September 3rd, 2009
02:39 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain addresses Palin, health care on Tonight Show

McCain says he still speaks with Palin 'fairly often.'
McCain says he still speaks with Palin 'fairly often.'

(CNN) – Nearly a year after the presidential race came to an end, it's a subject Arizona Sen. John McCain still can't avoid: Sarah Palin.

Appearing on the Tonight Show With Conan O'Brien Wednesday, the former presidential candidate was asked, as he has been several times before, whether he was shocked Palin chose to resign her post as governor of Alaska two months ago.

"Yeah I was because she didn't call me ahead of time," McCain said to laughter in the audience. "We all have families, we all have challenges, we all have issues in our lives. She did have huge legal debts because of these [ethics] charges."

Despite the at-times public bickering between aides to Palin and McCain since in the aftermath of the campaign's defeat, the Arizona senator insisted he still speaks with his former running mate "fairly often."

"We say hello. We ask about families. I wish her well," he said.

On the issue of health care, McCain indicated he may be willing to support President Obama's reform efforts, depending on what the president says in his joint address to Congress next week.

"I look forward to what he specific proposals are," said McCain. "I think the disappointment a lot of Americans display is that we are not working together more."

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Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. "Victim" - Often Used, Rarely True

    McCain has always been a rarity in the Republican party; the man uses reason and rational thought to tackle issues as opposed to his party's platform. Unfortunately, he chose to take a more traditional recent conservative approach during the election campaign which, hurt his chances.

    What both sides like about McCain, his war record not withsatanding, is he took an intelligent approach to most issues, regardless of what his party dictates.

    Had McCain won the primary in 2000, aside of Bush's smear tactics, the last eight years might have ended differently. I doubt he would have ignored the "Bin Laden determined to strike" report and he was one of the first people to try and tackle the housing bubble that the Bush administration kept throwing gasoline on.

    That's the problem, anytime the Republicans have someone of worth, they use their old tactics of flooding the airwaves with half-truths and, essentially, slanderous misinformation.

    September 3, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  2. Steve

    Excellent...we got our daily dose of cnn anti-Gov Palin article. Surely there must be other news out there? I know hows that national debt looking? What is the body count in Iraq and Afganistan today? We used to get hourly death updates. Silly me that was before Jan 20th.

    September 3, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Eric

    Make no mistake, McCain will not support any sort of real health care reform that actually helps struggling Americans. All one has to do is look at his record.

    September 3, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  4. sandy

    I bet he would support Obama's plan. He is one of many in the Senate and Congress who's main objective is to bring down Obama. Who is he kidding. Any man who will stand by and let his running mate say the things that Palin said about Obama without correcting her or speaking out has no business in politics. He is out for himself and to bring down Obama's presidency. All of the republicans are out to do the same. WHY? Because this President is a man of color. Simple as that. By the way, I am a white woman, 65 years old and I support my President. A lot more of his supporters should stand up and be heard and not let these "nutcases" win.

    September 3, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. Roger

    McCain is surprised by anything he is old, selfish & out of touch.

    September 3, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  6. Renee

    "I think the disappointment a lot of Americans display is that we are not working together more."

    It is definitely my disappointment. I want a really good proposal and I think a bipartisan bill has a better chance of being good than a partisan bill. That being said, McCain and others need to distance themselves from the fear-mongering conservative pundits who seem to be synonymous with "republican". I can't hang this failure on Nancy Pelosi.

    September 3, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. kgeukes

    John McCain is totally irrelevant as far as which way the country is going. and why do we care what he thinks about Failin' Quitter Palin??

    September 3, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. Obama 2.0

    McCain will vote no. Does he think health care is a right or privalege?

    September 3, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  9. Maggie

    We have John "America First" McCain and his infinite wisdom to thank for Sarah Palin. Just think – if it weren't for him, would any of us outside of Alaska ever hear her name? Oh John, you gone done us wrong.
    But glad to know you chat with her often and ask after her family. We know you care. After all, how can any of us forget the image from the tarmac where you patted Levi on the shoulder – smiling – but we all wonder what you were saying. "Good job, son."
    Ahhh. Karma.

    September 3, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. Minnesotan and Proud of It

    McCain lost my respect when he chose her. Now we can't get her out of the news. I put full responsibility on him. Did he honestly think she would get Hillary's supporters? Sarah Palin couldn't be more different from Hillary. Hillary is bright, intelligent, has integrity – Sarah has none of those qualities.

    September 3, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. vic nashville , Tn

    I WAS SHOKED when she said she can’t remember what news magazine she read

    September 3, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  12. Anon

    CNN, you prove more and more why we need Palin and others like her.

    She is just like us-common folk. That's what you can't get...... Cause you aren't.

    I am sure she will amount to much more that you can imagine... and you will be left in the dust as a discredited news oganiization.

    YOU'RE OLD NEWS.

    PALIN PALIN PALIN PALIN PALIN PALIN PALIN
    2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012 2012

    September 3, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. Mike S., New Orleans

    Palin will always have lots of lawyer bills, because she's too dense to follow the laws.

