July 29th, 2012
10:38 AM ET
2 years ago

Cheney: Picking Palin in 2008 was a 'mistake'

(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.

READ MORE: McCain, Liz Cheney push back on Palin 'mistake'

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Filed under: Dick Cheney • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (591 Responses)
  1. Christy9

    Where did that come from? Has he nothing original to say? Why do people still interview him? He's gone and forgotten!

    July 29, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Obama should appoint Palin as Ambassador to Somalia , it would make a great reality television series .

    As for the Great Chaney , It's time to take up Art therapy !

    July 29, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Craigee, aka Champs hero

    Thanks for the heads up, Dick.

    July 29, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  4. GaryOwen27

    THe Red Neck Right...what a disaster for our nation.

    July 29, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  5. michael

    Well you should know something about poor VP choices Dick. Anyone who puts American soldiers in harms way based on lies and poor judgement would have a step up on lousy leaders.

    July 29, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Pete/Ark

    In all the years I've watched Cheney I've only agreed with him twice...his defense of his daughter, and this statement.

    July 29, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. tom

    Ahhhhhhhhh Mr. Pot....I'd like you to meet Mr. Kettle. Voldemort Cheney was the WORST, most dangerous, reckless and selfish Vice President we've EVER had. Ask the serviceman who came back from Iraq and the widows/widowers of those who didn't. A war we were led into by lies all to line the pockets of Halliburton and help Geppetto pull Dumbo Dubya's strings.

    July 29, 2012 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. John N Florida

    Given the choice between 23 tax returns and a half wit hockey Mom with a knocked up teenager, what's to choose? McCain picked the better candidate.

    July 29, 2012 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. OhioMom2

    Ya think? lol

    Senator McCain – I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for picking Palin.

    July 29, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Brenda

    I agree that Palin should have never been chosen. She knew and still knows nothing about national and foreign issues. When I listen to her, I find myself asking what did she say. She is without substance. I don't understand why anyone could consider her a leader. A likeable person, maybe, but a leader never. I know she really appreciates McCain for picking her because her pockets are now lined with gold. McCain had my vote until he chose her and I heard the words out of her mouth. That was scary. Cheney was a disappointed because as a leader he lead from behind (avoiding the draft and asking troops to do die for something he created and would never put himself in that situation). Truly a coward.

    July 29, 2012 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. FactChecker

    Palin not prepared for presidency? Maybe so, But imagine if Cheney had become president. What an evil government we would have had.

    July 29, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Sirned

    Mrs. Know nothing was a mistake? Uh Duh Darth we out here in real America knew that in the first week of her debut.....

    July 29, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  13. Emmittkitty

    Palin as the VP candidate led to the dumbing down of the Republican Party and the surge of far right nut cases in public office. Effective moderate republicans who knew how to reach compromise are now the enemy in their own party...what a mess. McCain sold out this country in a desperate attempt to win when he picked Palin.

    July 29, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. Larry L

    @guest

    I believe that Sarah Palin WAS qualified to step into the top spot, if it became necessary.
    ---------------------------------------------------–
    She didn't know the role of the "Fed" regarding the financial world. She believes the earth to be less than 6000, years old, contraception is evil, vaginal probes are okay, and global warming is a liberal plot. She quit every job she ever had when the going got tough. She milked her popularity to become quite wealthy, working for Fox News spewing their lies, "writing" books, and sticking her face on anything for a buck. She couldn't answer softball "gotcha" questions. She's a good-looking, air-headed twit with a mean streak and a deep bigotry for anybody who isn't a white, Christian radical. Besides those things she'd make a great President...

    July 29, 2012 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. Jack in Florida

    I can't believe I finally have something in agreement with a Republican!! He should have also stated that the picks in 2000 and 2004 were also bad. The Republicans have turned into the Party of Evil!!!!!

    July 29, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. Rob

    First time I've ever agreed with Dick Cheney on anything.

    July 29, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. AK

    If we could support Cheney for all it had cost us including a mighty heart, I reverse my antagonism for Palin. I think Palin would bring some dysfunctional family drama to lessen the pain of our military might. Offensive comments from Cheney, he should publicly apologise.

    July 29, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. frederick

    I recall almost every democrat being slammed for making the same observation. Now it's sage wisdom from a conservative god. Go figure this asinine world.

    July 29, 2012 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Mr. Publius

    Sarah Palin's emergence at the Republican Convention was oustanding...her persoanlity was refreshing and appeard to align with the maverick persona that John McCain had cultivated during his time in Congress. However, her subsequent mis-steps in talking with the press suggested that she was more style than substance, and was further exacerbated by her constant blaming of the press for her struggles. She continues the same strategy today. Cheney's correct....Palin was the main reason that I, as a life-long Republican, voted for a different Party.

    July 29, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. Rob

    I suspect if we were to look back to comments made 4 years ago, however, he was singing a different tune. What I thought was the most funny about the whole Sarah Palin debacle was that EVERY high profile Republican knew she wasn't qualified and yet they all held their nose and – to their eternal shame – LIED to the American people, saying that she was.

    July 29, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. surlycurmudgen

    Sarah Palin is sitting on between 18 and 20 years executive experience. This is more than almost any other President we have ever had.
    Palin’s record includes a term on the Wasilla Council, two terms as Wasilla, AK Mayor, a stint as Chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and gas Conservation Commission (which she left to almost single-handily take down the corrupt GOP Establishment in Alaska. She served as president of the Alaska mayors association and as chairman of the Republican governors. As governor she accomplished more in two years than most do in eight years. Alaska has the largest national guard and they are always on active duty with the governor briefed daily.
    The Governorship of Alaska, as defined by the Alaska state Constitution, is the most powerful in the nation. This has left Sarah Palin uniquely qualified to go from being the most powerful Governor in the nation to being the most powerful national leader in the world.

    July 29, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  22. surlycurmudgen

    Sarah Palin is sitting on between 18 and 20 years executive experience. This is more than almost any other President we have ever had.

    July 29, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  23. surlycurmudgen

    Palin’s record includes a term on the Wasilla Council, two terms as Wasilla, AK Mayor, a stint as Chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and gas Conservation Commission (which she left to almost single-handily take down the corrupt GOP Establishment in Alaska. She served as president of the Alaska mayors association and as chairman of the Republican governors. As governor she accomplished more in two years than most do in eight years. Alaska has the largest national guard and they are always on active duty with the governor briefed daily.

    July 29, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Greg

    Of course in hindsight it was a bad pick. I just saw Game Change again on TV. McCain loved the bold move. He was behind in the polls before he picked Palin and had to do something to win the female vote. But Palin turned off women with her extreme pro-life position and lack of world knowledge.

    But lets face it, we still ignore long term politicians in favor of ones with little political office experience (Obama, Hillary, Romney) because the longer you are in office the more likely you will take a position that a segment of the voters does not like. Better to dance around, be vague on specifics and make general pronouncements like "I'm for a better future for everybody" "I think the security of this country is extremely important" and "We have to cut the fat but improve our infrastructure."

    July 29, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. Cheney..the biggest mistake in 2000...

    Look where Cheney has brought the Country...He Cheney was the GOP the biggest...and now he is anti-women and blaming it all on the women of America...How low can-one stoop....

    July 29, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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