July 2nd, 2008
07:10 AM ET
9 years ago

Quayle: I respect Obama 'because he beat the Clintons'

Quayle said McCain faces “an uphill battle.”

Quayle said McCain faces “an uphill battle.”

(CNN) - Former Vice President Dan Quayle didn’t think John McCain would make it this far in his quest for the White House – and he’s pessimistic about his fall chances against Barack Obama.

"Polls show most people want change and change wins a lot of the time," Quayle said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday to promote his participation in a golf tournament later this month. "I hope McCain wins, but to be very fair, he has an uphill battle."

He said he expected New York senator Hillary Clinton and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney would face off this fall – and respected Obama for doing something he couldn’t 16 years ago.

"I have a lot of grudging respect for what he did because he beat the Clintons, something we couldn't do in 1992. The Clintons were very convincing in the campaign they ran. So I thought she would be the candidate,” said Quayle, who lost his bid for a second vice presidential term to the Democratic ticket of Bill Clinton and Al Gore in 1992.

"I think she made obviously some very tactical mistakes. One, underestimating Obama. And, two, the whole inevitability that `I am entitled to the nomination' ended up hurting her quite dramatically,” he said while acknowledging that "I don't think anyone saw, including myself, the Barack Obama movement."

As a Republican who lost to a Democratic ticket touting “change,” Quayle had some advice for this year’s presumptive GOP nominee: lay out a “clear vision” of what he’ll do when he reaches the White House.

"When 80 percent of the people think we are on the wrong track, you need to do that. It needs to be strategic,” said Quayle. “That's not been done yet. They may be waiting for the convention, but that needs to be done."

In April, McCain pointed to Quayle’s vice presidential selection as an example of why he did not want to rush his own selection of a running mate, telling reporters the former Indiana senator "not been briefed and prepared for some of the questions" when he was tapped for the Republican ticket in 1988.

"I'm a great friend of Dan Quayle's and I think he was a fine senator. I just think that it was you know, a lot of people in retrospect would have thought maybe the process should have been…I just think you have to have a measured process, make sure that you have taken every, all the factors into consideration and then decide," said McCain.

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soundoff (150 Responses)
  1. Angus McDugan

    Now this is the endorcement Obama has been looking for!

    July 2, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  2. Donna

    Where did yall dig up Quayle? and Why? isn't he the one who had his spelling corrected by a 5th grader?

    July 2, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  3. 2Nurselady

    I swear, every time I see this guy, all I can think of is the "potatoe" incident!

    July 2, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  4. tammy in sc

    I didn't know that guy was still alive.

    July 2, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  5. Jay

    HE DID NOT BEAT THE CLINTONS..The DNC and Male driven Media beat the Clinton.

    July 2, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  6. dave

    July 15 everyone wear something Blue to show that we are proud of what Hillary accomplished in the run for presidency and even if you do not support Hillary to show that a women could do anything she wants to do.

    July 2, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Brad - California

    What is this wimp even doing in the news? Who cares about his opinion anyway? It's just about as worthless as the entire Bush family, not to mention McCain, who has no opinions of his own.

    July 2, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. Rache from Bowie

    Candid! Right on point.

    July 2, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  9. Naomi, Texas

    Right On!

    July 2, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. jim

    Holy who cares.

    July 2, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. A CANUCK

    You"re right Dan ...Clinton really underestimated Obama.....which shows poor judgement on her part or was she just blinded by the jewels in her crown???????

    July 2, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  12. Emily

    Exactly, thank you Mr. Quayle at least you've acknowledged the obvious now if only the rest of your party would come from out of denial

    July 2, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. ANGIE

    i couldnt agree with you more sir!!!

    July 2, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. DM, Arlington TX for Barack Obama 08

    Quayle has a good point maybe he should hold McCain hands since Dan is looking for a father image... and not a true leader

    July 2, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. TyWebb

    I respekt Dan Kwayl and his spelling of potatoe.

    July 2, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. Tim Hutchins

    You're right about one thing: the Obama movement makes no sense since the man is just not qualified to lead the nation. I shudder to think what this country will be like if a person with little character like Obama leads. My word!!

    July 2, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. Uncle Sam

    Quayle has actually said something smart for once.

    July 2, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Heidi


    OBAMA 08'

    July 2, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  19. JFK

    Something of which you could never do Dan? Oh ya, where are you now?

    July 2, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. Augustine

    NO CLEAR VISION is going to save McCain. All cats are grey at night – anything McCain and the Republican Party says will be seen by the electrate as pandering – saying anything to win.

    When you buy bad food off the shelf, you don't reward the company that made the food with a repeat purchase. The Republican Party has messed the country up. Its time for Democrats 'to take over and return the economy to the prosperous state it was when Bill Clinton was president.

    Obama/Hillary 08!

    July 2, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Noah

    Wow!! Even Dan Quayle knows McCain’s the weaker candidate. So that means that as long as the majority of Americans are as smart as a man who misspelled potato, we’re in!!


    July 2, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  22. jimmy velman

    Unfortunately for Dan Quayle , his reputation adn hence his opinions
    have not been as well known as his famous gaffe. I mean how could a Vice President of the U.S. fail to spell a simple word like potato>

    July 2, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. CW4Barak

    No only does majority of Americans think, no– know, the country is on the wrong track, but they have also lost ALL trust for the Republican party. We trusted them with out securtiy, economy and family values. They have disappointed us on every level. They have now put forward a pre-historic, far from reality and out of touch elitist candidate (John McBush) who has not proposed any changes to the poor policies and practices of the Republicans and Bush from the last 7.5 years, but has rather embraces them all, promising more of the same and proposing some even worst ones himself. It is VERY shameful what the Republicans have done to this great country....SHAMEFUL!

    July 2, 2008 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  24. Independent man

    Listen to Quayle he finally is making a little sense. Just don't get him to spell TOMATO. He's right regarding the Obama movement, but wrong in his support of McCain. He knows in his heart that Obama is better for the country, but his republican heritage prompts him to support McCain. Maybe after careful thought as it pertains to what is better for our nation as apposed to good for his party, will cause him to open his eyes more.

    July 2, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. Michelle

    Has Dan learned how to spell yet?

    July 2, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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