October 16th, 2008
10:19 PM ET
6 years ago

'I screwed up,' McCain tells Letterman

,
McCain greets cameras before going in for a taping on Letterman Thursday.
McCain greets cameras before going in for a taping on Letterman Thursday.

(CNN) - John McCain has learned his lesson: Don't ever cancel on David Letterman.

Appearing on the late night comedian's show Thursday, the Republican presidential candidate apologized for skipping out on a scheduled visit late last month that Letterman later made the subject of an ongoing joke.

"I screwed up," McCain told Letterman more than once in the interview that's set to air Thursday night.

McCain's appearance on the show comes three weeks to the day after after he raised the ire of the generally mild-mannered host by canceling at the last minute, citing his decision to suspend his presidential campaign because of the financial crisis.

"This doesn't smell right," Letterman said then, during a routine that only half appeared to be a joke. "This is not the way a tested hero behaves. Somebody's putting something in his Metamucil."

Letterman also didn't appear to buy the Arizona senator's explanation for the cancellation then, showing the audience a live feed of McCain preparing for an interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric. After praising McCain's record as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, he said, "This is not the John McCain I know, by God."

Letterman has repeatedly harped on McCain for the missed appearance, noting the Arizona senator's poll numbers appeared to begin to slide right after he skipped out on the show.

"Look at all the conversation I gave you. Including having Mr. Olbermann on," McCain told Letterman Thursday night, referencing the MSNBC liberal talk show host who filled in for him that night.

But Thursday's interview was not all fun and games, as Letterman pressed McCain on Republican VP Sarah Palin's preparedness to lead the country through "the next 9/11 attack.."

"Absolutely" she is, McCain said. "She has inspired Americans. That's the thing we need."


Filed under: Extra • John McCain
soundoff (643 Responses)
  1. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    You sure did.

    Obama 08!

    October 16, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. Erik

    Nothingwas more wonderful that night than Letterman catching McCain in one of his lies.

    October 16, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  3. No_ba_ma

    McCain did not "screw up." But, we all are fooled by Obama's lies. He is lying to us 100% of McCain's ads are negative, actually only 73%, and 64% of Obama's ads are negative. Obama says McCain's policy is the same as Bush's, but McCain will change the direction, while Obama will cancel Bush's tax-cut program, as a result we ALLwill automatically pay more taxes. Obama simply does not have the right job-resume or experiences to lead the country in the dangerous time, against terrorism. Who is the real Obama, with questionable ties with ACORN, Bill Ayers, Louis Farrakhan and the Rev. Wright? Imagine, Michelle Obama, and not Hillary Clinton, will become the first woman president, it is our destiny?

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  4. kayla

    YOU HAVE BEEN SCREWING UP, PEOPLE ARE JUST NOW NOTICING.

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  5. Charles

    The only thing Sarah Palin inspired me to do was to vote for Obama. The future of this country is too important to trust in her hands or someone who would consider her a qualified VP

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  6. Nevada Independant

    Dear I"M NOT A RACIST (in this blog),

    You should consider how much you undercut your argument against Obama when you say that he isn't bright enough to work at McDonald's.
    You may not agree with him on a single issue, but an idiot he is not.
    The man is one of the best educated people in this country.
    Now, some folks may argue that Ivy League education is worthless and that they have learned more from their favorite grade-school teachers.
    Guess that is why I see so many Harvard grads working the counter at the Quick-Mart and so many high-school-dropouts running our nations' major corporations...

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  7. bill

    When you have to say that "I'm not a racist", you probably are.

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  8. silence is golden

    McCain screwing up???
    Now thats really hard to believe.
    lol :D

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  9. go vote

    "I screwed up," "I screwed up," "I screwed up," "I screwed up," "I screwed up," "I screwed up,"

    That will be his mantra after Nov. 4

    And it will be ours if Palin is in charge after another 9/11 attack

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. Perusing-Through

    STOP THE PRESSES!! STOP THE PRESSES!!
    BREAKING NEWS!!

