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. Irene

    Is he just being nice or is he still delusional about she who cannot be named.

    January 23, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. mb

    Its such a shame that both of them are still fighting for the limelight after such a disastrous campaign.Trying their best to be in the papers all the time even if they have little stuff left.Palin has little self respect left and is a shame to the industrious american woman!

    January 23, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Dex Dean

    More politics in that John really did not say what he really thinks about Palin. She did have a part in costing him the election, but he picked her!

    January 23, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. rose

    Palin drove every educated Republican I knew to Obama....Run her in 2012 for goodness sake.

    January 23, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  5. Terry in NY

    Perfectly said Sarah baracuda. The people who just can't stand to look at themselves in the mirror or admit that a pretty face can and has governed with much success are the root of these ridiculous attacks. Our new White bi racial President has my support now but only because he made all the promisses and he's the man in charge now. (Even though he's already breaking campaign promises) Let's see if the liberal press AKA Brokaw, Williams, Oberman and Blitzer and the others from NBC & CNN feast on him to make a story when ratings are low or they want to generate some controvery. All just to promote their agendas of one sided liberal media coverage. No secrets, tell all regardless of national securty views.

    January 23, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. Gary H

    The only media outlet that bothers to report on these stories is CNN. The rest of the world has already forgotten about Sarah Palen.
    "All the news that's fit to print" And a lot that isn't.

    January 23, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. Barb

    I'm surprised to see that so many women are all hot for Palin.
    The ignorance of these people is frightening. These are the people who want Roe v. Wade repealed and science put on the back burner. The ones who believe that God spoke to Bush and have a serious fear of homosexuals, like any self respecting gay or lesbian would be interested in them. What happened to judge not lest thou be judged or even treating others like you would like to be treated yourself.
    Palin could be the anti christ herself-she is stupid and mean.
    GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-maybe ask all the haters to relocate to Texas or Washington and then remove them from the union

    January 23, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  8. Rick

    To Nobama, Noway:
    Boy, it's going to be a long 8 years for you, my man! And in 2016 when President Obama passes the baton to a new Democratic President, along with a budget surplus, no wars, the Dow Jones at 16,000, and unemployment at 1%, you will still be talking nonsense!

    January 23, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. ajks

    It is sad that he is still trying to legitamizing her existence.

    January 23, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  10. Noel

    Sarah Palin set herself up to be a target. After the campaign ended she should have left the spotlight to sharpen her general knowledge. Instead she decided to stay in the spotlight and make an even bigger of a fool of herself.

    January 23, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  11. Ohio_Democratic

    Everyone judged McCain by Bush. McCain had my vote when Clinton lost. EXPERIENCE is what we still don't have. Biden didn't like Obama.. what does that tell you? Obama should had Clinton as VP... The American people voted 50/50 almost the whole election, what does that tell you Obama is scared of Clinton and used Biden to attrack the old. If McCain would had an middle-age man... he would had won. Obama goes to McCain for advise... he doesn't know what he is doing.. Thank God Obama has good people surrounding him that is the only way he will survive!!!!

    January 23, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. Jean

    P-Obama full day of work.

    Terrorists get rights.
    Save the terrorist.

    Federal funds for international groups that perform abortions.
    Abort the baby.

    Way to go Pres.

    January 23, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  13. Jon

    I am a Republican and Palin needs to GO AWAY.

    January 23, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. dennis dehart

    Why doesn,t she just do her job and worry about Alaska. Must be a lot if important decisions to make in a state with the population about the same as Indianapolis, Indiana.

    January 23, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Dave


    If you look at the average resume, experience is only one of the qualifications. Education and skills are others. BibleSpice was previously a beauty pageant winner. Obama was previously a constitutional law professor. I'd consider the latter to be a much better *qualification* for the President of the US.

    January 23, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. wagner

    koolaid drinkers?? im pretty sure your daughter and your son are drinking koolaid with us. it was hate like that, that got Obama in the office. It was the ignorance of a president that YOU voted for ( BUSH) who got us in this mess. You would probably love to see Obama fail as well as the country just to say i told you sold. So keep your hate up because the more you hate the more our president will succeed. Closing GITMO is the right thing to do because that is not America, that is Bush America and that time is OVER. As for Sarah Palin, good luck RNC, you might as well have Paris Hilton or one of the Girls Next Door represent you in 2012.

    January 23, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. JO

    I think people do not realize that Obama just won with 52% of the
    vote. I wonder why people are still so afraid of Palin? The honeymoon
    will wear off I promise.

    January 23, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. blackhat

    If you don't get Palin than your not a Republican! If your a Republican that didn't vote McCain/Palin your not a Republican. It was a perfect pair he a moderate she a right winger. Now we got Obama and he'll have to move to the center where Joe already is. Guess we'll be in the middle for awhile!

    January 23, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. david thomas

    As always, Senator McCain is a big man and very gracious. As always, Sarah is whinny and immature. He really deserved better.

    In my opinion, if she has any role to play in the Republican Party, it will reflect just how out of touch Republicans are with the reality of where most of us live.

    January 23, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. Jeremy

    lol ya... put on a face for the cameras and then talk crap about her behind her back... meh.

    and for the record... palin isn't hot...

    January 23, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Joyce Becker

    McCain is still out of touch, how can he say nice things about Palin. I don't think he really means any of the things he says. She is very mean spirited and will do anything, including using her family to get recognition. Wait until her book comes out, I am sure she will have some nasty things to say in it about the McCains and their staff.

    January 23, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Daniel

    Can someone like, imprison this woman? Please?

    January 23, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. arc, Lugano CH

    I believe Senator McCain to be a kind a decent man who cares for his country. I disagreed with his policies yet, it was saddening to watch him embrace the Right as much as he did while bringing Palin into the national spotlight this past election season.

    The manner by which McCain denounced some of the comments uttered from certain fringe elements at his rallies showed his character and class.

    The statements uttered by his running mate's supporters and Palin at her own rallies showed hers.

    January 23, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. Bradford Lee "Brad" Steele, Ph.D.

    Sarah Palin and her brand of republicanism is radioactive. You keep it around for a little while and you don't notice how deadly it is. You keep it around for, oh eight years or so, and you find out you've been badly burned and death is most likely going to be a very long, painful, and gross thing to witness – you can quote me on that!

    January 23, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  25. Outspoken

    John McCain, you did not deserve to be on the same ticket as this woman. It was a digrace what you and your band of back-stabbing amateurs did to this woman. I hope Sarah is smart enough to not associate herself too closely with you. I would hate for her to be tainted any further by your sleazy reputation. GO SARAH! I HOPE YOU COME BACK IN 2012!

    January 23, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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