October 11th, 2009
12:01 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain weighs in on Palin in 2012

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain is openly admitting that there were tensions between his former campaign manager Steve Schmidt and those close to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s one-time White House running mate. Still, McCain calls Palin “a formidable force” in the GOP and remains open to the possibility of Palin being his party’s presidential nominee in 2012.

“With a high-pressure situation, there's always tensions that develop within campaigns,” McCain says in a wide-ranging interview that airs Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. ”And there were clearly tensions between Steve Schmidt and people in the Palin camp.”

Still, McCain said, Palin was an asset to his presidential campaign.

“There are fundamental facts … that cannot be denied,” McCain adds. “When we selected or asked Sarah Palin to be my running mate, it energized our party. We were ahead in the polls, until the stock market crashed. And she still is a formidable force in the Republican Party.”

“I have great affection for her,” McCain continues. But “did we always agree on everything in the past? Will we in the future? No.”

While McCain said he could not predict what would happen in the next presidential election, the Arizona Republican says he is open to many potential nominees for his party - including Palin.

“Look let's let a thousand flowers bloom. Let's come up with a winning combination the next time. … let's all go through the process, rather than condemning anybody's chances,” he says, reacting to recent comments about Palin by Schmidt. “And I'm happy to say we have some great people out there, and Sarah is one of them.”

Asked about Palin’s prospects in 2012, Schmidt said he did not think Palin could be a winning candidate in the next presidential election.

“And, in fact, were she to be the nominee, we could have a catastrophic election result,” Schmidt told CNN National Correspondent John King in an October 2 interview.

Asked about Schmidt’s comments, a Palin spokeswoman said the former vice presidential nominee would address the tensions within the McCain-Palin campaign in her forthcoming book, "Going Rogue,” which is due to hit bookstore shelves next month.

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soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. GOODGRIEF

    Bob of Lompoo: You said all. You said it better than any of these other posts. I agree with you 200%!!!!

    October 11, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  2. Maureen

    Re: Palin – YUK ....just yuk !!!

    October 11, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. b

    to CD in fl

    And what are you college grades and degree in?

    October 11, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  4. bpjd

    I would like to hear from the 2000 model of John McCain. I doubt if he would have selected Palin. I also doubt if John McCain "2000" would have sought to energize his base by currying favor with the agents of intolerence. This country could use John McCain "2000".

    October 11, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  5. Elly

    God Help America if ever Bozo Palin got to be President!!!!!

    What a scarry thought
    The GOP is in deep doodoo if this is their hope for 2012
    MY 12 year old is more intelligent than her

    Can you see see russia from your house? LOL

    October 11, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  6. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Palin combines that lethal combination of stupidity and a giant ego.... so that means she'll be a GOP frontrunner.... what a farce the GOP is.

    October 11, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. An educated person.

    Obama a liar? Obama receiving prize and winning election because he is black and not a well educated and good intentioned man? Where do you racists in disguise get your facts from, FOX news?
    Here are the TRUE facts: Bush and his handlers prosecuted an illegal war in Iraq, are guilty of mass murder, de-regulated the banking industry and encouraged them to rape our economy, and in a just society should be brought to justice for their actions.
    Here are some Opinions (learn to distinguish these from facts please, you might look less foolish). Anyone who believes that dinosaur fossils are fake and that evolution is a myth, that standing up for individual rights makes you unpatriotic, and that world opinion is immatrial should NOT BE ALLOWED TO VOTE for failing to prove themselves more intelligent than a sheep. And to actually proclaim that you will support and vote for someone who believes in the aforementioned delusions should disqualify you from posting on the internet. It's like giving a six year old child a loaded gun, that child might know how to use the gun, but you've created a very unsafe situation.
    Please say what you REALLY mean convseratives. You don't want Obama as your president because you don't think he was born here OR because of the color of his skin? In spite of overwhelming evidence that Obama did not lie when he stated his healthcare plan will not support illegal immigrants, are you instead supporting this proven falsehood because you don't want to share the same health professional and facilities with those of a different skin color? And if you want to truly live in a country where religion dictates how government is run – move to IRAN! Or perhaps religion is a disguise you wear to propagate your agenda to keep those of different social and economic backgrounds beneath you.
    By the way, I am not a minority but am a white male. I can safely state all of the above because I was educated in a "blue" state and therefore I actually have a clue. My god, people – you would have voted for McCain, who comes from and was chosen as Senator from a state that ranks dead last in educational testing? Obama is right, education is actually important. The hate-mongering and myth fueled propaganda is so evident to anyone with a modern (and non-religion influenced) education.
    When the Nobel Peace Prize is given to someone you are trying to burn at the stake, that should be an IMPORTANT clue that maybe you are not doing the right thing.

