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. Martha

    Sarah Palin only draws in her fan base. She will never be elected President, if she could not take the heat before, well running for and being President are hotter yet! She wrote her book, sold it to her base and their fans and now she should just sit back and watch the world go by, focus on getting her kids into good schools, maybe work for a Down's Syndrome agency and bring more attention to that cause, Todd is not longer working, I even doubt she wants to take on the challenge to run. She is not that bright and she would never be able to be a President of the USA, maybe the PTA like she did where at whim she could knock them out and bring in her own. . .she is not for the big leagues. McCain only brought on her because he thought the Hillary voters were going to vote since she was on the ticket, well, guess what, SHE IS NO HILLARY CLINTON, never was and NEVER will be! She cost him votes. She is not even brave enough now to come out and voice her opinions, she hides behind a phony Face Book page and has someone write for her, she even thought wearing a Mandarin collar jacket in Hong Kong was the way to go! Her base is all she now has and will ever have. . .I think most Americans are smart/bright enough to research and think things through and not make a snap vote because she is a woman!

    October 11, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Vince

    McCain, you can always switch to the Democratic party and run with Barack next time.

    October 11, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  3. Connie

    Sarah Palin – 2012

    October 11, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  4. robin

    I would like to see anyone who is saying palin is ignorant , put themsleves out there like she did. Could you do any better? Maybe some could maybe not who knows. She was a govenor of a large state, not in national politics and then all of a sudden shes in the national spotlight , and for a while people loved her then the press started in on every single thing. Her outfits, the baby -to old , not really hers, why is a mother of 4 running. Noone every really gave her a fair shot. Then ,yes, she messed herself up with some bad interviews I agree. I dont know is she would be a good president or not, but, I am willing to listen and give her a chance. And going to diffrent colleges does not mean you are dumb, maybe the program she chose at one college wasnt right for her so she tried another one, who knows.
    Robin

    October 11, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. Carrie

    Of course he still defends her,(if he didn't , it is saying he made a grave error in judgement) I do not mind her beiing a force for the GOP , but as a canidate I hardly think so .
    For those that think the media went after her , she did it to herself . She was put in a national and international spot light that she was not smart enough nor ready for.
    True she now has more expertise , but that does not make her smarter.
    And when cornered she goes mean as she did last Fall, I think the GOP should run as far and as fast as they can!

    October 11, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. JS007

    It is painful to watch McCain try to wiggle out of this one. Now it's the stock market's fault? Fact is, McCain committed one of the worst errors in history of Presidential races either because he did not even know Palin, or knew her and made a very reckless, cynical move in picking her. He deserves the shame that will forever follow him as a result, and he knows it.

    October 11, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  7. joel palmer

    Has McCain thought for one minute about his culpability in picking her? he is to blame for his own loss; he may NOT have won with Joe Lieberman or someone with an IQ north of 90, but he was a guranteed loser as soon as the vetting of Palin by the press was underway. This was a self-inflicted GSW to the heart.

    What a moron

    October 11, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. reality hurts

    For all you hate mongering so-called 'conservatives' that can't get pass your own pitiful reality of real truth, please take a moment to READ the comment from blogger – An educated person, then try and get a life.

    October 11, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. hometowndemocrat

    A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their foolishness. October 11th, 2009 10:44 am ET

    Whyo does Schmit think he is. Here you people go again trying to rundown a lady who is twice the person to be considered for President than the present one or any t9o come. BRING ON PALIN 2012 you have plently of supporter for we're cleaning the house in 2010.
    ------------------------------

    The GOP's can have you...with our blessing. Glad to see you "finally got smart". Thanks for the laugh!

    October 11, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. B

    Palin was a huge mistake for McCain and she is toxic for any future consideration involving the GOP!

    October 11, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  11. Sean the thinker

    robin, you just answer your own question.Based on what you've stated, I think anyone who would be in the position that she was in would not even consider running for vice president.

    October 11, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  12. Bonnie

    Unless Palin shows up in 2012 with a short afro, an impeccably cut
    suit and tie, and declaring "yes we can", she doesn't stand a chance.

    October 11, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  13. joel palmer

    Anyone on the far right can fire up the troglodytes of the fringe of the gop (mostly old rich white guys and their wives and mistresses). It takes a real moron to pick someone like that for a running mate. vis Goldwater and Miller, Nixon-Agnew; Dole and Kemp; Bush and Quayle ad nauseam. The Amercan people finally caught on to this gop BS and dumped Mccain Palin like a bad habit.

    I want Sarah to run in 2012 so badly that I'll even give to her campaign if she is nominated

    October 11, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. The Right-Wing needs to leave the Union

    The right-wing is out of touch with mainstream America.

