November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
4 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. the dude

    Everyone relax...she's on about minute fourteen of her fifteen minutes of fame...she headed to a sure future of being an answer one day to a trivia question....

    November 25, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. G.R.I.T.S - Girl Raised in the South

    I understand that Sen. McCain, or any other politician, finds it hard to admit mistakes, but I would have so much more respect for him if he told the truth. The American people, overwhelming, rejected Palin. Yes, we rejected McCain and the GOP, but Palin was the nail in the coffin for many people who initially thought they would vote for McCain. If Sen. McCain would just admit that he made a mistake, based on political considerations, and that the base of the Republican Party is not in sync with the rest of America, wow, his stock would go way up with me, and with other Americans.

    November 25, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. Aaron

    And the younger generation which voted against her in a landslide will be even more influential and she'll lose by that much more next time around. Her viewpoints are that of an aging and dying generation and party

    November 25, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Fleas

    Fred's right – Obama should have run in Kenya.

    November 25, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. M. Bryan

    Washington Observer hasn't been too observant. He and a lot of
    oithers, including the media, had blinders on, about the meeting in
    2004 that changed the regulation that limited the amount of debt
    that big investment banks could take on. Without correct oversight,
    this alone contributed more to the lending mess than any other. My
    small bank always guaranteed that I had sufficient collateral to stand
    good for any loan in the event of default. In a nutshell, GREED is the
    single-most cause and taxpayers are being asked by ex-Wall Streeter
    Paulson to bear the cost with no guarantee that investment banks will
    mend their ways. The Fat Cats just will not get it unless they help pay
    for their mistakes. Congress, please remember this!

    November 25, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Laura

    Palin a breath of "fresh" air"? More like a foul stench. She's an affront to women of U.S.

    November 25, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  7. Amanda

    "The fundamentals of our economy are sound..." "Sarah Palin is a breath of fresh air". - See any similarities? Come one now Senator. Look what an uninformed president has gotten us? If Sarah Palin were elected, that would make W look like a genius

    November 25, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  8. IJA

    These two IDIOTS need to go away. McCain needs to retire and the other racist b**ch needs to take care of all her kid's before her other daughter comes out pregnant.

    November 25, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  9. Dixie AZ

    Is Sarah Palin the hope for the future of the GOP? Is she the best they have? Pitiful.

    November 25, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  10. Randy Henrick

    McCain is a pathetic old man. His pick of Palin doomed what little chance he had to win the election. She was perhaps the least qualified Vice Presidential candidate in history as her interview with Katie Couric proved to anyone who watched it. She had no grasp of foreign policy and was an absolute hypocrite on her religious right agenda of intolerance domestically. He picked her for blue collar sex appeal and to pacify the Jerry Falwell types who have made the Republicans a fringe party of extremists. I hope the Republicans are foolish enough to nominate her in 2012. Claiming she was more qualified than President Obama was hilarious, perhaps more so than her trying to explain why evolution is wrong and abstinence (which neither she nor her daughter followed) is the only acceptable doctrine for schools and government policy.

    November 25, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. jim

    First rule when you are stuck in a deep hole: don't start digging another hole. Sarah Palin in a Bobcat trench digger. The GOP is going to be deeper than dinosaur fossils. Good luck to y'all.

    November 25, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. IJA

    These two IDIOTS need to go away! McCain needs to stay away from politics b/c he's old! And the other racist b**ch needs to go home to her kid's before her other daughter becomes pregnant too.

    November 25, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  13. Bob Nelsen

    She may be a star to you, but I bet you will not have her campaign for you in your senate race.

    November 25, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. Vasha, FL

    It takes only one chance to make a first impression. The first impression of Sarah is that of dumb, ignorant, and spoon fed. All the images and these impressions she created would be the first to revisit her if she everdecided to come out in 2012. I know that for sure. It's a failure.

    November 25, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  15. tas

    There is such intolerance in these comments. And alot of ignorance too. Good thing you are all in the minority or our country would be in even worse shape.

    November 25, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  16. Badger

    She energized normal people to vote for Obama!

    November 25, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. bluejay827

    Yes, the country is going to hell–and you folks keep voting for the same idiots that got us there. The "big shots" in DC weren't about to let any outsider get in on the action–that might upset their gravy bowls! Most of the comments say that Governor Palin wasn't and isn't qualified–so would someone please tell me, what qualification(s) Senator Obama has. Two months as a senator doesn't count for much in my book. But, he won and I pray that he's very successful in turning things around.

    November 25, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. rita

    A man of strength and character will admit a mistake.

    November 25, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  19. Wake-up America

    Fred in SC: IDIOT

    November 25, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. Debbie

    Obviously "most" Americans did not find her "refreshing." Most found her ridiculous and frightening all at the same time – which is one big reason McCain lost the election. The people Sarah Palin "energize" are in the minority in this country, thank God.

    November 25, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  21. Saul- Independent

    Washington Observer,

    Sure, Bush and all the republicans who have been in power for the last 8 years with their free market garbage have nothing to do with the mess we are in. Frank, Dodd and Obama were the bank managers giving out the loans to "unqualified borrowers" with misleading language that lure most to their doom.
    if this is the best argument you can come up with, then you are really ignorant about the hierachy of power in this country and how banks work.

    IDIOT!!

    November 25, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  22. JWheeler

    If the news media start pumping the 2012 elections before 2010, I will boycott all of them. Give us a break!!!!!!

    November 25, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  23. Russ in BRLA

    She's cute; she's hot; she's perky; she's witty. Would I ask her out? Definetly! Would I ask her to lead my country? Definetly NOT!

    November 25, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  24. bluejay827

    Chris, yes Senator McCain was born in the Canal Zone–while his father was stationed there on military orders. He is a US citizen. This question has been asked and answered before.

    November 25, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  25. Allen in Hartwell, GA

    The statement from McCain that Palin would make a good leader makes as much sense as saying that he lost the election because people focused on the economy instead of foreign policy. Doesn't the man understand that the citizens of the USA are tired of the politics of the RNC and GOP as it has become?

    November 25, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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