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. Florida Joe

    If she is the future of the Republican party....The Republican party has no future.........

    She needs to GO AWAY.............

    November 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Eddie VanMeer

    Fred in SC, you really are a bitter man, aren't you?

    November 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  3. Commedians

    Better than Obama, run by the so-called celebrities, commedians and clowns such as Bill Maher, David Letterman and Madonna. Do we really know Barack Obama, and his wife, Michelled Robinson Obama, who likely will be the first woman president of the United States?

    November 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Mickie

    TO CNN: By the way, I love how you don't let people respond to the "Time" article. According to a republican source, McCain attends more hollywood celebrities' parties and events than anyone in politics.

    November 25, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. G. SMITH

    Gov Palin will be our next President in 2012, after Obama the destroyer ruins this country in the next four years, you asked for change, you got it, I just hope this country can survive four years of THE OBAMA CRISES.

    November 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  6. Ed

    The democrats ran a dirty campaign. McCain was spent 5-1. The democrats bought the election and that is how the republicans lost. Plain and simple – Money...

    November 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  7. Annie, Atlanta

    That certainly doesn't say much about the GOP, but then we saw for ourselves what they stand for these days, thanks to the vivid memories of the Sarah Palin hate rallies.

    November 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  8. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    It just kills me how politicians (especially one who proudly rode the "Straight Talk Express") can't come clean and admit that a decision that clearly was political was political.

    November 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  9. SAB

    Fred in SC your a ignorant to say the least. People should keep their eyes on people like you that make stupid remarks. Some thing is wrong with John McCain. Sarah Palin does not have the intellect for national politics. She supposedly have a degree in journalism and have such a difficult time expressing her self on current issues.

    November 25, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. longhorn

    The election is over, McCain. You can tell the truth now.

    November 25, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. Tamer

    Honestly is this stuff for real? Are the republicans joking?

    The mere fact that anyone would consider Sarah Palin or most any current representative member of the republican party should immediately call into question their patriotism. These people are a disaster for America and the world. They are dim-witted, uneducated, and most importantly, dangerous for the future of mankind.

    I don't believe in the legitimacy of the political parties because they lump and polarize people. That being said, I do believe that the republican party is in dis-ease. It is completely floundering because it's so-called "principles" are based either on religious grounds (which are completely radical, just like extremist Muslims or any religion for that matter) or by scaring people into believing in sensationalized and dangerous propoganda. It's a pathetic attempt at stealing leadership from certain individuals with a thought path that includes the common good.

    DOWN WITH STUPIDITY, UP WITH REALITY.

    November 25, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. chris

    let Sarah Palin run in 2012... she is a buffoon and 2/3s of Americans know this. The people that like Palin are the same people who still like Bush...

    November 25, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. Andrew

    The people posting on this thing only seem to have hateful things to say. I thought Obama was about a change away from destruction politics. I guess Obama supporters are hypocrites we can believe in.

    November 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Mark Ramsey MD, Milwaukee WI

    I was a P.U.M.A. (party unity my -). I was angry and bitter at what I thought was a primary , and media coverage, unfair to Clinton. I just wasn't gonna vote. One week after McCain nominated Palin, I was signing up to volunteer at the Obama campaign. So, like the commercial says "Thanks, Sarah Palin".

    November 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Linda - WI

    The fact that McCain still maintains that Palin was the right choice to be his running mate says volumes about his decision-making skills. Voters made the right choice by rejecting that hapless ticket.

    November 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Richard A. Spomer

    As I looked at others responses to this write up. Those of you negative individuals should "shut it", because you have not or have not done anything but complained any way! Start looking for the good they have which you are most definitely lacking!!

    November 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Chuck

    Fred in SC, you are very, very, stupid and I'm sure a conservative Christian nutjob just like Palin is. The IQ of the GOP has gone down consistently over the past 20 years, along with the brain dead followers of this most archaic religion that divides us and keeps all Americans from enjoying the freedom and equal opportunities as granted in our bill of rights and constitution. The GOP better start campaigning now for 2012, as they will need 4 years to get Palin brushed up enough to know that Africa is a continent not a country.

    November 25, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. RAC - Illinois

    I guess that one of the reasons that Obama is where he is right now, is that he lives in reality. And when he makes a decision, you can be confident that he and the people of intelligence and experience that he surrounds himself with, are pretty sure that it is the right thing to do. In other words.... he never would have made a mistake like the selection of Gov Palin. And sure as heaven would not continue to deny that he had made such a blunder if ever he did! Sorry, but the selection of Palin was just dumb! I wish that McCain could admit it.

    November 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Peter (CA)

    Love My USA--yes, I do. That is one reason I recognize the threat that a charlatan like Palin could bring. She has no intellectual curiousity and wants to run the country like she runs her household.
    She is completely incapable of holding this office, not matter how you and the other right wingers bleat for her like her little sheep.
    Run her in 2012. It will be fine with us.

    Fred in SC-That ship done sailed. But, I guess your little delusions is all that the right wingers have left to hold on to.

    November 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. A Real American

    Sarah Palin irritates me!

    November 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Jeff

    McCain finally got it right: "She did a great job of energizing our base. I'm very proud of her” .

    Sad that he had to make a pick to energize his own right wing nut case religious right base! If he would have picked anyone else, say Lieberman or Ridge, you would have had a landslide of the Reagan/Mondale poportion.

    November 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. steve

    pleas, i respect john mccain, but did not vote for him. but palin, she is a total right wing wacko and i wish she would just fade away into an alaskan glacier

    November 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  23. no more hanging chads

    Not until she learns to speak a coherent sentence!! Makes normal people cringe to think that her language reflects her thought processes!!

    November 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  24. globalgroove

    If McCain truly believes this then it's a good thing he lost. His thinking is delusional at the very least....completely warped at best.

    November 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  25. H-Town

    GOP is out of ideas.....shrinking fast into ideology nothingness.

    November 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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