WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senator Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle became the latest prominent Democrats to slam John McCain's choice of a vice presidential running mate, both saying that the Arizona senator "buckled" to the extreme right.
Speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Sunday, Dodd called the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin "the choice of Dobson, Robertson, and Limbaugh"-referring to Focus on the Family chairman James Dobson, televangelist Pat Robertson, and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
"This is a real sop to the extreme conservative elements of the Republican Party. John McCain's knees buckled because he was fearful of what the extreme right was going to say about this ticket, that's what this comes down to," the former Democratic presidential candidate said on "Late Edition".
Shortly afterwards on the same program, Daschle voiced similar sentiments.
"The choice is somewhat mystifying to me, Wolf. It's inexplicable. the only explanation to me is that he buckled, he knuckled under, to the extreme right-wing pressures that he was feeling these last several weeks."
Daschle called Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, the "perfect choice" for a woman vice presidential candidate, and Dodd ran off a list of Republican women whom he feels are more capable.
"I think of Elizabeth Dole, I think of Jodi Rell, the governor of Connecticut, I think of Kay Bailey Hutchison, I think of Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe. I can recite off the top of my head a number of Republican candidates, women, who are far more qualified, with all due respect to Sarah Palin," Dodd said.
On ABC's "This Week", Senator John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, said that McCain wanted to choose former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge or independent Senator Joe Lieberman, but that "Rush Limbaugh and the right-wing vetoed it."