November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
6 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. cat

    Sarah Palin just did not know when to stop her devisive rectoric.
    Still he thinks she is battling Barack...And keeps on talking trash.
    She has lost 2012 before it even starts...She should take what fame she has now lay low and come out again in 2016 then all the bad feeling about her will have a chance to subside and she can again come back hopefully on the high road to the white house....
    McCain/Palin ticket was doomed to lose....So no one should of been suprised...

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

    Breath of fresh air? That is the whole problem with the Republicans.....they ignore the people. 90% of every opinion on Palin was negative. If she is the hope for 2012, there's gonna be some disappointed people. The reason why McCain picked her is because he thought ( his campaign thought ) that the American people were stupid and all the Hillary supporters would jump on the bandwagon... and that type of decision is what turned people off....until Palin actually opened her mouth..then people just totally bailed. If they want to energize things, get a young, SMART and real person to run..then they might have a chance.

    November 25, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  3. Pat

    Foreign and Economic policy are both important, and McCain had nothing new to say about either of them except a continuation of old policies. Out of all the republican candidates he could have chosen he picks this odd ball from alaska that nobody knows. Right then and there he lost the election because it shows what kind of goofy decisions he would have made as president.

    November 25, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  4. beevee

    I am not sure McCain is publicly telling what is really in his mind about Palin. What happened to the straighttalk express? Palin is the reason why he suffered such a stunning defeat, in my opinion. Except for a few ultraconservative GOP base most of us can see the hollowness of Palin. It is ok to speak the truth even if it angers some in GOP.

    November 25, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. spudmctater

    Oh please run, Sarah. Please, please, please...

    Obama in '12!

    November 25, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  6. Mike in PA

    She is still a novelty. I think she in a decent person, but I don't want a hockey mom, former mayor of a small town, a lucky 1st term governor, running the country that is the police of the planet.

    If she does manage to get elected, I'm going to live in another country, because this one will end up a 3rd world nation.

    November 25, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  7. Soccer Nana

    Washington Observer, here is a clue; better yet take this hint: Obama won the election, McCain lost!

    I am sure all sorts of monies can be traced back to many politicians in office now and out of office; it didn't just start (it there is any truth to what you are saying) with PEOTUS Obama.

    Get real.

    November 25, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. Elizabeth

    Poor McCain!!! He has no good judgement in choosing Palin and he has no discernment in judging character. That Palin woman and her dude are an ignorant and disgusting pair!!! All that Palin woman and her dude are interested in are themselves! I wish I would never have to see or hear her again! Actually, I consider her ugly from the inside out – I do not like her eyes – the window of her soul and they appear too dark for me! They are blank! Please keep her in Alaska with all the other hicks so we do not have to bear her presence again. She definitely is a "cocky wacho" and she is also DANGEROUS!!!

    November 25, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Richard Leland

    The 2008 compaign, which ended but three weeks ago, lasted for more than two years. Don't you have anything better to do than to start speculating about who will run in 2012? A lot will happpen between now and then and if you have any sense of history, you will note that post election speculation about who will be the losing party's next nominee is usually dead wrong. Think of Ed Muskie.

    November 25, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. The Shark

    The Bush Legacy: a divided America between Hicks and non-Hicks. The Wasilla Hillbilly is the perfect spokesmodel for the outdated GOP and the "Americans" of a hateful yesterday. America has turned the corner and is no longer a Racist Country, but a true Beacon of Democracy. By next summer, Palin will be a very bad memory. WILL somebody get her stupid husband out of TV! Nobody is interested. Goodnight to the GOP. Palin should not get a TV show, she should seek an EDUCATION.

    November 25, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Patrick

    Oh, and to "hiros" below, you already voted for a white guy. Don't forget, Obama is just as white as he is black.

    Now – which race is more racist?

    November 25, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    What everyone should realize from the McCain/Palin ticket, now that the election is over, is that America needs to start paying attention who is in the senator and governor slots and begin voting in people with some BRAINS! McCain and Palin should BOTH lose their seats when they come up for re-election!

