September 11th, 2008
06:38 PM ET
6 years ago

Former GOP senator calls Palin a 'cocky wacko'

 Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee has words for Sarah Palin.
Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee has words for Sarah Palin.

(CNN) – Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee was known for keeping a low-key profile on Capitol Hill, but the Republican -turned -Independent is making waves with his exceedingly blunt comments on newly-minted Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin:

She's a "cocky wacko," he told a Washington think tank earlier this week.

WATCH: Chafee make the remarks

Chafee, the lone Senate Republican to vote against the Iraq war who endorsed Obama's White House bid earlier this year, told an audience at the New America Foundation in Washington Tuesday that Palin's selection has energized Obama backers.

"People were coming into my office, phone calls were flooding in, e-mails were coming in, 'I just sent money to Obama, I couldn't sleep last night' - from the left. To see this cocky wacko up there," he said.

He also described McCain's candidacy as "lackluster” and described the selection of Palin as a throwing "this firestorm, this tornado, into the whole presidential election."


Chafee, whose father served as senator from Rhode Island from 1976 until his death in 1999, narrowly lost his re-election bid two years ago to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse amid that election cycle’s wave of anti-Republican sentiment.

Chafee made a stir earlier this year when he directly called out Democrats who supported the Iraq war and were now expressing regret for their vote.

“I find it surprising now, in 2008, how many Democrats are running for president after shirking their constitutional duty to check and balance this president,” he wrote in his January 2008 book, “Against the Tide.” “Being wrong about sending Americans to kill and be killed, maim and be maimed, is not like making a punctuation mistake in a highway bill."


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Brad

    Energized Obama backers? What planet is this guy from? This simply shows that he is completely out of touch with most Americans.

    September 12, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  2. Osric

    He is rigth. But the elections are all about americans. It is not unusual for their heads to be in one place and their hearts in another. They are sentimental folks; so they follow their hearts must of the time and do not mind whinning down the road a few years later. They will vote for the things that are killing them. Kerry and Gore wolud have been far better Presidents than Bush. They preferred Bush because everyone else said he was not good for them and they simply hate outsiders telling them what is good for them even if it is reality. Most americans prefer Mccain/ Palin eventhough the ticket will follow the same policies that have destory their economy.

    September 12, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  3. Joe in Pittsburgh

    Obama threatens the USA. McCain/Palin threaten the entire world.

    So I guess the lesser of two evils would be Obama.

    If only Americans had woken-up and voted for Ron Paul in the primaries. Oh, well. As ye reap...

    September 12, 2008 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  4. Woman for Barack

    Let me guess, the republicans are going to say this is a sexist comment.

    September 12, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  5. darryl mcdougle

    I THING CNN, AND FOX NEWS ARE ALL RIGHT WING REPORTERS ,AND CNN WITH NO BIAS NO BULL IS BULL, NO BODY WANTS TO SAY ANTHING ABOUT THIS PALIN WOMAN, YOU WOULD THING SHE WALKS ON WATER. FOR 19 MONTHS SEN OBAMA HAVE BEEN BEATEN ABOUT EXPIENCE, AND COULD HE LEAD THE GOP PICK THIS GOV, NOTHE IS THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD, I WOULD EXPECT THIS FROM FOX NEWS, THE SO FAR RIGHT ITS TERRIBLE, BUT CNN I' AM SUPRISE, NO BIAS NOT BULL THATS BULL@#$%^. AND CHAFEE SAID SOMETHING ABOUT SARAH PALIN, HE SHE BE TAKEN OUT IN AND BOIL IN OIL, I SAY HATS OF TO HIM FOR THAT, COURAGE. THESE NEMEDIAS OARE SO TWO FACED ITS. DO ME A FAVOR WHEN SARAH PALIN IS WALIKING ON WATER LET ME KNOW..

    September 12, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  6. Scott

    This is news??!! Most Americans do not even know who the failed senator from our smallest state is. He left no mark on the country, being so weak that he has been one of the few incumbent senators to lose a seat in recent years. And we should care what he thinks? And CNN thinks it's newsworthy? Seems like anyone who criticizes Gov. Palin gets coverage on CNN!

    September 12, 2008 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  7. BlackMan4Mac

    Another woman hater strikes again. Get a life dude and quit being jelious.

