September 3rd, 2008
11:45 PM ET
10 years ago

Ben Stein: 'Floored' by McCain's veep pick


Ben Stein: Palin a 'peculiar VP choice'

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Palin? Palin?

Ben Stein of “Ferris Bueller” fame is beside himself over Sen. John McCain’s choice for vice president.

“I’m confused and disturbed by the GOP choice of Sarah Palin,” the economist said Wednesday outside The CNN Grill at the Republican National Convention.

Stein was hoping for someone with more experience like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who was considered to be on the shortlist of McCain’s potential running mates.

But don’t expect Stein to defect to the left.

“Obama doesn't have enough experience and Biden just isn't smart enough,” he said. "We need someone smart and we haven't had a smart president in a long time. Well, I guess Clinton was smart.

"I'm a Republican and hope McCain wins, but I'm just floored they picked Sarah Palin."

Stein is an author and former speechwriter for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford,

Filed under: CNN Grill
soundoff (244 Responses)
  1. Hogdaddee

    Ben Stein just doesn't know what to think – go figure!

    First he was dismayed and confused by Palin's lack of qualifications but now he's floored by Palin's delivery of the a speech hand crafted for her by the republican propaganda machine.

    Ben I'll help you out, you had it right on Wednesday!

    September 4, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  2. Kim

    My name is Sarah Palin and I have a BS in communication and Journalism! I am an ENERGY EXPERT. Drilling in a preserve won't harm the environment at all especially when we ship, refine, and burn all those long chain hydrocarbons! Oh yeah, and Cavemen road dinosaurs to work. So I guess that "The Flintstones" was actually a historical dramatization of the life of early Cro-Magnon man! Ben Stein and I believe in Nuclear power but NOT IN RADIO CARBON DATING!

    September 4, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  3. stephen .E

    it`s Palin and simple NO MCCAIN

    September 4, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  4. Spike

    I'm going to give you a break on this one. I was apprehensive before her speech. I felt Sarah hit a grand slam and am truely excited about the election now. Please come back and write about her now that you have heard her speech.

    September 4, 2008 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
  5. Jim Coughlin

    Ben Stein has continually defended the presidency of George Bush. I'm not sure when Bush suddenly lost intelligence in his eyes. I guess Stein has evolved.

    September 4, 2008 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  6. DB

    Stein feels that he is very smart. It is smart to be on a TV show with scripts in front of you. Yes, he is smarter than me but he ain't NO EINSTEIN.

    The TV/Media has placed him as a great brain. All he is just a better talking head.

    September 4, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  7. jack mcleod

    ms. palin maybe a so call attack dog. but when reality really stand face to face
    with her it want be like sitting in a office plus john cant take me anywhere especially into another four years of the last eight.
    Sen. Obama is someone i feel safe with my people feel the same


    September 4, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  8. Mike

    I agree with Ben Stein and too, am confused and disturbed by the GOP's choice especially after her speech tonight and the latest breaking news. Sarah Palin seems like an angry and sarcastic person and has shown that she can be a "pit bull" in attacking her opponents but may not take real issues seriously. In the last 8 years we have lost some ground in the international community because of a lack of diplomacy. Sarcasm will not help in rebuilding relations. I also believe we need to get out of Iraq and Palin does not support this effort. In fact, according to a recent article, Sarah Palin believes that the Iraq war is a mission from God. I am surprised with McCain's selection and become more disappointed daily.

    September 4, 2008 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  9. Brian, Pittsbrugh

    He's "floored" by McCain's bad decision, but he's going to vote for him anyway?? What kind of bad decisions will he make as president??

    Obama '08

    September 4, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  10. Robert

    I actually already wrote Ben Stein to thank him for his integrity. He proved he is not a herd animal. How did every Republican operative go from not knowing who she was to her best friend who knows all about how excellent she is (and they all use the same words, verbatim, how funny)?

    This move by the Republicans is a mockery of putting country first

    September 4, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  11. Eric

    An honest republican. Put him on the endangered list.

