(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.
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.
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..........
No one really cares what Meghan McCain thinks. This is just CNN's way of keeping Sarah Palin in their columns.
CNN = 24/7 Palin.
I guess it's the only way CNN can attract viewers......LOL
I can see November from my house!!!
Who cares? Caribou Barbie makes everyone cry.....or laugh.
Palin pick 'panicked' Meghan McCain, made her cry
I know how you must've felt Meghan. We still haven't STOPPED crying.
Pretty much the reaction most had AFTER they got to know her.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Palin questioning someone's competence?? Whew!
Someone close and personal to McCain is finally speaking out. I give her a lot of credit for telling the truth.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I think she makes us all cry with laughter.
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.
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.
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.
Whoever picked Palin should be blackballed from politics. McCain could have won if he had chosen Huckabee or Paul.
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 happy...you 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?
Who cares? Seriously CNN...it's not McCain who's pushing her new book...it's you.