November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
5 years 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. John

    Yes, She has bright future in GOP but GOP sure doesn't have a bright future with leaders like that.

    November 25, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  2. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Palin is fluff.

    She is loved by mid-Westerners and people in the South, especially uneducated people who seldom leave their communities to see how the rest of the world lives.

    How unfortunate.

    November 25, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  3. Don

    John, John, John........Still no fool like an old fool. Most Americans came to despise Sarah Palin, and with her out front in your campaign, came to despise you also. She has provided a role model for Alaska in which most people see the entire population as a bunch of uneducated, red necks. As soon as the news media start to ignore her (like they are you now) she will fade away like a bad dream (as you will also).

    Shame on you for trying to ram her down America throat. In her case, stupidity I can forgive, but you knew better.

    November 25, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  4. Sue

    Does anybody really expect mcCain to come clean about his poor choice of Palin as his running mate which cost him the election ? Come on...Of course he will stick to his guns and keep saying how great Palin is even though he would love to throttle her !

    November 25, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Based on those comments, everyone should rejoice that kind of flawed thinking didn't make it into the White House.

    November 25, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. Rob Johnson

    He is right about one thing–Sarah Palin does have a bright future in Republican politics.

    However, the Republican Party in general doesn't have a very bright future, so that sort of cancels out. Sorry, Sarah.

    November 25, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. BeefyDaddy

    Oh, excuse me, I think I just threw up in my mouth...

    November 25, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. Ron

    I still don't get it... What is the fascination with that woman? What has she got to offer our nation? Yes, I can imagine her appearing on talk shows, babbling away about moose recipes, how wonderful it was to be on stage with old McCain, smiling at the camera, but presidential material? NO!

    November 25, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. Roger from CA

    John.... John.... John...... You don' t have to pretend anymore..... Just admit that picking Palin was a disasterous mis-calculation, and let it go.

    If you are truly the patriotic American you always claim to be, it is incumbent on you to THWART any future ambitions of Palin, to save the country and the world from catastrophe.

    November 25, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  10. Steve

    There will be no such thing as a Republican Party by the time the next election rolls around. How long did take the Republicans to shake the responsibility for the Depression. They will never shake responsibility for the Depression and this economical mess.
    A new political party will be formed an the republican party will disappear.

    November 25, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  11. travis

    Wow, all I can say is wow. Palin STILL scares the crap out of democrats. WOW. For you neoliths that are having a hate bashing party, and all of you nay sayers........ why are y'all still giving this any thought? Because Palin scares the crap out of you, that is why. Sure, she may have not come off in the first two weeks as articulate, but, hell, Bideon articulates idoitacy and Obama cant articulate at all with out a speach put in front of him somehow. Palin, whom has the skills necessary to hunt and dress out game, has the skill set to fish and clean the catch, raise children, and run a state may not come off to some of you as "intelligent", but I will tell you this- there are only 5 states in the Union that have a budget surpluss and hers is one of them, and second– if the economy really really really really goes bad, she will have the ability to fend for her family- will you?

    November 25, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  12. Lynne

    I never got the whole Palin attraction. She really is lacking in the knowledge to be president or even hold a national office and she has a hard time expressing herself. I guess I'd be labeled one of the educated academia bunch because I like critical thinking skills, intelligence, and communication abilities in a president more than good looks and folksiness.

    November 25, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  13. Marc from Oregon

    SARAH THE SELF-SERVIING SOCIOPATH.....the woman is stupid, a boldfaced liar, an environmental disaster, and anathema to animals. Take her out to the frozen tundra and leave her there.....

    November 25, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  14. Cas

    Fred in SC – Of course Obama is eligible to be president.
    He would not have been allowed to run if he was not eligible.

    He is an American citizen born in Hawaii who is over 35 years old.
    Last time I looked, Hawaii was part of the US.

    Obama has won the election – he is currently the president elect.

    After January, you will be calling him President Obama.

    Get used to it.

    November 25, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  15. There IS hope for the future>>>

    Maybe he can get her a job in a light bulb factory. That's the only bulb I see going on above her head. She's a washout. Some people are just S-L-O-W to "see the light" Ha! I made a funny!

    November 25, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. no name

    CMG wrote:
    Can you spell "scarey?"

    Yeah, I can. Can you?

    November 25, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. Joyce Becker

    I don't think that McCain can bring back the Republican party to life with the likes of Palin, she is so dumb it isn't funny. Perhaps if she went back and got some schooling during the next four years she might stand a chance to run for dog catcher. We need intelligent people to run this country and there are not too many in the Grand Old Party.

    November 25, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  18. Bob

    Those of you on the left....the lies and distortions you tell about Sarah Palin only show your fear of her. In four years, the smoldering ruins of the Obama administration will allow Republicans to return America to it's true conservative roots. We do thank you for ending the Bush-Nixon neocon era, however. New leadership is rising. It may be Palin, It may be someone like Huckabee....or it may be someone entirely new. Make no mistake, real leadership is coming and Obama isn't it.

    November 25, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  19. Cas

    Jon – man child? You have to be over 35 to run for President.

    That is hardly a child by anyone's definition.

    I say give Obama a chance.

    Since he appointed Geithner to be Treasury Secretary, the index has shot up 620 points!

    Obama is already improving your country.

    November 25, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  20. There IS hope for the future>>>

    Oh, and by the way...nice photo of McCain heading this article. He looks like he's saying..."Did I just say THAT!?...OOPS!, MY BAD!" HA!

    November 25, 2008 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  21. nate

    Dream on Bob. By the way how does it feel to be a loser who backed a loser?

    November 25, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  22. ExPat

    With the administration that President-elect Obama is putting together it'll be a cold day in Hell when the American people elect anyone who says "you betcha" to the Presidency.

    November 25, 2008 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  23. Frank

    What is the Eskimo phrase for "trailer park trash?"

    November 25, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  24. Independent voter

    I hope she goes to school first. she scares me! I would not vote for her!

    November 25, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  25. vahe

    ya right!!!!!!!!!!

    November 25, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
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