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. Rudy NYC

    Daniels wrote:

    Without a shred of doubt I would've voted for McCain if he had picked a VP I could support. Palin came off as vapid. Is she really like that? I don't know because all I have to go by are stupid 18 second sound bites. If McCain chose someone like Tom Ridge, former governor of PA and first Secretary of Homeland Security, I would've voted Republican for the first time in my life.
    -----------
    Really?
    You would have voted to increase out involvement in two wars? You would have voted to increase our annual defiict by continuing the Bush Tax Cuts and adding more tax cuts? You would have voted more financial deregulation of sort that served as a catalyst for the financial meltdown? Really?

    You would have voted for the party whose watch it was when the financial crisis hit? Republicans had been running the Congress for over a decade, and White House for nearly a decade when the financial crisis hit. Do you call that mere coincidence? You would have voted for the guy who wanted to suspend the presidential campaigns because his ideology had no idea about what to do to repair the economy? Really?

    You would have voted for the party that appeared to have misled the country into supporting a war in Iraq? You would have voted for the party that had just given away $700 billion to the Wall Street banks with no strings or conditions attached? Really? For example, did you know that AIG still owes over $180 billion, and is under no obligation to repay it?

    March 12, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    @ Debby: Really? You need to watch it again. It was art imitating life.

    March 12, 2012 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Dave

    I'm not fan of Palin, because I think she is hurting Republican chances of beating Obama in the fall. However, it is clear that the media has a bias against conservatives.
    -----------------
    The media has a bias against conservatives? Why, because "the media" has a tendency to debunk and refute the rampant conspiracy theories and hate campaigns that come out of the right wing media?

    March 12, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  4. whocares

    I think they should both run again, Watching the republican candidates is more fun than a barrow of monkeys. It’s going to be another easy win for Obama.

    March 12, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  5. Fair is Fair

    Rudy ranted:

    You would have voted to increase out involvement in two wars? You would have voted to increase our annual defiict by continuing the Bush Tax Cuts and adding more tax cuts? You would have voted more financial deregulation of sort that served as a catalyst for the financial meltdown? Really?

    You would have voted for the party whose watch it was when the financial crisis hit? Republicans had been running the Congress for over a decade, and White House for nearly a decade when the financial crisis hit. Do you call that mere coincidence? You would have voted for the guy who wanted to suspend the presidential campaigns because his ideology had no idea about what to do to repair the economy? Really?

    You would have voted for the party that appeared to have misled the country into supporting a war in Iraq? You would have voted for the party that had just given away $700 billion to the Wall Street banks with no strings or conditions attached? Really? For example, did you know that AIG still owes over $180 billion, and is under no obligation to repay it?
    ----------
    Gee... good thing you're an "independent" Rudy... otherwise you might have said something bad about the GOP.

    March 12, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  6. mscott

    Mc Cain is totally irrelevant. I would have more respect for him if he would admit his mistake and own up to the truth that if he had not chosen Palin as his running mate, he may be in the White House. He is irrational and all he wants to do is attack everybody. He has no new ideas, no influence and is going to reap a very large government retirements from his combined military service and all those years as a politician. he should do the patriatic thing and retire and give up his pensions and live off his wife's inheritance. Make a statement John and be the first to shock the world!

    March 12, 2012 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  7. Patriot

    "McCain defended his choice Sunday, as he has done consistently, saying she was the “best qualified person”

    That statement clearly shows hoiw much McCain hates America.

    March 12, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. Joe The Plumber

    I agree with McCain that she energized the base BUT no John she was not the most qualified person..

    March 12, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Gee... good thing you're an "independent" Rudy... otherwise you might have said something bad about the GOP.
    ------------------–
    It's an even better thing that most people voted for Democratic in 2008 than Republican. If Palin meets the Republican standard for "qualified", then I wonder what metrics they use to measure qualifications. If attracting large crowds and making them cheer is a "qualification", then Palin was abundantly qualified? By that metric, she may even have been more "qualified" than Barack Obama.

    March 12, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. The Real Tom Paine

    Good thing some people on here operate on the principle of " Fair is Fair": otherwise, you might have to conclude they are biased.

    March 12, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  11. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Gee... good thing you're an "independent" Rudy... otherwise you might have said something bad about the GOP.
    --------------
    When you cannot attack the other person's facts, then attack their character, which also means you concede the argument.

    March 12, 2012 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  12. Hmmm

    McCain may be right...she may be the GOP's most qualified candidate. When you compare her to the guys that are actually running and what they are saying she's not worse. Which is SCARY.

    March 12, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. Bolaji09

    Pig-headedly unrepentant – the stuff of which reckless decisions are made.

    March 12, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. Jack from Illinois

    McCain is someday going to his grave claiming that his choice of Palin was not a mistake.

    March 12, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  15. Bill

    If McCain thinks she was the most qualified, what does that say about his judgement and qualications? It says he should retire gracefully.

    March 12, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. ghhugh

    Palin, cost McCain dearly. Any credibility he had was absorbed by the Hillbilly from Wassalia.

    Howdee!!!

    March 12, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. PoBoy

    McCain created the monster that is Sarah Failin, and now he has no choice but to continue to show deference to her even though he knows in his heart that she was a bad mistake. It's interesting that Ms Wallace would say that the movie was accurate, since she is McCain loyalists. That speaks volumes for this movie, although I still have no intention of watching it.

    March 12, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  18. Gloria

    From what I've heard, this movie accurately portrays the chaos of the McCain/Palin campaign. I won't watch it because it was nauseating enough seeing these two in real life during the actual election year in 2008. Why would I want a re-run of that??

    March 12, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  19. Jackie in Atlanta

    I did watch the movie, only to get a clear understanding of WHY Ms. Palin became their choice for VP other than the other people they were looking at. Was she the lesser 'evil' of the choices they were face with? It came across that they were looking for someone they could mold into the running mate they wanted for John McCain. Can someone give me an explanation as to why they settle on Ms. Palin as VP choice?

    March 12, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. Al-NY,NY

    If she was the best qualified John, then you have completely lost touch with reality. She alone was the reason many many people said "no thanks" to the GOP ticket. The thought of that shrill harpie being anywhere near the Oval Ofiice was enough to scare people away in droves. A pox on you McCain for unleasing this walking e-bola virus on us

    March 12, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. Johnny Cash

    If John McCain REALLY believes that Sarah Palin was the most qualified candidate available, then thank God John McCain was never elected President!

    March 12, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    PoNoy: Right on target you are, but may I suggest that you bite the bullet like I did and watch it. I don't think you'll regret it. Of course if Palin is getting a "cut" from the movie then I can udnerstand you changing the channel! lol!
    Obama 2012.

    March 12, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  23. Johnny Cash

    If being 'the most qualified' means being able to attract thousands to hate-mongering rallies with people shouting racist & bigoted epithets....enticing violent acts & even murder....well, i guess he's right: Sarah Palin was indeed the 'most' qualified.

    March 12, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Sorry that should'v been "PoBoy".

    March 12, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. jb1963

    The republicans are in real trouble if Palin was and is the best they have to offer.

    March 12, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
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