McCain: Palin was 'best qualified'
Then-Republican presidential nominee John McCain stands with then-Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin at the Republican National Convention on September 4, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
March 11th, 2012
04:10 PM ET
3 years ago

McCain: Palin was 'best qualified'

(CNN) – Despite the hype, Sen. John McCain has no plans to watch HBO’s “Game Change,” the new film about his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign.

“I’m not going to watch it,” McCain said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s based on a book that’s completely biased and with unattributed quotes, et cetera.”

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The film, which debuted on television Saturday, is based on the 2010 book of the same name and focuses on McCain’s vice presidential pick, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. In the election, McCain and Palin lost to Barack Obama and Joe Biden, with Palin’s inexperience on the national stage cited as one of the reasons.

But McCain defended his choice Sunday, as he has done consistently, saying she was the “best qualified person” and had the ability to energize the Republican Party.

“I admire and respect her and I’m proud of our campaign,” McCain said. “I’m grateful she ran with me.”

The Arizona senator also rejected what he said was the film’s depiction of him as foul-mouthed.

“I have been told I am portrayed as using an exceeding amount of coarse language,” McCain said. “I don't use coarse language very often. I have a larger vocabulary than that.”

McCain’s wife, Cindy, criticized the film to CNN’s Piers Morgan earlier in the week and said she too would not watch.

Nicolle Wallace, who served as a senior adviser to Team McCain during his presidential bid and was also portrayed in the film, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that the movie was “true enough to make me squirm.”

“Watching ‘Game Change’ is like reliving the most tumultuous professional roller coaster ride on which I’ve ever been,” Wallace wrote Sunday on abc.com. “It brought back the highs – Palin’s surprise selection and her glorious moment on stage at our national convention – and the now well-documented lows.”

CNN and HBO are subsidiaries of Time-Warner, Inc.

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Filed under: 2008 Election • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (381 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    John is trying to do damage control. Most of the country is mad at him for unleashing this ignorant monstrosity on us!

    March 12, 2012 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  2. BOB

    i watched it what i got from it was there are a lot of people in goverment who are scared of many of the ideas she has and that the american people are fed up with our goverment and want change read into it what you want we do need a new govermen

    March 12, 2012 06:03 am at 6:03 am |
  3. Blindersoff

    What bunch of malarkey, the american people whiteness first hand the fiasco of McCain and Palin. Fast forward, 2012, That explains the now republican party. A bunch of losers. Much like McCain and Palin, No substance. Period.

    March 12, 2012 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  4. Debra

    McCain will never admit a mistake and yet his legacy will be that he was responsible for inserting a cancerous element of ignorance and hate into our national politics.

    March 12, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  5. Jim Guinnessey

    John McCain will always be an enigma to me. One day saying something salient and worthwhile; then the next day saying something idiotic and foolish.

    March 12, 2012 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  6. Robert

    McCain, we all know why you picked her and it worked until she opened her mouth. We all make mistakes. Adults admit them and move on, learning from the experience. Children, make excuses and never learn a thing. Stop being a child.

    March 12, 2012 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  7. David Mann

    The old man may be a war hero, but he's lying about Palin. When he was asked (I think on the Letterman show) to name some qualified potential Republican Presidential candidates Palin's name never came up. If he had a redo on that decision he would NEVER pick Palin again. That isn't even up for debate. He's well aware it was the biggest blunder in political history.

    March 12, 2012 07:15 am at 7:15 am |
  8. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    I watched Game Change. Twice.
    I found it to be very well made, and truthful.
    If they had vetted Palin they would've NEVER made her McCain's VP nominee. The woman was and is a megalomaniac,and a liar.
    Good movie.
    Obama 2012.

    March 12, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  9. Cfrench

    I watched the movie and all it did was reinforce what I already knew, that Palin was a completely unqualified, horrendous pick for VP. The two interviews she gave to the media before they muzzled her are a matter of public record. The only part of the movie that can be questioned is it's portrayal of Palin as a self-centered, ignorant child. Throw that part of the movie out and you still have the facts, the interviews, the debate and the speaches.

