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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/02/art.quayle.gi.jpg caption="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. Peter E

    Big suprise...
    Obama's entire primary campaign was a thinly disguised negative personal attack against Clinton. Without having Hillary to attack Obama would never have made it past even Iowa. All of Obama supporters' attacks are VERBATIM republican talking points from the 90s. So of course republicans like when their attacks finally succeed.

    July 2, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. Bob Stephens

    Who is Dan Quayle?

    July 2, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. RJ, CA

    Well, "promoting his participation in a golf tournament later this month" . . . certainly gives him a convincing platform! He sounds as inept as ever.

    July 2, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. christina

    This is probably the smartest thing to EVER come out of Dan Quayle's mouth!

    OBAMA '08!!!

    July 2, 2008 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Augustine

    NO AMOUNT OF VISION OR STRATEGY 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!

    If I might add, Dan Quayle's presidential prediction of Romney vs Hillary, is going to be the vice presidential head-to-head. McCain will pick Romney as veep, Obama will pick Hillary – wanna bet?

    July 2, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Peter E

    Dan Quayle for Obama? The dumbest VP in America in the entire 20th century? Yes, that'll be a worthy endorsement...

    July 2, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Veterans for Obama

    From where did they dredge this electoral mistake?

    July 2, 2008 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. Peter E

    Why Dan Quayle is best qualified to be anybody's VP choice:
    He makes everyone else look smart! He even made Bush Sr. look smart, and that's saying a lot!

    July 2, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. Walt, Belton,TX

    .............................and still playing the doofus!

    July 2, 2008 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. Right On!

    I think that is exactly what drew people to Obama. WE didn't want to feel like America was a place were the rich aristocrats ruled our country. We still want the rags to riches story. We want a somewhat common man to lead us, because that's who Americans trust. We trust someone whose had experiences like us in regards to a mother dying because she doesn't have the insurance, or paying student loans.

    July 2, 2008 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  11. Reality Check

    John Mccain is to OLD. He will not be a good president.

    July 2, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. jane in CA

    He finally gets smarter and said something right.

    July 2, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  13. Independent-Minded American

    Well-said Mr. Vice President!

    You know, you're welcome to join the Obama Movement like I have, because our country's future depends on it!

    We cannot afford to watch China become the next superpower while we waste $Trillions on senseless wars in the middle east ( think Iran).

    Independents Unite for Obama!

    July 2, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  14. Michelle

    McCain does not have a chance this November. He is right about Hillary in the sense that she underestimated Obama and she felt a sense of entitlement. The Clintons hate to lose and judging by her comments and behavior throughout the primaries, she was a sore loser, point blank. She knew mathematically that she couldn't win so instead of her dropping out the race, she SELFISHLY stayed to prove a point.

    July 2, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. Shane LAS VEGAS,NV


    July 2, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Linda from Prescott AZ

    My goodness, former VP thoughts are interesting. Maybe he'll cross the party line and vote for change himself.

    July 2, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  17. Kevin Leo (Jonesboro, GA)

    This guy is still around?!?!?!?!

    July 2, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  18. not important

    Learn how to spell the word potato.

    July 2, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. PT in Houston

    All this insight from a man that can't spell Potato (e). LOL

    What a j oke!

    July 2, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. Truth Squad..?

    Speaking of republican LOSERS

    July 2, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Anonymous

    Because Mitt Romney only served one term as governor, does that give him enough experience to be vice president and a possible president? Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton both have just as much experience as Romney.

    July 2, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  22. Debbie,Ewing,Nj

    Hey Dan, where have you been? Thanks for the vote of confidence.

    July 2, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  23. Justin -NC

    It's about time someone called out Hillary for what she did wrong and acknowledged that Obama had the best campaign. I can't believe Quayle wants McCain to win after his boss' son just ruined the country and vows to continue his failed policy. McCain doesn't even try to seem like he's going to do anything differently. He might as well call his campaign slogan, "STAY THE COURSE" and if he somehow wins (which he won't) he might as well wave a "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" banner over his celebration party and then we'll know exactly what we've voted for!

    July 2, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  24. rachel

    Oh hush up Dan and reapt after me I am not smarter than a 5th grader.

    July 2, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  25. Lisa-Fl.

    Who cares what you think? Americans found countless amusement from all of your stupid antics during your vice presidency.

    July 2, 2008 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
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