    September 4, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  12. Bob

    The man is an outdated supply side economist who is not so bright. By the way supply side is an approach favoured by Republicans which involves keeping wages low in order to keep exports high (so that the wealthy can cash in).

    September 4, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  13. Tony

    Why would Ben Stein be sour on the Palin pick? She's as far right as he is. And I thought Ben would be smart enough to realize that vice president picks are mostly gimmicks anyway.

    September 4, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  14. Independentandlovingit

    How much experience did our Fore Fathers have in politics and creating a Nation Ben? None they were visionary and Inspirational leaders who inspired a young nation to throw off tyrany and become the great Nation we are. They inspired us to action!!!

    September 4, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  15. Will

    As much as I disagree with Stein's political philosophy, I admire his refusal to sell himself out by pretending that Palin was a good choice by McCain.

    And at least Stein has the guts to speak his mind when he knows the mic is on, unlike some of his Republican colleagues.

    September 4, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  16. EX -Democrat now for McCain

    Excellent job Mrs. Palin !!!! Palin put Biden speech to shame!! We need someone smart for President like McCain and Palin!!! Im sick of Obama and his name trashing supporters!

    September 4, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  17. Cindy

    Republicans are willing to risk our country, our future, our jobs, our soldiers, our economic stability, and our environment as well as the world's on a reckless, ambitious presidential candidate and a extreme conservative and right-wing VP whose worldview hasn't been updated to include 21st century science to "supposedly" save a few tax dollars on the tax filings of the very rich and to prevent information about family planning and reproductive decisions to women? Republicans don't believe in government so they might think it doesn't matter but Bush DID matter and this election will matter – the loss is more than a slight increase in your tax contributions that, if you love your country so much, you should recognize your country provides to you more than those extra little tax payments you think you are trying to save by voting Republican. Personal moral issues and family issues are and should remain based on people's private decisions, but our safety, economy, and the American dream is something we all have to work together to protect: that's what this election is about. Obama/Biden: country first.

    September 4, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  18. John

    I was willing to give Palin a chance, but her speech turned my off completely. She is such a hypocrite to attack Obama on experience and to belittle his community service.

    I also didn't appreciate her snide comment that McCain used his career for change and Obama used change for his career. Obama was editor of the Harvard Law Review. He had his pick of plum legal positions, and he chose to serve his community. That's not the self-interested choice of someone seeking only to advance their career.

    September 4, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  19. Allen, Redlands CA

    Does Mr. Stein think Nixon was smart? Please, stick to acting.

    September 4, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  20. Jon

    Good for Ben Stein. I had pegged him as being a yes-man to the GOP for this cycle. I will have to pay much closer attention to his commentary now...

    September 4, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  21. ever

    if obama is not smart enough for you ,i guess maybe you should run
    ?because in humility i belive he is smarter than john maccain and palin put together .ponder on this!

    even if smart slapped you

    September 4, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  22. Dante in Madison

    Ben Stein is irrelevant.

    Enough of his whiny, nasal driveling. Go back to hosting t.v. game shows already.

    September 4, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  23. RK from Atlanta

    I like Ben Stein – he tells it like it is, just like Glenn Beck.

    I don't agree with them all the time, but they actually tell the truth, this coming from a Dem.

    Nasty convention tonight. Hope the rest of America saw it for what it really was. What a joke.

    September 4, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  24. Ricky gop 4 dnc

    thank you for being honest ben, thank you

    September 4, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  25. Barbara Giles

    I wish people would stop talking about Obama's lack of experience. He's lacking experience in comparison to whom? George Bush? If George Bush has experience than why is it that so much importance is being placed upon experience? Duh.

    It would be such a relief to just have a president with a brain and commonsense. In my opinion Obama is extremely smart, enlightened and humane to boot. I am amazed that there are still Republicans out there. Where have you been for the past eight years?

    The Republicans have Palin and McCain, both of questionable integrity and sanity. I just wish something would happen to enlighten the American people. Its looking like a country of rednecks, and big business. I know there is intelligent life somewhere in our great country.

    September 4, 2008 12:40 am at 12:40 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10