    September 3, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  14. bam

    Yes McCain, Americans are disappointed the Republicans are obstructing at every opportunity – putting politics ahead (way ahead) of needed health care reform for the American people.

    Sending out mobs to disrupt town hall meetings; lying about the implications of end-of-life medical care discussions between doctors and patients; scaring seniors about losing Medicare coverage - the Republican party has hit rock bottom.

    September 3, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  15. Roger

    How can anyone work with a bunch of right wing old white men....I think it is hilarious when McCain speaks about bipartism, he is a man OF NO just like the other republicans & why the media don't get it...it is beyond me....McCain is not like ME or any other every day normal person, he is out of touch & has several FACES depending on the situation......Any one who supports wacko Palin in anything she says or does has issues......

    September 3, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. S Callahan New York

    Passing the health care bill is dependent on the legal wording...it has to be written so the average Joe understands it to be truth and not hooky pooky legal jumble, then it has to be in consideration of the obstacles...take out, in clear wording, the funding for abortions by federal tax dollars and you'll have more in consensus....in clear wording define 'the personal decision' of end of life issues not the governement intrustion; clarify the cost objective , not guess it.

    September 3, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. donttreadonme

    Sorry Obama spent your Healthcare money on pork and paybacks to the "green" lobby, the big union bosses and his pals at GE/MSNBC! The only affordable option is to regulate the current programs. Remove state restrictions that limit competition and let us all have our own private, portable policies that are not tied to our employers or the Government.

    September 3, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. CT NATIVE

    With the prez "quietly seeking support" for HIS health care reform I feel Sen. McCain should STICK to what "WE THE PEOPLE" want. Joining forces just to SHOW unity is not the AMERICAN WAY. We NEED SENATORS that will stand up for OUR (Voters) rights. Support what we elect you to do. DO NOT BE PART OF his FLOCK. We fought for NO TAXATION without representation – NOW FIGHT FOR OUR RIGHTS to have ONLY what we (the American Tax paying VOTERS ) want !

    September 3, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  19. Jo A. Stephey

    I always liked John McCain even if he was a republican until he chose Palin as a running mate. She was a pretty face but nothing else qualified her; it was a scary thought of her running the country if something befell the president. Her latest comments show what she does best-– open mouth, insert foot. She should seriously consider reading on the information before she comments on it.
    As for McCain, he at least is trying to work with Obama for the health care. That is more than the GOP is willing to do. They had 8 years to reform health care and they couldn't do it.They are only worried about their party, not the people who put them in office. I'd love to be a part of a movement to do away with alot of the perks they get. So they did away with credit cards, they shouldn't have had in the first place.Wait for election time!!!

    September 3, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  20. Jim

    Americans don't want government healthcare. They don't want more socialiam.

    September 3, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Justin

    Great. If McCain thinks 'we're not working together anymore', he has only to look at his own party to find the reason why.

    Rove/Cheney ushered in the latest era of vicious partisan politics. Bush was a lazy, unwitting partner. They chased all the moderates out of the GOP, and it's now the party of religious zealots, hatemongers and xenophobes.

    Fiscal responsibility? Bush presided over the most wasteful adminstration in history and now the GOP wants to scuttle healthcare reform completely though the economic need for it is so obvious.

    Keeping government out of our lives? What about Terry Schiavo and Cheney's determination to spy on Americans?

    I honestly don't know what the GOP even stands for anymore. Except trying to block progress at every turn and keep the Rove/Cheney spirit alive.

    If the GOP wants bipartisanship, they need to take a few steps back toward the center. Right now, they're far too radical to be relevant.

    September 3, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. Rex

    I still believe that McCain’s real job was to make sure a Democrat would win. In choosing Sarah Palin, he thought he had sealed the deal. He still got more votes then he thought he would.
    If you watch his election night speech, it is almost a feeling of relief for him that he lost.

    Please, both of you, don’t run again!

    September 3, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. Susan

    Hard to 'work together' when the stated goal of Republicans is No Health Care, No Way, No How, No Obama. The enmity toward this new President is astounding, and the hatred of him by the far right can barely be described. When they "don't want to scare anyone" by calling him Hitler, calling his proposals Nazi like, telling seniors they will die, telling all of us we are being brainwashed, calling supporters all kinds of names, it is a wonder anyone takes them seriously at all.
    And this is the same group who stood silently by when the previous administration DID erode our rights, get people killed, and spend our Treasury into the ground. Hard to fathom.

    September 3, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. Liberal and PROUD of it!

    The only thing I will remember mccain by, besides his blanket opposition to anything President Obama does and being a bitter old man, is bringing the clueless pathological liar palin to the public and it is also something i will never forgive him for.

    September 3, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. Cathy in AZ

    Senator McCain has done nothing to promote "working together". The amount of misinformation the GOP has put forth about health care reform is enormous as well as down right despicable. There are no "death panels", there is not going to be, and never was going to be, a government takeover of the healthcare system.

    September 3, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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