November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
7 months ago

McCain says Palin has a 'very bright future' as a GOP leader

McCain confirmed Tuesday he’s planning to run for a fifth Senate term in 2010.
McCain confirmed Tuesday he’s planning to run for a fifth Senate term in 2010.

(CNN) – Former GOP presidential candidate John McCain denied Tuesday that political considerations - a desire to appeal to Clinton supporters - played a role in his selection of running mate Sarah Palin, calling her “an energizing factor” and telling reporters the Alaska governor has a “very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.”

"She did a great job of energizing our base. I'm very proud of her,” he said at a press conference in Phoenix, his first since losing to Barack Obama three weeks ago. “It's one of the great pleasures I've had to get to know her and her family, and I think she has a very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.

"....I knew that she would be an energizing factor, because she energized me," he added. "Our base, and most Americans, viewed Governor Palin as a breath of fresh air."

Taking a look back at the presidential contest, he said his campaign was dealt a fatal blow when public focus shifted from foreign policy to the faltering economy. “The American people - and I respect that decision, I don’t in any way criticize it – [decided] that the economy was of vital importance. And it is,” he said.

He also told reporters: “We worked hard, and we inspired a lot of people, Sarah Palin and I. I think we look back with pride."

The Arizona senator said that he’s planning to run for re-election in two years, and that an official announcement would come “at an appropriate time.” He praised the president-elect for his cabinet picks so far, especially his reported selection of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano – long mentioned as a likely 2010 Senate rival - as Secretary of Homeland Security.

Multiple sources have told CNN that Napolitano is Obama’s top choice for that post.

"I have already talked with her, and look forward to moving her nomination as quickly as possible through the United States Senate," said McCain. He said he is also planning trips in the near future to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even with his stiffest competition is reportedly taking a pass, McCain’s home state has been trending blue - he beat Barack Obama by just 9 points - and the four-term senator told reporters Tuesday he’s expecting a “tough race.”


Filed under: Arizona • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (801 Responses)
  1. KJL

    Love or senility. Take your pick.

    November 25, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  2. Margo - TEXAS

    I didnt vote or you Mr. McCain but I do think your a good man. I'm glad to see that you will run again we need people like you in Washington. I know deep down the campaign you ran is not the way you truly are.

    November 25, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  3. Mr. Lugo

    Now replace the word "energize" with "destroy". Ahhhh much better!

    November 25, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. Arkay, MI

    Looks like since he did not win the presidency, McCain wants to keep GOP down for sometime by talking up Sarah Palin.

    November 25, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  5. Turn Texas BLUE

    please tell me he was joking!!!!????oh no! he is still in denial! FAce it McCain everyone knew the economy was in the hole when you where neck and neck with Obama, but when you introduced her to the world, thats when you Fell FAR BEHIND OBAMA IN THE POLES!

    November 25, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Harold

    Why not She is new and good looking ?

    November 25, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Bob

    too bad the gop doesnt have one, though lol

    November 25, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. LS, Austin, Texas

    'She did a great job of energizing our base. I'm very proud of her" . . . uh...yeah, that's why you lost the election.

    McCain appears to be stuck in La La Land. I don't believe for one second that McCain doesn't have any regrets picking Palin. He has to – he lost big time because of her – – and Thank Goodness they did.

    November 25, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. LyonsPhilly

    It is a shame. Senility has set in.

    I guess his mom taught him "if you have nothing nice to say, lie"......

    November 25, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  10. Armando

    The only one that can save the GOP is Ron Paul or someone like minded. Not the same clowns.

    November 25, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. Fred in SC

    Obama is very, very, shady.... he might not even be legally eligible to run for or hold the office of President of the United States. Keep your eye on that one!

    November 25, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Sara

    Yes she does. A very impressive popular Governor.

    November 25, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Central Scruitinizer

    Glad to see him being positive towards Obama. But the Shrilla from Wasilla will be a joke now and forever

    November 25, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. laura

    He is only saying it so he won't look like a fool for picking her as his V.P. ..... but come on John be honest.

    November 25, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. indyred

    Just like the Energizer Bunny–she goes on and on and on and on and on and on...

    November 25, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. ANGIE

    Mccain its ok the Election is over you can tell us what you really think about Palin I mean you only spoke to her for 15 minutes and asked her to be VP Mccain is dementia kicking in?

    November 25, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. Rick

    There's one thing I just don't get. McCain (and other Republicans) keep talking about the "base" of the party. Since when did the religious right become the "base" of the Republican party? Somewhere along the way, I think the true Republican party got lost and hasn't been able to find itself. It never will as long as it keeps thinking of the religious zealots as the "base" of the party.

    November 25, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    If she, with her anti-intellectual attitude, is the future of the Republican party, then they are really in trouble. She may have energized the base, but she is not good enough to move forward. We never heard enough about her own ideas or what she had done in less than 2 years in Alaska as governor.

    The Republicans need to show that they don't hate being smart or people who are smart. What do they stand for more than just cutting taxes and being anti-abortion? What do they see as the role of government? What should government be doing?

    November 25, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. Joyce, from New Jersey

    What for Moose catcher in Alaska ..... she needs to go away !!!!!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  20. Jax

    "Breath of Fresh Air"????? How about oxygen deprived as a child. How else could she be so ignorant!!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. Franky

    "He also told reporters: “We worked hard, and we inspired a lot of people, Sarah Palin and I. I think we look back with pride."

    Last time I checked, you got BEAT DOWN on election night! You didn't have any upsets and the upsets my boy had was Virginia(by the way, what happen to "real" Virginia, huh?), NC(North Carolina), Indiana, Florida just to name a few. And by the way, my boy only lost Montana by 3 points and guess what? He only visited that state no more than 10 times and imagine if he visited more...

    Even the Oklahoma City Thunder have a better say than you guys...

    November 25, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  22. Wilson, Seattle

    I think the campaign ending brought back McCain's dignity. He could so easily throw her under the bus or use her as a scape goat. It would be true and she would deserve it. It seems McCain is staying loyal to her despite all she's done.

    It could be that, or maybe he just doesn't want to admit he made a mistake.

    November 25, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  23. indyred

    Sarah Palin is like the Energizer Bunny–she goes on and ona and on and on...

    November 25, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  24. David Newport, OR

    I guess I am not one of those individuals McCain refers to as "most" Americans. I am proud of that fact.

    November 25, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Please, God, let this painted ditz be the leader of the New Repellicans so they can chart their course as the permanent minority party of the brain dead into the middle of the twenty-first century.

    November 25, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
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