July 2nd, 2008
07:10 AM ET
4 years ago

Quayle: I respect Obama 'because he beat the Clintons'

Quayle said McCain faces “an uphill battle.”
Quayle said McCain faces “an uphill battle.”

(CNN) - Former Vice President Dan Quayle didn’t think John McCain would make it this far in his quest for the White House – and he’s pessimistic about his fall chances against Barack Obama.

"Polls show most people want change and change wins a lot of the time," Quayle said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday to promote his participation in a golf tournament later this month. "I hope McCain wins, but to be very fair, he has an uphill battle."

He said he expected New York senator Hillary Clinton and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney would face off this fall – and respected Obama for doing something he couldn’t 16 years ago.

"I have a lot of grudging respect for what he did because he beat the Clintons, something we couldn't do in 1992. The Clintons were very convincing in the campaign they ran. So I thought she would be the candidate,” said Quayle, who lost his bid for a second vice presidential term to the Democratic ticket of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1992.

"I think she made obviously some very tactical mistakes. One, underestimating Obama. And, two, the whole inevitability that `I am entitled to the nomination' ended up hurting her quite dramatically,” he said while acknowledging that "I don't think anyone saw, including myself, the Barack Obama movement."

As a Republican who lost to a Democratic ticket touting “change,” Quayle had some advice for this year’s presumptive GOP nominee: lay out a “clear vision” of what he’ll do when he reaches the White House.

"When 80 percent of the people think we are on the wrong track, you need to do that. It needs to be strategic,” said Quayle. “That's not been done yet. They may be waiting for the convention, but that needs to be done."

In April, McCain pointed to Quayle’s vice presidential selection as an example of why he did not want to rush his own selection of a running mate, telling reporters the former Indiana senator "not been briefed and prepared for some of the questions" when he was tapped for the Republican ticket in 1988.

"I'm a great friend of Dan Quayle's and I think he was a fine senator. 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," said McCain.


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soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. DJ

    Wow – talk about irrelevant.

    July 2, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    I am with you Dan. And you are right about the reasons she lost. But did we actually get rid of the Clintons? I doubt it. You can't keep them down for long, they have a way of resurfacing. I have no respect for either of them. What a sleazy couple. And Dan, you look better as you age. Very distinguished.

    July 2, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  3. Jeff

    First smart thing this guy has said in years.Love it.

    July 2, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  4. Jeff Long

    Dan Quayle, I just need you to do one thing for me, spell "POTATO(E)". LOL!! Obama is a Japanese Monkey!!

    July 2, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. THE BIG CHUCQUITA

    Dan Quayle? Dan Quayle? Dan Quayle? Where have I heard that name before?

    July 2, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  6. mort

    i'm not trying to be a spelling nazi or anything of the sort. however, i find it amazing that people who can't spell simple words like "loser" and "repeat" even have the cognitive ability required to actually be interested in politics. i figured this was an appropriate place to post this, considering it's a discussion about dan "potatoe" quayle :D

    July 2, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. Rich

    This guy used to be the dumbest person to every hold a public office. Then came Bush.

    July 2, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. Mike

    Wow! Candor and honesty from a politician... after 8 years of Bush jr. it sure is a welcome change. Thank you, Dan Quayle.

    July 2, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. Phred

    Just give up already...it's not like Dan Quayle ever hurt anyone!

    July 2, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  10. Georgette Bozovich

    I am with you Dan. And you are right about the reasons she lost. But did we actually get rid of the Clintons? I doubt it. You can't keep them down for long, they have a way of resurfacing. I have no respect for either of them. What a sleazy couple. And Dan, you look better as you age. Very distinguished.

    July 2, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. rick

    Dan's biggest problem was that he was real. He never pretended to be some polished bs filled politician.

    July 2, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. novembertrainwreck

    Jan – you're very wrong. Obama beat the stuffing out of the Clintons! Woo Hoo! Time to change the changemongers.

