January 23rd, 2009
02:22 PM ET
4 years ago

McCain says he and Palin plan to meet this month


Watch McCain discuss his relationship with Palin.

(CNN) - Despite the post-election battle between Sarah Palin and John McCain's campaign advisors, the former Republican presidential candidate told CNN’s Larry King both members of the GOP ticket remain “very close.”

McCain — who has been edging his way back into the spotlight Palin never quite left - dismissed questions over his running mate’s criticism of his campaign team. “Listen, I think the world of Governor Palin, her husband Todd, her family, I'm honored that she would run with me,” he said in an interview Thursday.

“And look, whenever there is a losing campaign there is always a little bit of back and forth, and it happens post-mortem. I am so grateful to have her as a friend, and I believe that she represents a lot to the Republican Party in the future. I think she has a big role to play.”

Palin and senior McCain aides, many of them anonymous, have traded criticism since the Republican ticket’s defeat.

Last month, the Alaska governor told Human Events that following the campaign’s media strategy was her biggest regret of the race. “I was not allowed to do very many interviews, and the interviews that I did were not necessarily those I would have chosen,” she said. “But I was so thankful to have the opportunity to run with John McCain that I was not going to argue with the strategy decisions that some of his people were making regarding the media contacts...if I would have been in charge, I would have wanted to speak to more reporters, because that’s how you get your message out to the electorate.”

The Arizona senator would not tell King Thursday whether he was personally stung by Palin’s criticism of his top aides. “Look, we're very close friends, and I talk to her all the time and look forward to seeing her, I think, in a week or so,” he said. “We're very close.”

McCain also side-stepped the question of whether he’d ever raised those comments with her. “Oh - these things always happen in campaigns,” he said. “She has my respect and my affection and that's undying.”

Last month, he told an interviewer Sarah Palin could not necessarily count on his support his former running mate if she chose to run for president.

"I can't say something like that. We've got some great other young governors,” he told ABC then. “I think you're going to see the governors assume a greater leadership role in our Republican Party," he said, citing Governors Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Jon Huntsman of Utah.

“...Have no doubt of my admiration and respect for her and my view of her viability, but at this stage, again … my corpse is still warm, you know?"

Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (674 Responses)
  1. Lori

    McCain should be ashamed for introducing that woman to the American people. I used to think he was a good politician now I barely have respect for him.

    To the Republicans: No Democrat is threatened by Sarah Palin. She was on a ticket and lost. The Republicans must know that a candidate that says 'She is proud to be a REDNECK' will NEVER be voted in by people of color or whites who believe in racial harmony. She cannot win on the redneck vote alone.

    January 23, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. PCLC

    I like having her stay in the spotlight. It's like she's the new Pat Robertson – marginalized, fringe, loony. Keep up the good work.

    January 23, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. ap

    sarah baracuda – wow, that was funny! you're trying to make a joke, right? the spelling mistakes are a nice touch. oh... wait.... you're serious. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 23, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. Sandra Day

    Other than men being gaga over her looks, I still do not understand how anyone could be so infatuated with Palin. She seems like a nice enough woman, but other than that, what did she really have to offer? She was embarrassingly inexperienced. I guess I will never understand the narrow viewpoint that so many on the right seem to have. Even now, though, I cannot seriously see her running for President. But, who knows? I think the media is doing a good job of hiding it, but the Republicans really, really need to get their act together. If Palin is the best they can do, wow!

    January 23, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. Shirley in Virginia

    CNN, I love you, but please, all of you, Larry King included, do your part in helping us make the following the nation's motto. "Sarah, Sarah, please go away; stay out of the news for at least one day!"
    President Obama is trying to reconcile all parties, all Americans, period. You really aren't helping his cause by keeping Palin in the news, whether you ask McCain or about her or she unleashes her own bitter talk!!!

    January 23, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  6. kayster

    I didn't realize there were so many hate filled people on CNN. Funny, I hear nothing about any garbage like this except here. I thought MSN was the worst biased news outlet but CNN gives them a good run for their money.

    Why are you folks so filled with hate? Your guy won, why don't you just enjoy that?

    Sad we have all these haters in the world that are so insecure they have to run down others so they fill better about themselves...many of them working at CNN too it appears.

    January 23, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  7. Raymond

    Is old man McCain looking for a younger wife again ?

    January 23, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  8. threetoedtreesloth

    I wanted so badly to vote for McCain until the GOP got a hold of him and his messages went flat and then he sealed the deal with this person. Not only is she unqualified but insincere. You could throw a dart at congress and hit a better qualified candidate for the GOP. I'm registered independent and if the GOP really considers her the future it will make my decision a no brainer in 2012.

    January 23, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  9. RepublicansHateAmerica

    CNN – why did Larry King not ask about McCain's campaing promise to FREEZE government spending. That would surely have led to disaster. as increased spending (correctly implemented) spurs job growth. CAN YOU IMAGINE? Thank God he did not win.

    January 23, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. Doug, New Jersey

    Even if you disagree with her politics one must admit that she is an admirable person. An honest, caring, thoughtful, mother who has faught corruption in her own state against people in her own party. Obama can't say that, he's been riding the same Ill. demo-crook train as Blagovich and the Dailys.

    We can hope that for the libs it is just BDS and that they soon will mirror the republicans in this nation in regards to honesty, compassion, fairness, and courtesy. However, if you live in a blue state, you know that almost every Democrat has completley abandoned any trace of morals, values, decency, and honesty they have at one time had. A majority of libs in America are cut from the same cloth as Rahm E, Al Franken and Blag-libo-witch.

    January 23, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  11. zaphod2000

    Who cares? These two are old news (if only the press would drop the caribou bimbo from their news pages). I hope the Arizona people think twice about reelecting this man who brought us all the evils of the republican party in one hillbilly woman from Alaska.
    Same with the folks in Alaska.

