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. Robert in Seattle

    Just in late july, she had no idea what the VP's job was. Great experience!

    August 31, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. Stephanie

    Her lack of or so called lack of experience doesn't bother me. What bothers me is the fact that McCain only met her once six months ago and then for the second time a couple of weeks ago to discuss giving her the job. He didn't feel that he should KNOW the person a little better?

    The fact that even Limbaugh is showing her no respect by saying "we've got a babe on our ticket" troubles me as well. a "babe"?? This is how he would talk about our possible Vice President??

    That leads me to believe that she is only there as a tool to get McCain elected. What happened to "country over politics"?

    August 31, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. johnt

    the democrats problem is not the inexperience of Sarah palin it's that she is charismatic has the power to unite the party and may become a media magnet witch will take away the spotlight from Obama.

    August 31, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. Professor

    Pleasing the Bible-believing Christians in this country is a good thing!

    Now, if only the dim-witted Democrats would follow suit!

    August 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. Helen, NY

    Who cares what Daschle and Dodd say. They are liberals. They want John McCain to be liberal? Sorry.

    August 31, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. GG

    This is not about Sarah Palin. It's about McCain's character. The fact that Palin was never VETTED (admitted by Mccain camp), is undeniably reckless and clearly shows that he cares more about his own ambitions over our well being. After all the vetting problems we've seen this election'd think he'd show better judgment on his first critical commanded decision.

    August 31, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  7. Vic

    How about a more formidable republican woman candidate like Elizabeth Dole? I'm a republican, but this time I'm voting democrat.

    Obama/Biden 08

    August 31, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. William, from Cali!

    What wrong with "bucking the status quo", and going in a new direction of doing things"...........a "change, from the old way;" might actually be "good for a change".........................

    August 31, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. McCain/Palin

    Why are we not hearing the same arguments about Obamas inexperience from democrats???? He is running for President. Is it because he is a man????

    August 31, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. tuff Col. Oh

    it seems mccain's pick was a farce, if he thinks women voters will flock to him he's mistaking, at least not this one, they don't look like they have any chemistry together, she looks like she's his secretary, why does she use hillary's name, after she called her a whiner, she don't look like she can lead this country anymore than john mccain does, if they get elected heaven help us, we will be put into a dipper whole that we will never get out of in my lifetime

    August 31, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. E

    Those of you who think her views aren't extreme are fooling yourselves. If she had her way there would be no birth control, no choice, and schools would teach directly from the bible, ignoring all science. Aren't Christian> too bad, your kids will be taught Christianity in school whether you like it or not. You daughter gets raped? too bad, she better HAVE that baby and LIKE it! But there will be no help in raising it. Want to go to the beach? enjoy the giant oil platforms scattered throughout your view. Dream of cruises to Alaska? don't bother, the polar bears will be extinct and everything will be turned into a giant oil refinery. And good luck protesting any changes, any hint that you want to an warrantless armed guards will raid your home and throw you on the ground.

    Enjoy your right wing world!

    August 31, 2008 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. Babs

    The next time the old guard Dems label Sarah Palin as a extreme right wing Republican, why don't one of you reporters ask what they have to support that allegation. Sarah Palin's views might surprise them. I read her views on abortion, for instance, and while she is pro-life, she says she has respect for both pre-life and por-choice views, and doesn't consider it much of an issue because American women would never again let abortion be criminalized. A reporter asked her what if, hypothetically, Roe v Wade were overturned and the decision returned to the states, and she said that as Governor, that decision was not hers, she would let the people of Alaska determine the law as a reflection of their value system.
    Imagine that, a politician with respect for points of view other than her own, and one who thinks that decisions should reflect the will of the people. How's that working for you, Nancy Pelosi? Howard Dean? Harry Reid?
    Great choice, John McCain, great choice.

    August 31, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  13. Just Wondering

    The hypocrisy of some of the Democratic leadership is mind-boggling!

    August 31, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Amy

    Yo Mike in Milwaukee, read her views more carefully. The organization she belongs to called Feminists for life is in favor of using birth control so we don't have to rely on abotion. It also supports health issues and certainly does not believe the rare aborted baby that survives the process should be killed (like someone else I know.) When you think about it, with all the methods of birth control available, it kinda makes more sense than killing babies, doesn't it?

    August 31, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. maytheforcebewithyou

    Hey, sick and tired! The american people are as stupid as we think. Why else would they elect a loser like Bush, TWICE. How pathetic. It's Obama/Biden in a landslide, and all the right wingers can choke on it. By the way, 60% of the american people are pro choice. Care to put it to a vote? Let's leave the right wing, biased Supreme Court out of this one. And while I'm on the subject, can you loan me thousands of dollars to pay my share of the national debt that Boy George ran up the last 8 miserable years?