    July 2, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  13. captainkona

    Heh,

    No so sure "respect' from the likes of Dan Quayle is such a good thing.
    I suggest Obama repudiate Quayle's remarks.

    July 2, 2008 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  14. The Bu

    Isn't this the same idiot who could not spell POTATOES????? Who gives a flip about him? He's G.H.W.B.'s flunky!!!! IDIOT!!! That's why nobody's hear from him in ages. Go back under your rock, Quayle!!!

    July 2, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. BettiH, Indianapolis, IN.

    I forgot all about Dan Quayle. I agree with him completely. Obama wasn't competing against just Clinton. He was up against the entire Clinton machine. ...and although that minister did say the exact same thing about Clinton and her sense of entitlement, it is true...that was a turn off for many. I have always been an Obama supporter, but I can stomach her now that the primary season is over.

    July 2, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  16. james

    Dancing on the Clinton's grave that is typical of a distressed republican. Republicans are such losers!

    July 2, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Cj

    P O T A T O!

    July 2, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Derrick in Houston

    Hey D, spell potato?

    July 2, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. Francesca

    I still remember Dan Quayle's remark stating he resembled Robert Redford, but he (Dan) was better looking than Robert Redford.
    What a goof ball!

    July 2, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. 1 McCain Supporter Blogging

    I love Dan Q. Yeah he was the gaffer to beat all gaffers, including even George "Nucular" W, but he actually has a few brain cells. They did him a big disservice by not preparing him better for debates etc. As an example of other younger candidates, W, Bill C and even Obama, they had a whole primary process to work out kinks, Dan Q did not get to play in the playoffs just the finals. Although that doesn't explain 1992 very well.

    July 2, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. JAM

    IF THOSE WHO PUT THE CLINTONS IN THE WHITE HOUSE HAD ANY SENSE THEY SHOULD NOW REALIZE WHAT A BUNCH OF LIAR'S AND PHONIES THE CLINTONS REALLY ARE. THE CLINTONS KNEW THAT THEIR BACKERS WOULD BELIEVE ANYTHING THEY WERE SAYING SIMPLY BECAUSE THEIR INTELLIGENCE LEVELS
    WERE DECLINING QUICKLY.
    THE POSTER WHO MADE THE REMARK ABOUT THE 5TH GRADE : SPELLING A WORD WRONG IS NOTHING COMPARED TO"ITS NOT SEX TO HOW I DEFINE IT" AND YOU FOOLS BELIEVED HIM.
    AS FORMER VP QUALE STATES IT'S FANTASTIC THAT OBAMA KICKED THIER ARSES UP AND DOWN WASHINGTON DC. IT COULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED TO 2 MORE UNSCRUPULOUS(?)
    LIARS AND PHONIES.
    NOW I'M WAITING TO HEAR WHAT OBAMA WILL TELL HILILARY WHAT SHE CAN DO WITH HER PROPOSALS TO THE DEMOCRATIC SLATE. WHERE HE'S GOING TO TELL TO PUT THEM WILL BE A PLACE THE SUN DON'T SHINE ON.

    July 2, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. barack

    Dan, thanks for the advice. You were always an inspiration to me and I've modeled my career and the content of my speeches after you.

    Your lightweight brother,

    Barack

    July 2, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. Ken

    Lighten up a bit on a real honest American and a good man for sure. Enough former VP bashing already. This really doesn't solve anything does it? We don't see Dan in the news enough. And I bet none of y'all can spell Quayle! :)

    July 2, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. eric

    Obama beat them, then joined them. And I think making more links to the 90s and illustrating the similarities between Clinton's economics and Obamas would be a good thing. When even Quayle can clearly look at the primaries and call it as it was, it provides stark relief as to just how crazy and delusional PUMAs are.

    July 2, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. David, New York, NY

    No offense Dan, but you rose from the scrap heap of history to tell us this? As with most of your utterances, not too much substance to be found.

    July 2, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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