November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
6 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. Steve

    Come on. I would have voted for John McCain, but there was this one thing called Palin. She is a joke. I would never feel right voting for her. Too much smoke, not enough fire.

    November 25, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. EG

    This is why we didn't pick your JUDGEMENT, goodbye.

    November 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. Jim Q.

    The first step to fixing a problem is admitting there is a problem. Last time I checked, didn't the polls all say that Palin alienated more people than she energized?

    November 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. Jon

    I love Sarah Palin. She will be a welcome change after 4 years of disaster at the hands of man-child Obama.

    November 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. Carlos Jean-Gilles

    I've got news for you Senator McCain: Most Americans saw Sarah Palin as a nincompoop who was totally unqualified for the VP position. If Sarah Palin is the best leadership that GOP has to offer, the party has no immediate future. After saying that the fundamentals of our economy were in good shape and then changed your tune a few days later, Why should any American in his or her right mind remotely believe anything you have to say? After watching the debacle of an economy that you, Senator, have helped create by your lack of foresight, wisdom and leadership, I think you should resign from the Senate and give the good people of Arizona an opportunity to elect someone who possesses the core competencies needed to handle the mess of your legacy.

    Carlos Jean-Gilles
    Saint Louis, MO

    November 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. midwest mom

    to Fred-get a clue, get a life...Elvis is dead, there are no aliens in the desert and your conspiracy theories about Obama are just nothing but hilarious. YOU LOST THE ELECTION, the republican party is struggling to survive...it is time to stop talking craziness and get to work to fix the party you apparently love.

    McCain wouldn't dare criticize Palin although we know he has thought many times..."How stupid could I be?".....I dare any other republican who want to actually WIN office to invite her along for the ride.....she is toxic in many ways.

    November 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Rich-NJ

    Sarah Palin is the best thing that ever happened to the Democratic party!

    November 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. rj

    i am almost looking forward to her running for president. they were able to shield her from the media or have her only sit with them if an adult was present–either mccain or lieberman or someone with some education. when she runs for president, she'll have to do that on her own. hopefully the questions will be tougher than "what magazines do you read?" i think it would be entertaining to watch her run for president.....an office clearly out of her league.

    November 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. Tim

    Sarah Palin is the future and hopes of the Republican party???? The GOP is in dire straights for sure. How depressing. She was a mojor reason McCain didn't get elected...hello!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  10. Al, NY NY

    if he needed to energize the base, he was doomed from the start. The Lipstick Fido sunk his campaign like a lead balloon and her further delving and prominence in the party will send them out to the wilderness for years

    November 25, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  11. E = Mc 2

    I hope and pray that she will just go away , maybe to Russia , seeing as how she can see it from her house ......

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

    That's cute. But too bad the GOP doesn't have a future.

    November 25, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. Anna, Missouri

    It sounds like the Republicans have learned nothing. It will take more than the base being energized to win an election. The base of the Republican party has shrunk. Someone needs to learn some basic math in the Republican party if they ever want to win again.

    November 25, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. Otto

    President elect Obama; this is John McCain. I am calling to thank you for winning the presidency because I have no idea how the economy works.

    As for Sara, she needs to return to school and obtain a PHD at least before she can run for national office. I must be frank with you my friend; I had no idea she was so ignorant. I though she had at least an MBA but was I mistaken.

    There is one thing for certain my friend; she can see Vladimir Putin from her kitchen windows, and that's good for our national security.

    November 25, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Hopeful for Tomorrow

    @Fred in NC - Are people still trying to push that lie on the American people?

    November 25, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. George, AZ.

    Perhaps Palin could run with Sean Hannity. They would make a great pair together. One lies, the other one swears to it.
    NORTH TO ALASKA......... and stay there.

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

    It's nice to see that the tolerant and diverse left is at their hateful best again. I particularly like the ones that paint all conservatives as dumb. Typical liberals. Conservatives are either dumb or are criminals in their minds.

    It is important to energize the base. Obama did that during the primary and McCain wasn't able to. Obama then shifted to the middle. Let's wait and see where he shifts to once in office.

    November 25, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. Teresa

    All you who have nasty comments about Sarah Palin and how smart you think she's not. WHAT STATE ARE YOU GOVERNOR IN???????

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

    If that's the best they can put forward as GOP leader...Sarah Palin, well I guess the Dems will be in power for years to come.
    She is definitely an energizer alright.....the energizer bunny, as that goes on and on and just round in circles. Sarah Palin is like showing a red rag to a bull......but if they want another comedy show on the road again Sarah is the gal to do it.

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

    During the interviews he had with her, the look on his face, Don't know if it was "what the H..L! He knows what she did to their campaign, but if he admitted it, people would start questioning his judgement. He knows and the country knows what happened. If you say "it" enuff you begin to believe your lies!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    i Love how McCain makes one little comment about his running mate and you make it "A STORY". How much money is the government stealling from the citizens? Theres a strory, check it out. But you just want to beat your chest and continue to discuss why they lost and get the sheep all pumped up about the win. Let it go, and find a story with substance. MOVE ON SHEEP, THERE NOTHING TO SEE HERE!!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. CAL

    What else is he going to say, his selection of that stupid woman mad his judgement look bad and it was a devastating selection for mccain. They can say she energized the party all they want, I'm not buying it it only energized the men who started to drool over her, period. palin is a complete idiot who cannot put to complete sentences together and yet a lot of stupid women say she speaks for them. well if you allow this moron to speak for you, you have very little to say. Go back to alaska and stay there nobody wants to hear your dumb remarks and annoying voice.

    November 25, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  23. david

    thinking mccain was a fool to have picked palin as a running mate. he might have made it had he selected say, romney. mccain should retire and just go away. he was defeated, trounced, humiliated.

    November 25, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  24. Lani in Los Angeles

    Let em keep talking up Palin FOR NOW. They won't be able to keep it up past the next 6 months. It won't be long before she's a mere vapor.

    November 25, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  25. TNTX disgust

    I laugh at you people as do many Americans. You got your change – but wait the president elect is appointing middle aged white men who have all been serving with previous leaders including President Bush – now that is change – you're right!!! Congratulations.

    November 25, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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