    Right-wingers need to form their own country in Texas, where only white rich males have rights, the Bible replaces Constitutional Law, the poor work 70 hours a week for pennies, gay people are jailed, and no tree or wild animal is left standing.

    Let them have their regressive society elsewhere and let the rest of us move this country forward.

    October 11, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  15. mobymom

    My lack of support for Sarah has nothing to do with her being a woman. I supported Hillary and there are several female political leaders I would support if they made a bid for the presidency. However they are not average women, they can't see Russia from their house and they aren't quitters chasing big bucks.

    They are intelligent women who are or could quickly become a world leader. Both things Sarah is not. I don't vote gender and I do think this country could elect a woman – but not a stupid, money grubbing egotistical one who makes me cringe every time she opens her mouth. She is not a woman or an American I would ever want to see in any position of political power.

    October 11, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  16. Failin Palin

    Waste a vote on that quitter? Don't think so.

    October 11, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. Grayson's Anatomy: Jesus Christ the Son of God Against StOoPiD Dumb Ass Republicans

    Palin is the bottom of the barrel of intelligence. McCain is enjoying his fian years of Viagra and can't stop thinking about how close he was to tapping his running mate. He saw her more as a Playmate than a running mate. All but a few right wing extremists are over the un-dynamic duo. Just step back for a second and analyze how one faction of the American political system has brainwashed part of the electorate into believing that THEY DON"T NEED HEALTHCARE!!!! How retarded and sToOpId is that? Think ofit. The Re-Dumb-Agains have somehow managed to get their supporters into agreeing with them that they do not need health coverage. That's insane. Yet, these uneducated toothless hicks with a bible in one hand and a loaded gun in the other hand are willing to let their families go uninsured because a black man was elected president. Barack Obama just won the Nobel Peace prize and the ReThuglican'ts are livid with hatred because Jarge Duh-Hub-Ya Baaahoooosh is no longer in power, who happens to be the hero of the Special Reatrded Republican Congress Coalition. Which way did 'e go Jarge? Ya wanna buy a duck? I'm in the special class and I ride on the special bus to congress and I am a pwoud wetaaaaahded Re-re-re-re-pub-pub-pub-li-li-ca-ca-ca-ca-caaaan. Barack has already proved to the entire world that he is light years ahead Ricky Retardo Jarge Duh-Hub-Ya Baaahoooosh as a statesman, diplomat, and a superior world leader. The only thing Bush was good at was reading 1st grade books upside down while the twin towers was under attack and maybe good at throwing a hillbilly bar-b-cue for the special reatrded republican neanderthals he hung with. Obama-Biden in 2012!!!!!

    Congressman Grayson is helping to lead the way for health care reform and he has the guts to sucker punch the dumb ass retarded republicans in their butt hole faces. All republicans agaianst health care reform have zero brain cells and their mommy is Rush Limbaugh, who happens to be the missing link in Darwin's theory of evolution. Even God cannot understand wht the DNA of Limbaugh is because he is the antithesis of a created being.

    October 11, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Sheri

    I for one would love to see her run in 2012! I'm sure every Democrat would love to see that. During the previous campaign, she never answered a direct question, she spouted vitriol that was both dangerous and untrue. She could hide behind "it's sexist" and McCain. Go ahead Sarah, run. Your own Republicans will eat you for lunch during the primaries! If by some act of supreme ridiculousness you win the nomination, the first debate will be a popcorn worthy moment! All you have done is incite and bash, never once has one comment come out of your mouth on policy, your policies, just trash talk! My friends 8 yr old new more Supreme Court cases than you did! Run, please run Sarah. We the Democrats of this country BEG you to!

    October 11, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  19. Bugl3t

    Yeah, what does that say about John McCain? He's just proving you can't teach an OLD dog new tricks...

    And the message nomiating Palin would send? Can you say QUITTER?

    It's amazing how she managed to add YET ANOTHER NEGATIVE to her illustrious career, starting with having to attend 6 colleges to get one paltry undergrad degree.

    October 11, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  20. Warrior

    Neither party looks out for the average American. We need a party for the people, and if we can't have that, we need a revolution.

    October 11, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. Chloe in Chatsworth, CA

    Robin, Palin wasn't "governor of a large state" by the standard one normally associates with that statement. Alaska is our third smallest state, after Vermont and Wyoming. The mayor of El Paso, Texas has more constituents.

    October 11, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. idesign

    Its so funny seeing how Palin gets the liberals' panties in such a snit.
    She is like sunlight to Dracula!!!

    October 11, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  23. Gretchen

    Frankly, how can Palin be trusted to hold the highest office in the land
    when she skipped out on Governor of the Caribou?

    October 11, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  24. Patriot

    Mobymom–Great post.

    October 11, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. joel palmer

    "hometowndemocrat"

    C'mon McCain; we know that's you; even with all the typos

    October 11, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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