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. OFL

    Why is this an issue? Senator McCain has been talking about these issues since the election and sometimes he includes and sometimes excludes governor Palin. If he had emphatically included her we would be talking about his implicit endorsement of governor Palin. Why do we not let her speak out about her ambitions and plans for the future? Why do we not let her make her own hits and misses? Also, why are we concerned about the 2012 election? Should we not be more concerned about the mid-term elections, if at all?

    April 14, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. uisignorant

    Mc Insain did not loose because of Palin, he lost because he is Democrat lite. He lost on his own. He was picked by the Dems and the media.

    It was funny listening to the dems whine when the Reps started voting in their primaries. But it was a great strategy from them to vote in the Repubs.

    Maybe in 2012 we will actually have someone in either party worth voting for. That is if we even have a nation left.

    April 14, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. Elle

    The people who support Palin are such a tiny minority. Who cares what they think - not me!

    I would have considered voting for McCain if Palin had not been his running mate, but with her on the ticket there was no chance.

    April 14, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  4. Miss Macy

    Why would anybody think Sarah Palin is even remotely qualified to run for President? As far as I'm concerned, the only thing she's qualified for is a guest appearance on Jerry Springer ... with her whacked-out family.

    April 14, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  5. NYC gal

    yes, he snubbed her.

    April 14, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Barclay

    I know who will be a great GOP candidate for prex in 2012. She's a woman, African-American, and highly intelligent and experienced... Condoleeza Rice!

    April 14, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. CT Mama

    It seems as though McCain jumped the gun on choosing Palin as his running mate. Obviously the vetting process was not complete and was rushed–and was influenced by the whole "hey, if I pick a woman I can snatch all the female voters who are ticked about Hillary!" But now McCain has had time to actually digest what kind of person Palin is–and would kind of leader she would be. And he realizes that she just doesn't cut it. Heck, he's probably relieved that he didn't win the election at this point! He's probably thanking God that the GOP lost and Palin didn't end up in the #2 spot.

    April 14, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. Kelby In Houston, TX

    A major mistake that the GOP mad that I hope to God my party never makes...The GOP will not, (and at this point, I am certain) can not admit that they were wrong.. If Democrats ever find themselves mistaken or on the wrong course of action...I can only hope that we will not be as pigheaded stubborn and obstinate as the GOP. I hope that my party has enough courage and decency to admit that we are wrong and take responsibility in correcting our mistake or at least be helpful in correcting that mistake.
    Palin was a mistake. The Bush administration was a mistake. Iraq was a mistake.

    April 14, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  9. Mel

    Probably. He can't deny that he made a bad choice no matter how much he's trying to cover his butt after the fact.

    April 14, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  10. MikeMaz

    This is the guy who most us.. Dems and Repubs liked at first. The guy who speaks his mind, more moderate than ultra right winger etc. Then he lost it during the election and realizes he made a huge mistake picking her as a running mate. We all all know that was a horrible choice, its just that the right wingers dont want to admit that.

    So yeah this is the McCain of old, but I think its too little too late because during the election he wasnt the McCain we all knew.

    April 14, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Donna

    Hmm, I'm surprised McCain has all this free time to spend on tv shows. I guess he is still trying to get back to being the media darling on the republican party. He still hasn't come to terms on how badly he was treated by the MSM.

    April 14, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. Ken

    Palin brings too much "Reality TV" to politics and I'm sure that has to be embarrassing for McCain, since he'll forever be associated with her.

    April 14, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. Jon

    If McCain had dismissed Palin as unfit for national politics BEFORE the election, I might have voted for him.

    April 14, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. Norman Autrey

    Maybe, just maybe Senator McCain didn't mention Governor Palin as being one of the top Republican Governors that were capable of leading the GOP because she's not qualified. Governor Palin said some really nasty things about Senator McCain's campaign after they lost the bid, and she alienated many center leaning Republicans. If the GOP wants to regain majority position, they are going to have to stay centered and not go off squeaking about socialism and commies and such drivel. I'm a democrat, but I have high regard for Senator McCain, not so for Governor Palin.

    April 14, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. sharon

    I'm sorry, but the woman shouldn't be added to the list GOP front runners for 2012, and McCain now recognizes this fact. If she is not smart enough to stay out of a mud slinging match with an 18-year old high school drop out, just think of how she would be on foreign policy. The fact of the matter is the woman is a decent orator, but is far from the sharpest pencil in the box. With any luck she will just fade away in the next four years, go back to church and work on more grandbabies.

    April 14, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  16. Richard L

    The fact that Palin's name wasn't the first one that came to his mind shows just how badly McCain did in selecting his running mate. He assured us that he had supposedly picked the BEST person to replace him if something happened.

    April 14, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. maddogjl

    I do hope that Palin becomes the GOP candidate in 2012 which will surely give President Obama a landslide victory. Besides, who else do the desperate Republicans have? Joe the Plumber?!? hahahaha

    April 14, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. Mike from Toronto

    McCain's a smart, funny guy. Unfotunately for him, his choice for a VP candidate was simple pandering for votes. At least he has a good sense of humour about it. He's a good loser, unlike his running mate, who is still whining to this day about being treated "unfairly" (even though she was essentially asking for special treatment, IE easy questions from the press!)

    April 14, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  19. Greg Smith, Clifton Heights PA

    The Democratic hate machine is at it again. Get a Life

    April 14, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. Raul

    Enough of this silly and childish discussions between McCain and Palin. I'm a Republican and tired of reading about these two. We have so many issues to deal with, so many problems ahead of us, we have the Koreans to worry about, the Iranians, the war in Afghanistan.... the economy and we have read about these two. I voted for McCain.....he lost ..it's over now. Let's move on.

    April 14, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. Jena

    It is quite surprising. She was inexperienced and had a few slips during the election which cost him the presidency. She gave the media too much dirt to use. Seems as though there was something new everyday. There's a reason for not mentioning her. McCain now knows she wasn't fit for vice presidency.....and probably will not be fit for presidency in 4 years. She still has a lot to learn.

    April 14, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Matt

    Palin was never qualified to be VP. Picking Palin is the biggest mistake McCain made and it wound up costing him the election, I believe.

    April 14, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. Mary Sanders

    McCain finally woke up. Palin is not only divisive, but she is ignorant (I can see Russia from my state), and devout of any ethical standards. Wake up people, she is in love with the media, herself and her 15 minutes of fame. She is not President materials at all.

    April 14, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. CJB

    Anyone who knows what real conservative values are knows that only two or three governors in this country represent those. Jindal does, and...DARE I SAY IT??? Yes libs, it's SARAH PALIN. There's a hell of a lot of Rebulican and conservative bashing on this site, so it's obvious who the real audience is. As a strong conservative Republican from Texas, I truly pity you. I try to keep an open mind about things, but for as closed minded as we are accused of being (we being conservatives), you libs out there are just as bad if not worse.

    Look, McCain almost left the party 8 years ago with that election. Let's face it, he's a RINO. As such, he stood no chance of winning. So let's get one thing clear here, if you trust a McCain (John or his progeny) on all things "Republican", then you need a new source. Palin may or may not be the future of MY party, but she's certainly not what you lefties make her out to be.

    Now let the hating on me begin!

    April 14, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  25. jake

    McCain/Palin – it was a losing ticket for a reason!

    April 14, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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