April 9th, 2008
07:10 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain to ponder giving up seat?

WESTPORT, Connecticut (CNN) – During a Q&A following a town hall in a New York suburb, a young hedge fund employee asked John McCain if he would consider giving up his Arizona Senate seat this summer. In that scenario, the questioner suggested, the Republican who would replace him would have an easier time defeating an opposing Democrat in a special run-off election because McCain will be at the top of November’s ballot.

“No, I will not,” replied McCain after complimenting the audience member for his knowledge of Arizona election by-laws. McCain added he was confident that a Republican would succeed him if he were elected President so he doesn’t feel the need to resign his seat early.

Towards the end of his answer, however, McCain told the crowd he would entertain the idea.

“I will go back and think about it, and think about the scenario that you just described,” said McCain, adding, “right now my intentions are to remain in the United States Senate.”

McCain was asked the same question in February, telling the Wall Street Journal, “if I get the nomination, we’ll figure it out.” He admitted that time on the trail took him away from his Senate duties.

But now that he has the nomination wrapped up, what will he do? In the same interview, McCain noted that he told Bob Dole in 1996 that he shouldn’t give up his Kansas seat while running for president. In the end, Dole gave up the seat and then lost the race for the presidency.

Filed under: John McCcain
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. richard

    CNN please report on Obama campaign wanting more white people in the background of Michelle Obama during campaign stop. FAIR AND BALANCED

    April 9, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  2. brandon

    You dont have the guts

    April 9, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  3. Grif

    I guess I don't understand. Why the question? Trivia????

    April 9, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  4. stefan, Barstow, Ca

    He said it perfectly," I'll entertain that idea...right now my intentions are to remain in the United States Senate." Oh but heaven forbid, If he doesn't win the presidency he has to go back to Arizona and pick lettuce.He cannot win an election as John McWar, and he cannot give up his senate seat because he'll lose the public cash cow. He is just running because the republicans need someone that can lose with honor.

    April 9, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  5. SueB

    "right now my intentions are to remain in the United States Senate." Good. I think you're a good senator. You've tied yourself to closely to Bush to win the presidency though.

    April 9, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  6. aliou salam, Jacksonville FL

    Obama is our next president. so McCain better keep what he got while he can. He better not because he can't win. Unless the democrats pick Hilary, for what ever folly of theirs, then Mccain can win flat out, no contest.

    April 9, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  7. carlos sevcik

    A McCain-Rice ticket sounds great.

    April 9, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  8. aliou salam, Jacksonville FL

    It is obvious that Obama is our Next prez. Yet CNN has definately decided to cover the Clintons, and not the Obamas. I can guarantee you CNN, you are choosing the losing horses.

    April 9, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  9. Bubba

    I could live with McCain – Rice.

    April 9, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  10. Kirk From Michigan

    You Can't Be President , And Hold A senate Seat At The Same Time . He'll Have To Give It Up Obviously .

    Hillary , Or McCain 2008

    April 9, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  11. Zeak Rivers,

    He;s too old to run for anything but President, which he will lose because of the economy, not the war. Republicans want the war to be the issue, so they will paint it as everything is going swell over there. This country will be in the midst of an economic disaster come November, the war wil be the las thing on working folks minds. We want good jobs, we want affordable health care and we want the government to stop wasting our tax dollars.

    Where is Ross Perot ???

    April 9, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  12. Tex

    McCain may be old but he isn't dumb. He knows that he will not win in November against either Democrat.

    April 9, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  13. Chris in Va.

    Don't quit your day job John, you're going to need it.

    April 9, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  14. kathleen retired Professional w/woman for obama

    John McCain giving up his seat in the Senate? No, he will not!!!!
    Young man, don't ask that question again!!!!

    April 9, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  15. John in KY

    Better keep that seat McCain you ain't going to the White-House!!!!

    April 9, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  16. Lou - NH

    Richard – I don't know where you live but up here in NH we get heavily exposed to candidates on a regular basis. The primary season up here last for a couple of months and I have seen just about every candidate both Republican and Democrat. Having said that, It is common practice for all candidates to establish a backdrop of supporters of all colors and creeds. Just over a month ago, HRC campaign had to move most of the attendies behind her so it would look like the rally was larger. These are examples of slow news day stories.

    April 9, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  17. Danny

    Don't worry if Obama get nominee we going to vote for you. The good thing is you need to resign your seat earlier. John I think you going to win
    any way. Look Obama still not divorce his Rev. Wright preach about 9/11 yet so he not going to get many people support or vote for him in the general election.

    John do not pick Rice for you VP you going to loss because Americans
    don't need Bush Third term.

    April 9, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  18. Bayou Joe

    Hillary will win PA big time. Superdelegates will go to her and she will be the- nominee. Obama cannot win against McCain. Too much baggage.

    April 9, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  19. Nick, TX

    McCain shouldn't give up his seat because he will be back there soon hopefully 'uniting' behind President Obama like he has so willingly followed Bush.

    April 9, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  20. Penn State

    Compared to Clinton, Obama is buying this election!!!!

    Obama's political action committee has doled out more than $694,000 to superdelegates since 2005, the study found, and of the 81 who had announced their support for Obama, 34 had received donations totaling $228,000.

    Clinton's political action committee has distributed about $195,000 to superdelegates, and only 13 of the 109 who had announced for her have received money, totaling about $95,000.

    April 9, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  21. Marc

    You'd have to be a fool to give up your seat.

    April 9, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  22. Carlos

    Rice doesn't balance the ticket in terms of knowledge - McCain needs someone like Romney who can help with the economy and domestic policy. Rice has a solid background in foreign policy, but that is one of McCain's areas. I'm not sure who his choice on VP should be (I like Romney, but he has his drawbacks), but if he makes the right choice, I see McCain beating Obama. I think Clinton would make for a closer contest, but I doubt she gets the Democratic nomination.

    April 9, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  23. Blue Eyes

    The reason he won't even think about giving up his seat is because even he knows, when the Dems. have a candidate his numbers will tank.

    Seriously, after hearing Gen Petraeus and (uh-hum, uh-hum Crocker, listening to him drove me mad) give their justification for continuing this madness in Iraq, even McCain knows he can't win the presidency.

    April 9, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  24. Kimberly

    Why are you guys not covering the monkey story? It shows the double standards of Obama. The american people need to know how Obama really feels about white people, he is just like his spiritual advisor.

    Why do you guys constantly bash Hillary and report none of Obama's truth's? Is there not any one over there at CNN that does not realize that not only is our planet in peril but our White house will be in peril if Obama is our president?

    April 9, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  25. Bacusla

    To Grif"s question: No, not trivia. McCain has been asking Obama questions about campaign funding options – you'll find it here on the Ticker; its a fair question. That's the surest way to go.

    April 9, 2008 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
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