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. Elena

    I'm sorry – since when do we care what this man says? Think "Murphy Brown"..... I sure never read politics before coffee..makes this all the more stupid.

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

    I hope McCain picks Quayle.

    July 2, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. ka

    This advice from a man who can't spell POTATOE!!!!!

    July 2, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Jan

    Last I heard, Obama did not beat the Clintons, he joined them!

    July 2, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Moss

    This further proves that Dan Quayle is an IDIOT!

    July 2, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. sherry for Obama

    Quayle you say that Hillary thinks she was entitled to the nomination because of who she is................

    Well helllllllllloooooooo McLame thinks hes entitled to be President because he was shot down from his fighter jet and was a prisoner of war.

    Get a grip Obama won the nomination because hes a candidate that truly cares about the ordinary people and not big business as the republicans do.

    Go Obama

    July 2, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Drew

    Though not disagreeing... If you are going to insult Quayle, please spell correctly.

    July 2, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. Swanaay!

    Speak for yourself Danny. I saw the Obama movement coming a long time ago and got on that train before it left the station.

    July 2, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  9. Dan Williams

    Dan Quayle is a perfect example of an air-head candidate picked solely on the basis of looks.

    July 2, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  10. John, VA

    Smart comments from Mr. Quayle!

    July 2, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  11. Michelle

    All from a man who cannot spell POTATO! Obama did not beat the Clintons. It was the liberal press and turncoat superdelagates. Mrs. Clinton had the much better ideas and plans, which Obama well knows since he stole many of them. You can keep Obama and his racist wife and minister, I'm voting for John McCain now.

    July 2, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  12. John McCain-McFlip-Flop-McBush is no "maverick"

    The second coming of Mr. Potato(e) Head with one of his astute opinions.

    July 2, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. Blair

    Rachel, looks like you could learn a few lessons from a 5th grader, like how to spell the word 'repeat.' Be careful when you insult others' intelligence–you may end up looking stupid yourself.

    July 2, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  14. Mike from Tampa

    Let me see... If he's not smarter than a 5th grader, doesn't that make him about 10 times smarter than W?

    July 2, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. Gini

    People really need to get off the whole "entitlement" crap about Hillary Clinton. Women in this country have never been given a reason to feel entitled to anything, most of all the highest office in the country. Give me a break!

    July 2, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. chicago

    OBAMA'08 This is the year that will change the United States and the way we run this country.

    July 2, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  17. Steve T

    I find it humorous people become commentators on the quality of people based on whether they spell potatoe correcly or not. I'd like any of the sarcastic commentators to post their resumes versus Dan 's. We allow our media to shape our opinion of people on little teeny sound bites that have little reflection in reality. At this point in his career Obama's resume probably does not equal Dan Qualye's at the time he was a Vice presidential cabdiadate.

    July 2, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  18. Maria

    Dan you're were irrelevant when Daddy Bush was President and you're irrelevant now. Crawl back in to the rock you were under.

    July 2, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. Never Again CNN

    If Obama loses this election we know that reason will be because of race, yet no one wants to talk about it. It is the major deciding factor in this election. If there weren't so many racist americans out there, Obama would win this election hands down...when you look at the polls the number of Americans that actually admit to be not willing to vote for Obama is astounding. It might not be a majority, but take them away and he wins hands down. And we also all know that the moajority of folks who would not vote for Obama because he his black would not admit that, so the numbers are actually worse that it seems. Hopefully someday racist america will learn to be more tolerant and be willing to accept a black man as president. Unfortunately we might have a long time to wait to see such a day.

    July 2, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  20. D Q

    I thought he had died awhile back. How delightful to know that we can be entertained once more.

    July 2, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. TJ

    He is still a lightweight; still not the brightest lightbulb glowing.

    July 2, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  22. JR

    Say what you will about Quayle, but I'd rather have him be the VP than the puppeteer Cheney.

    July 2, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Moonstroller

    There we go again Dan,

    Obama Didn't beat anybody.

    It was the voters deciding they wanted change that beat the Clinton's and will beat McCain in the coming election.

    Let's give credit where credit is due. We decide, you jump. It will get worse in the future because of so many internet, educated voters. All the people needed was a communications medium to connect them together.

    We want change. Woe to the politician who doesn't get this message.

    July 2, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  24. California Delegate

    Wow, this guy still around? Has he learn how to spell yet?

    July 2, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Sean

    Dan's right about McCain this November. And, despite Obama's own uphill battles/obstacles, polls seem to indicate that he's "the man" this country's going to elect for our next President. As Wesley recently intimated, John commands a lot of respect for what he did and went through in Vietnam as a fighter pilot. But, that skill set does not best prepare him for the job of President of the United States of America. Clearly ... he lacks a command of many important issues, such as some details pertaining to the Iraq War, and more recently to the difference between Somalia and the Sudan. Come on, folks. You want to criticize Dan, and then elect his grandpa for the job?

    July 2, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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