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. Mike

    How about Kerry? Kerry wanted you to be his running mate in 2004 but you refused after thinking about it.

    April 2, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Kay

    Hope Bob Dole, Jack Kemp and Mitch McConnell (Sen- KY) are on the list! As Ventura would say, there is no rationale behind forcing workers to retire at the age of 65 , yet octogerians think they can be President. Talk about governing by proxy (through advisors who make all the decisions for these old men to go and read through teleprompters.) No doubt he can't differentiate between Iraq and Iran and al Qaida, even after constant reminds from Joe Lierman!

    April 2, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. RejectandDenounce

    Jesse Ventura Governor from Minnesota Rejects and Denounces the worst and racist Lou Dobbs. Way to go Jesse we need more people like you in this planet.

    April 2, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. hsmith

    I am sure McCain is putting a lot of thought into the VP selection process knowing that this decision is critical to uniting the party and not alienating independents in November. Mike Huckabee would be a great because he could help unite the social conservatives behind McCain and yet not alienate the independents.

    April 2, 2008 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  5. jim, mpls

    no matter who this 72 year old dude who wants to be a presence in iraq for 100 years chooses as his running mate, he is going to get his rear end handed to him in the general election. anyone who wants to vote for this guy who has to read prepared statements at every press conference, please submit a comment and let us know why. i would love to hear what you think mccain can bring to the table... other than extending the bush boondoggle.

    April 2, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Scott, Wichita

    I think Huckabee would be a good choice...
    A lot of people talk about McCain's temper, and Huckabee's sense of humor would do a lot to help with that

    April 2, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. Democrat

    A true test of his integrity would be this pick. We will know all too soon if he is pandering to his base, or actually picking someone that he believes will balance the ticket, and do right by all americans. Mr. McCain has always touted himself as a party line crosser. If my party screws up this relatively easy chance to recapture the WH, I hope that McCain will pick someone that holds true to his self-conviction of being an independent thinker. It has saddened me to see him pander the way he has on all the reasons someone like me actually respected him. Someone like me refers to someone that has never voted republican on the national and state level, and but 2 times in local elections. Please don't lose sight of the independents and democrats that despise the right wing of the right wing .

    April 2, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  8. SaneTexan

    McCain is not perfect, but... and this comes from a Democrat...he is far better suited to be President than Obama. I know so many Dems who would never vote for that Obama-fraud. John, I think you are the next Prez for sure if Barack is the Democratic nominee. Too bad, we really need a Democrat in there after Bush but at least this man has SOME sense and is not a racist!

    April 2, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. NickSan Diego

    Of course he wants to delay the announcement as long as possible so he can sqeak him / her in.

    Just like Cheney did. Cheney was chosen to help FIND a VP and then said aww heck I will give the job to ME! LOL These republicans are a funny bunch!

    April 2, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  10. ED

    The old man will need them all to carry his old bones around and pump him up to talk unless Lieberman is his talking head

    April 2, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. CHERYL





    GO HILLARY !!!!!!!!!!!!! 2009!

    April 2, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  12. CHERYL


    THIS WILL BE FUN!!!!!!!


    NO MORE WAR!!!!!!!!!

    April 2, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    John McCain is evil. Dan Quayle still lives in Arizona and is a Republican. McCain is a mistake.

    April 2, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  14. dafew

    This quote is absurd

    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."

    as anything Dan Quayle ever said in fact the disconnect between thought and speech reminds me of GWB.

    April 2, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. AJP Richardson, TX

    Coming from McCain, the statement concerning Dan Quayle doesn't really have much creditability..

    John McCain really needs to look at himself in a mirror before he talks about his fellow Republicans.

    McCain is far from perfect.

    April 2, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Michael from Toronto

    Hurry up McCain!
    One thing this pro-longed Dem race has shown me, I don't want either Sen. Clinton or Obama to win! They both act like children. Show them you are the real adult in this race.

    April 2, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. Uncle Sam

    As this political campaign progresses, I believe that more and more Americans will support Senator John McCain. They will do so because they will come to recognize the greatness in the man. Sometimes we do not truly appreciate the worth of a candidate until we see the alternative. When a tortured prisoner of war with broken body is offered freedom from hell and declines out of regard for his fellow captives, that demonstrates a level of moral courage that most of us can barely imagine. Such nobility of character is no small thing and is not limited to an event that happened forty years ago. We see it arise again and again. When Sen. McCain takes on members of his own party out of conscience. And when he reaches across the partisan divide to help enact legislation for the good of the country. And we see it when as a candidate he risks his own presidential ambition by remaining true to his vow to protect our country from harm. And when he commits to treating the other candidates with respect. The Jewish people have a word for someone like John McCain – he is a mensch. And I would vote for him if he were running for Miss America.

    April 2, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. sophia nyc

    He'll be a Republican puppet. No matter what he tells us while campaigning.

    April 2, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Marren, SD

    Again, who cares? If the names are more of the stiffs in the GOP, most of America will not be impressed. If I were McCain, and picking a VP from the Republican pool, I'd make sure they have a pulse first.

    GOP–Greedy Old People

    April 2, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. HP Boston

    Does Cheney still shoot Quail??

    April 2, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Obama 08

    WHO CARES!!!!!!

    April 2, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Chase Lafon

    McCain is four more years of Bush.

    April 2, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Cal

    Colin Powell will be McCain's running mate. Like McCain, he's popular with independents and ascribes to the overwhelming force doctrine that McCain espoused and Rumsfeld eschewed. He's also a strong believer of the Pottery Barn rule...you break it, you buy it...that Iraq can't be left before the U.S. manages to "fix" the mess they've made. Downsides: The image of him holding up the anthrax vials and pointing to the mobile weapons labs that "we know are in Iraq."

    April 2, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. HAM

    Doesn't sound like Dan Quayle is on his top 20 list... Ha...

    I remember Senaor Quayle and he was mocked pretty often... might be a good idea to wait and get a good feel for who you like and more importantly someone who improves your chances.

    It's a shame Colin Powell is so sick of politics... I always thought he would make a great VP or President for that matter... Very honorable man...

    April 2, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. kim portland, oregon

    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."

    ummm, hello POT, you have NO right putting down KETTLE for not answering question correctly!!! were you looking in a mirror when you made that comment?

    April 2, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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