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. SB

    I agree with you Ben on one point, we need a smart president, and that is why we need to elect Barack Obama. But, a smart man like you will vote along party lines instead of voting for the person that will restore our country afer eight years of McBush. Way to go !

    September 4, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  2. Carlos Marroquin

    WOW!, I can even say backwards, WOW!
    If there is anything that you have ever said recently that I actually agree is the fact that she will need a Henry Kissinger to baby sit her. Oh, I
    guess it runs in the ticket....Joe Lieberman baby sits Mcshame also!
    And this is the people that want to run our country and fix our economy? WOW
    Carlos, US. Veteran

    September 4, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  3. aliou FL

    If stein is "flooded," then he should do something about it.

    September 4, 2008 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  4. aliou FL

    Republicans are just jalous that Barack is not in their camp.

    September 4, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  5. Steve

    How can someone that graduated from Columbia and Harvard Law School not be smart Mr. Stein?

    September 4, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  6. aliou FL

    The republicans are getting nastier and I was so turned off that I had to watch a movie instead;

    September 4, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  7. TXMomof2

    Now Ben,

    You should know you will get into trouble when you don't repeat the official talking point, which is that she was the most qualified person McCain could pick. Of course, Kay Bailey Hutchison is far too unqualified to have been considered. She has no foreign policy or national security experience. Oh wait, that's not right. Oh yes, its her views on abortion that are out of line.

    Anyway, I digress, you and Peggy Noonan are sure to be excommunicated tomorrow.

    September 4, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  8. Tony

    Ben Stein is super republican. That means he's both Republican and Smart, and this time, he's right about Sarah Palin.

    September 4, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  9. Jane

    Well, Ben, if you are so "floored" just pick your fat self up and get on with it. I don't think that Senator McCain felt the need of asking your opinion in choosing his running mate. Why should he have? He has worked hard all his life and has the right to pick whomever he wished. And you, sir, should respect that and SHUT UP!
    McCain/Palin supporter

    September 4, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  10. mike

    Hey Ben, you were great in Ferris Buehler's day off.
    Now you have no clue.

    September 4, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  11. john

    Well Ben Obama is way smarter, go figure and just a reminder , the Bush administration is using Obama foreign policy foot notes right now, Hunting Bin Laden down, using diplomacy and a time table for withdrawal from Iraq

    September 4, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  12. Benz

    Nothing changes the fact that Macain supports Bush 90% of the time. That is all that matters. And now another divisive vp who wants to shine no matter what it takes. All the same in line with Bush.
    Democratic party had two awsome canditates and that was very challenging even in a family. Republicans have no suitable person left.

    September 4, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  13. Steve B.

    Huh, I guess Mr. Stein has a brain after all...good call Ben.

    September 4, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  14. Ervin Lang

    Am I the only one that remembers how McCain barely lasted in the 2000 election and all of a sudden this 2000 POW still couldnt beat Bush..But the 2008 POW is a Hero Now?McCain Plane was shot down ..If you ask me I want someone while in combat that avoids getting shot down....Do you think he CHOSE to become a POW I dont think so..

    September 4, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  15. Mike in Cincinnati

    I'm floored too, Ben. But fear not. With Obama, you have a man who is brilliant, and solid thinker on complex issues, a listener and synthesizer of ideas and perspectives from others, an individual with solid judgment and decision-making skills, and an individual who obviously has the ability to successfully manage large, complex organizations. (His exceptionally-run campaign is the best current example.) If you want smarts, Obama is your choice.

    September 4, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  16. Gerri

    Ben is a sad little man,I really sorry for him.

    September 4, 2008 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  17. 3 questions

    1. does being a POW makes a good president?
    2. is Mr. McCains' mind stability ready to be president?
    3. If Mr. McCain ancestors had not been admirals and his wife Cindy a very wealthy woman, would he be the republican nominee today?

    September 4, 2008 01:48 am at 1:48 am |
  18. mech126l

    former speech writer for a felon and a failed pres that is rich

    September 4, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  19. Stephen

    How can you mention Katrina... and only lament over the strategic petroleum reserve being opened during the shortfall and say nothing about the devastation to hundreds of thousands of peoples lives, homes and communities. Not to mention over 1800 people died.... but it is really sad that we tapped our oil reserve?

    Sounds REALLY out of touch to me

    September 4, 2008 01:50 am at 1:50 am |
  20. Jane Davis

    Ben: This is the first time I agree with you on ONLY ONE thing. Sarah Palin was a poor pick. I already cannot stand to look at her. However, I do disagree with you on Obama. I think he is ready to become President of the United States. He is as honest a politician you can be. He is the man.

    September 4, 2008 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  21. John F. Leech

    You should be amazed & shocked Ben. This is a "Mother of All Blunders". This Palin selection has cost McCain the election. Even if he forces her out, and he will want to try, e's in a no win situation. He picked her, and din;t check her out, now he's stuck. If he get's her out, he gets pounded for having terrible judgment. He's DOOMED.

    September 4, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  22. Allan

    Ben Stein is a bigot and an anti-intellectual bully and even he has the good sense to see what a disaster Sarah Palin will be for the party to which he so bitterly clings.

    September 4, 2008 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  23. Highlyblessed

    Stein, you're no Einstein....if you're so dang smart, why don't you run for President. No one care about you or your career or political stance. Go away. Bueller is calling.

    September 4, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  24. candy

    Tell it like it is Ben Stein!! Some people just need to look into the voting history of the Dems to get the real picture....Oh wait, they may need us to paint them a picture since they can't seem to read the facts.

    September 4, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
  25. Mike

    Pick up the phone Ben Stein. MSNBC is on the line.

    September 4, 2008 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
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