September 8th, 2010
09:39 AM ET
8 years ago

Palin pick 'panicked' Meghan McCain, made her cry

Sarah Palin on the campaign trail with the McCain family in 2008.

Sarah Palin on the campaign trail with the McCain family in 2008.

(CNN) – Her father's surprise pick of Sarah Palin to be his running mate so shocked Meghan McCain that she became hysterical and "panicked," the Arizona senator's daughter told Jay Leno Wednesday.

"I found out an hour before I went on stage with her. I think they were scared I would say something or whatever. Like the rest of the country, I had no idea who she was and I was actually crying on the bus on the way to the rally," said McCain, who is promoting her new book, "Dirty, Sexy, Politics."

"And then I found out who she was, and I remember being on stage and distinctly thinking, 'God, let her not have any skeletons in the closet. Please God.' And if you see any video footage of it, I looked panicked," she added. "I was scared, just really scared. I didn't know her. "

McCain has not been shy to express her rocky relationship with the vice presidential candidate, whom she has since described as a "time bomb" in her new book.

"It was just one thing after another," she told Leno. "In politics it's about knowing what's going to come at you and I really didn't know anything."

In her book – released late last month – McCain also takes aim at how campaign manager Steve Schmidt went about picking Palin.

"How the Palin selection process and announcement had been handled seemed to highlight things that were innately wrong with our campaign and with the tactics of Steve Schmidt, she wrote. "It was a risky move-one of those things that can wind up being genius or the stupidest decision of all time."

Schmidt and Palin had a now-famous contentious relationship, capped off late last year when the former Alaska governor repeatedly questioned his competence in her autobiography. For his part, Schmidt has said Palin would prove "catastrophic" to the GOP if she was the nominee in 2012.

Meanwhile, when it comes to whether McCain would support a potential Palin presidential bid in 2012, she said her heart actually belongs to another likely White House hopeful.

"I am so sick of this us-versus-them mentality," she said. "I just want a candidate that's going to stop being us versus them.   So right now I am team Romney."

Her comments came shortly before the release of a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll showing more 52 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable view of the former Alaska Republican while 38 percent have a positive view.

Filed under: Meghan McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    A record four days without a Palin story. Congratulations CNN. Just remember one day at a time. The lunatic left is already on drugs, they can survive without it. They can attack Discovery channel or something like that.

    September 8, 2010 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. MAhole

    Way to go Mehgan – finally SOMEONE in the McCain family recognizes that Caribou Barbie was a "time bomb"........... and "the stupidest decision of all time."

    But going to bat for Mittens is just going a little too far young lady..........

    September 8, 2010 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Dean

    No one really cares what Meghan McCain thinks. This is just CNN's way of keeping Sarah Palin in their columns.

    September 8, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. idesign

    CNN = 24/7 Palin.

    I guess it's the only way CNN can attract viewers......LOL

    I can see November from my house!!!

    September 8, 2010 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  5. Rob

    Who cares? Caribou Barbie makes everyone cry.....or laugh.

    September 8, 2010 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Palin pick 'panicked' Meghan McCain, made her cry

    I know how you must've felt Meghan. We still haven't STOPPED crying.

    September 8, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  7. DAT

    Pretty much the reaction most had AFTER they got to know her.

    September 8, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  8. Jimmy Johny

    Wow another story on Palin, 2 in the CNN headlines today, and this one from a newsworthy source, Meghan McCain. Can't do any better than this, oh and she panicked because she did not know Palin, wow now everything makes sense.

    September 8, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. Hunter of the lib hunter

    In the McCain vetting process, one third of the points goes to the candidate with the nicest legs. one third for a high school diploma, and one third for being able to use the words terrorist, socialist, communist, fascist, birther, death panels, and drill baby drill in same sentence. Sarah won hands down.

    September 8, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |

    Meghan McCain had me thinking that there may have been hope for the gop but she says she is tired of the "us vs. them mentality" (so am I). If that is the case why is she promoting Mitt Romney? He has (like most of the gop) done little more than belittle the Democrats without giving good counter plans

    September 8, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  11. New Age Independant

    I think this pretty much says it all. "I had no idea who she was and I was actually crying on the bus on the way to the rally". Meghan McCain is not the kind of person you want to endorse any campaign. Why anyone pays attention to her is beyond reasoning.

    September 8, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. jeff, alabama

    Meghan McCain is basically an air head who is full
    of horse do do. She worked for The Beast newspaper
    for Pete's sake. She is a typical narrow minded
    bigotted liberal.

    September 8, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  13. Carol

    Palin questioning someone's competence?? Whew!

    September 8, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  14. Martha

    Someone close and personal to McCain is finally speaking out. I give her a lot of credit for telling the truth.

    September 8, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. Clwyd

    We are all still crying at this gutless wonder Palin! She continues to talk like a baffoon and make little sense except to others like he! A pathetic comment on America and Americans.

    September 8, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. Puff the Magic Dragon

    And Meghan was right to be scared of Salin Palin. The entire country was scared of Sarah Palin. And that’s why John McCain didn’t win the election.

    September 8, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  17. Nellie Bly

    Poor Meghan McCain. To have been the first person in the lower 48 to experience the horror of Sarah Palin and be unable to stop it.

    September 8, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  18. jules sand-perkins

    Meghan McCain had almost no relevance to the campaign. A book by her? Well, OK, maybe–I wouldn't read it.
    Meghan McCain's opinion of Sarah Palin is meaningless. Publication of that opinion is another attempt to humiliate Ms. Palin in 300-comment reviews and feeding frenzies of liberals.
    I don't think that Palin will ever be our president, but she will be important in determining who will be president.

    September 8, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. BofDC

    I think she makes us all cry with laughter.

    September 8, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  20. phyllis sanders

    I agree with Meghan McCain, Palin is a time bomb, i hope that it never go off. i am not a fan of Sara Palin, i hope she gets tired of her own mouth, i know i am tired of it.

    peace out.

    September 8, 2010 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. Eric

    Please Meghan McCain, please just shut up and go away.

    We've tried RINO Republicans like your dad for years and look what it got us... RINOs who tried their damnedest to outspend Democrats and an avowed Marxist president.

    Thanks but no thanks. I'll take the real deal this next time around.

    We already have one democrat party, we don't need two.
    Go Away Ms. McCain.

    September 8, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  22. tweety

    Nice to see some honesty, but, why wait until the election for the president and your father's bid this year to keep his seat was over?

    Timing is everything, and it shows that she isn't much better than Sarah. Cashing in like Ms. Thing has been doing since someone with some lead in their pencil told she was sitting on a gold mine.

    The Republicanknucklesheads sure know how to make money off our their worshipers don't they? Now here is another McMoney with a book out.........big surpirise there.

    September 8, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  23. whaterver

    Whoever picked Palin should be blackballed from politics. McCain could have won if he had chosen Huckabee or Paul.

    September 8, 2010 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  24. Sniffit

    This week's Gallup poll of registered voters shows GOPers and Dems tied at 46% in the general congressional ballot, but last week's showed GOP at 51% and Dems at 41%. Last week's Gallup poll of course, got massive coverage by CNN. Funny how CNN has ignored this week's Gallup poll tho, huh? Guess it ruins their attempt to tell a certain story about this year's mid-term elections in order to make viewers know, considering all their attempts lately to go a little more "right" in order to snatch up some of those viewers. Those pesky inconvenient facts are best left ignored, right CNN?

    September 8, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  25. Sniffit

    Who cares? Seriously's not McCain who's pushing her new's you.

    September 8, 2010 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
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