(CNN) – Sen. John McCain made a mistake in 2008 by picking then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, former Vice President Dick Cheney said in an interview that aired Sunday.
Cheney led the vice presidential search for Gerald Ford in 1976, and again for George W. Bush in 2000. That last search resulted in Cheney himself being selected, and he served as Bush's number two for eight years.
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On Sunday, Cheney said Palin failed to meet the number one requirement for a vice president: a readiness to step into the top job if needed.
"Based on her background, she was only governor for two years, I don't think she passed that test of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake," Cheney said in an interview with ABC News.
Cheney, who said he knows and likes Palin, argued that considerations about which demographic a potential candidate could help pull in clouded the 2008 decision to put Palin on the ticket.
"Those are important issues but they should never be allowed to override that first proposition and I think that's one of the problems that McCain had," Cheney said.