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

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

CNN

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. Mack

    Hillary/Edwards would be a dream ticket.

    April 2, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  2. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Maybe McCain will pick Charles Keating which was his partner in the Keating Five scandal that bankrupted Lincoln Savings and Loan and the FDIC bailed investors out. Keating and his son are out of prison now, pay back time.

    April 2, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. mike (houston)

    McCain /anybody, just as there is No Obama. Hoping for Hillary

    April 2, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. Lancaster John

    When I left my last comment I should have also said COLIN POWELL would be excellent. I've been reading his book and he would be acceptable to a wide range of voters, both Republican and Democrats. It was a real shame the way the BUSH administration threw him under the bus!!!!!!!!

    April 2, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. FED UP IN SEATTLE

    Hi Linda,
    You are so right! Obama supporters are in DENIAL. He did drugs in the past but they don't see that. He likes to twist How can he fight the drug dealers if he becomes US president? DRUG LORDS IN COLUMBIA MIGHT JUST GIVE HIM MILLIONS OF DOLLARS SO HE CAN ALLOW THEM TO BRING ILLEGAL DRUGS INTO US. THERE IS JUST NOT ENOUGH RECORDS OF HIM IN THE NATIONAL LEVEL.

    BUT THEN AGAIN WHO AM I TO JUDGE BECAUSE ALL HIS SUPPORTERS ARE WELL "EDUCATED".

    I WILL DEFINITELY VOTE FOR MCCAIN.

    April 2, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Eric

    Trust me no one will vote for McCain if Hillary loses. Think about he is to Old to be president. He talks about experience and the military, if he was that good why did he get shot down in the first place. This guy wood be a horrible president. No one in other countries will take a 72 yr old representing america serious. Give me a break!!

    April 2, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. dem08

    How incredibly stupid we (democrats) look to the Republicans right now.
    In the election of 2000, the Democratic Party was fighting with the Republican Party when not ever vote was counted in Florida and 2.5 million voters were disenfranchised. We (democrats) claimed THAT THE POPULAR VOTE SHOULD BE THE DECIDING FACTOR when deciding on a President between GORE and BUSH. And now in the 2008 election the DNC claims that FLORIDA and MICHIGAN should not be counted (seems like they have no problem disenfranchising these voters) and also THAT THE DELEGATES COUNT SHOULD BE THE DECIDING FACTOR NOT THE POPULAR VOTE. Talk about who is changing the rules now. How incredible stupid we look.
    To Howard Dean i say be the leader that you should be to the Democratic Party by defending the FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN VOTERS. These are the very basic reasons why:

    1). THE VOTERS SHOULD NOT BE PUNISHED FOR THE STUPIDINESS OF THE POLITICIANS.
    2). THE VOTERS DID THEIR CIVIL DUTY AND VOTED. ANYONE WHO DIDN'T VOTE THAT'S NOT THE FAULT OF THE ONES WHO DID.
    3). THE VOTERS IN FLORIDA WERE AWARE OF THE CANDIDATES ON THE BALLOT. OBAMA ACTUALLY HAD AND ADVANTAGE AGAINST HILLARY BECAUSE HE HAD TV CAMPAIGN ADS RUNNING IN FLORIDA. FLORIDA'S ORIGINAL VOTES SHOULD BE COUNTED.
    4). THE VOTERS IN MICHIGAN VOTED FOR HILLARY AND THE OBAMA VOTERS VOTED FOR HIM UNCOMMITTED WHICH IS WHAT THE OBAMA CAMP TOLD MICHIGAN VOTERS TO DO ON ELECTION DAY. hE DIDN'T HAVE TO TALE IS NAME OFF THE BALLOT. THAT WA JUST A BONEHEADED MISTAKE ON HIS PART. HE SHOULD TAKE PERSONAL BLAME, NOT BLAME THE VOTERS.
    5). THE VOTERS WANT HOWARD DEAN TO STAND BY:
    WE THE PEOPLE
    BY THE PEOPLE
    FOR THE PEOPLE, OTHERWISE THIS WILL NOT BE LEGITIMATE DEMOCRATIC WIN! LET OUR VOICES BE HEARD AND COUNT OUR VOTES!