    September 12, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  8. Frank

    This is typical of why nothing ever gets done in Washington, because politicians are only saying crap, due to them being affiliated with an opposing Party so they feel that to make themselves look better and get their 15 minutes of fame, they have to try and trash the opposing party and their designates. When we were children we were taught to not say anything if we don't have anything nice to say but I guess as adults and politicians we can be hypocritical and do the opposite. What does that say to our children who are being told "do as I say and not as I do"! This is one of the main reasons our children are growing up without moral values and are troubled teens. As polititians you must feel great about contributing to the delinquency of minors!
    Another thing is the news media as a whole are feeding into this bit with questioning Gov. Palins' experience. Every where you turn the media is directing their main questions to Gov. Palin and others about her experience or what they call lack of, and it is starting to really get annoying. Show me where every time you turn around someone is asking Senator Obama about his experience. First of all he should answer that more than anyone due to the fact that he is running for President and Palin for Vice president so he should be more qualified than her. Where is his executive experience vs. hers; and what because he met some foreign dignitaries in his extended length of public service (what maybe 5 or 6 months)? Palin has been dealing with executives and politicians way longer than Obama, and people think they don't need to ride him about his experience! This is why the U.S. is in this situation today, because every on e listens to the Media instead of thinking for them selves. I quess it is easier and quicker to let others do your thinking for you that way you have more time to be Hypocritical! I also feel this is sexual bias since they are only riding Gov. Palin about the experience aspect and not Obama. Is the news media afraid someone might say something about Obama and end up with a Racial discrimination law suit; or is the media being Politically partisan? Think about it. I was always taught that the media was supposed to be Neutral!

    September 12, 2008 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  9. John in Ohio

    Chafee rocks.

    September 12, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  10. geri

    I feel the same way...cocky wacko...Adios Mrs. Mooseknuckle.

    September 12, 2008 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  11. Melissa Spears

    She's definitely not presidential or vice presidential material. Being called a pittbull and a barracuda is not complimentary, especially for someone wanting to govern our country. We don't need any war mongers.

    September 12, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  12. Anna

    Who is the Fear Party now???

    Or maybe the fear of potentially losing the election is masquerading under this Terrifying Fear of Sarah Palin.

    Military people do not live for WAR. They live for winning them and keeping them from coming back.

    Civilian leaders are inept at starting, managing and ending WAR.
    GWB case in point.

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 12, 2008 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  13. paul in atlanta

    thank you Chafee....

    Now do me a favor and find Colin Powell so we can win this thing!

    September 12, 2008 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  14. Ilene

    That about says it all.

    September 12, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  15. gene

    Yesterday's interview was the exact reason why Palin shouldn't be anywhere NEAR the White House.

    I don't expect her to know the answers to all the questions. I had absolutely NO idea what the Bush Doctrine was.

    But... rather than saying "I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with the doctrine".. she's just trying to BS her way through... and making herself look like an idiot. Imagine if she was meeting with foreign leaders and doing something like that! Nobody is expected to know everything... but this is not a job you can BS your way through.

    September 12, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  16. Jezerie Blango

    McCain only picked her to win the White House, not change anything. Wake up people, dont you see. We need change, not just a win. I really want to see a women in the White House. Not because what will get the winning ticket, but change America. The world want to see change. People want change not the same old what can get me in the White House. John McCain is a okay guy, but is he ready to change America??? Obama has set out to try to do so. The guy (obama) has been running a campain that is not talking about the McCain personal life or race or whos this and whos that, But what is hurting America. Gas, Food, Energy. Things that matter. Wake up America.

    September 12, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  17. Traitor

    If you are a Republican and think this of another Republican, how can you even say this, and keep this country united. Is it that not what its about. You are so wrong. Does it scare you that a woman can hold her own. Are you use to having women, barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen. My gosh man get your head out of the sand. We are all equal. She can hold her own. And I have yet to see her say anything inappropriate. Your scared, you must of peed your pants of the thought of Hillary gaining anything in the race. Lets come out as Americans, not racist, female hater, or just plain ignorant.

    September 12, 2008 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  18. GOBAMA!

