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. Richard

    McCain did buckle under to the extreme right wing lunatic fringe. So much for being a "maverick" and putting "country first."

    August 31, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  2. Artist3d

    I cannot see animal activists, unhappy former Hillary supporters, pro-choice people or anyone interested in preserving the Alaskan Wild Life Preserve voting for McCain now. I think it is pretty obvious McCain was so impressed with the warmth and fresh ideas coming from the Democrats this year that he decided to throw the election for the Republicans he was often in conflict with over the years.

    It is either a gift, or as his first major decision, a reckless sign of old age or cynical attitude towards women in general. Anyone who googles that horrible joke McCain made about Chelsea Clinton, has to know this man is bad news for women!

    August 31, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  3. Lune

    You are right gorefan and this why McSame will never be the President of the US even if as Ron Paul is keep coming back, coming back, coming back every 4 years until he has no more years left.

    August 31, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Ken

    Read her comments before you comment. She does not want creationism taught as a science. What's wrong with hearing several sides to an issue? Isn't that critical thinking? Let's not get too jazzed up about her radical views. She can't be too much of a Tammy Wynette or she would never be where she is today. And thanks for speaking for the mainstream of America. Are they the ones who defeated the dems in the last pres. election?

    August 31, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Patrick Peavy

    M. Healy you are exactly right! The democrats are scared out of their minds. Their desparate and vicious attacks against her display a lack of confidence in their own party.

    August 31, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    This choice of Palin for a running mate is a calculated move to change the moral focus from torture to abortion. The Karl Roves of the Republican party are trying to co-opt moral people by telling them again that the only moral choice America faces is the abortion debate, while they were the ones changing the laws to allow people to be tortured and their beliefs to be ridiculed during the torture process. There are more moral choices in the world then those surrounding unborn children. Our behaviour toward adults counts too. Torture is wrong, starting wars for no good reason, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths of people who did us no harm, is wrong. The republicans made those decisions, and they should be held accountable for them. Talking about abortion, a decision made by individual women during a crisis in their lives, is a way of diverting the moral focus away from their transgressions of the universal moral code.

    August 31, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. McCain/Palin

    No!!!!! McCain respects and considers the voters in his party, unlike the democratic party who ignored the opinions of18,000,000 voters for Hillary Clinton. Moderator for CNN, why won"t you post my opinion, does the truth hurt????

    August 31, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Former Clinton Supporters now for Obama

    McCain has insulted us by thinking just because he chose a woman that we would be swayed to vote for him. He is still at the head of the ticket and we will not vote for him.

    August 31, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  9. Marie in California

    As a lifelong Democrat, I was never fond of the extreme far right. However, after watching the DNC debacle all year and their arbitrary coronation of Obama as their candidate, I have learned to dislike the extreme far left even more. I've decided I can live with the far right more easily than I can with them.

    Bottom line.....I have no use for Obama, Kennedy, Pelosi, Carter, Reid, Feinstein, Dean, and others like them. They are so very far left they blur the line between democracy and socialism.

    Now I'm a brand-new Republican.....and enthusiastically for.....

    McCain-Palin – 2008

    August 31, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. No Hillary = No Obama

    Yeah, and Obama dissed Clinton because he doesn't want her around and because he wants to win just as badly if NOT MORE SO than McCain. McCain figured it out – he knew what strategy to employ if he had a chance against a rock star. He didn't have to turn his back on someone 18 million voters wanted. As far as I'm concerned Obama is a traitor.

    August 31, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. Linda In Indiana

    The Bush administration has left most Americans feeling that we don't matter. John McCain has taken that same route by choosing Sarah Palin. If elected, Mr. McCain would not care if upon his death we would left with one who has no proven record. Again, the average citizens of this great country really are of little value.

    August 31, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. LG in Atl

    McCain did not buckle or he would have picked Romnet or Pawlenty. Instead he went out on his own and picked Palin which every Republican I have spoken to is surprised and thrilled with this pick....he hit the ball out of the park!!!!!

    We don't want Obama in the highest office in the world. He's an egomaniac with absolutely NO qualifications to run the country. Picking Biden is not REAL CHANGE. Besides, the way Obama treated H Clinton is just a taste of how he'll treat the rest of us....NO THANKS

    August 31, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Ron. Toronto. Canada.

    Palin over Romney. What an insult. I truly think this man has lost it.

    August 31, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. larry

    the republicans are gonna learn in 4 months that picking john mc.cain to lead their party was a serious mistake.his running mate is off to a good start ,she's already being investigated for abuse of power.[this happened before she was chosen]......SHE'S A TRUE REPUBLICAN FOR SURE..

