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. Woman for Obama 08!!!

    Obama has done more than "beat the Clintons". Respect him for more than just that which is trivial.

    July 2, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. coyote

    He can't get over being a five star looser

    July 2, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. Kiah

    Thanks Quayle! We really care what you think sir.

    Obama '08!

    July 2, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. Sen.John McCain't!

    uh oh.. he making the big mistake of telling the truth about Clinton's entitlement theory... someone will make him into a racist like they did the pastor...in 3, 2, 1........

    July 2, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. DANIELLE

    So that is GREAT that you think your advice Dan is helpful to the ostupid camp!
    Keep up the good work and come out more often.....LOL

    McCain 08 or Lou Dobbs

    July 2, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. STILL FOR HILL

    Another idiot endorsing Obama?

    I guess I can name one accomplishment of Obama: He used his surrogates on CNN (Roland and Donna) to convince the Dems there would be race riots in Denver if Hillary were chosen as the nominee.

    A new kind of politics? I think not. Scare tactics are more of a Republican thing.

    Still voting McCain! Would rather vote Hillary!

    July 2, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. Chut Pata

    So Quayle is implying, "If you can beat Clintons, you can just walk over McCain". WOW. So time has made Quayle a very experienced man, if not smarter.

    July 2, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. DJ Los Angeles

    Just don't ask him to spell potato(e)

    July 2, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. vlk

    Dan, go back and continue studying the dictionary. Can you spell potato yet?

    July 2, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Michael

    Wow, you people are petty and vicious. The former Vice President was interviewed and was accommodating. He didn't say anything negative about Senator Clinton or Senator Obama or the democratic party. And if must resort to questioning his intelligence (insecure democrats always do this; it is very important for them to be considered smart–because, of course, only they care), why don't you take a look at Quayle debate with his rotundity, Al Gore. Quayle killed him.

    July 2, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Blueray98

    'He beat the Clintons'? Let us wait until the convention before we can say that for certain. What is with all of these people who can't wait to push the Clintons out of the picture?

    July 2, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Swampy

    You guys are writing about Dan "It was over before it began" Quayle now??

    Remember his statement to the United Negro College Fund?

    "It's a terrible thing to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind. How true that is."

    July 2, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. Tanya

    Oh, how I miss this guy!
    If only McCain selected him for VP I might consider voting for them, just for the entertainment value.

    July 2, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  14. Tom

    Great......a compliment from one empty suit to another.

    July 2, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. lol @ quale

    Let's spell it together.....

    P-O-T-A-T-O..................(E)

    July 2, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Elder statesman

    An uphill battle should not concern John McCain. Team Obama considers him to be over the hill anyway.

    July 2, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. Tom

    And Dan???? He didn't beat the Clintons, the DNC did in another "historic" moment that their party will never live down.

    July 2, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Bryant, CT

    And you're relevant, how?

    July 2, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Potatoe

    Quayle=irrelevant. I like Obama but keep in mind, folks, Quayle is a guy who once said that he would be the next president of the United States "if God had anything to do with it."

    July 2, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. bernj

    At least he is smarter than George W.....I think.

    July 2, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. wat

    rachel that better be an intentional typo

    July 2, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  22. Obama08!

    Rachel, Oh hush up and repeat after me. I am not smarter than a 5th grader because I can't spell repeat.

    July 2, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  23. James, SC

    I think that VP Quayle should apologize for saying that Sen. Clinton was ENTITLED since everybody else was angry because the priest said the same thing.

    Oh wait a minute – no one who as ever known Barack Obama can say that, only republicans.

    July 2, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. Timothy

    I respect Dan Quayle comments; I don't think he was the best VP but he has throughtout his years has kept an open mind in regards to the political arena. Best wishes too the Quayle's family

    July 2, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. TC

    I find it highly amusing coyote is unable to spell "loser" correctly in response to an article about Dan Quayle.

    July 2, 2008 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
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