September 2nd, 2008
03:40 PM ET
15 years ago

McCain defends vetting of Palin

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain is defending his choice of Palin."](CNN) - Presumptive Republican nominee John McCain defended his campaign's vetting of newly named VP candidate Sarah Palin Tuesday, amid a stream of revelations about the Alaska governor that could potentially harm the GOP presidential ticket.

"My vetting process was completely thorough and I'm grateful for the results," McCain told reporters in Philadelphia.

The comments come a day after Palin announced her 17-year-old daughter was pregnant and news surfaced the Alaska governor had hired a lawyer weeks ago to act on her behalf as state legislators investigate whether she may have abused her power in the firing of the state’s police chief for refusing to fire her ex-brother-in-law, a state trooper.

Watch: McCain defends vetting process

Speaking on Fox News earlier Tuesday, former top Bush aide Karl Rove echoed McCain's comments that Palin was fully vetted.

"They knew all of it," Rove said of the recent revelations on Palin.

McCain has previously faced fire from Democrats over the fact the Arizona senator only met with Palin once in person before offering her the No. 2 slot on his ticket.

Related: Top Republicans defend Palin and vetting process

UPDATE: Speaking with reporters in Ohio Tuesday, McCain reiterated his support for Palin.

"I just want to repeat again how excited I am to have Sarah Palin, the great Governor of Alaska, as my running mate," he said. "America's excited and they're going to be even more excited once they see her tomorrow night. I'm very, very proud of the impression she's made on all of America and looking forward to serving with her."

Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts
soundoff (343 Responses)
  1. kay

    America should call out McCain for his deception, selfishness, dangerous ambition and reckless behaviour.

    So, McCain knew about this little girls situation and decided that only her Mom out of Million of republicans is best suited to be Vice President of United States of America or even President should something happen to him.

    This is serious. So, if Britol was McCain daughter He will be willing drag her name through the mud of politics just to get elected. How shameful

    September 2, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  2. Michael in Houston

    Mr. McCain, do you think we as Americans are complete idiots? Mr. McCain please don not insult my intelligence. You cannot justify this blunder, you can't hide behind your so called Maverick personality regarding this one. You and your moronic advisors were trying to play up to the pissed off Hillary supporters, it back fired, and now you are trying to save face. Now I know Mr. McCain you rely on your people around you. YOU NEED TO FIRE EVERY SINGLE PERSON THAT TOLD YOU THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA CHOSING PALIN! Say you did something out of haste, say you listened to bad advice, say you are trying to balance out the ticket because your were losing, BUT DO NOT SAY SHE WAS YOUR FIRST AND BEST CHOICE! All Repubs, I would leave that waste of a party and create your own. Myself as an Independent supporting Barack, I have supported Republican Candidates on a local level, I have even said in 2000 if McCain got the nomination I would vote for McCain because I thought Gore was and still is an idiot. I know you die hard Repubs are trying to put on a good face for this circus side show you call your convention but deep down inside, you got to be really pissed at McCain. McCain I would not vote for you now even if Stalin was running on the Dem ticket. You sir, Mr. McCain and you staff are freaking idiots and ought to be ashamed of yourselves making a mockery of our political system.

    September 2, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  3. David S.

    As a parent of teenagers (and a conservative pro-lifer), I find it absolutely horrendous that anyone would link Palin's ability towards being VP with the fact her teenage daughter got pregnant. You can be the best parent in the world but biology still occurs and accidents happen. I guess all of those who are critical never were interested in the opposite sex when they were teenagers.

    Maybe it would have been ok if she had run out and gotten an abortion without her mother's consent which is so loved by those on the left. Its Palin's conservative values that will give this baby life and a family instead of winding up in a trash can. Any conservative out there who would condemn Palin for this issue is truly sorry.

    I think Obama hit it dead on and I congratulate him for hitting the high road, much more than his supporters (and the neo-conservatives). Shame on those who actually want Palin to step down because of this.

    September 2, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  4. Nikki, Florida

    Way to alienate Ron Paul supporters, RNC...way to go!

    September 2, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. Bruce, Charlotte NC

    This really has nothing to do with the price of tea in China BUT the hyprocrisy of the Republican party is astounding. For instance, the Repub talking points exude and praise Bristol Palin for choosing to keep the baby and marry the father. But, now try to wrap your brain around this, the Republican party wants to take that choice away! So their praise of Bristol's 'choice' is nothing more than empty rhetoric.

    September 2, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. LynchA

    If McCain is spending time DEFENDING his choice rather than bringing the fight to his opponent, then Palin would seem to be a liability. I can imagine that her conservative credentials might shore up his campaign among his base, but at a significant cost.

    And why on earth, if the McCain camp knew about these issues before hand, didn't they disclose them on their own terms? They responded to bloggers who had outed the issues and lost "control" of the story. His first "presidential" decision does NOT reflect well. I only hope he didn't "look her in the eyes and see her soul."

    September 2, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. Nsikan, MD

    The way you guys are going, you would almost tell my daughter to get pregnant before marriage. Even the Bible would like my evangelical friends to call sin sin. If you cannot rule your own house well, how dare you think you can lead. Remember what happened to Eli because of his children? I think God has a different standard than the evangelicals of these days.

    September 2, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. doob

    Somebody wake me up! Is this guy Mccain for real?

    September 2, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  9. Geoff Los Angeles

    I think McCain is tanking this election.

    After 14 months of campaigning only on weekdays and only one stop per day, he is exhausted!!! His senior advisors are going to make the election close enought to look good on paper, but they know that he is running on empty.