    August 31, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |

    I just saw on MSNBC where a commentator asked a Republican spokeswoman at the RNC about with the planned reduction in the RNC how were the Republicans going to introduce Palin to the American people. Her response was blah, blah, blah "she has been very well received by the base" blah, blah, blah, "we know she will not be ready to step in within the next month, 6 months or a year". SAY WHAT!!! One person admits she is not prepared to be President, but she was still chosen to run on a ticket with a 72 year old man with health issues???? Does the Republican rabid Right have no shame???

    So, this woman was selected because:

    1) She possesses good conservative values which energizes the rabid Right.

    2) To appeal to suburban mothers.

    I am still trying to get my head around this statement. The Republican party will select a nominee, any nominee, that they know is not qualified to run the country but to energize the base!!!

    So, to recap:

    1) Energizing the Republican party base is priority one

    2) The health and safety of 300 million U.S. citizens is priority 2???

    How exactly does that play into McCrypt and Crew's "Country First" slogan?? Help me, anybody to answer that question.

    This line of logic would be laughable were it not so very, very chilling.

    My question to all you targeted suburban mothers, are you willing to risk the chance of putting the security and safety of your own kids in the hands of an individual, any individual whose day job is on the job training to be the President of the largest country in the Free World?

    Since I have no children it is of no concern to me, but please, think about the possible consequences very, very, very seriously before pulling that lever on November 4th.

    August 31, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  16. G

    John McCain cheated on his first wife with Cindy. His first wife was injured in a car accident and face was deformed, so he chose Cindy. Great values he has! Palin wants to go back to the days of illegal bathtub abortions. If McCain / Palin get elected I am leaving this country cause the US is going down if they get elected.

    August 31, 2008 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  17. Tim, West Chester, OH

    The Democrats are flustered and don't know how to react. Sarah Palin is a GREAT choice. We love Sarah!

    August 31, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. bk

    Dodd is getting scared she may just look into his 'sweet heart' deals with Countrywide. While the rest of the American people were getting the shaft on their morgages. Ha Ha!

    August 31, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. Mike in Milwaukee

    McCain DID dart to the extreme right! This is a woman who is opposed to BIRTH CONTROL and CONDOMS even with MARRIED COUPLES! How extreme is that? This is why she and her husband had a baby at 44 years old, knowing the risks, and the baby has downs syndrome, all b/c she thinks Birth Control is not "of God" or "what nature intended".....McCain will lose this election. Sarah Palin is the gift that keeps on giving for the Democrats.

    August 31, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Mr Republican

    Extreme right? You mean anti abortion crowd? What about foreign policy? Smaller government? Spying? Torture? Nothing has changed

    August 31, 2008 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. penny

    McCain's choice of a woman as a VP Candidate was good idea – until we knew it was Sarah "who?" Palin. Like Chris Dodd stated, there were many other much more qualified Republican women that could have been named as the VP pick. However, I agree with gorefan and Lune – he wasn't just after the women's vote or even the disaffected Hillary women's vote, he was after the Dobson/Robertson/Buchanan/Limbaugh women's vote. He knuckled under as he started hearing "demands" that his pick be "anti-choice," "pro-gun," "pro-creationism," and "pro-right wing." That's not a maverick. That's someone who is trying to appease yet demand change in a direction that most Americans do not agree with. And, given that he caved into pressure like that – and named someone who is not qualified to be "on-call" should the unthinkable strike – that makes me afraid for not just my children but for the entire country. The US deserves better – regardless of party.

    August 31, 2008 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  22. jmo

    If Rush Limbaugh is excited about this choice, that's all I need to know.

    August 31, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. Nelson

    Only dangerous extremist morons as Limbaugh, Dobson and Pat Robertosn, can believe that Sarah Palin is qualified for Vicepresident. Just watch her "impressive" resume: Governor of a State with 20 skimos, 7 polar bears and 5 seals. McCain showed his real agenda : He is following exactly the same steps of George W. Bush, when the extremist religious fundamentalists seized the Republican program 8 years ago. If we elect McCain as President, we are buying for free a nuke confrontation con Iran, North Korea and Russia. For religious evangellical fundamentalists, these awful possibility, sound to heaven music. According their sick mind, It means the "Bible predictions" can be fullfilled...... if McCain helps. Awful, right?

    August 31, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  24. RepubRob

    When "Operation Chaos" was in full swing, the Dems complained loudly that conservatives were meddling in their primaries, irrespective of an individual's right to vote however he/she sees fit. Dodd and Daschle have every right to voice their opinions as to who they think McCain should have picked, but who's listening? And why do these guys think anyone would, anyway? Daschle got swamped in 2004, and Dodd barely got out of the gate in the primaries before it was over for him. The fact is Sarah Palin has more executive experience than Obama, solidifies the conservative base, and has a compelling personal story to tell. Hey Dems, listen up: She's No. 2 on the ticket! And good thing for you that people don't vote for the No. 2 spot.

    August 31, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Megan

    By the way Eric
    Your girl supports drilling in her own state. Yes. Let us continue to destroy the natural beauty of Alaska.

    August 31, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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