    October 11, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. Death Panel Sarah

    Hey Bassman.... take the 'B' off your name next time....it will be a closer match to you!

    October 11, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  9. Oh My!!!!

    I have great affection for her,” McCain continues.
    Which Head are thinking with Senator?????

    October 11, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  10. An Independent

    Although I didn't always agree with him, I did always respect McCain because I thought he made the good of the country a much higher priority than most politicians. I lost a lot of respect for him during the last presidential campaign when he started taking positions in line with the extremists in the Republican party that have already done so much damage to our country, but at that point I was thinking he was just doing that to try to get elected and that after the campaign, whether he was elected or not, he'd go back to being the McCain of the past.

    But now that he's continuing to show support for Sarah Palin even after the campaign is over, I'm scratching my head and wondering what happened to John McCain. I wouldn't expect him to openly bash her, being that he is (was?) a respectable person, but I'd at least expect him to acknowledge that if elected, Palin would almost certainly be a worse president than George W. Bush – which is not an easy thing to do.

    October 11, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. kr

    The Palin supporters for 2012; what are you going to do when that bites you because this woman has her base and she has not done anything but have a ghostwiter write her book. Oh, she gets on her facebook to hide from the media. Mr. McCain I lost respect for you when you dumped this pandora's box on America and became lost in denial. Now you want to dump her on us as a unqualified President.

    October 11, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Dave

    Palin is a formidable force of what? Stupidity?

    October 11, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  13. Patriot

    Repubs: Please, please vote for Palin as your nominee in 2012. The world will be eternally grateful.

    October 11, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  14. Death Panel Sarah

    To Coffic.....
    No, its because she IS STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!!

    The only reason we might be afraid of her is the same reason you might be scared to let your 5 year old drive!!

    October 11, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. Art

    What good is it that McCain thinks Palin is a formidable force when
    everyone else knows she is not qualified to be President of the United
    states?

    October 11, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. Josh

    Mr. McCain, it wasn't the stock market crash. During the summer, I couldn't see myself voting for anyone but you. Then, as soon as your running mate had to actually discuss anything substantive, I was scared to death that you actually might become president. Palin cost you the election. I don't know why you are in such denial.

    October 11, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Censorship in Practice form at CNN--S Callahan NYS

    Sometimes I think people are just overmedicated and can't see the truth.....I don't agree with Sen. McCain on this one....she was a diversion of stress on society during the campaign, but the reality of 'who' she was came home when SNL portrayed her..surprisingly in a truthful manner...and it really was a shock to people to see they were following wind and not truth. .... To suggest she should be on the rail for the next Pub race is like putting a horse with a broken ankle in the race....not a good move. No offense to Ms. Palin...she is going the capitalist way...making her bucks...and will be able to care for her grandchildrens grandchildren....but not much more.

    October 11, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Death Panel Sarah

    Debby....
    Read my post to Coffic, please!

    October 11, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. Joe the real plumber

    . . . . And McCain would do this to himself again?

    October 11, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Shamron

    Sarah Palin is the shinning star for the future.

    October 11, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Flex

    Please Palin, run for president. You are the greatest asset to the democrats!

    October 11, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Va 4 Obama

    When will John McCain ever "man-up" and admit Sarah Palin was a colossal mistake his campaign NEVER recovered from. I would have alot more respect for him if he did. He can't HONESTLY believe that dingbat is Presidential material !!

    October 11, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  23. The Right-Wing needs to leave the Union

    Hey, right-wing nuts: The only reason Palin's book (which she did not write) is a best-seller is because conservative organizations pre-ordered it in huge quantities to drive it to the top.

    They do it all the time to present the illusion that right-wingers are in the majority. However, as was proven in the last election, and with only 20% willing to admit they are Repubs, right-wingers are in fact IN THE MINORITY.

    October 11, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  24. RRRUSA

    The bottom line: Regardless of Paln's intelligence, or lack thereof, she thought she was better than the GOP's campaign and wanted it done her way, she thought she was above the responsibility of the job of Governor of Alaska and so quit when it was not going her way, she disagrees with the GOP and the Democratics alike; and the only money coming out of her PAC is for FAR right candidates to congress.

    She is free to do what she likes, but for all of us, for this country, is this a person ANY of us would want to hold the highest office of this land?? I'm not a Republican, but I can think of 5 more people from the GOP I would rather be President than Sarah Palin. Her lack of thoughtfulness, lack of seeking concensus, and lack of good judgement SCARE the willies out of me!! People should think twice, then again, before blinding supporting her.

    October 11, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  25. CD in FL

    To b....

    First of all correctly it is "What are youR college grades and degree in?".
    Master's degree in computer science which by far doesn't make me extraordinary yet I believe that an intelligent person can talk and understand the stupid when a stupid person can't really talk and always understand an intelligent person.

    October 11, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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