November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
2 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. jose del cid

    I am so inpired by her, she is fantastic, strong and hopfully she will be our next president in 2012.

    November 25, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. Nija

    Some body wake him up pls

    November 25, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  3. Dealt, Lisbon

    @Bob

    I'm not sure what you mean by "those of you on the left". I don't care which side of yours I'm in, as long as it's not the same. However, you're right. I, for one, am very scared Sarah Palin may, sometime, hold some power over your country. The lady is a nitwit. Yes, I've read some people think she's bright etc. etc., but certainly not ny any self-respecting woman's standards. I she has any decent IQ, then more's her shame for having underused it so awfully. And more's the shame on her supporters who seem to confuse nice legs with qualification for leader's material. She's a sad joke.

    November 25, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Dear Sarah . . . please . . . just stay in Alaska . . . jer

    November 25, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  5. stephanie

    Bright abd Palin in the same sentence?...I dont think so.

    The GOP needs to look at how out of touch they are with main stream America. Pick Palin and step backwards into the dark ages.
    it's Ok the DEMS will continue to lead us to a brighter future. Palin you just stay in AK with your moose and pray. We are not interested.

    November 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  6. douglasb - in Winnipeg Canada

    Up here in the 'great white north' (Canada) we are blessed with so many national political parties that it is difficult for one to achieve a majority in our elections. Our US neigbours have the luxury of only two serious options. Your recent election showed us clearly how one party can 'throw in the towel' by nominating a Presidential candidate who 'just does not get it' – and a Vice-Presidential candidate who was so unqualified that we folks up north were petrified at the notion that she might end up in a position of real authority.
    We thank the USA electors for their wisdom!

    November 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  7. Julie

    Why is bias being practiced as my messages always remain under moderation and aren't posted?

    November 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. Ryan

    Bob, who cares about the future leader(s) since there's a lot of issues going on around here. You're mistaken, Obama is the true leadership.

    November 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  9. AnIndependent

    I used to be a Registered Republican – now I am a reformed Republican. Palin reinforces the correctness of my decision. To paraphrase an old saw – I didn't leave the GOP, the GOP left me! They have pandered to the religious right wing evangelicals and the fringe elements in the party and left the moderates in the GOP out! To think that Palin – an illiterate, gun-toting, evangelical is now touted as the potential figurehead of the GOP makes me want to cry. Where has the "Grand Old Party" (GOP) gone? They have sold us out to Dobson and his ilk.

    November 25, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. Charlie in Maine

    My cooment and the GOP are awaiting moderation. I don't hold out much hope on the former.

    These are the facts. The country is not on the far right. As much as Palin and the right wing nuts wish it were it is not. And it is not on far left either, though for some policies I wish it were. Power in this country should be and mostly is given to the candidate from either party who can excite their base and entice the middle. It is that simple. That is how Reagan won, How Clinton won and how Obama won (it is also how Al Gore won but that is for another article). Barry Goldwater never got to be President, George McGovern never got to be President. Why? Because they were too far to the extreme. Could Palin someday win? Not with the attitude she has now.
    But this is America and if the last election showed us anything...things change

    November 25, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. Charlie in Maine

    Sorry for you grammar sticklers I meant the latter. oh well.

    November 25, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  12. Karen

    I wonder if that photo was taken right after McCain said Sarah Palin has a bright future as a GOP leader. LOL

    The woman is dumb as a box of rocks. Anyone who thinks she’s presidential material must be as dumb as she is.

    November 25, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  13. Jackson

    She only energized you cos you had too much Viagra.

    November 25, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  14. L Waller

    What part of STUPID doesn't he understand? Women supporting Hilary did it because of her stance on ISSUES, not because she is a woman. How condescending of McCain to think Sarah Palin would attract the Hilary supporters. How STUPID . . .

    November 25, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  15. tony

    The Democrats have a very bright future if Palin becomes a GOP leader. We encourage the Republicans to hold onto their belief that we fear Palin.

    November 25, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. Carol

    What else could he say? "She's as dumb as a bag of hammers and I made a giant mistake in choosing her"?? That would make HIM look bad... He'll lie through his teeth to the end on this one..

    November 25, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  17. Peter (CA)

    Bob-

    Your insistence that Palin is real leadership and Obama isn't pretty much makes the "believe me" part of your rant null and void.

    November 25, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  18. johnrj08

    Speaks VERY poorly of John McCain's judgment. She is clearly not leadership material.

    November 25, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  19. happy thanksgiving

    mccain you are such a lier. republicans when are you going to stop this nonsense. if you don't have a better voice, then go out and find one for gods sake. georgia vote jim martin, i will never and i mean never vote republican again.

    November 25, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  20. Savanna

    Bob, it is the attitudes of those just like you who could prevent President-elect Obama from uniting this country. We can't wait another 4 years for a new wave of Republican leadership before we work on fixing this country we ALL love. We are Americans NOW.

    November 25, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  21. Cas

    I would say that it's John's base that has been energized since he heard about Sarah being invited to TNA wrestling

    (it's true folks – just google Sarah Palin Wrestling).

    I wonder if mud and turkeys will be involved?

    November 25, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  22. Roger

    The negative and slanderous comments in this Post are shameful. America deserves much more. In defense of Palin, she did not have the lengthy primaries to sharpen her knowledge of national and international issues. Yes, she made mistakes but it should not be forgotten that she was governor of a State, much larger than Delaware, and she had the experience of being in excutive positions that none of the candidates had. Knowledge of the issues can be achieved quickly and you will hear more from her in the future. Let us not discourage anyone from seeking office. You have a vote on their qualifications in the end. Harry Truman certainly did not have the credentials when he became President but he learned quickly and is now recognized as one of the truly great Presidents of our time. Hopefully, the negative posters will become more constructive.

    November 25, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  23. Michael Arnaud

    To Mr. Raghu Bala: So what you're saying is that only the people who got all A's in school have the right to vote? If you have "subpar intelligence" you need to let some who's "smarter" than you pick your national leader? Isn't that what Saddam Hussein and Adolph Hitler did in thier countries?

    By the way Mr. Bala, there's school smarts and real world smarts. Just because you got A's in school and scored high on the SAT's dosen't qualify a person to be Pesident of the United States. I'll take someone with real world smarts anyday.

    Sarah Palin may have not been a Rhodes Scholar(like Bill Clinton, who couldn't keep his fly zipped by the way) but she was eligible by the Constitution to run for national office. Till "smart" people like you Mr. Bala get that document changed, you'll just have to put up with us "dumb" people running for elected office. Sucks to be you I guess.

    November 25, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  24. Minnesotan

    A 'bright future' for Palin? Does that mean she's going to get an education so that she doesn't come off as an uneducated, boorish rube?

    November 25, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  25. Lyndsey

    This woman is a disaster waiting to happen. Honestly it's offensive that she preaches about her ability to help and accurately represent women. She stands for nothing I stand for. She is not a friend to women. She's a friend only to her ambition.

    November 25, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
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