    When the vetting process for a potential VP consists of a Google search, the end is near. Especially considering that the top 4 men on McCain's short list did not want the job and would not accept the offer to be VP.

    September 2, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Another Mom

    This choice of Palin is a glaring example to McCain's poor judgment. There is no maverik in this decisions; he wanted to upstage Obama and he walked on the landmine he layed. Palin is under investigation and she is reportedly not the reformer he is making her out to be. People are saying she has more experience than Obama. Lets not forget that Bush had executive experience and he destroyed our economy and send American to a war he invented. His father who was also experienced did not do any better. McCain is committed to following the Bush policies, so common sense should tell us the McCain/Palin is a dangerous ticket for our nation. Experience does not mean good judgment! Wake up America!

    September 2, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. sten, CA

    McCain sure do have a very bad judgement. If this woman could not even raise her own kid right or educate her about unsafe sex and the end result, how can she be a good vice president? And now he's going to force this boy to marry her daugther, oh well I guess that will make it right. Those kids are not ready for marriage.

    September 2, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. Bill, MA.

    What is all the fuss about? Republicans never do anything wrong. Our perception of reality is clouded. God told them so.

    September 2, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Rob

    Don't worry McCain–nobody cares and nobody is lsitening.keep it up McCain–your looking America in the eye and lying to our faces

    September 2, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Keep our USA safe! McCain 08

    'He without sin shuld cast the first STone"! McCAin made a wise choice is his selection of the VP. He kept his workd for "CHANGE", by not putting a VP who is part of the problems we have had with Congress and the Senate. Lets Give her a chance.

    September 2, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. maverick my A$$$

    one thing that bothers me about Bristol being PG, it's not that she's PG but the fact that they USED the baby with down to hide the girls condition...looking back at Palin's introduction you see Bristol holding the baby, a blanket not draped over the baby but her belly...a deliberate attempt to lie to the people...they used the baby, what else are they capable of doing?

    September 2, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Never Again CNN

    So did he know that she doesn't believe in GLobal Warming or that she doesn't care about the fate of the polar bears, she probably would like to see them extinct, after all she wants to drill in ANWR, and thinks that there are too many of them anyway. (though they are actually an endangered species) and how well does the abstinince first preaching work, well ask her daughter about that. Does she even believe in birth control??

    September 2, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. OS

    By having vetted Palin thorougly and knowing that her teenage daughter is going to have a baby you wanted to put her on your VP ticket.

    By doing so, you are sending an outrageous message to the teenagers of this world and encouraing them to have babies when they are teenagers,

    McCain should be ashamed of himself of making such a decision and letting the world know that when he gets elected he is going to take this country back in civilization.

    September 2, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Secrets are coming out.......More to Palin

    There is more. There is a blog with pictures of UNDER AGE DRINKING from this girl. Now that is all I am going to say about her b/c families should not be attacked... but McCain did a poor job on this one. This republican will vote for obama.

    September 2, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. Jeff

    Argh, he knew, he knew, he really just DOESN'T GET IT.

    September 2, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Jan

    Democrats–Listen to yourselves! I love the words of James Carville's wife, Mary Matlin–"when men have nothing intelligent to say, they say something dumb" this would also apply to all of the women liberals posting here. Love it!–McCain/Palin 2008 and Palin 2016

    September 2, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Gail

    If the Palin’s have such great Family Values – why aren't Bristol and Levi already married? I mean the girl is 5 months along!!! Even if they are teenagers but immediately got married, maybe there would be some credibility to this, but as it is now, it's just a sloppy coverup overflowing with hypocrisy.

    Obama has more experience and better judgment in his little finger than McCain and Palin have together in their empty brains and untrue hearts.

    September 2, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Barbara - GA

    I understand the republicans motto this week is "Country first". Obviously this is what Gov. Palin is thinking about. I would not want my daughter to be faced with all the public abuse she's getting ready to endure.

    Gov. Palin is being very selfish...Family second – Country first.

    September 2, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Former Rebulican Fan (FRF)

    We shall hold McCain to those words! I hope that he will never come back next time and said that he misspoke! We leave it at "My vetting process was completely thorough and I'm grateful for the results," and one who tries to alter that must be call a habitual LIAR we cannot believe in or rely on!

    September 2, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. DJ

    Callie – VERY well put. I echo your concerns about the demonization of intellectualism in this election cycle.

    Re: Palin, if McCain is telling the truth and his campaign truly vetted her appropriately, then this pregnancy was probably discovered during the vetting process. Think about it – this poor girl. She's obviously not toeing the family line on abstinence/etc. Now she's trapped because her mother's political career cannot be derailed. Gift from God indeed. How about putting your professional aspirations ahead of the interests of your own children? Obama may not say it – but I will. That girl should have been ALLOWED to have an abortion and get her life back on track. As it stands now, she'll be married and have a baby before she graduates from high school. I guess it MIGHT work out – after all, at least her family has money and they're going to do their best to make it look like the uncompromising anti-abortion position the Guv takes is good for everyone concerned.

    September 2, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  25. Donna

    It would not be unusual for Ms. Palin to retain a lawyer in connection with the ethics probe against her. However, the investigation has been ongoing.

    The first indication that she had retained private counsel was on August 29, the day her candidacy was announced. Her lawyer sent a letter claiming that there was no jurisdiction for the investigation–a position directly at odds with Ms. Palin's previous statements. He also demanded copies of all witness statements, an act that the State responded would be "highly unusual."

    The letters to and from the lawyer are public records and available at However, this raises serious issues–why was this lawyer retained when Ms. Palin previously saw no need for one? Who is paying his fees? And who is directing his strategy of attempting to disrupt and delay the investigation until after the election?

    September 2, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
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