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. Expat American

    John McCain really took a gamble with Sarah Palin in the hopes of garnishing the votes from the Right fringe of the GOP. It still seems incredible that he didn't realize they would have voted for him anyway.

    There was no way that any of the Palin Lynch Mob would vote for a someone who wasn't a 'Real American'…or better put a Pure White Conservative Christian.

    All Palin really succeeded in doing was show the rest of the world the true face of Conservatives in the United States....a pretty ugly hateful one, really.

    September 3, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Sam's Nemesis

    Go sarah.............the party of the donkey hates you...that means you are doing things correctly....keep up the great work........

    September 3, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    This woman is like cryptonite. Everyone that she comes in close contact with becomes weak and senseless. A few months away from her and McCain is starting to sound like the man we used to listen to, and some even admired.

    September 3, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. CarolineisFine

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

    Gee John, ya think? Not one member of the GOP has offered up anything but no, no, no, no. The thought of Americans realizing that Obama might have good ideas and gets things done scares the bajeezus out of the GOP because then they may be expected to work too.

    Nah, don't bother, just keep getting that nice free healthcare that we buy for you, but don't worry about us. We don't need ya.

    Gonna be fun watching John ride off into the retirement sunset next election.

    September 3, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Some republican guy

    Maybe McCain will have the good sense to propose legislation closing all public schools and universities. Those are just socialist handouts. People who send their kids to public schools are too lazy to get a real job so that they can afford private school. Education is not a right. You elitist obamabots show me where in the constitution it says anything about education. Have a nice day!

    September 3, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Joe Fattal

    Blame it on Kennedy that we have Obama, not McCain, Palin, or Obama himself.

    September 3, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Peter

    Although Mcain made a mistake of picking Palin as his running mate he is a gentleman!!!. The Alaskan so called conservative who could even control her house!. Talk about hypocrisy in the society, Palin is a total failure, she takes advantage of Trigs condition while ignoring the fact that, she is a horrible mother. Leadership starts from your own home and then you extend it to the larger society. With a teenage pregnant daughter Palin failed as a mother and a leader!!!

    September 3, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. Chris D.

    Tort reform will not bring down cost.......Even Joe Scarborough (hardly a liberal) on morning Joe, argued w/ RNC chairman M. Steele that that will not bring down cost......TORT reform will save about 350 million dollars per year it is a GOP talking point, and can wait to be amended to any reform legislation......congress is trying to save billions in the long run, w/ other reforms.

    September 3, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Down here in Georgia

    The world must wonder why we American are so stupid at times. First, we elected GB- twice! ....then we had someone like Sara Palin as a VP Nominee. Now, we are pushing away a goverment healthcare OPTION that would create the necessary competition to bring down skyrocketing healthcare costs. If I hear some idiot say the "OPTION" is being forced on them one more time, I'm going to puke. People watch Fox and Hannity then think it's their job to oppose Barak at all times, even if goes against their own good. I'm sure the insurance compaines will be happy when it fails. Don't complain in the future when it does.

    September 3, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  10. Jamie from Riverside

    What a buffoon! McCain is disapppointed that "we" aren't working together anymore? whose fault is that? Certainly not the President and the Democrats who have bent over backwards with bipartisanship. Could it be the Party of No who have very publicly vowed to destroy any refrom the President is trying to achieve?

    September 3, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  11. Linda B., Ga.

    John...John...John.... how do you continue to get re-elected? You should've known alllllllllllll about Sarah PAINlin when you did the outrageous task of selecting her for a running mate....Shame on You Johnny Mack,,,,,and to think you actually think we care what you have to say about the healthcare plans....you are fully protected and have all the right insurance and pay VERY little for it and some of it is FREE to you because you are a V of FW's...and were injured......

    September 3, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  12. keith A. sillsbury

    Just like all the repubs, they'll work with you only if they get their way. Mccain you have no choice in the matter. We the people are telling you to do it so do it or else your fired. Remember, you work for us. your not king or prince or dictator, although your party would like it that way. Obama laid out the general plan and the house and senate need to refine the many ideas that are the trouble spots. you need to get in there and help like you should have been all along.

    September 3, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. William

    Why try to work with a party bent on saying "no" to everything Obama proposes? After all, he did win by a landslide, unlike Bush. Obama has the capital and a mandate. It is just a matter of taking the initiative to execute.

    September 3, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. stormerF

    Time for McCain to go,where all old dog's go back under the porch,where the sun will not fry their brains.