    November 25, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. Don

    You have got to be kidding me. This is a woman who does a TV interview while some guy in the background is stuffing turkeys into a decapitation machine. SHE HAS NO CLUE AND SHE WILL NEVER HAVE A CLUE!!!

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

    I have a humble suggestion for most of the posters here: ever since mid-October, my resolution has been NEVER to type the words "Sarah Palin" without also typing "and her monkey-waving supporters."

    Choose whatever appalling image ("kill him!" "I can see Putin rearing his head from my airspace," "wink-wink,") you like. For me, white rednecks waving monkeys at her rallies said it all about the kind of AmeriKKKa she and her kind prefer. But pick your own favorite negative image and let's make sure that it dogs her for the rest of her "bright" career.

    November 25, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Kathy

    I am a former Republican, now a conservative Independent. I used to make excuses for Gov. Palin as far as her stances on environmental issues. The final straw was the awful turkey video. She needs to realize that not all Americans share her views on hunting and other related subjects. I think its extreme. It is also way premature to even suggest that she be considered for the 2012 presidental run. She needs to become much more moderate in her environmental views and more knowledgable in world issues. Unless that happens, I am not interested.

    November 25, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Sherrol in Canada

    Hiros – your ignorance is what makes alot of people judge black people in 'that stereotypical', incorrect way. Please refrain from demonstrating what appears to be bigotry.

    November 25, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  17. PAT California

    Do you really think he'd admit he made the biggest mistake by choosing a person with NO knowledge of how our government works, much less no knowledge of ANYTHING? Of course he'll defend his stupid actions! But he did do one thing, he showed the people of the US that he cares nothing of their future by picking a VP who hasn't any ability to do much of anything. Yes, she's a governor, but her husband sat in her chair 50% of the time running things. She has a Sarah Do It Yourself government in Alaska and as long as those people want her, they can have her! Keep her out of the rest of the country!!!!

    November 25, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. JP

    McCain was always my first choice when several republicans were seeking the nomination. Picking Pallin to appease the social conservatives was the biggest misstake he made. Any time the social conservatives influence the ticket diastar will follow.

    November 25, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  19. jfs Memhis, Tn

    Well john........that's not saying much !!!! The Republican Party is in sucg a mess Barney The SCOTTIE is considered a rising star !!! I frankly think that he has more White House experience than Palin...and....his clothing allowance is next to nothing !!! I personally beleve that he has what the Reuplican Party needs..............intelligence !!!

    November 25, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Lorraine Hynes

    I just love the way the republicans always say "the American people want or like or agree...." They are all pathological liars. I would be ashamed of America if Sarah Palin were to be considered the leader of anything.

    She's a religious freakazoid backwater animal-murdering redneck. She should stay in Alaska with the sled dogs.

    In fact, why not sell Alaska to Russia and let her become a citizen there.

    Lorraine Hynes

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

    Let the RNC dig their hole deeper. The American people are waking up their agendas. Offshore drilling in Alaska is top priority. More important than a competent person at the top. But then look at what has been president for the past 8 years. Competency is not the RNC strong point.

    Sarah likes her turkeys, Gobble, Gobble.

    November 25, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Sam in the West

    Please, somebody tag her and release her back into the wild.
    Bye bye, Sarah.

    November 25, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  23. Phd.

    Is it not sad that words such as uneducated, underemployed, gun-totin, religious, barrel bottom scum, stupid, white trash, trailer dweller, half-wit, among others, are used to degrade people who disagree with each other. What is our problem?

    November 25, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  24. M & M

    Mr Mcain,
    This is a decent man, we should all learn from him. I still remenber his speech after losing the election. Not many candidates could acknowledge being defeted as Mr Mcain did on that historical day. Ofcourse, no one can run against history in the making... But Nevertheless, Mccain will always be rembered as a great politician.

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

    Head in the sand. Blind devotion. McCain, please stop telling us that an airhead from Alaska is the future leader of GOP and US. She is an insult to all women in general, educated ones in particular. McCain please fess up and tell us that you made a great mistake in selecting Gov Palin and that is why you lost the election.

    November 25, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
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