    March 12, 2012 07:29 am at 7:29 am |
  10. EdSantaFe

    What a jerk! The woman had ZERO qualifications.

    March 12, 2012 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  11. Marcia Greenwood, IN

    I can understand why McCain-Palin don't like it-he made a horrendously bad political decision picking Palin without proper vetting-if that decision was a marker he would have been an absolutely terrible President at a time we needed an intelligent caring President and Palin-dumb then and dumb now-she only learned she could scam the system-she needed to learn and didn't and never has learned enough after to be a viable candidate for President.

    March 12, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  12. REPUBLICAN ARE THE GREATEST

    Sarah Palin is more qualified to be President then this person who is in the White House now. This is 100% true. I can not wait until Obama is defeated this November and he will be. President Romney will fix what President Obama has destroyed and that is our FREEDOM.

    March 12, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  13. Sandy

    That's not what Steve Schmidt said. He was on Morning Joe this morning and said that Palin was wholly unqualified and he didn't say that the movie Game Change wasn't true, so I assume at least most of it was true.

    March 12, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  14. carly

    McCain is as delusional today as he was when he selected Palin.

    March 12, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  15. Rick Douglas

    The campaign was widely known to have been an organizational mess. Many of those responsible are now trying to push their failures onto the candidates, and Gov. Palin is the easy target. While not a big Palin fan, I saw this movie as nothing more than a bias hit-piece.

    March 12, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  16. Michael Q

    If you don't read the book or watch the movie, you cannot be held accountable for your opinion of the book or the movie. The simple answer that you did not read the book or see the movie excuses you from answering any questions, doesn't it? However, I am willing to bet that both Sarah and John have secretly read the book and seen the movie. Otherwise, they are truly absolutely nuts and exist in the vacuum of human behaviour only true wack-jobs (read not normal) live.

    March 12, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  17. Timjk54

    I will never understand why McCain will not admit he made a huge mistake choosing " The Quitter " as a running mate . That's the problem with most politicians today : not big enough to say they are wrong .

    March 12, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  18. john

    They so deserve each other.

    March 12, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  19. jimranes

    Sorry Senator McCain, if she was the "best qualified" then your judgement is seriously flawed. Her interviews with national networks (Gibson, Couric) indicate an abysmal lack of knowledge and a simplistic view of international relations (e.g.: the "good guys and the bad guys...."). She was portrayed as having competence in the energy field which we learned was superficial at best. She might have been able to "see" Russia from Alaska but to think that conveyed any understanding of Russia and their leadership, economy and politics was beyond comprehension. She could present a rousing speech and was telegenic but those qualities do not qualify her to be Vice President of the US and a heartbeat away from the Presidency. The reality is Senator, you and your team failed to vet her qualifications and the results were not favorable.

    March 12, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  20. SHAME

    McCain chose Palin to decieve the Public for Votes and especially Women.
    His choice of Palin was a Ploy and he knew she was ignorant and planned on her keeping her mouth shut and smiling.
    He now has to defend her to keep from looking like a total loser.
    Well that is not working, most people know she is clueless and an opportunist.

    March 12, 2012 08:09 am at 8:09 am |
  21. Debby

    I watched it and the woman who played Palin was awful. She didn't even look like, her and didn't get the gotcha moments down.

    March 12, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  22. REPUBLICAN ARE THE GREATEST

    Game Change should be Facts Change

    March 12, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  23. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    Not according to the movie Game Change. She had so many skeletons in her closet. She certainly wasn't vetted thoroughly.

    March 12, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  24. Kenneth the VI of Minneapolis

    From henceforth, I will see Sarah Palin in a different light.

    March 12, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  25. Fair + Balanced

    It's called the "A lie for a lie principle."

    March 12, 2012 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
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