world leaders in Muslim nations? Not good.

    Obama will fall when faced with the power of John McCain. Hillary could probably win against him because she has experience and strength, but the fools in the Democratic Party and the media will discredit Hillary until she must bow out, and then they will have a candidate that cannot win over the American people. How could they not see this coming?

    April 2, 2008 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  8. Ronald

    Way to go John! If you haven't already alienated the conservatives in your party, picking on Darling Dan is one way to do it.

    April 2, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  9. Bill W - PA

    I'll give McCain some credit there. Dan Qualye is still to this day quoted with some of the stupidest things ever said.

    April 2, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  10. ben

    I can remember when a vice president was the least important job in Washington. He was only used in an official capacity when the senate was equally tied on a measure before them. He could cast the tie breaking vote. The rest of the time, he was an obscure figure waiting in the wings in case the president might die.
    Why has that office become so important?

    April 2, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  11. A REAL American

    In other words, make sure your VP can spell "potato."

    April 2, 2008 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Kareem from Hampton VA

    That list of 20 must have been the attendance roster at his last rally!! HA!

    April 2, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  13. Alex H

    How is that a dig at Dan Quayle?

    April 2, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |

    Come on. Are you teasing grown men, McCain? What a guy.
    And how long do you intend to keep them waiting with your game??
    Reall. Who Cares???????????

    April 2, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  15. Grif

    I've been reading about Dwight Eisenhower, John. In addition, it seems he would have won the Presidency for a third time, if he could have run.
    Moreover, he was of a similar age as you, at that time in 1960.
    His background also seems to run along the same Lines.

    Another Republican...... Keep doing what you're doing..
    If he could, and did... The doors open for you..

    April 2, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  16. Jeanne

    Who he picks will factor in as to whether I'd want to vote for him over a Dem. If he picks a moderate, I might consider voting for him, but if he picks someone like Romney or an ultra conservative, then I'll look elsewhere.

    April 2, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  17. AJ

    Please John, dont pick a right wing ya hoo or, heaven forbid, Joe Lieberman. There are too many Clinton supporters out here who, like me, plan to support you should Ego in a Suit (Obama) win the nomination. So please, stay moderate. Dont let the Dobson's of the world influence you. Most of America is moderate. We need to defeat Obama in Nov. should he be the nominee!!

    April 2, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Michael in Lorton, Virginia

    This is probably the most major decision that McCain is going to have to make.........his choice of VP will either get him elected or defeated.........that's how critical his decision will be.........all or nothing......

    April 2, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  19. ed

    He got 20 names by walking by 20 rooms at the old folks home, people just his age. With have PTDS from Nam he may just sit there and go right back to Hanoi so he better get one young then him, say around 90 years old.

    April 2, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Tyrone Brown, Seattle, WA

    I know who will be on his short list / top five. I would even go so far to say and in this order:

    1. Joseph Lieberman
    2. Jeb Bush
    3. Mel Martinez
    4. Lindsey Graham
    5. Condoleeza Rice

    Even the hypothetical gives me another reason to say 'thank God for Barack Obama."

    Obama '08

    April 2, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  21. RE:chris ellsi

    Congrats to hillory clinton.

    April 2, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Darth Vadik, CA

    We all know who McCain is going to "pick", the prince of darkness himself Cheney.

    April 2, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Adriana

    Mccain nobody cares who you pick,you wont become the next president of the United States.Democrats we need to unite and take over the White House.weve had enough of these republicans ruining out country.

    April 2, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Stacy Clarks,

    who cares, this is a democratic year anyways!!!!

    April 2, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. balthus

    Join the "Offend America with John McCain" Campaign!

    This week, it's poorly educated homeowners who were "irresponsible" enough to get duped by sophisticated lenders – what a bunch of morons, unlike the brilliant Wall Street bankers who drove their businesses into the ground and the country into a recession...they're the ones we should bail out! And what about all the latte-sipping, cynical Americans who have no idea of what freedom is...you should take a lesson from the Iraqis, who after five years of American sacrifice on their behalf have decided that they won't "stand up" so we can "sit down" after all! Finally, which by the way is spelled with an "f" and not an "e" like in "potatoe," it's time everyone in Indiana who voted for Dan Quayle step forward for a good waterboarding...because, you know, I was against medieval torture techniques before I was for them!

    April 2, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7