    January 23, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  12. kayster

    didn't realize there were so many hate filled people on CNN. Funny, I hear nothing about any garbage like this except here. I thought MSN was the worst biased news outlet but CNN gives them a good run for their money.

    Why are you folks so full of hate? Your guy won, why don't you just enjoy that?

    Sad we have all these haters in the world that are so insecure they have to run down others so they feel better about themselves…many of them working at CNN too it appears.

    January 23, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  13. Mark

    What he really meant to say was..."Boy..what the hell was I thinking choosing that moron as my running mate"!!

    January 23, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. Jim Hall

    The media needs to get off these two village idiots. There are more pressing issues in this country than these two village idiots. Get with the program media Jim Hall Kansas City Missouri.

    January 23, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. johnvet

    John McCain=War Hero who made poor decisions when it came to picking who to run with

    Sarah Palin=Attention Hog (with or without lipstick)

    By the way Sarah Barracuda once a National Guard Unit is mobilized and sent outside the state to Iraq for example, the Gov. is no longer in the Chain of Command; the Commander in Chief is the President.

    She can have 20 National Guard Units under her Command, the moment they leave her state they fall under someone else; even during Katrina National Guard Units that mobilized and went to New Orleans were put under DOD control.

    Plus, think about it, if she was the Commander in Chief of the National Guard while they are in Iraq she'd have to find it in the map first and that might a while.

    January 23, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. BF

    Umm...to Amy – GA...how is Palin even remotely vital to our security, let alone, "very vital"? Classic! The only security she provides is shooting moose that come too close to Wasilla. And get off that paranoid delusion that it's the media's fault...you sound like a 60's liberal hippie. Palin had plenty of time and platforms to express her credentials and all any rational person gathered from her was hot air, hate and political rhetoric. I guess to you that's inspiration.

    January 23, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. BIll

    Sarah Palin is an under-educated, failed sports writer and beauty pageant contestant who has no business being Governor of anything, much less running for national office - It's a national embarrassment that she's even KNOWN by anyone outside her hometown, much less outside the US. It scares the heck out of me that you right-wingers think she's remotely competent to hold any job outside Wasilla, Alaska.

    January 23, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Clare Ollington

    Unfortunately Sen. McCain still does not get it. Choosing Sarah Palin as his running mate was a mistake & to continue to believe she has a role to play in just ridiculous, he shows himself to be such old school, I'm so tired of the likes of him, bow out Sen. McCain.

    January 23, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. Eric M

    The folks declaring Palin's career over are the same folks who would just as soon see the GOP either become Democrat-lite, or simply roll over and die. We lost largely because McCain was the former, and if the latter were to happen a new party would arise espousing conservative ideals.

    The reality that most people won't acknowledge is that most Americans are into fiscal conservatism, a strong military, personal responsibility, government accountability, secure borders, individual liberty, and tend to fall center-right on social issues like gay marriage, don't ask don't tell, and immigration.

    The areas that hurt social conservatives are abortion, stem cell research, and global warming. Funny part is, on all but the former, the public at large isn't well educated on the crux of the issue. The stem cell controversy focuses on embryonic stem cells...it is a debate that was once framed as "cloning humans for spare parts". Global warming debate covers a wide spectrum...ranging from those who question the validity of the studies, to those that acknowledge warming as a human created phenomenon yet question the notion that it has reached the "crisis" levels that some environmentalists claim.

    Palin has an image problem to fix, and a book would go a long way in doing so. Predictably, her opponents don't want her to fix her image problem, because that keeps her marginalized.

    January 23, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  20. Zack

    I may not agree with McCain's ideas, but I'm glad to see him reaffirm his grace and dignity. Unlike Palin, who represents the GOP's younger generation of ferocious blind idealogues, McCain remains a man of integrity and decency (even if his campaign advisers did their best to makes us believe otherwise).

    January 23, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. Mike Dallas

    McCain misses those Dominatrix sessions!

    January 23, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. Matt

    Officials say President Barack Obama will sign an executive order Friday ending the ban on federal funds for international groups that promote or perform abortion.

    Why isn't anyone talking about this? THIS IS HORRIBLE!!!!! How can our country, in a financial crisis, send taxpayer money to foreign countries to promote abortion!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!! We aren't even getting into the MORAL or SOCIAL aspects of this decision. First Q-Bay being closed, now this. I think he's now 0 for 2 in major decisions.

    January 23, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  23. frank castillo

    I know people around the world think in general that we aren't that bright. To have a political party trying to pull a stunt like this on us shows how much the Republicans think of the average voters mental status. Governor Palin and Senator McCain, you are both good people but, honestly I feel a little insulted by the party you represent. McCain your a great American and Patriot and if you would have gone with the truth and honesty you might have had a better shot at The Presidency.

    January 23, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  24. mjrm

    Are you telling me there is more room for HATE and ANGER? I feel bad for the Republican party if she is what they are hanging their hat on. Please CNN stop with coverage. Take responsibility of making the world a better place and report on people who are doing something – beside hateful angry bitter people. What did Gore or Kerry do? Did they go on and on about how they were done wrong. I would respect the Republican party (which I was a part of before her hatefulness) if they would step up and solve a problem or too. Join forces and fight – United We Stand Divided we FAIL. Come on people GROW UP!

    January 23, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. LIP

    Lets see, if you remove the usual hatred for Republicans exhibitied by the , you guessed it, Democrats, we would be down to about 5 comments. It would seem that it is the Democrats that can't get over it. They seem to have forgotten that it was not a landslide victory for Obama.. just short of half of the electorate, voted for Palin/McCain...57,000,000 voters. We will be back come 2012.

    January 23, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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