March 26th, 2009
01:30 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain: People voted 'mostly for Sarah Palin' last year

Speaking at the Heritage Foundation Thursday, Sen. McCain acknowledged the political star power of his former running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Speaking at the Heritage Foundation Thursday, Sen. McCain acknowledged the political star power of his former running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has no illusions about the 2008 White House race.

"God bless them," McCain said Thursday at the Heritage Foundation when reminded of the tens of millions of people who voted for him last year.

"Over 50 million people voted for me and Sarah Palin – mostly for Sarah Palin," McCain said to an eruption of laughter. But "there was a sizable majority of the other party returned to Congress. And, elections have consequences. Elections have consequences. And these consequences we are seeing now in full display."

McCain described himself as "very nervous" about the Obama administration's proposal for FDIC-like resolution authority over non-bank financial institutions like AIG in order to prevent another near calamity in the global financial system.

"I understand that we need some of these institutions to be taken over before they are total failures but I am very nervous about that . . . about the expansion of government oversight," McCain said. "But we have to do a better job of regulation and transparency. The status quo is not acceptable either."

McCain's speech Thursday at the conservative think tank focused on the country's economic crisis and dire long-term fiscal outlook. Before he spoke, the former presidential candidate was greeted by a standing ovation in an auditorium filled with people primarily in their 20's and 30's.


Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (326 Responses)
  1. iawill

    Duh! You think! Most people know that McCain's campaign was floundering badly before he added Sarah Palin to the ticket. While she did not add any more brain power – the fact that she was nice looking and could read very well from a script enticed the men and sparked great interest from women. While Palin (and many other Republicans) thought that she would get all of the Hillary Clinton supporters over to McCain's side, we saw that only worked with some women. For educated women, they were offended by the pick.

    As for McCain's comments on President Obama's economic plan, I say this - at least the President has a plan. McCain thought that he could get into office by focusing on terrorism and the fact that he was a war veteran. The people showed him and the Republican Party that we could select a President who had proposed solutions for all of the ills plaguing our country!

    March 26, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Kraig

    I would say to John McCain that most people voted AGAINST Sarah Palin!

    March 26, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. alpha_nu_916

    many who ultimately voted for obama were the same voters who were on the fence until you picked caribou barbie.
    you vp pick tanked any chance of you winning the election & also brought to light just how far right the vast majority of the party is.

    March 26, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  4. RDH

    Am so looking forward to putting that senile old politician out to pasture. As long as the republican party continues to adhere to the direction of the very leadership that brought them to the point of being insignificant, their core constituency who left in droves, will continue to wander, unrepresented in the political wilderness. Having the choice of pure Socialist/Progressive representation or Socialist L:ite is no choice at all. At least with the current herd in charge, America's true enemies are front and center for the whole world to see. And I'm seeing evidence that the world likes not what they eagerly bought into.

    March 26, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Enlightened Voter

    I thank GOD almost every day that America chose the BETTER choice, President Obama instead of mcschizo and the clueless pathological liar!

    March 26, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. American Voter

    This lifelong Democrat who has never voted Republican even for a dog catcher- did vote for John McCain. I still bellieve that he was an all american hero who deserved the Presidency

    March 26, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. labman57

    First of all, McCain was being glib. I doubt the hard polling data would support the contention that those that voted for McCain were actually voting for Palin.

    Secondly, polling data immediately after the election showed that the vast majority of the public had an unfavorable opinion of Palin. Perhaps some who voted for Obama were also strongly voting against her.

    She polls well with the most conservative members of the GOP, but that will not get you elected to anything other than President of the Rush Limbaugh Fan Club.

    March 26, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  8. travis

    This makes me feel a bit sorry for him. I didn't vote for him, but he is a really nice guy, and it's a depressing thought to think people would warm more to Mrs. drill-baby-drill/pro-ignorance/anti-education/anti-logic, instead of him. It worries me that one of the more reasonable republicans is the one who is not incredibly popular within his own party.

    March 26, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Mickie

    Oh really? Is that why you lost? I think like with your homes, you miscounted.

    March 26, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. David Jacobson, New York NY

    Keep Palin as the voice of the Republican party!

    If they want to make this bumbling hick who nobody even heard of 6 months ago their standard-bearer, by all means!

    March 26, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Wise Guy

    Bin Laden's in Parachinar, Pakistan. Why don't you go get him?

    March 26, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. Joy

    It is very nice to hear the young crowd gave a standing ovation. John McCain is an honorable American hero. Too bad he lost the election. It may have saved our country from going broke. As it is, the debt being piled on our country and the slashing of our military budget will take years to fix.

    March 26, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. Steph

    Many moderate Republicans voted AGAINST Palin. She did help McCain with the ultra-conservative right wing nut-job vote, though.

    March 26, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  14. Clavey

    Well Mr. McCain, this voter DID NOT vote for you BECAUSE of Sarah Palin. Anybody else, ANYBODY, and who knows........

    March 26, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. ElevateTheDebate

    Of course we have to do a better job at regulating those financial services that fall outside the jurisdiction of the FDIC – that's exactly the purpose of what the administration is proposing!

    And THAT makes Mr. McCain "very nervous?"

    Please go back into the scare bunker with Cheney!

    March 26, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  16. Al, NY NY

    She cost him the election. There is no doubt in anyone mind except for the delusional lemmings that promote flat earth, creationism, and the "us against them" philosophy that polarizes the GOP

    March 26, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Jon

    As a liberal, I hope McCain is able to convince the GOP to put Palin back on the ticket in four years. I can't think of a development that would more surely keep the Democrats in the White House.

    March 26, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  18. RH, Ohio

    nervous about government oversight... yet we have to do a better job of regulation? old fart speaks with forked tongue; can't make sense of one sentence...

    March 26, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Jeff

    No, what is really terrifying is watching the amateur hour/gong show going on daily with the President and his staff

    March 26, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  20. Donna

    ToddonCapeCod–there's no chagrin over here on the left. None at all. It's amazing how often Palin supporters claim that her opponents are afraid of her. No–I would have been afraid to have her in a position of power. That's because she is stupid, incompetent and dishonest. But fortunately, she's such a laughingstock that I, for one, am delighted to have her front and center as much as possible.

    March 26, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  21. JCS from Atlanta

    I don't understand all the hateful stuff about Sen McCain. What he said in regards is true some of these actions for the financial sector. It's worth the debate.
    This guy lost but has carried himself with dignity the same dignity former VP Gore has shown after he had an election actually STOLEN from him.
    I think you President Obama supporters need to consider the grace in defeat Sen McCain has shown. He disagrees with President Obama, no big deal, some of those in President Obama's own party disagree with him as well.

    March 26, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  22. DavidinCA

    It is comical that John McCain was so accurate about what to expect from a Democrat administration rubber stamped by a Democratic congress. It's not even April yet and they have spent us into debt for generations that aren't even born yet! The odd thing is that even though Obama backs away from just about every campaign promise he made there are still a few liberals out there yelling," Hooray for us! We elected Obama!"

    March 26, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  23. PATC

    Now Palin running her own campaign for 2 years instead of being on somebody else ticket for 2 years. Now you know why Dems fear her so much.

    March 26, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. flybyshoeing

    ToddonCapeCod. What you say may be true about the conservatives in this country, but there are not enough of those to win an election. The rest of your post is from another planet.

    March 26, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. John425

    and...I donated to SarahPAC. Senator Palin in 2010 and President Palin in 2012.

    March 26, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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