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. ThinkAgain

    How anyone can make excuses about Palin quitting is beyond me. Yeah, we all have families, challenges and issues in our lives

    – if Palin had quit to stay home to take care of her family (raise her special needs child, be around and provide guidance so another of her daughters doesn't get pregnant out of wedlock)

    – if Palin were working on her hyper-inflated ego, narcissism, and habitual lying issues

    Then maybe I'd cut her some slack.

    Regarding her "huge legal debts" – she should have socked more of that housing allowance she collected while living in her own home.

    September 3, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. ThinkAgain

    It has NOT cost the "people of Alaska millions of dollars" dealing with the ethics violations – the folks dealing with it are already on staff and would have been paid regardless. There has been no extra money allocated.

    Besides, if Palin had had an ethical governorship, there'd be nothing to investigate in the first place.

    September 3, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. geecee

    So, now the Republicans want to get serious after wasting the entire month of August acting like Buffoons and pandering to their crazy, gullible, intellectually-challenged constituents and perpetuating the lies and myths which distorted the actual facts. Never did they attempt to clarify or defend any absurd argument thrown at them opposing health care reform. They just kept stirring it up, Grassley, Demented and the rest of them. How cowardly. Now, they want to get serious, sure!

    September 3, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  4. Don

    The title of this article on the CNN home page "McCain "surprised" by Palin move" is misleading since McCain's comment was not meant to be taken seriously.

    September 3, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    Doesn't Senator McCain have better things to do than supporting Sarah Palin? The election is over. You have responsibility for the country, not for her.

    September 3, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. rjl1

    Palin/Sanford in 2012!

    September 3, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Gary

    Upon reflection, I wish McCain had won the last election. President Obama has been a disappointment.

    September 3, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  8. Rob from Texas

    Come on Johnny...tell us what you really think of that intellectual woman!

    September 3, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Anonymous

    A few months away from Sarah Pailin and it sounds as if old man McCain is starting to regain some sense. He sounds coherent, and is starting to remind me of the McCain we used to respect. I tell you this woman is an albatross around ANYONE'S neck. Align yourself with her and you're bound to see your world unravel before your very eyes.

    September 3, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. yuri

    It appears refreshin' to know that McCain, the gentleman he is, can be fabulously facetious and maintain composure, despite his reverses. His personal ire notwithstanding, his public responses to many irksome issuse have been quite inspirartional, to say the least.

    September 3, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. Ernesto

    McCain is maybe a better man than most Repubs in Congress. At least he recognizes the need to do something about health care. It will be interesting to see how he rally acts under the pressures of the party of NO when his vote counts.

    Who really cares about Palin? John McCain likely lost any chance of winning the presidency because of Palin. I doubt he was truthful about taliking to her "fairly often". She is increasingly bizarre.

    September 3, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. Babs

    That is one of the first things that I have heard Senator McCain say that ever made any sense and I applaud him for coming to the realization that yes, MANY Americans are disappointed that the Republicans are NOT working together with President Obama.

    Way to go Senator McCain!!!!! Maybe you could be the first to turn a new leaf in Congress and actually began to look out for the people of this Country instead of the Republican Parties interests in themselves.

    You've really got me inspired....please don't let me down now.

    September 3, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  13. BobbyB

    Old John still doesn't get it!! Stop selling us out!!!

    September 3, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. ATR

    McCain should direct is disappointment at the Republican party who has proven that its only goal in healthcare reform is defeating it. The Republicans have refused to negotiate in good faith and are simply working to keep the status quo, i.e. record profits for health insurance companies.

    September 3, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. Dean

    Willing to support the Presidents healthcare plan huh? Sounds like McCain is back to his Maverick self. Amazing how you get away from the evil GOP handlers and common sense returns.

    September 3, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  16. Susan

    It was not a surprise for me...... now that the whole country was observing her, it was the best for her to quit.........
    by the way, if she can't run such a small state (in population/budget sense), how does she expect to run the whole country.........
    and I am sure, had she been the POTUS now, she would have quit again, given the intense unpopularity Obama is facing.......

    September 3, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  17. DF

    At least McCain isn't an arse like a lot of Republicans are these days. He's actually willing to work with the other side, something all politicians (including Democrats) need to do.

    September 3, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Democrat for Palin Primary 2012

    He still needs to apologize to the nation for picking Palin as his running mate. Does'nt he realize how close he brought the country to disaster?

    On another note parts of Palin's speech at Hong Kong has just been leaked:
    "...a great nation such as yours, living next door to a country that is a big communist bully...."

    Lets all unite to make sure Palin wins 2012 primary. Still cant wait for Palin-BHO debate he he he nyuk nyuk ;)

    September 3, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Jackie in Dallas

    And his willingness to work across the aisle is why I considered voting for him - until he chose Palin as his running mate. I'll never know why a moderate, sensible man like Senator McCain could have chosen such an extremelly polarizing running mate.

    September 3, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. rice, bryan

    worried about working together. where was this talk the last 6 out of the last 8 years? it was all my way or the highway b.s.. and now they want to work with the dreaded liberals, let's be serious.there is no way on earth they want to work with anyone on the other side of the aisle. this is a party of no, always has, always will!

    September 3, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. mjm

    It's hard to work together when the Democrats only put forth garbage bills.

    Seriously, these proposed bills are so bad they can't even get Democrats to support them.

    Instead of simple reform, like Tort reform or dropping restrictions on purchasing insurance across state lines, we get a public option for 1.7 trillion.

    At least we got to see what happens when the Democrats are in charge. So far, so bad.

    September 3, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. MCD, SF, CA

    Palin – "Show me the money." As soon as she realized she could work fewer hours and make more money... goodbye public service. In the end, she fits into the republican party very well.

    September 3, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  23. Ignorance is bliss

    I love big insurance and trust them with my life, Government needs to be privatized out of existance .

    September 3, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  24. Robert

    Exactly.......republicans are good critics but NO PROPOSALS to fix the health care system and will be worse if you republicans do not cooperate. It is time to think for the americans not for their parties

    September 3, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  25. PLUTO

    He was surprised when she wasn't Tim Pawlenty, who he intended to pick as his running mate. Senile old fool has no business in politics any more.

    September 3, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
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