September 3rd, 2009
02:39 PM ET
9 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. Nathan,

    He has no intentions of supporting Obama on healthcare reform unless its the kind of bill that offers no reform at all. He has to fake the willingness of being bipartisan in front of 10 million people. It was all show.

    September 3, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. Irma in North Carolina

    John was wondering what you think of the baptist minister who is from your state who preached from his puplit that he prays that the president dies. Is this the kind of people are in your state. John all you and the repulicians have done is to go against every thing the president does. And your beloved Sarah is the one who got the whole nation in an uproar with her death panel remark. This is the kind of people you put out of president. And you could not even vote for the new judge. Do you realize how many hispanics you have in your state. Do you think they will vote for you when you run for senator?

    September 3, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  3. Rani McBride

    President Obama has given every chance for the Republican's to work with him. Make no mistake about it. They have no intetion on working with him!

    September 3, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. Farrell in Houston

    Palin is just a loser and John McCain blew away any and all chances of the presidency when he picked her and he won't forget.

    September 3, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  5. bud in NC

    Hey Senetor one way to ease that dissapointment Americans display is for YOU to start trying to work together. You are just another Republican politician who says NO to everything Obama suggests. Want to see the obstructionists? Look in the mirror.

    September 3, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  6. Rob Johnson

    As Obama's opponent in the recent election, McCain is uniquely qualified to reach across the aisle on this. If he does, he could probably bring a handful of moderate Republicans with him, which is all the Democrats need.

    Most Republicans won't support any health care proposal, and they will be hopping mad at McCain if he works with Obama, but the right wing crazy fringe of the GOP hates McCain anyway, so what does he have to lose? This could be his lasting legislative legacy, and it could be McCain, instead of Teddy Kennedy or othe Democrats, who gets the final credit and/or blame for health care reform.

    September 3, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. RealityKing

    McCain chose Palin.
    Obama chose Biden.

    One has been proven a doofus..

    September 3, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  8. Why did he really pick Palin?

    Is McCain proud of his appointment of Sarah Palin as VP candidate? He seems to still maintain that she was the best qualified Republican for the VP slot. This shows McCain is going scenile like Senator Byrd.

    September 3, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. panem et circenses, but CNN won't post

    Why not put something interesting up to comment on ... like the guy who bit off a protester's finger in CA.

    You can't make this stuff up...

    September 3, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  10. Jim

    As long as McCain, his Republican cohorts and their insurance company allies continue to be the party of "NO", I don'tt care if we work together or not. The Republicans fail to admit that we have Veterans Hospitals that are a national health insurance plan for injured and non-injured vets as well. If national health insurance is good enough for a veteran, it should be good enough for all of us. Either that or abolish the VA and pay for private insurers to cover our veterans.

    Remember, many of the European nations and Canada pay less per person for healthcare, live longer and have a lower infant mortality rate.

    September 3, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  11. RonC

    Terrific words from J. McCain!! Hopefully he can support some sort of health care and possibly get some of his peers to work for the people.

    September 3, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  12. Brad

    Yeah, it's sure a disappointment they aren't working together more. Obama has already given the Republicans everything they want and the Republicans continue to spread outright lies about what is in the bill. So, if there is any disappointment it should be directed towards those lying politicians and their misinformed constituents. Compromise does not mean all for me and none for you.

    September 3, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Marie MD

    mcnasty continues to lie, just like the quitter from Alaska. Maybe that is what brought them together in the first place among other family value and bible thumping things.
    You think he really is happy with her. Look at the hug after his concession speech and even the picture with this article. Body language says more than words can ever express.
    I hope the good people of Arizona don't vote him in again. He is a disgrace to anyone with dignity. Look what he left us with. This narcissistic dumbhead.

    September 3, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. Diane

    A pox on John McCain for inflicting this woman on us.

    September 3, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. Ken, AZ

    McCain should try getting his side of the aisle to participate in addressing America's issues instead of trying to block all efforts by President Obama in hopes of regaining control the government they so hate.

    September 3, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. Emilio

    The "disappointment that we aren't working together more", must surely be with his side – the side that has decided to bring about the collapse of America. At every turn they have rejoined with the single word, NO! NO, to the American people getting out from under the health insurance scam. NO, to the American auto industry. NO, to the people on the bottom rung getting a few cents more an hour. Question is why is he publicly claiming disappointment? Has he decided that the type of politics he and his colleagues in crime have been pushing is a bridge too far? He doth speaketh with a forked tongue.

    September 3, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  17. Mr Brown

    I like McCain. He's seems very honest and outright and that and the fact that he was a Republican at the wrong time were his demise.

    However, i'm sure he totally regrets the train wreck that was Palin and I think he might actually do smething to help out with this health care whatever it is

    September 3, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. LiLa

    "We say hello." So, McCain and Palin don't talk about issues. I can only imagine what their communication would have been like had they been voted into the White House.

    September 3, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Ann C. Hansen

    I hope other senators follow McCain's lead and cooperate with the President to establish a health plan. We desperately need it.

    September 3, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  20. VGal

    John McCain might be the only Republican that gets it. Yes, the American people (beyond the 20% crazies) are just fed up that congress isn't doing their jobs and working to get something passed. The majority of republicans are focusing solely on people who talk about death squads for grandma and "keep your gov out of my medicare". Obviously these people are MISINFORMED and not the majority of Americans. They just happen to be the most vocal.

    September 3, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  21. al

    I agree with Senator McCain. The people are tired of posturing and positioning done by both the right and the left. Most people I talk to want the issue addressed but they want it addressed in a positive bipartisan fashion. What Obama should do is just scrap all that has been done so far and tell both parties to start over and do something that will solve the issues the American people are having with health care, not adopt an ideological position and then defend to the death. Both parties need to be tolerant of differing opinions and work together to do what is right for the American people, not for their dumb party politics.

    September 3, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  22. Katie

    Yeah, because if he said anything mean about her she'd go on a media blitz to try and shame him like a four-year-old who stole some candy.

    September 3, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  23. Lisa P

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

    I don't often agree with McCain and think he would have been a disaster as a President, but he's right about this.

    Unfortunately it's not clear whether or not he understands that the problem is coming from the Republican side, and that a lot of Americans understand that as well and for that reason are more and more willing to cut the Republicans out of the equation entirely.

    September 3, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  24. Keeth in California

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

    Yes, a huge disappointment to have GOP senators who say they are actively working in good faith on a bipartisan proposal then turn around and publicly shoot down any bipartisan proposal. I think you need to go speak to Sens. Grassley and Enzi about this, Mr. McCain.

    September 3, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. CJG

    I watched him on Conan and as always , John McCain does not ever commit to much info , he pretty well rides the fence , but until others in his party start doing the same , there will not be any meeting in the middle. The Dems seem to be able to do this better than the GOP.
    But I hope he will now become the 'Ted Kennedy" of the senate and reach across the aisle to get more done .....We need more to be like that, and just not a thing of the past.

    September 3, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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