August 31st, 2008
01:13 PM ET
14 years ago

Dodd and Daschle: McCain 'buckled' to extreme right

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senator Chris Dodd, D-Connecticut, and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle became the latest prominent Democrats to slam John McCain's choice of a vice presidential running mate, both saying that the Arizona senator "buckled" to the extreme right.

Speaking to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Sunday, Dodd called the selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin "the choice of Dobson, Robertson, and Limbaugh"-referring to Focus on the Family chairman James Dobson, televangelist Pat Robertson, and conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.

"This is a real sop to the extreme conservative elements of the Republican Party.  John McCain's knees buckled because he was fearful of what the extreme right was going to say about this ticket, that's what this comes down to," the former Democratic presidential candidate said on "Late Edition".

Shortly afterwards on the same program, Daschle voiced similar sentiments.

"The choice is somewhat mystifying to me, Wolf.  It's inexplicable. the only explanation to me is that he buckled, he knuckled under, to the extreme right-wing pressures that he was feeling these last several weeks."

Daschle called Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, the "perfect choice" for a woman vice presidential candidate, and Dodd ran off a list of Republican women whom he feels are more capable.

"I think of Elizabeth Dole, I think of Jodi Rell, the governor of Connecticut, I think of Kay Bailey Hutchison, I think of Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe. I can recite off the top of my head a number of Republican candidates, women, who are far more qualified, with all due respect to Sarah Palin," Dodd said.

On ABC's "This Week", Senator John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, said that McCain wanted to choose former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge or independent Senator Joe Lieberman, but that "Rush Limbaugh and the right-wing vetoed it."

Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. GT in CA

    We all know who is running the republican party.

    August 31, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    What is this country coming to, when a radio talk show host and a television evangelist run a political party? Wake up Republicans, I don't think this is what the Founding Fathers meant?

    August 31, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |



    DO YOU REALLY THINK WERE THAT STUPID.........................




    OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    August 31, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. aware

    Give it up guys! Misogyny will cost you in November!

    The far left-wing democrats trashed Hillary but they don't stand a chance with Governor Palin! She is a gritty reformer who has challenged the old status quo and won! 🙂

    Biden is part of the old status quo!

    Obama is an arrogant Chicago patronage import with no credible accomplishments or experience! He is just a narcissistic far left-wing Sophist! 🙁

    McCain is a "Country First" reformer who has bucked the status quo on both sides of the aisle and won!

    McCain/Palin 08! 🙂

    August 31, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Doug

    And why does Dumb And Dumber's opinion matter? McCain and Palin are running against the Dems party. Of course they will say she is the wrong choice. They don't want to provide any positive influence to McCains campaign.

    August 31, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. Chipster

    Sadly, Palin is the perfect choice because McCain sold out long ago to the knuckle-dragging wing of the Republican Party. The GOP was once a champion of the Constitutional rights of individuals. Now, they want to dictate the most personal and private decisions anyone can make. They have all but dismantled and paralyzed the agencies that protect consumers from corporate abuse and negligence. They talk about accountability and refuse to be held accountable for their rogue actions, while offering immunity to corporations that release dangerous products or violate constitutional rights. Fiscal responsibility? Forget it! Borrow and spend, borrow and spend: that's the direction the GOP has taken, leaving our nation deep in debt to China, Saudi Arabia, and even India. Now, corporate profit is their God and denying reality is their policy.

    Palin fits right in with that crowd.

    August 31, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. Tarrie

    McCain should of gone with a more experienced female VP other than Palin. i agree. the right wing had a say in McCain's decision to pick Palin.

    August 31, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. Anna

    I am sure that a Republican Presidential nominee is going to confide in the Democratic Senator John Kerry of his preferential VP pick.
    Whatever, Kerry...

    August 31, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. PJ, New York Independent

    Blah, blah, blah... two more loser ultra liberal senator's spewing their hate. These attacks only mean that they fear the McCain/Palin ticket. Give Sarah Palin two weeks on the trail, America will fall in love with her. John McCain couldn't have picked a better running mate and the Obama attack dogs know it!

    August 31, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  10. Moses, Ca.

    Palin is not ready to be the VP. Who is she and why is everyone trying to get a headline or scoop. Ther are so many Women on the Rep. side they could have picked. this pick feels like a booby trap.

