November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
5 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. S@ndr@

    John, the economy isn't the only factor to sink your election bid, Palin scared me away too. Up until you chose her as your running mate I could've been swayed your way. But her enthusiam to rally that scary sector called your 'base' sent me running to the Obama camp. You are a reasonable man who chose an unqualified candidate to rally her hick base, but I'm sure a lot of intelligent repulicans didn't vote or voted Obama as they were just as disappointed in your VP pick. I hope she is a the next GOP hope, it will make the next election easier for the Dems but I'm sure it will be nastier and uglier if she has anything to do with it.

    November 25, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. TyWebb

    Love the picture of McCain here...as if he just woke up from a daze.

    November 25, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. Phil

    Jack, you are totally obsessed with Sarah Palin! I realize she's attractive and interesting... but you're getting really carried away. Seriuosly. How about a few posts about Romney or Jindal or Sanford – just to help get your mind refocused?

    November 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  4. Charm

    McCain is so wrong on this. The fatal blow occurred once Palin started showing her true colors and would be McCain voters had no choice but to consider (an ultimately select) Obama as their Presidential choice.

    November 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  5. Trollmaster

    Those that despise the GOP want Palin to remain in the spotlight and run in 2012 as well. It's only speeding up the downfall of the Republican party that much faster. Bring it on!!!!

    November 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  6. Toby

    When was the last time a failed VP nominee went on to win the presidency? Certainly none in McCain's lifetime.

    November 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. Frank

    I've never understood why McCain consistently states that he is so "proud of" Sarah Palin. She is not his teenage daughter, he does not need to be proud of her, it sounds so juvenile.

    November 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  8. zac

    john mccain did you know the more you in the you vip to the cnnmeay

    November 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. Tori

    The economy didn't lose McCain the election. He lost because the demographics of the American people are not older white men that believe that abortion should be banned, gays shouldn't get married or that immigrants are only Mexican. Until the Republican party starts to look-like, sound-like and belive-live the rest of America, they will continue to lose elections. They will soon be the minority.

    November 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  10. Mike

    "The Shark" sounds exactly like the type of person he is railing against. Most of the rest sound like the typical intolerant individuals they call the opposition. Civility, it would appear, has no place in the left wing of democracy.

    November 25, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. Phil

    Ohhh, sorry Rebecca. I saw Jack's post here about Palin and mistook it for yours. Still, the same point – CNN is getting carried away! I suppose it's good for ratings.

    November 25, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. hkp

    GO PALIN!!

    November 25, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Helena

    Sorry John, I do not view Sarah Palin "as a breath of fresh air". She is the exact opposite.

    November 25, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. The Pecan State Pundit

    Let us hope that Conservatism bets its future on the very flawed Governor Palin. It is important for the future of the nation that Conservatism be stamped out of the nation's political dialog. Conservatism has tried to block, defeat, delay, sabotage, undermine, ridicule, or otherwise prevent this nation from growing into a better one. Conservatism was opposed to the abolition of slavery, free public education, voting rights for minorities and women, equal rights for minorities and women, equal pay for minorities and women, the minimum wage, every single proposal to increase the minimum wage, the 8 hour day, the 40 hour week, employee health benefits, overtime pay, child health care programs, affordable day care, affordable college, pre-natal care programs, medicare, medicaid, fuel efficient cars, etc.

    Sarah Palin has the talent to crash the Conservative jet beyond repair, and perhaps that is the role that Destiny has picked out for her.

    November 25, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. dick delson

    Please, please, please put her up for President in2012. That will guarantee an Obama win.

    November 25, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  16. DVA

    Governor Palin has now returned home to continue her truly disgusting policies of controlling native wolf populations...........19 shot from a government airplane since Nov 6th. There is a better way to humor Alaskan hunters.
    Her lack of knowledge on correct environmental controls and the destruction of wildlife shows the sort of person she is and where her true values lie.

    DVA

    November 25, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  17. Jim

    McCain is a fool to deny political considerations were why he selected Sarah Palin. He cannot face reality. Everyone knows better, including members of his own party.

    I'm so glad we don't have McCain as next president during these perilous times. He himself admitted economics were not his forte. Can you imagine what terrible shape we'd be in if we had to rely on his instinct and "guts" for leadership right now? Obama is doing everything right, and we are blessed to have elected him at this historic moment.

    November 25, 2008 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  18. I Just Said Thanks, but No Thanks to Another 4 years of g.o.p. corruption, arrogance and incompetence

    McCain picked Palin, because she was, is and continues to be the darling of the Rushpublican party.

    To quote their former hero, W, "bring her on"

    OB12

    November 25, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  19. Sue in MI

    Washington Observer...don't forget McCain's campaign chair, Rick Davis, who was STILL collecting big monthly checks from Fannie into September, when the media finally got wind of it...this is not just a partisan problem, and will require people on all sides to help.

    November 25, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  20. rick

    I bet he thinks she is as much of an idiot as the rest of us (why else would he play "protector" when she went back to see Katie Couric again). However, since he was the one who picked her for the ticket, he has no choice but to say how great she is. Politics, politics. What a bunch of nonsense.

    November 25, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  21. David

    Judging by all the left wing posts, nobody from the right uses CNN.com for news. I know I try not to anymore since they were so tilted left during the election. Let's see how long it takes Obama to screw up with all his Clinton retreads.

    November 25, 2008 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Stay in Alaska

    Dear Palin:
    There is no way that in 4 years (no matter how much you try to cram in that pea head of yours) you will outsmart Obama. Oh, and he's also a great speaker. He inspires people and brings hope. You only bring fear, despair and hate. So if you want to run in 2012. Please do. I would love to see Obama debate you.

    Sincerely,

    An intelligent woman who will NEVER vote for you

    November 25, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  23. karen-phoenix

    CNN: I am a true CNN junkie BUT I have told you before–NO MORE PALIN!!!!!! Can I make any clearer? NO PALIN! NO PALIN! Not one single more story on this uneducated women!!!

    November 25, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  24. Wendy, IL

    Liar, she has a bright future as a GOP mule. She'll bring the money in, but the GOP, along with everyone else realizes she's not that bright. Therefore she will never and I mean NEVER lead the party. Are you kidding me–too many GOP Alpha males.

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

    They just don't get it. People are tired of the way republicans have campaigned in the past. People are tired of negative campaigning and they want someone with a plan other than trying to destroy the other side.

    November 25, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
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