    Katie Couric has APB out looking for John McSame. John was supposed to be with Katie today for an interview.

    Oh wait! We have video confirming John is NOT with Katie, but he is now sitting on Dave Letterman's couch doing an interview. Quick, some one call Katie and let her know John is now sitting on Letterman's couch, kissing up and apologizing profusely for dumping Dave for Katie last month.

    October 16, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  11. Hard to Believe

    The first comment from "I'M NOT A RACIST" is hard to believe. The statement that Obama is "an idiot and shouldn't be able to work at McDonald's let alone the Oval Office" is RIDICULOUS. You're talking about a Harvard Law School graduate who was elected to lead the Law Review. Give me a break. The author should change their name from "I'M NOT A RACIST" to "I'M DUMB AND WRITE STUPID THINGS BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO."

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  12. uriahe

    It's called "stuck in stupied"..... McCain's thinking showed us that when he introduced Shara Palin. Oh, are you hearing the latest .... Joe the non-license plumber. Joe's not a plumber, he's an act.

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  13. susie

    Letterman is getting paid by Obama to beat up on McCain.

    October 16, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  14. democrats /PA

    woman and blacks will vote for obama

    October 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  15. CBH

    Hey me do I know you. Are prior military? I know a person who sign her E-mails has "me". I hope that you are not so dumb has to vote for the McCain/Palin ticket.

    CBH

    October 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  16. Herman In LA

    That' isn't all you screwed up...

    October 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  17. David

    The reason why McCain skipped Letterman's show was because he had to go save Palin from making an even bigger fool of herself on the CBS interview with Katie Couric.

    And I have to say something about Sarah Palin, all the derogatory comments made about her are wrong and insulting. However, I do believe that the fact that she is a running VP candidate is evident at how much America has embraced the spirit of under achievement.

    This is truly saddening, it is clear than neither McCain nor Palin can stand on their own just to deliver speeches. McCain is too boring, and Sarah Palin though very energetic, is not very resourceful.

    As an Independent, it is very hard for me to trust Republicans right now; do you realize that 8 years ago this party these same group of people, chose Bush over McCain. Now, McCain is the greatest republican since Reagan.

    I respect the democrats because they gave the best that they could offer for president and even though I thought they could do better, they chose a renown Vice president.

    Republicans did do a good job with choosing McCain, however they greatly underachieved with Sarah Palin. She might relate to lots of people, but she does not relate to the average American. I don't believe you can find 150 million people who use the term Joe-6-pack in a normal conversation.

    October 16, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Lou dobbs you seem like you have a problem with Obama you mean to tell me that you whould rather see Mccain and palin win this election when you know in your heart that mrs Palin is'nt ready.

    To led this country in the event something happens to Mccain we will be in trouble and you mean to tell me that you will ok with that i think that's absolutly nuts

    October 16, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  19. Baleful

    Inspired? Palin?

    The people she may have inspired are the closet racists and people that I view as the horrifying underbelly of American society....

    No thanks.

    October 16, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  20. StLouisMan

    Big deal, David Letterman was upset–will the world survive?

    October 16, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  21. Bill in CA

    To I"M NOT A RACIST – And you graduated from Harvard when? I don't think I want you flippin' my burgers.

    October 16, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  22. Obama-Pelosi-Reid = Depression

    You put Obama Pelosi and Reid in charge of this country with no checks and balances and we wilkl be in a Depression before the 4th of July

    October 16, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  23. voter

    McCain you are correct about your campaign. you did mess it up. I hope you and moose hunter return to your perspective states after nov. 4th. I am tired of McCain and Palin.

    October 16, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  24. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Well, it's good to see that the senator from Arizona can tell the truth.

    He definately screwed up!!!

    October 16, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  25. ines

    It was not just one screw up, McCain is making bad long-shot decisions every day. McCain is not anywhere near the 'A'-List league for presidential candidates.

    October 16, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26