    April 2, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  8. Ian

    Two words: Mitt Romney

    April 2, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  9. J.R.

    Oh, that's brilliant. The guy is going to use Google to choose a running mate. Lord help us.

    April 2, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. Debby

    McCain has good picks on his side. He has Romney for the economy, Crist so he can win Florida, and Lieberman for the Jewish vote. Its going to be a tough decision. He should consider all 3 for a position in his administration not just for VP.

    April 2, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  11. Abe

    Out of 20, 19 are current or former lobbyist. He had a much closer relationship with the twentieth lobbyist, but we won’t refer to her as a lobbyist anymore :-)

    April 2, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Grif

    Sorry!!! Didn't know I couldn't advertise...
    Plus I seem to keep, misquoting...

    April 2, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    I hope that the list of 20 includes (not necessarily in order of preference):
    Tom Ridge,
    Rudolf Guiliani
    Bill Frist

    April 2, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. Mark, IL

    McCain should pick Olympia Snowe. She has a high approval rating in blue Maine, she is a woman (gives him the jilted Hillary supporters) and she is liberal enough to influence swing voters. McCain needs to take the middle and hope the right comes along for the ride. Obama (or Clinton) will be working to unite the party, he needs to take the swing voters while they're distracted.

    April 2, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Elaine in Atlanta

    Since Nancy Regan endorsed you (who cares) pick her for your running mate since u are both the same age.

    April 2, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. ramon torres

    I think that McCain VP should be 1.-condoleza Rize, #2 Mill Martinez# jose Liberman

    April 2, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. RC

    McCain/Romney 08
    a ticket the base can support

    April 2, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. Hmmmm

    Hillary's supporters seem to like capital letters as much as they dislike punctuation.

    Sorry. For all you Hillary supporters:

    YOU SHOULD NOT CAPITALIZE EVERYTHING!!!!! YOU MAY BE DEAF BUT WERE NOT!!!!!

    April 2, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  19. tom

    OBAMA WILL NOT WIN IN THE GENERAL ELECTION.

    April 2, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  20. FNJ in PA

    PREFFERABLY OBAMA. MCCAIN OVER HILLARY. NEVER WOULD VOTE FOR A CLINTON

    April 2, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. j2theb

    As the Dems eat their own on a daily basis, Mr McCain is preparing to vet and select the best possible VP candidate. Take as much time as you need John, the Dems aren't going to know who their nominee is until August.

    My money is on Chris Cox (SEC Chairman) or Mitt Romney.

    Great times to be a Republican.

    McCain '08

    April 2, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. elmerg

    Question for all the supposed Clinton supporters on this thread- are you so attached to the idea of your candidate winning you would purposely vote for John McBush instead of Obama? You want McBush to pick the next 2-3 supreme court nominees? You really want him choosing a cabinet full of neo-cons mirroring the existing administration? The next AG? The next head of the EPA? You want a president who is beholden to the far right Christian fundamentalists to lead the country for the next 4-8 years? Do you like the idea of a permanent "surge" in Iraq and a war with Iran?
    Are you all out of your minds?

    April 2, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. Amy Jacobson

    My three top picks:

    1) Collin Powell
    2) Mitt Romney
    3) Joe Liberman

    April 2, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  24. Angela, Cleveland, OH

    I notice that many are suggesting Condoleeza Rice? Isn't she part of the idiots who got us into this mess with their lying?

    April 2, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  25. Patti in Dallas, TX

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

    Somebody at CNN can't do math. The Democratic National Convention in Boston occurred July 26-30, 2004. Unless there are several steathly hidden weeks in the month of July, Kerry did not announce his selection of Edwards "in early July" – AND – "more than six weeks before the Democratic convention."

    April 2, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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