    September 3, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. Marion

    For those wondering why CNN keeps reporting on Sarah Palin, it's simple. She has become a celebrity. There are some people who genuinely like her, and there are others who just want to watch what she does, some because they despise her and some because they're simply curious to see what she does next.

    And as for those who think liberals fear her, I don't think so. Although she is popular with a faction of the GOP, she would have a tough time getting the party nomination. And, even if she did, she is such a polarizing figure that she would have a very difficult time getting votes from beyond her base. She would have an extremely tough time in a general election, which actually makes her attractive to liberals, since she would be an easier candidate to defeat than someone who is more moderate. That's the crux of the GOP's problems. The party is moving steadily to the right, and as it does so, its candidates become less and less viable in general elections. For those Republicans seeking ideological purity, be careful what you wish for. You may get that purity within your party, but the end result could be that your party is so small and extreme that it won't be able to field any candidates who can win over enough voters to win a general election.

    September 3, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  16. Emma

    Grrr-awful-o: Sarah Palin will be our next President??? Your fantasy is
    remarkable.

    September 3, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. Debbie

    Of course McCain is surprised by Palin's move. He either never vetted her before his pick or he was using her as a foil. Either way he lost.

    On the issue of health care , the GOP is not going to care what Obama says. They are the party of no bi-partisianship. Their form of bi-partisianship is: no ideas or plans, then weeks later their plan comes out (always the exact opposite of what has been proposed), then they vote a block (not representative of constituents) and then they vote however their PAC tells them to which is always no. Big money is the PAC of the GOP.

    There is nothing here about McCain, Palin, healthcare or the GOP that is news.

    September 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Bob the employer

    John, you come across as being sincere and likeable, but you made a decision that had the potential of destroying this country (Palin) and you didn't do it because you were thinking about our wellbeing. Unfortunately, your legacy isn't going to be "war hero" or "statesman", sadly it's going to be Palin. Here's a crazy suggestion....why not bite the bullet and apologize to the American people for what everyone knows was an ill-advised choice? We respect those who can admit their mistakes. Good luck.

    September 3, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  19. The Czech

    I cannot believe how you liberals are so obsessed with Sarah Palin. Every move she makes is analyzed and cavity searched. Why don't all you left wing radicals spend more time looking at your own administration than worrying incessantly about Sarah Palin. Get a life!

    September 3, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. Mrs G

    Republicans think Dems "hate" Palin. Well, I DON'T! I just think she is not very intelligent and it is obvious she is not up to the task of national political service.

    September 3, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    A public option would undermine the entire health system! People say we have one and we do in medicare and medicaid and look where they are..BROKE!!! Some physicians and hospitals are having to refuse patients on them because they lose money. Reimbursement is pennies on the dollar with these programs and now the government wants to put everyone on them!?!?! This is insane! Everyone wants to live to be 100 but no one wants to take care of themselves to prevent complications then when there is a complication no one wants to take responsibility, and that includes financial responsibility, for that. Now I agree that medical cost has gotten out of control but it was the government involvement who caused the current state! Back when the new deal was initiated the government alloted rediculous amounts of finances towards healthcare and thus companies raised costs to use of that alloted money. Now Canada agrees that the public option doesn't work and the Canadian medical association has called for private options. What are we doing following a plan that doesn't, and has proven not to work!?!?

    September 3, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  22. a health economist

    To set many of you straight, allowing the free-market to reign supreme in health care will result in a worse situation than we have now. There are few, if any, industries in which the free-market works flawlessly as it is described in economic text books. This is due to market failures which need PROPER (note the emphasis) government intervention. The health industry has more market failures THAN ANY OTHER INDUSTRY.

    That being said, a public option in and of itself will not fix things. It can help along with tort reform, but more is needed. Payment and reimbursement systems must be changed. Incentives on all sides of the issue (provider, patient, insurer) all not aligned properly (due to the failures of the free-market). And as much as people don't want it, some level of restriction on care must be done at some point. Without worrying about costs and only worry about improved outcomes was a big contributor to how we got in this mess in the first place.

    September 3, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. kelley

    Ya makes sense to vote a radical muslim over a war hero. I think its all good though. We are all getting a good laugh watching obama try and run the country. The fastest drop in approval ratings for the first 8 months in 60 years. Former president Carter called Mr Obama. He wants his approval rating back.

    September 3, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. not-unAmerican

    Thank you Senator for that last line. Could you please talk to your party members? While the bickering continues, Amerians will be suffering.
    Do I need to remind you that Great America has become a laughing stock before the world?

    September 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. Gloria

    Who cares..............

    September 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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