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. a health economist

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

    Great point, Senator McCain. But please remember, in order to work together this requires BOTH sides to compromise. Unfortunately, I have seen little in that regard from the GOP in terms of the health care debate.

    September 3, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. Grrr-awful-o

    More about Palin here than Barack Obama. Like it or not she will probably be the next president. Thanks to the media for keeping her front and center. And I know much more about her family than I do about Obama's. Seems kinda weird.

    September 3, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. Raven

    McCain, what more do u need to hear or know before you can support reform? Here they are: millions of uninsured Americans, skyrocketing costs, high premium costs, dubious and greedy health insurance executives cashing in on the poor masses. I can go on and on. Something needs to be done. If u don't like what has been proposed so far, where's your proposal? Have you brought any ideas to the table?

    September 3, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. Randolph Carter, chairman of the death panel

    I used to have respect for McCain until he sold out to the far right during the election. You could tell it made him really uncomfortable, too. The way he'd squirm and get that shifty look on his face. He could have been president if he had picked a better running mate. Have a nice day!

    September 3, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  5. Moonbeam

    It must be very hard for John McCain to come to terms with one undeniable fact: everything he wanted to be remembered for doesn't matter any more.
    Sarah Palin IS his legacy!

    September 3, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Tony

    Remove the government option and co-op, include tort reform, allow for interstate health insurance competition. There's no tort reform in the bill since a significant portion of Obama's war chest was financed by trial lawyers, and actually allowing health insurance companies to compete will drive down premiums and probably lead to an end to the employment dependence on health insurance and reduce the need for a taxpayer-subsidized government option.

    September 3, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. D. Tree

    Well if Republicans leave the table, then the voters won't blame Democrats for passing reform without GOP support.

    I'm glad to hear McCain sounding reasonable, Republicans have been talking out both sides of their mouths on this issue.

    On one side they say we should lower costs, and on the other they are unwilling to make the hard choices necessary to do so.

    September 3, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. phillip Marlowe

    McCain is class, Palin is just that, paling in the spotlight as the world learns the truth about her. The sad thing is the number of dumb and dumbers who continue to follow her drum beat.

    September 3, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  9. LIP

    Accolades to Tim, Memphis, TN for going beyond the regular "bash em' " rhetoric that most blogggers share with us. Wouldn't it be nice if all the blogs were constructive. Maybe some politicians might start reading these and actually pick up some good ideas to implement.

    September 3, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  10. David In Florida

    Wow, the Wasilla Wacko – I love that. I have yet to hear that one !

    September 3, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  11. They call me "Tater Salad"

    Big deal.

    September 3, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. nick

    McCain would have lost the election by a closer margin if he didn't have Sara Palin as a running mate.The Republican party didn't show much sense in picking her for his running mate.I don't think that Mc Cain was too happy about her.

    September 3, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Lydia

    McCain is right that people are frustrated about no one in Washington working together, but the blame for that does not lie with our President, who has gone out of his way to work with Republicans in Congress. I get frustrated with some of our Democrats in Congress too, make no mistake, so I'm not saying they are blameless. However, the lack of bi-partisanship in WDC is not President Obama's fault.

    PUBLIC OPTION! Why is everyone so afraid of it? We already have it – Medicare and Medicaid. We only need to make revisions to both. The insurance companies have done a number on the gullible American public.

    September 3, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  14. Carl from MI

    The disappointment is... you chose a moron to be your running mate and you look like a moron by association. Sorry McCain... I really liked you until you chose her.

    September 3, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  15. Jessica

    Yeah, John? then lead the way...lead by example.

    September 3, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  16. Yeah, right!

    I'm willing to "work together" to crush the Republican party once and for all. There's absolutely NO reason to to listen to the ONLY thing coming out of that foul nest of liars and crooks – "no".... ruthless pursuit and destruction is the only reasonable tactic left when dealing with Republicans.

    September 3, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. Frozone

    McCain has never been more partisan than since he lost the presidency by record numbers. McCain will continue to give lip service to reaching across the aisle, but the only thing that coward will do is try to stop any chance at real reform.

    September 3, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Tommy

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

    And this is only because you and your party, buddy boy, are refusing to work with the democrats and the president on health care. And, since hypocrisy is a leg in the republican platform, you will conveniently forget making this statement within 60 seconds of doing so, and go on to bashing "Obama-care"

    Aim high, Johnny-cakes!

    September 3, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  19. Fed up American

    Well.......What we do know is, John McCain gave birth to Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber.....

    We also know that both of these people think their important and refuse to go away...

    What I want to know is, can John McCain be held accountable for the persistant social divesiveness that Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber bring to the American people.....?

    Sarah Palin is the worst politician I have ever witnessed, she's extremely pathetic and laughable.......

    September 3, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  20. single mom

    CNN, Just what is your agenda? Where are the stories about the Democrats? Where's the story about Rangel and his taxes? About how the Dems in charge of Congressional committees refused to listen to President Bush about the mortgage difficulties TWO years ago?
    All the Democrats and mainstream media can do is go after two people who no longer hold a public office or blame Republicans for 'holding up' a bill that they can't stop because the DEMS control both house of Congress. Pathetic.

    September 3, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Obama is a sinking ship, but hey, lets keep talking about how McCain and the GOP are evil and to blame for all of the administrations shortcomings, it might take some of the pressue off the President.

    September 3, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  22. McCain Supporter but not the Wacko Palin

    Dear Sen.McCain: Now you need to work on the other old guys in our party – we deserve to have decent health care like the HC you guys enjoy. I have been laid off for 8 months w/o HC insurance b/c we can't afford the "COBRA" option. Public Option will allow me to have afforded HC and I can see my private doctor now not next year or so.

    In regards to the whacko beauty queen – BIG MISTAKE BUT I STILL SUPPORT YOU b/c I knew she wasn't your choice! I blame your team for that crazy choice.....

    September 3, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. Randolph Carter, chairman of the death panel

    Guys, you are aware that tort reform has been tried in several states and has not led to cost reductions, aren't you? It's just a way to protect incompetent doctors and make more profit for malpractice insurance companies. Nice try, though. Have a nice day!

    September 3, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  24. Kate in SW Fla

    It is not just that he chose such an unqualified running mate. It is that he allowed her to go around the country and purposely stir up such hate. If reasonable people do not oppose it, it will grow. It is growing. He did a terrble disservice to this nation, one which we will pay dearly for, for a long time. I am 59 years old, and I do not remember this much hatred since the heydey of civil rights marches. Even Nam did not engender this kind og putrid hate. But Sarah Palin did. Thanks to John McCain's blind ambition and complete disregard for America's future. I hate him now.

    September 3, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    This woman is like cryptonite, everyone she is associated with becomes weak, A few months after he stopped associating himself with Sarah, McCain has started to regain some semblance of the man we once listened to, and some admired.

    September 3, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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