April 14th, 2009
05:59 PM ET
6 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. Kenyan Wonder Kid

    Ticker, get a life and stop your daily pursuit of the governor of Alaska (Palin). Your bias is plain for all to see, and you and your Obama cohorts must truly fear her to be trying SO hard to destroy her.

    McCain is a serial loser, and irrlevant to the Republican Party. He is merely a useful idiot for the main stream media, and is desperately seeking to remain in the fading spotlight. Sad old grouch.

    April 14, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Ken

    McCain has the right to mention whomever his like. Or in this case, NOT mention whomever he displeased. It all in the Freedom of Speech, just like the Right to Bear Arms. These Republicans need to stop bigotting against their own people, & stop setting double standards. Deal With IT!

    April 14, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. Dave F

    Poor Sarah and her insane supporters. They should be glad for McCain's appearance on the show, as they didn't have to come up with another lame reason to stay in the headlines.

    April 14, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. bb

    When will Sarah Palin and her Family go away from honest and decent citizens of the USA. A shameful thing she is letting the worl knows the way she was pregnant before she married so is her daughter, now she is blaming the Guy, I guess if her husband had not married her she will have treated him the same way. Go Away Palin

    April 14, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. howIroll

    I am going contrary to the general opinion here but I think McCain purposely left off Palin's name because SHE is trying to downplay any future aspirations she may have in national politics. She's catching a lot of flack in Alaska for not being focused on state issues, and this is is the last week of the legislative session. Yesterday the Democrat legislators in her state accused her of being too focused on national issues and not the state. Palin was on the radio last week saying that she talks with McCain at least weekly, so it could've been on purpose he left her out.

    April 14, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  6. CTP

    Well, he's just speaking the truth.

    April 14, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. Diane

    He's not snubbing Palin, he's saying that whatever he says or does not say about her receives a lot o scrutiny. I wonder if he heard her sister in law, Diana Palin, was arrested for burglary a day or two ago. He would not approve of that, I don't think.

    April 14, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  8. Virginia

    McCain is signaling the republican party that Palin has no part in the next election. Even as a democrat, I second the motion.

    April 14, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. Brian

    Palin supporters mad that their little side show was not referenced by a man in his 70's? I would be thrilled.

    McCain is part of the old guard republicans. What he says only matters to those in his age bracket. When all these old people realize that their voice of reason and leadership is fading, it will improve our country.

    The youngsters in the republican party are better than McCain. Unfortunately, Palin IS NOT part of this group. Her little town ways and extremist views and pathetic speaking abilities are not welcomed amongst a US population of moderate republicans and Democrats. Palin is not ready to lead, can't lead and barely got her undergrad.

    If Palin were to ever be in a significant position of power, this would mark the day of when the US allowed someone who took 6-years and 3-schools to get her undergrad degree into this position. Where are the standards?

    Wake up Palin supporters and don't be mad. There are just much-much better people out there than Sarah.

    April 14, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  10. Alfred E. Nueman

    McCain is no dummy. He knows she is not capable enough to be the President. He apparently thought so a while back, but he has come to realize she deserves to be no where near the White House. She might make a good home owners association President somewhere.

    April 14, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  11. Dave NYC

    Well, McCain obviously understands that Sarah Palin was nothing more than a Gimmick Candidate; she was chosen as VP nominee for purely opportunistic political reasons – NOT because she has any serious chance at being a a good president – in face that is part of the reason the GOP lost the presidency.

    I feel kind bad for Sarah and her adoring fans, though: apparently they are the only ones who don't get the joke.

    April 14, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  12. obama/mama

    McCain is just trying to be a gentleman. He knows Sarah Palin is no leader....

    April 14, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  13. Mary Galbraith

    Too bad for Senator McCain he didn't do this at the Republican convention. He might have become President. Governor Palin cost him a boatload of votes.

    April 14, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  14. Buffalo

    This just goes to show John McCain is, as always, a man of honor. Any person with a sense of integrity would admit when he or she has made a mistake in judgment. By not endorsing Sarah Palin, Senator McCain has demonstrated his awareness of Sarah's flaws in leadership and character that are obvious to so many Americans.

    Please consider: The economy, unemployment, wars in two nations, piracy, foreclosures, etc. and yet Ms. Palin, Governor of Alaska and focal point of the GOP, is currently publicly involved in a ”war of words” with a nineteen year old. By the way, Neocons, you’ve created this monster…

    April 14, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. themoi

    No Freudian slip there–he deliberately left her off the list as he found out the hard way that she lost him the election. Had he chosen a better running mate he might now be president and he's kicking himself for it. Hindsight is 20/20.

    April 14, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. Beka

    Maybe the Regressives should concept on the fact that its more about policies then personalities.

    April 14, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  17. Brian

    I don't know, it seems pretty clear neither of them are big fans of each other anymore. I suppose a heartbreaking campaign will tend to do that to people. McCain is just being his old straightarrow self by not kowtowing to her, or he believes he knows better by not helping to prop her up as a voice in his party (which I personally wouldn't blame him for if that was the case).

    April 14, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  18. teacher

    Palin should tend to Alaska's needs; forget the national scene...women who are "clear-thinking" would never, never vote for her.

    April 14, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  19. Brian Crooks

    It's pretty obvious that Sarah Palin was nothing more than a marketing ploy for John McCain. She was never meant to actually govern or to actually have any power or say in the government, he just needed a pretty lady with ultra-conservative values to try to gin up support among arch-conservatives and woo all those disenchanted Hillary voters. The Sarah supporters are right to be upset, I guess, but it's not like McCain decides who the next candidate is, and it's not like if he doesn't mention her people will forget about her. She'll run in 2012, get savaged by the 6-month Iowa caucus campaign, and then limp along, lobbing attacks at her critics and opponents until the process ends.

    April 14, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  20. ANGIE IN PA

    He picked her to win Hillary woman supporters everyone Knows that now the Election is over under the Bus she goes thank god Mccain did not win he has very very poor Judgement!

    April 14, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  21. Jean D.

    I don't know why you guys get offended because her name was not mentioned last night. Maybe you guys need to stop being in denial and realize this lady is not and never will be ready to run this country. Can you imagine her in charge right now when we have all these issues going on. I can't. I am sick and tired of hearing about this lady; in fact, you republicans need to come up with some better ideas instead of saying "no" all the times and criticizing the president. At least he is trying. For 8 years you guys destroyed this country and now you want people to believe you can fix it. These are problems you guys created so please go away and come back with a better plan and maybe people might listen. Palin is not it..

    April 14, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  22. Bill B. Nancy, KY

    Yet again, the sad saga continues......

    April 14, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  23. Doug Fekete

    If he had chosen more wisely in 2008 both he and the Republican party would have been better off.

    April 14, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Tim

    Hey Palin supporters. Palin used her daughters baby daddy for her own gain. When she knew she would not get the VP job, she kicked her to the crub. McCain used Palin for his own purpose. When he lost the election, she was of no further use. Get over it.

    April 14, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  25. Roland

    Sounds like McCain has pulled his Straight Talk Express out of the ditch and is headed back in the right (correct?) direction.

    April 14, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
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