    Thank goodness someone with some experience with the GOP is coming out to state the obvious– Sarah Palin is a wackjob. Beginning with her blatant lies (this soon, too) to the public, she is as inexperienced with foreign policy as it gets, as financially "loose" as any candidate in this race so far, and as ignorant as the sky is wide. Let's hope the "celebrity" experiences a quick downward spiral when the media really starts spreading the word about her inaccurate, corrupt, and spendthrift ways.

    September 12, 2008 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  19. Chuck

    This man truly speaks the truth. She pretty much dodged every question by Gibson, and answered questions with responses not even related to the question. War with Russia! Senator Chafee, you said it right only you forgot to use one word. RELIGIOUS COCKY WACKO. SSSSCCCCAAAAAARRRRRYYYYY!!!!!!!!

    September 12, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  20. Truth Hurts from Liberty Island ; )

    That's what i call: Post-Momentum FX. .When we learn more about Gov Palin.
    Besides her , there weren't too many GOPs willing to become WcCain 's running mate, because, they knew , he's bound to lose, but she would fit in perfectly , and only Alaska wuold have to suffer damages comes Nov 5th.

    Mooses, lipstick-pigs, pittbulls ? The Re-publican party sounds more like a darn zoo !!!!

    September 12, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  21. Steve R

    who is this guy?

    do we care what everyone says about everything............

    why is my picture not ever on CNN?

    September 12, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  22. sharilyn rider

    This Palin is more scary than GWB. Wake up Americans and see the handwriting on the wall. If you think things are bad now just vote for the Republican ticket and we will really be in trouble. I have voted since 1952 and never in all this time have I seen anything like this election. To put someone like Palin on a national ticket for president is beyond SCARY. She is a time bomb ready to blow up and we would all go with her! She is attractive but dangerous. Just read her comments on international relations. Shoot first, talk later. THINK America......VOTE DEMOCRAT this time!

    September 12, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  23. Carter Ritchie

    Can you feel the desperation of the Obama Camp yet? The cool exterior is now chipping away. I guess the number of bitter Americans were a bit larger than originaly calculated in San Francisco.

    The funny thing is that attack after attack after attack are leveled at Governor Palin by the Obama Campaign. I guess that the whole competing against McCain thing hasnt worked so well.

    Blame the bitter voters, and those wackos that believe that motherhood is not a disqualifier from real opportunity.

    Many of us believe that succesful mothers should be recognized for both their commitment to family and their succeses in business and leadership. I guess the Democrats don't. SC Democratic chair, "Palin's primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion."

    Yeah, Governor Palin is a wacko......

    September 12, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  24. PA Independent

    I always liked Chaffee. He is a little unorthodox, but was never afraid to vote against his party when necessary. Liberal republicans are an endangered species these days, unfortunately. The party has been free to swing so far to the right it no longer represents even moderates and doesn't seem to want much to do with them except on Election Day. That's why I'm an Independent now – I'm not really a Dem, but there is no place for me in the modern right-wing cutlure wars of the GOP. "Cocky Wacko" wouldn't have been my choice of words, but props to Chaffee for having the courage to speak his mind. And he's dead-on about the Dems who voted for the war – it's not like war is something to take lightly, or a mistake you can just take back.

    September 12, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
  25. Michael, watching from Canada

    Palin.......just like Bush

    And to think that Sarah Palin publicly stated that the US invasion of Iraq was, "a task that is from God"!!!!!!!!!

    Since when is God for war? NEVER!!!

    It is this holier-than-thou, ultra-right wing, elitist attitude that caused the US to invade IRAQ unnecessarily in the first place. The world sees Palin no different than Bush.

    NEWS FLASH!!

    IT WAS OBAMA WHO DEMONSTRATED GOOD JUDGMENT ABOUT THE REAL WAR ON TERRORISM.

    IT WAS OBAMA WHO HAS BEEN SAYING FOR MANY MONTHS THAT THE US SHOULD REDEPLOY TO AFGHANISTAN. NOT Bush, NOT McCain, no republicans.

    AND LO AND BEHOLD.......WHAT IS THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCING THIS WEEK?? Redeployment of troops to Afghanistan.

    It is Obama who has the better judgment.

    It is Obama that has pushed for change (NOT McCain) since the beginning of the primaries.

    And Palin doesn't even know what the Bush Doctrine! Scary....

    September 12, 2008 08:41 am at 8:41 am |
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