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. Chris, Seattle WA

    Mech – he is a lier and stupid? Hmmm.

    You don't know how to spell liar, but he's stupid? You are as smart as the average republican I fear.

    September 4, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  2. Obama/Biden

    For people who said that Palin had more vote in her election as governer than Biden did as president, I want them to know that Biden was not on the barlot caucus past Iowa. You cannot take vote from one state and generalize the situation. I guess the same situation apply for that person when it come to his failed presidency bid as well. Biden is a long time experience senator with far more vote in all his reelection than that person who stated that comment and Palin combine. Biden is ready for the job when Palin is going to be an intern for the job.

    September 4, 2008 02:24 am at 2:24 am |
  3. Jim

    SMART ENOUGH? Your candidate finished 894/899 at Annapolis, while mine finished magna cum laude at Harvard. Get a grip actor guy who means nothing in the real world of politics.

    September 4, 2008 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  4. Average American

    Ben, what we want is smart honest politicians. How do you think we got where we are now, gravity? Sometimes you don't have to be a brain surgeon to get something done, you just have to have your heart in the right place. If John McCain needs some lady from Alaska to do his talking for him then we need all the Obama-Bidens we can find. At least they can speak for themselves.

    September 4, 2008 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  5. Rob

    Stein tells the truth in the open like usual. And Peggy Noonan tells the truth by accident into an open convention mic that she thought was off.
    Either way. The truth is that Palin was a clear choice of political pandering and poor judgement by McBush.

    September 4, 2008 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  6. David

    This guy at least has some sense.. he understand the mistake, no wonder he is an economist.

    September 4, 2008 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  7. Phillip

    You know you've made the wrong choice when even the staunchest members of your own party are sharply criticizing your choice...

    McCain is not going to win.

    September 4, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  8. Alaskan08

    Not half as stunned as we are in Juneau Ben (& not in good way)

    September 4, 2008 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  9. marcos

    Hey ben is it still a good time to buy bear sterns? lol losa

    September 4, 2008 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  10. Tina

    Ben, I didn't like you at first. But I must say, at least you want better for you party. Iam also a impressed democrate. Cudos

    September 4, 2008 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  11. Michael O'Brien

    For the first time.., I agree with Ben Stein. Mike O'Brien.., Montana

    September 4, 2008 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  12. Carmen Cameron

    Stein is holding out for someone "smart"? And he's voting for McCain?!? (That's setting the bar awfully low, don't you think?)

    September 4, 2008 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  13. KLM

    At least he's honest and not trying to "SPIN'...I can respect any party when they are honest.


    September 4, 2008 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  14. FAK Palin

    I have a bad feeling that this will be the end for Obama and Biden. Sarah Barracuda will inevitably eat them alive. This is making me sick to my stomach!

    GOD HELP AMERICA! I'm going to barf!

    September 4, 2008 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  15. Peter (CA)

    Biden is not smart enough? Really?

    I like Ben's acting and I think he is acting when he makes it look like the Republicans are able to accomplish anything.

    September 4, 2008 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
  16. RS

    You're not the only one whose still floored by the Palin pick – so is half of Alaskan's! I'm thoroughly confused as to why the media is reporting that all Alaskan's are thrilled over the pick. Far, far from the truth!!!!!!!!!

    From an Alaskan is the know.

    September 4, 2008 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  17. Ephy

    You are not alone Ben.

    September 4, 2008 02:55 am at 2:55 am |
  18. Proud American

    Now the gloves come off. If Palin wants to talk tuff and wants to get in the ring with the boys dont go crying sexism or any other foul if your feelings are hurt. I have a funny feeling this so called pit bull is really a chiuaua.

    September 4, 2008 02:56 am at 2:56 am |
  19. Dori in AZ


    Sarah would be only a heartbeat away from the presidency. Do you honestly think she has the experience to run the country? And, please don't tell me McCain could teach her. He could keel over at any time just from his age!

    September 4, 2008 02:57 am at 2:57 am |
  20. Jeff in NC

    Ben Stein clearly would have been a better pick than Palin. In terms of intelligence and acumen on the economy at least. He might actually have had more crossover appeal as well.
    Mr. Stein, can you really honestly say you will still support this ticket? The actuarial odds on her becoming president if he is elected are at least 1 in 3.
    The experience mantra is getting old and tiresome. Obama has proved his force of intellect and ability to engage effectively on the world stage. The world is practically begging us to elect him to get back on a functional international course. President Clinton was successful in his terms and the same half-baked arguments about his "experience" were made ad nauseum in 1992.
    The republicans needed to reach out to independents and democrats to win. That's the bottom line. They have failed to do so with this polarizing pick. The polls reflect it, McCain can't win on the hard core evangelical right wing alone, even if they turn out 100%.

    September 4, 2008 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  21. Kath

    As a Progressive, I respect Mr. Stein's viewpoint and I appreciate his candor.

    September 4, 2008 03:01 am at 3:01 am |
  22. Seth Sharon

    i think for a republican he was a little harsh, she didn't need a baby sitter to take care of her own state as governor.

    September 4, 2008 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  23. Lexa

    Not everyone will be happy with Palin as VP, but she'll warm hearts soon!

    September 4, 2008 03:07 am at 3:07 am |
  24. ruscotty

    Ben is a sellout. He gets paid big bucks by pharmaceutical companies and their ilk to give speeches which are a series of standup comedy acts, telling jokes and working the product into his routines. He is funny but part of the big machine – you know where his money the McBushies!

    September 4, 2008 03:09 am at 3:09 am |
  25. Tudlow

    Sorry, Ben, but the Republican party left "smart" behind a LONG time ago.

    Either learn to line dance or vote Libertarian!

    September 4, 2008 03:11 am at 3:11 am |
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