    August 31, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. Buzz

    You know McCain made the RIGHT VP pick when you hear all the whining of liberal has beens. This pick isn't about getting the Hillary voters – it's about energizing the conservative base of the Republican party. The base loves this pick and that was enough for the Republicans to garner 4.5 million more votes than the Demoncrats in the 2004 election.

    August 31, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  17. diane

    For all of your Republicans , Kerry and Dodd have been in the US Senate a long time. They have friends on both sides of the aisles. Do you actually think that every Republican is head over heels in love with Palin? Of course not and I am sure many of them have made their concerns known in private to them, espcially the more moderate Republicans. But of course, they can't get on Meet The Press or Face the Nation and say that or they would be branded a traitor and would jeopardize their future in the GOP.

    I am sure that Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty (though he is putting on a good show on tv )and Mike Huckabee are gearing up for 2012. They are probably elated at this choice! It has been widely reported that Romeny really didn't want to be VP anyway and will use the PAC he started to help McCain raise money to help him prepare for another go at the Presidency.

    Liberman would have been the choice of a maverick with the guts to take on his own party. Picking Palin was a pansy move.

    August 31, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. Obama/Biden

    McCain like Bush will bring more threat to our country. Obama/Biden ticket is very strong on national security and Biden as well as Obama is well respected around the world. Obama has better judgment on every single issues that we need on a president than mccain. That is why we must vote Democratic this November to prevent a second 9/11 and have someone who is ready for what ever decission to defend our national security in case of any plot. McCain/Palin ticket I doubt it no foreign policies no experience we cannot risk our country with that ticket.
    Do not listen to the republican scare tactics and believe anything they have to say. The republican is the party we as voters should stay away from this November. They have done enough to our country and the economy and we cannot afford four more years of economic disasters and begging China to lend us money.
    Why are they skipping the convention? is it to show that McCain is not tight to Bush/Chenney? But, Jonh McCain voting record cannot lie that he not only tight to Bush/Chenney, but, will be a continuation of Bush Chenney government.

    August 31, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. fred

    Oh haha, and Obama really picked a guy towards the center of the spectrum didn't he? NOT. Obama and Biden are liberal, McCain is a moderate conservative, and Palin is conservative. McCain is the only one anywhere near the center. And he's the one running for president, not Palin.

    August 31, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. fred

    oh, and if McCain would have listened to Limbaugh, Hannity, and Rove, he would have picked Romney. But instead, he picked someone who us average americans like.

    August 31, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |

    To all the Republicans who say the Democrats are running scared, your quite wrong, we are ecstactic over McCrypt's choice. It is such and obvious play for the far Right that even the "low information" voter will see through it.

    P.S. Should McCrypt have picked either Romney or Hutinson, you may have had a whisper of a chance. So no, we are very happy with the choice of Palin.

    August 31, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  22. Walter

    And he will buckle again if he is elected. And the reason is that the Republicans are united by one thing, Greed.

    Over the last sixty years, economic growth has been slower and income inequality higher under Republican administrations. This isn't an opinion, it's a demonstrable fact.

    The reason is the Republican's policy of enriching the already rich. It never does and never will "trickle down" to the rest of us.

    The really shameful thing is that the rich do almost as well under Democratic administrations as Republican ones because of the higher growth that Democratic policies promote.

    Morale of the story? A rising tide does lift all boats, and all Republicans can do is sink the vast majority of us so that their contributors can get marginally richer than they would anyway.

    August 31, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  23. Robert

    At least one of the two Republicans is moderate (McCain). We all know neither of the Dems has even considered thinking on their own.

    August 31, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  24. Kathy, a Clinton Supporter

    I must say that I was undecided and had considered voting for Mr. McCain, but I find his choice of Mrs Pailn for VP to be a gimmick, and a downright insulting one ! She is the opposite of Hillary Clinton, and is so lacking in experience. Anti-choice, gun happy, and wants to preach creationism in our public schools.

    Not on my watch !

    Obama/Biden '08 !!!

    August 31, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Louise

    Sarah Palin is mine, and many of my friends', new hero. I wonder if you'd be dissing her if she was put on the Obama ticket. she is a refreshing break from the normal washington politicians and is an inspiration to the younger generation and especially working mums. She is a known reformer with a huge approval rating becausee she actually does what she says she will do. I mean how many politicians have this label ?

    Mccain made a genius decision with adding Sarah as his VP. We all love her and i bet she will keep getting votes brought over to the GOP ticket.

    August 31, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
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