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. draz

    thanks shark -------very well put and so right on the money.
    good bye GOP--------rip

    November 25, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. romack

    She may very well have a "bright future" as a GOP leader, and maybe a shot at the White House...

    ...but she needs to go back home. The GOP needs to r-group, and she needs to fade into the background for now. Doesn't she have a state to take care of? Let the dust settle, the new President to take office and then, we'll see...

    November 25, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. Kevin in Denver

    Jon: I love Sarah Palin. She will be a welcome change after 4 years of disaster at the hands of man-child Obama.

    Man you are a joke. A BAD joke. Since when does a man child put himself through law school at Harvard and Columbia. Of course you love Sara Flailin....... Idiot men like their women even dumber.

    November 25, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. Marilyn

    I really would love to see Palin as President. A rock-solid strong and powerful force of a woman who does not have the man-hating, unmatternal and unfeminine attitudes that traditional feminists do. A woman who sticks her 3-inch heel right through those who hide from the untrendy GOD AND COUNTRY.

    November 25, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Joke

    After viewing the comments here, just realized that most of the people here are so low. Full of hate, no deep thought, dirty words, and no least respect to other people. No wonder America is declining. Sad!!!!!

    November 25, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Chas in Iowa

    McCain's blind eye to certain truths are the same views that have doomed the GOP.

    Sarah Palin is no GOP model.

    Her religion cinflicts with most Americans.
    She's been voted woman of the year by a group wanting Alaska so seperate from the rest of the USA.
    She demonstrated very low understanding of world affairs.
    She has no respect for opposing ideas.
    She'll say anything to stir the GOP base regardless of who she is demonizing.

    She has single handedly fractured what was left of the GOP base.

    Go Sarah!!!!!

    November 25, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. yes we can

    Poor guy he is in love! it is the only raeson I see for this blind admiration

    November 25, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Maggie

    Did McCain forget to take his medication? He's suffering from delusions and hallucinations.

    November 25, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  9. Susan

    I can't help but imagine what it would be like right now in the ever- changing face of this economic crisis if John McCain was the president-elect instead of Obama. I can't help but see McCain and Palin stumbling and bumbling right now when every day counts and immediate, well thought out action is necessary. You can say what you will, I still think the American people chose the better of the two. At least with Obama it seems like we might have a chance of surviving this. I'm afaraid I would not have any confidence if the McCain/Palin ticket had triumphed.

    November 25, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. MJ

    Energizing factor and breath of fresh air? So this is what Republicans think qualifies one to be President. God help them.

    November 25, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. zt

    The economy is tanking and we are still talking about a loser/has-been and his clueless sidekick. Get real! The only tragedy greater than the one we are witnessing on the economic front would have been a McCain-Palin win (shudder)

    November 25, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. joeb

    Senator McCain, at one time I had a lot of respect for you.......................

    November 25, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Why So Partisan?

    News flash, lefties: It's over. Your guy won.

    It's time to bury the hatchet, and if the Democratic Senate leadership can let bygones be with Lieberman, then I think everybody should follow that lead.

    Calling people hicks and idiots because they didn't vote for your candidate isn't exactly turning a new page.

    November 25, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. iseult72@hotmail.com

    Government is not "the rock" Jesus is the rock. "Whoever hears these sayings of mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock.
    Government is not and never will be the solution to man's problems. Solomon says in ECC 3:16 And I saw something else under the sun:
    In the place of judgment –wickedness was there,
    in the place of justice wickedness was there.

    We are not to have our faith in government, or any political candidate or even the President no matter who he or she is. Want another example go back and reread how Rome treated Jesus. Pilate was a true politician. Government will always fail no matter who is in charge, because we are humans and we all have impure motivations.

    And to this comment give me a break:
    "Together, they would bring brink back something to the presidency that it hasn't seen in a long time: a focus on the average American, instead of large corporations" iseult72@hotmail.com

    November 25, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    McCain is probably correct since the Republican Party 'Base' since G W Bush has been studying and courting the three "R's" religiously. The three "R's" being RED NECKS, RACISTS and RUBES !!!!!! All ignorant and all believing that 'DUMBNESS' is OK !

    This is the same reason why Palin porbably decided to campaign in georgia for the Republican Senatorial Candidate. She has the three "R's" going for her in force in that state !!!!!! Particularly in the 'DELIVERANCE' areas of the state where there are more branches on natural trees than on family trees !.

    November 25, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  16. That Other Jerry

    First CNN writer: "Hey, wanna see me get 700 people to make fools of themselves posting childish, hateful comments?"

    Second CNN writer: "How you gonna do that?"

    First CNN writer: "Easy, I'll just post yet another irrelevant Sarah Palin story on the Ticker!"

    November 25, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Sue in MI

    Isn't this the same speech he gave about her right after the election? And didn't the Republican governors basically stay clear of her during their meetings? I know the Republicans are in disarray and scrambling to find their new savior, but I really doubt that the "jet around the country but so dedicated mom, " "workin' hard on the Alaska budget (in Georgia) governor," "fiscally conservative socialist," "pork-grabbing," "happy to be in pro-America" Palin is that person. Hopefully she will lose her job in two years, and go away before she is humiliated at the first Republican debate in 2012.

    November 25, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Mitch

    The GOP see her as a breath of fresh air....but just the hard right conservatives. The rest see her as a dolt. I just don't understand how they feel America can embrace a woman with so little to offer the country than a feeling.

    November 25, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Ben

    Wow, can everyone on the left just take a deep breath and relax??? I thought it was Karl Rove and Bushies that were supposed to be the hate mongers. Listening to these posts I'd have to question that. Why so much hate for Palin? They lost, it's over, now move on. My goodness, dissagree with a candidate but stop with all the hateful talk.

    November 25, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. Trollmaster

    McCain lost the general election the second he won the primaries.

    Removing the horrible Bush taint on McCain is just like trying to remove stink from doo doo. He was doomed from the start. His countless mistakes in the campaign (including Palin) only made his loss that much bigger.

    November 25, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Kristy Sanborn

    cnn, I do note that my 4:14 pm ET posting still shows waiting for moderation..and other postings have been moderated, approved and posted after the time of mine..please tell you moderator from me not to run from the truth..
    And 'the shark's' posting, if that posting doesn't insinuate that anyone who didn't vote for Obama is prejudice to anyone else I would have to say it sure implicates that to me.
    Cnn, just look at the postings your moderator does approve..what does that say for cnn?

    November 25, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. JN

    He still can't talk straight....clearly most Americans did not view her favorably. In fact, her approval ratings were falling before the Wall Street crash. It started with the Katie Couric interview and dove-tailed from that point on. If she is the future of the Republican Party, that's great for the Democratic Party.

    November 25, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  23. Frank

    Remember, all racists are going to HELL. Goodbye right wing republican party.

    November 25, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. Ken

    Fred In SC – You, my friend, are officially 'Hanitized'

    November 25, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Joe The Plumber

    No, the problem wasn't the economy. If you analyze the data you will see that the polls began to favor Obama when you made your famous statement "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" as the stock market was tanking. Up until that point, you had a shot at winning but when you made that gawd awful statement, you threw the election away! It is your fault and your running mate's for why you lost. It wasn't the economy that did it for you!

    November 25, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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