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. Clinton, no, wait, McCain Supporter

    Well, golly Barry! You've got DAN QUAYLE on your side! I bet McCain is really WORRIED about that.

    I would say that a ringing endorsement by Dan Quayle is just the ticket! One know-nothing endorsing another know-nothing. As they say, Barry, "it takes one to know one."

    July 2, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. Roofin Reality, Houston, Tx.

    Former VP Quayle, nice to hear from you.

    Good analysis on your part and here's hoping that you're right – Senator Obama wins in November.

    Funny how Senator McCain kind of scoffed at your being on the ticket. Interesting that you did win the first time around, so I'm not sure what his complaint was.

    I think President Bill Clinton just had a smooth way of connecting with voters, like "I feel your pain" in that southern drawl that made people think he did. I even know one Republican woman who told me point blank that if he would hook up with her, she'd vote for him. And let me tell you, she was a very nice looking woman who didn't need to go around groveling over middle-aged men. Yet, he somehow connected with her.

    In that same way, as you point out, Senator Obama has helped unleash a movement of change that this country wants and needs. For that reason, he's in great contention and position to win this coming presidential election.

    July 2, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  3. James Nelson

    And how do you spell potato?

    July 2, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  4. Kelley

    Yeah Dan, but do you love him? I mean really, really love him and support him? Think his policies and views are great?

    If you don't, you are branded as a racist when in actuality, you are a realist!

    July 2, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Daniel Mayinja


    July 2, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Blogmaster 3000

    Yes, your opion means less than nothing.......you are an insane idiot.....if thats even possible

    July 2, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    And he can spell Potato, too!

    July 2, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. NoMcSame

    Lets see pot????

    July 2, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  9. Florida Voter


    July 2, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  10. MARYANN Oswego IL

    Obama beat the Clinton's PLAYING DIRTY CHICAGO STYLE POLITICS...that is the kind of CHANGE OBAMa supporters voted for....GOOD-LUCK AMERICA OBAMA is souned more and more like George W Bush he also ran on Change in America and FAITH BASED POLITICS...

    July 2, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. Susan

    Lay off Hillary Clinton. She is intelligent & experienced.


    Quayle........keep your rude remarks to yourself!

    July 2, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  12. Robert in Albuquerque

    Dan who??????????????????????????????????

    July 2, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. CW4Barak

    Barack is more than just a "movement"....he is going to be the president of America....all of American, not just the democrats who like him some independents and a few republicans....but all of America. I think John McBush is overestimating his impact, over playing the so called "I got shot down and surrendered in Vietnam for 5 yrs....so I am more patriotic and would make a better president" hand, and constantly, stupidly calling Obama naive and inexperienced....Clinton tried the same play book and it really didn't help did it!

    July 2, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Realistic

    Not that anybody should care what the dumbest vice-president in our nation's history says, but one could take the position that it was not so much as Barack winning as it was Hillary losing.

    Hillary started off with a very large segment of the American populace that simply despised her and wasn't going to vote for her in any case. She then made many missteps, such as hiring Mark Penn and listening to his bad counsel, taking a "big donor" approach to fundraising that eventually left her $30 million in campaign debt and unable to effectively compete, and then a series of minor missteps such as the Tuzla fiasco that cemented her lack of credibility with those who were concerned with that issue in the first place. All this convinced the DNC leadership of what was fairly obvious - Hillary was for a variety of reasons simply unelectable.

    July 2, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  15. jimmy velman

    Dan Quayle is the reason why the elder Bush lost his re-election.
    And now the loser is happy (what else but NEGATIVE remarks from a loser) because Obama beat the Clintons !

    July 2, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  16. Lynn

    Who cares what he thinks. He was the beneficiary of many jokes. Wasn't he the one that could not spell potato at a school or something like that. The VP could not spell POTATO – thats all I remember about him.

    July 2, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  17. Marc

    Idiot. I remember being in 9th grade and my history teacher (a Republican) saying we were all smarter than Dan Quayle. He also said that this was no great compliment to us.

    July 2, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  18. David/Florida

    Hey, DAN. You should not even be allowed to make any comments

    You were a looser than and you are one now. Just SHUT UP!!

    July 2, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  19. Mark

    Obama's doomed. Dan Quayle just predicted his victory! No!!

    July 2, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  20. Former Bitter HRC Supporter Coming Around

    And your opinion is important because....?

    July 2, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  21. Jack

    NO – Dan – you are WRONG – as usual. Hillary Clinton WON – all the popular votes – obama STOLD the nomination – with the help of the DNC and party leaders – most of the ones from this group:

    Quayle, Dodd, Kerry, Kennedy, Edwards, Richards, Gore –
    didn't they ALL LOSE?????? Great endorsements for BO.

    July 2, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  22. ree not for obama

    Grow up!!! You lost to the Clintons get over it already.

    She would have made a better president then whats running today. You all were afraid of a women being presdent.

    July 2, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. Danel

    Thank you Mr. Quayle for you honest comments.

    July 2, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. Ms. Sims

    I think they should put Quayle and Bush in a spelling bee...talk about reality tv!

    July 2, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Charles

    Give a little respect, people, for a former vice president and U.S. Senator. Yeh, maybe he wasn't the most capable government official, and certainly he was a special interest candidate. But his comments seem sincere and modest, and not too partisan. I am sure Mr. Quayle's public comments have some substance and importance, even if most people dismiss them.

    It would be good to remember that the same hatred of the right is equivocated by hatred of the left, and in this regard, no one is coming to this table with clean hands. Let the man speak.

    July 2, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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