    August 31, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Jeremy

    The democrats are purely pathetic. This is a woman who runs a state and lives out motherhood and her faith, in every sense of the word. This is something I greatly admire. Extreme right? give me a break. One democrat here who will be voting republican come November!

    August 31, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Enough of the insanity

    Why on earth would the Republicans want to pick from a group of intelligent, moderate GOP women, when they can nominate a flat earther who can dress a moose and play hockey? Another flip flop from Sen McCan't who still doesn't get it. Sad he went from a GOP moderate in 2000, whom I could have voted for, to this poor confused soul.

    August 31, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. voter

    I agree. McCain chose someone who will have no voice. She was chosen base on being an extriemist to the right-wing. As always, when the republicans cannot win base on the issues they go to social issues. Yet their policies are not consistant with the Christian values remember Katrina and the slow response. It is sad. Hopefully it will backfire and people remeber all of the travestys of the republican part. Don't fall for it.

    August 31, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. Annette, Washington, DC

    Whether Dem or Rep, the point Daschle and Dodd made has merit.

    August 31, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  15. Eileen from Maine

    Might as well get used to it to McCain bucking to the extemists in the right wing.
    It isn't any different from George W. Bush getting permission from Karl Rove before he was allowed to make any decision.

    August 31, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Anna

    Well, Gentlemen, we will have to see whose strategy plays out the best in November:

    The candidate who heeded the wishes of perhaps 1/3 of his Party's constituency....

    Or the candidate who blatantly ignored 1/2 of his.

    Time will tell.

    August 31, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  17. lenny

    And this is the guy, in the event he wins will be making the tough decisions. This decision impacts all Americans. Thsi scary, very.

    August 31, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Steve

    As a former Republican I can tell you that a vast majority of Americans are no longer listening to fear tactics and the agenda madated by the extreme right end of the party. The vast majority of Americans want moderation. Right or left, your party had better be a lot closer to center than the Republican Party has been in the last 8 years. Even Limbaugh is better than some of these kneejerk religious zealots. McCain's selection of Palin has absolutely no logic, unless you frame it in the idea that he's kowtowing to the far right. This will lose him the election, and it has lost him my vote.

    Obama 08

    August 31, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. M. Healy

    The arch liberals are squealing so that confirms it is the right pick by McCain - the one the the liberal establishment fears the most. Put country first, vote McCain-Palin.

    August 31, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. Sick & Tired of Nobama

    Yeah, these comments from a couple of guys who are backing the empty suit.
    They would rather have their Messiah who sat in the church for 20 years, a friend of a terroist, friend of Louis Farrakhan, etc, etc, etc, no executive experience etc etc etc.... than Gov Palin who has been a council woman, mayor and governor of the largest state in the union.

    Oh yes, that makes sense. OK>.. stick with your egomanic, maybe throw another concert or two and we will see what happens in November.
    The American people are not as dumb as you think!!

    August 31, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. gorefan

    The reason Gov. Palin's pick will turnout to be a mistake for McCain, is that her beliefs are outside the mainstream of most Americans. She is actually fairly radical in her beliefs. We don't want creationism taught as a science in are schools. She argues that we should let children hear and debate both sides, but if you teach one religion, you have to teach other religions beliefs too. The Quran has a creation theory very similar to the bibles. What about Native American creation beliefs are then anymore fanciful then a six day creation theory. There are reasons Pat Buchanan was never elected.

    August 31, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  22. alvino

    Rush's "Operation Chaos" has created some difficulty for McCain.

    August 31, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  23. bk

    I think McCain made exactly the best choice. She stands up for corruption. Maybe we have someone that can really clean up the corruption in Washinton. Chicago is known for its corrupt politions and I didn't see Obama stand up against them, matter of fact he joined them.

    August 31, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  24. Desmond Sequeira

    Clearly, Mr. McCain needed a woman to try and save him – again.
    He chose an extreme right-wing one, with much less to offer than many other republicans, for very good measure because he needs to impress those folks too. IS HE REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE WELLBEING OF THE USA AND THE WORLD? Not even slightly.
    Does he think Hillary supporters are intelligent? Not at all. Does he think women are stupid? Most definitely! His historic choice is very SAD. Doomed to make him history -soon!

    August 31, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  25. McCain is out of touch with America

    Buckled? McCain dwells in the extreme right. And apparently, any old right winger will do for the job as long as she has her NRA and Anti-Abortion medals. Screw experience!

    August 31, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
1 2 3 4