November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
2 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. I'm Not Missing The Old Mule & Winky Half-baked Alaska

    And that prediction tells you just how bright McCain is.

    November 25, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  2. American Citizen

    Thanks but NO Thanks!

    November 25, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. Erma in Missouri

    I was wondering why in the world he was calling a press conference. I am still wondering why he did it - what was the real news?

    November 25, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. El Perro Loco

    Wow...even after winning the election the left wing commentators here are full of hate and venom. So much for uniting.

    You talk about how McCain put the nation at risk by having someone inexperienced as the VP nominee. Yet, couldn't the argument be put back on the Democratic voters who put someone with comparable experience at #1 on their ticket. The only difference is that Obama didn't have to face the same harsh media treatment and he's a more eloquent public speaker.

    November 25, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Sue

    Is this the Straight Talk Express????

    November 25, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  6. Missouri Mom

    What is he going to say but that she is great because if he says she is a joke that makes him a joke and he has to big an ego for that!

    November 25, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  7. Vik

    Let her run, do whatever she pleases. Didn't we already find out with the election that the majority of the people want someone intelligent, good and inspiring to lead our country. All she will do is fall flat on her face when she tries for higher office. It's mentality like the RNC that got them to this place, so if they can't learn to be inclusive, none hate spewing, and hateful of anyone who doesn't act like them, look like them, then the will continue to lose.

    November 25, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. jackjack

    Seriously, I find it hard to believe that she has much of a future nationally in the GOP. It should be obvious to most people that she is devisive, and that moderates will not vote for her. Sure, she energized the far religious right, but she hurt McCain with moderate Republicans and independents. I think he would have lost either way, but it would have been closer. Need proof? Look at how far she fell in support with women. Right after she was announced as McCain's pick, she had huge support with women. As they figured out who she was and what she fell for, that support shifted to Obama. I'm sure she'll run for the nomination in 2012, but I don't think she'll get it. And if she does, she won't win unless something horrid has happened to Obama's presidency and/or the nation.

    November 25, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. Sanibelle

    I jumped off McCain's ship when he selected SP to be his running mate. If he doesn't have the sense to keep his mouth shut about this inappropriate choice, he doesn't even deserve to represent the people of Arizona in the Senate. They deserve better. I also decided it was time for Lieberman to go when he not only backed McCain but then had the audacity to praise the choice of SP as his VP. Time to get some young blood in the Senate, especially on the Republican side.

    November 25, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. Proud to be American

    Wow back in the day we would say that McCain is just saving face. If he really loves the GOP he would not encourage her as the next Presidential canidate. However, since I truly love the Democrate Party I say we welcome her in 2012 ...... On the top of the ticket ....

    November 25, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Carmen

    I completely agree with Andrea. Palin is George W. Bush's female counterpart. She is energetic and exciting, but she lacks substance, and this lack of substance made her lose credibility (and ultimately, votes).

    I think they would do better taking a chance on someone like Romney or Huckabee!

    November 25, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. no fear

    and what would you expect him to say? even if he regretted his decision in picking her as his VP (and he probably did), he would not feel comfortable coming out and officially saying that she didn't measure up.

    and she didn't–measure up.

    I feel fortunate that she will not be holding the position of VP. I thank the country for a change, for making a more informed, intelligent decision.

    An Independent

    November 25, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. It takes one to know one

    Those who refer to Palin as an idiot are idiots.

    November 25, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. scott

    Okay you blue backers...wake up....the election is over. You can stop being so vile and rude. I know, its hard to stop once you get on a role, and ESPECIALLY when you find yourself as the kings/queens of the hill. Let's grow up a little, huh? Can I be honest? I've heard the vomit coming from both sides and frankly I'm sick of it. I didn't want Sen. Obama to be president, but I never degraded his or Sen. Biden's character. You, who continue to lable Gov. Palin, and Sen. McCain as ignorant, are revealing your own lack. I hope you don't disgrace your future president with your vitrolic spew. Get some soap and clean it up.

    November 25, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. cocosolo in Mo.

    Sarah is a dog and McCain is a lying mutt

    November 25, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. jack debrot, new york, new york

    thank you to president george w. bush for keeping america safe.

    November 25, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Jim Hall

    McCain is another village idiot like Bush is. Palin is an idiot Jim Hall Kansas City Missouri

    November 25, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  18. Kristy Sanborn

    One example of many 'wanna be intelligent people' running down Palin on here would be 'CAL' that Palin cannot put "to" complete sententences together....last I knew that would be TWO...
    And 'Franky' McCain/Palin was not "BEATEN DOWN" as you put it. When you take the few million votes (not to count maybe the many possible fraudulant votes rumor has of) that they lost by, and numbers of the whole population of our U.S....the difference in number of votes would only be the equivelant of a few large cities in our Country...that doesn't quailify for your 'beaten down' calculations.
    to "Love My USA/Do You?"....Yes, I do, but its pretty sad when so many of these posters on here appear not to IMO.

    November 25, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  19. Soccer mom from Canada

    She sure is interesting and energizing and the Democrats are afraid of her. However, not for the reasons that McCain or the GOP thinks. She divided the country, then the Republican party, and finally the campaign people. She has a knack for getting everyone fighting around her. It must be her winning personality.

    November 25, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  20. kaz

    We will love to see Sara Palin and Joe "The Plumber" in 2012

    November 25, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  21. Jeff

    Most Americans? Poor ole' McShame - he's already forgotten most Americans saw Obama as the breath of fresh air and said so on Election Day - as I recall, by MILLIONS of votes!

    November 25, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  22. nancy

    That arrogant woman will never see the inside of the white house. She is pathetic and everyone who thinks she is a breath of fresh air needs their heads examined.

    November 25, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. reggie

    Mccain, the hero, is correct. She has a very bright future. Sen McCain, I thank you for all your selfless devotion to our nation. Your strong voice in the US Senate is vital.

    November 25, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  24. ran

    Mccain and Palin are whats wrong with the republican party and they need to go if the party ever wants to be viable again. Also the party will have to let go of their far right wing ideologies (anti-abortion/gay rights) those 2 issues will divide not unite this country. It is a simple fix if you don't want an abortion don't have one, if you don't like gays don't hang out with them.

    November 25, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. Alex

    I HATE PALIN

    November 25, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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