April 14th, 2009
05:59 PM ET
5 years ago

Did McCain snub Palin on Leno?

McCain left off Palin's name on his list of future GOP leaders.
McCain left off Palin's name on his list of future GOP leaders.

(CNN) - Did John McCain snub Sarah Palin during an appearance Monday on NBC's The Tonight Show?

That's what some pro-Palin bloggers and other political observers claim after the former GOP presidential candidate left out his former running mate when naming five governors who he thought were in position to lead the Republican Party.

"We have, I'm happy to say, a lot of voices out there," McCain told host Jay Leno before listing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Utah Gov. John Huntsman, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

"There are a lot of governors out there who are young and dynamic," said the Arizona senator.

McCain then quickly joked, "I've left out somebody's name and I'm going to hear about it."


Criticism of McCain's comments are particularly fierce at TeamSarah.org, a blogging Web site for Palin supporters.

"McCain, who screwed up his campaign by not voting against the bailout, can't mention Sarah's name on Leno? It hurts the party and it makes him look bad by dissing her a 3rd time," wrote one blogger. "Maybe it's a good thing he didn't become president."

McCain has said in previous interviews it is too early to say whether he will support Palin should the Alaska governor run for president in 2012. His daughter Meghan made similar comments on CNN's No Bias, No Bull last week.  (Video below)

McCain has also praised Palin since Election Day, saying late last year of the Alaska governor, "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."


Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Get Well Soon GOP

    Tim makes a good point. If not for PUMA we would have never met Palin. Thanks PUMA. How is that working out for you?

    April 14, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  2. Fernando

    If the Republicans want to keep the Dems in power for the next couple of generations they are on the right track by keeping Palin on the news.

    April 14, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  3. Judy

    The problem is not Palin - the problem lies with those who voted for her. What amazes me is that so many people still do not realize that she is a walking caricature of America. Luckily-luckily, there are more sober citizens here who voted otherwise.

    April 14, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  4. Doug, New Jersey

    Take note of the way the libs have treated McCain. When he is trashing the GOP and sucking up to libs they love him and talk about how he is the only good republican. Then, when he ran against their Messiah, he was public enemy #1 and they trashed and attacked him to no end. As we know they even sent people to his and Palin's rallies to shout racist and hateful comments so that libs on the ticker and other sites could trash republicans as hateful racists (which as we know by facts is only true of their kind). Since republicans don't fit into the mold they want they just create the lies and go with pretending they are the truth.

    As Americans we each need to take a look into the mirror and think about what type of person we are and how we want to be. If we do that then I think a majority will realize that they don't want to support libs and the nasty, hateful, dishonest, and immoral way the Democratic party and its followers act and treat others. We are better than the lib.

    April 14, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  5. Robert in Calgary

    Why does the Republican Party have such difficulty admitting that Sarah Palin is not competent to lead, and that her extremist, dark ages beliefs from the isolationist sticks of Alaska are not appropriate for any national political party? Why such difficulty? It really underscores that the Republicans are without clarity, purpose and resolve right now.

    April 14, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. rick

    This pandering old man chose her to be one heartbeat – his – from the Oval Office but now doesn't put her in his Top 5 list? While I fully agree with him – and who in their right mind would disagree? – his post election about face only highllights how incredibly selfish and superficial his selection of her truly was.

    April 14, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. SoCalGal

    At McCains's age, he has no ax to grind, and no butts to kiss. If anyone will give a true lay of the Repub land, his take is the most viable. Repubs should listen to what he says – whether that includes his former running mate or not.

    April 14, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  8. Brent

    McCain did not snub Palin. He was simply being honest. McCain was naming governors he thought were in a position to lead the Republican party. McCain has come to understand, just as the vast majority of Americans have, that Palin is too inexperienced, too divisive, and too incompetent to lead the Republican party. It's nice to see McCain getting back to his straight talk.

    April 14, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  9. Liz T, Tucson

    McCain acted on principle by picking Palin, the self before country and ready, fire, aim principles. The choice backfired and he lost his last chance to be president. He now knows how wrong his pick was for the country, but he is not yet man enough to admit it. Why do politicians lie? To get elected. Why does McCain lie? To make himself look less foolish.

    April 14, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Charles

    Sarah Palin is not qualified to be president, and John McCain knows it. She should get back under the porch and quit barking.

    April 14, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  11. VGal

    McCain has a right to his opinion. If he doesn't believe she can be the leader of the republican party, then he should stand by it. He's clearly one of the few republicans who understands that she's NOT a good leader.

    April 14, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Bill Patrick

    McCain showed he was classless. He picked her and now he won't support her. Palin is a down to earth person and real person unlike the fake and phony frauds that litter Washinton DC. I would support Palin over any of those political pros out there.

    April 14, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Ken

    It is all about judgement – HIS judgement in choosing her and HER judgement in thinking that she was up to the task!
    Face it – they both used each other – just like the partners in a mail order relationship. HE wanted a woman to take Hilary's votes. SHE was giddy for the fame and the spotlight.

    It's time for the divorce.

    This dysfunctional relationship is OVER

    April 14, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. LeeT

    Stands to reason that Palin supporters would be upset, birds of a feather flock together. No one in their right mind thinks that she is qualified to be president so why be upset when she is not mentioned as a viable candidate. Had McCain reasoned this during the campaign, he would probably be Commander in Chief now. Jindal is not the answer either.

    April 14, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. 4daze

    At least he's truthful. She was/is not presidential material-EVER!

    April 14, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. Ed E

    Good for McCain owing up to a really stupid mistake. Anyone with even a small smattering of common sense understood that Palin was a bad joke. She can't even win a battle with a stupid 19 yr kid. Give me break!

    April 14, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  17. The Real Slim Shady

    McCain answered honestly. At this present moment, Palin does not look like a presidential contender. She's publicly feuding with an 18 year old boy, as well as members of the Alska GOP. Nothing about her current status is positioning her to be a contender for 2012.

    April 14, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. I Can See Clearly Now The Rain is Gone ...

    I was recently fired as the leading executive in a political, back stabbing office environment where my only offense was leading with an accountability culture among a group scared to finally be measured and have to perform. That experience gives one real clarity.

    Simply put, John McCain is a republican and all republicans are NOT neo-Cons. His brand of republicans (moderates) are NOT going to vote for Sarah Palin. Find someone else.

    In retrospect, John McCain is NOT IMPRESSED with Sarah Palin. This is clear from the multiple times he has not included her in talks about the GOP's future.

    Right or Wrong ... Fair or Not ... f"the base" need to get over it. Sarah Palin does not have the support of the last Republican to run for President. She will not have the support of moderates and independents.

    PERIOD.

    April 14, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. AndyB

    Palin/Jandal 2012 hardy har har

    April 14, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  20. RLG Virginia

    McCain knows she was a desperate gamble and a disastrous choice to begin with. The more she talked, the more apparent it was that she knew less than nothing, was a two-faced hypocrite, and supremely unqualified to be dog catcher, let alone VP. The hate and fanaticism to which this delusional diva deliberately appealed exposed her as a dangerous ideologue, who cares less about truth and service to her country than her own personal power, ambition and worship, at any cost. The most recent revelations from her would-be son in law Levi are enlightening to the depths she'll stoop in order to squelch opposition and bully everyone into believing her fabrications as reality.

    But please, PLEASE! continue your coverage of her, CNN, to show just what a shallow, worthless tool she is. And all the kool-aid drinkers can joyfully follow her into oblivion while the rest of us go about restoring our country, unobstructed by the haters.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    April 14, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  21. Mack

    I wonder if the McCain camp will ever admit who suggested Palin as the VP candidate in the first place. McCain had the final decision, but who brought her name up. I remember when McCain first introduced Palin, he didn't know anything about her because he was reading her "resume" from index cards. And Palin, poor thing, travelled the campaign trail with her talking points in a big binder that she read from.

    April 14, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Alex

    I doubt that anything McCain says from now on will have much impact or influence on anybody. I know he lost my vote when he voted for that "Stimulus" package filled with the pork he promised he'd cut out. So much for political campaign promises as well as his running mate, Sarah Palin. I seriously doubt she has any chance of obtaining the Republican nomination as we now know she no longer has the appeal she once had. I know as a Republican, I wouldn't vote for her.

    April 14, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. jbn

    John McCain never wanted Palin as his VP. He was forced into it. He may have won if he had chosen Romney, especially when the economy tanked.

    Everyone knows Palin was a gimmick that did not work out. However, if she had been bright and articulate, who knows?

    Obama is doing a god job and so it goes. Stop wasting time writing about Palin. She is old news.

    April 14, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  24. JJ

    To Tim:

    You summed it up. Palin used Levi and when she didn't need him any longer she kicked him to the curb. McCain used Palin to attract so called "angry Hillary voters" and when that didn't work he kicked her to the curb. Unfortunately that's just politics.

    April 14, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Julie

    As my Aunt said during the election, "I just can't vote for someone for President that isn't smarter than I am." Here, here. Palin doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut, that's exactly who we need running our foreign affairs. Can you imagine?!?!? She'd make Bush look great! I'm with y'all let her run in 2012.

    April 14, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
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