September 3rd, 2008
11:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Ben Stein: 'Floored' by McCain's veep pick


Ben Stein: Palin a 'peculiar VP choice'

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Palin? Palin?

Ben Stein of “Ferris Bueller” fame is beside himself over Sen. John McCain’s choice for vice president.

“I’m confused and disturbed by the GOP choice of Sarah Palin,” the economist said Wednesday outside The CNN Grill at the Republican National Convention.

Stein was hoping for someone with more experience like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who was considered to be on the shortlist of McCain’s potential running mates.

But don’t expect Stein to defect to the left.

“Obama doesn't have enough experience and Biden just isn't smart enough,” he said. "We need someone smart and we haven't had a smart president in a long time. Well, I guess Clinton was smart.

"I'm a Republican and hope McCain wins, but I'm just floored they picked Sarah Palin."

Stein is an author and former speechwriter for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford,

Filed under: CNN Grill
soundoff (244 Responses)
  1. texas democrat

    If you think mccain is so smart i hope you are dumb enough to join the armed services Ben Stein. Mccain is not smart he is a pow and a war starter. Mccain and Ben Stein are sick old men!

    September 4, 2008 03:14 am at 3:14 am |
  2. iwillrefuse

    I wondering how much credibility is left when you call someone "stupid", and yet manage to misspell the monosyllabic "liar".

    Here's to you, Palin fan.

    September 4, 2008 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  3. lg

    Ben – you are not alone. Soon everyone else will be floored too. What has this country come to when we're looking for a hockey-mom leader who's sacrificing her kids to her political ambition. Her current scandals will also drag down McCain. Her broken promises will follow her forever.

    September 4, 2008 03:21 am at 3:21 am |
  4. John

    Ben Stein is right. As a group of voters, we tend to reward liars and smooth talkers. The same is true of our corporate elite. Only a few liars and smooth talkers are intelligent. Most of us voters are fools to continually fall for this. Both parties spout out red herring issues or construct straw men to attack. Politicians in both parties claim to be 'regular every day god-fearing people' – what a joke! This is our fault as voters. That means YOU!

    September 4, 2008 03:22 am at 3:22 am |
  5. Ron DC

    Ben Stein,

    the theme we heard repeatedly was vote for the issues not the party.

    You can't have it both ways.

    You are a closet Obama/Biden voter.

    CNN, follow him to the booth!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 4, 2008 03:26 am at 3:26 am |
  6. Josie

    I'm sorry you won't vote for Biden because he isn't smart enough? So, McCain is smarter? Palin is smarter? In all seriousness if you gave all three a test who do you think would make the highest grade?

    September 4, 2008 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  7. Ohgimmeeabreak

    Ben Stein thinks the world is only 10,000 years old and men walked around with dinosaurs. The guy wouldn't know "smart" if it knocked him over the head! Go back to game shows Ben. You're of more use there...

    September 4, 2008 03:27 am at 3:27 am |
  8. JR in TX

    He better be careful, they will say he is sexist. They don't like when people talk negative about them. But, that is all I heard out of them ideas just negative.

    September 4, 2008 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  9. thomas

    On Friday, Barack Obama will name Mike Tyson as his choice for Attorney General, citing Mike's extensive criminal justice experience. Republican critics claimed the appointment was just a political ploy designed to divert attention away from Sara Palin's historic speech.
    Silly isn't it? Now don't you think Ben Stein would be smart enough to put country ahead of party.

    September 4, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |

    I bet he's singing her praises right about now!

    September 4, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  11. Scott

    People should learn to spell simple words like "liar" before accusing others of being stupid. A basic command of punctuation would be nice, too. How about keeping the discourse both civil and intelligent?

    Compliments to Stein for speaking his mind. Shame on you who pretend that this is something unique based on party affiliation. Generalization is a sign of weak-minded, politically-motivated blindness. Let's keep to the issues and stop making this personal.

    September 4, 2008 03:35 am at 3:35 am |
  12. Bill

    I definitely agree that one ticket consists of an unintelligent candidate as well as an inexperienced one, but it certainly seems to be the one conferring in St. Paul this week.

    September 4, 2008 03:43 am at 3:43 am |
  13. Emmanuel

    This tells it all, even the republicans recognized that McCain goofed in his choice of VP. All they can do is to hope that he wins because they are republicans instead of putting the good of America above partisan politics. They best they can do is hope because Americans are saying enough of leaving our destiny in the hands of mediocres who lack the right judgment to lead this great nation. Ben should follow his heart and throw his weight behind the Obama/Bidden team. He does not have confidence in the McCain/Palin team, but lacks the courage to support a better team. Wake up Ben!

    September 4, 2008 04:08 am at 4:08 am |
  14. Strat

    Insane McCain's dosage of Aricept should be increased. He is obviously delusional. Ms. Palin told us absolutely NOTHING! For McCain to think that bringing in a fashionable " Hockey Mom " with a pregnant 17yr. old ( she can't even effectively govern a teenager) ) and ta special needs child is going to pull the heartstrings of intelligent hardworking women across the country so hard that it swings the ' Hillary vote' , is not only offensive and condescending, it is downright ludacrous! I work within the special needs community every day and with women of substance and integrity, none of whom would dump their challenged baby off to go out and hunt Moose and Democrats. As for comparisons between Hillary and Sarah Palin; gender aside, there is none. " I knew Hillary Clinton; Hillary Clinton was a friend of mine. Govenor, you're no Hillary Clinton. "

    September 4, 2008 04:22 am at 4:22 am |
  15. Foreign observer

    McCain simply isn´t smart. He never lived on own ideas but relied on the ideas of others. New ideas he expects from Palin but she is a pitbull and they are anything but smart.

    September 4, 2008 04:23 am at 4:23 am |
  16. Moon Maiden from Lake Michigan



    September 4, 2008 04:25 am at 4:25 am |
  17. K.D.

    When one of our most intelligent and ardent Republican voices says that Sarah P. should be baby sat 24/7 by Henry K. (to be brought up to a modicum of speed on any critical issue facing our nation), then I must sit up and take notice.
    Surely, we're not so lock step in our desire to 'win' that we will over look what may be a plain and fundimentally bad choice By Mr. McC.
    Could this be true?
    Are we even able to hazard the thought? I never suspected that I'd even have to consider this . Still.... it gives one pause.

    September 4, 2008 04:28 am at 4:28 am |
  18. alpha

    Experience my foot!
    What u selfish republicans have done in the past 10-20 years is what Obama has steadily achieved in the last 4yrs.
    Remember, it takes the wisest to learn faster.
    No matter how u look at it, Obama/Biden can make a good America
    No more war!
    Obama/Biden 08!
    Obama/Hillary 12

    September 4, 2008 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  19. Greg FL.

    I can't take anyone who promotes intelligent design seriously.

    September 4, 2008 04:42 am at 4:42 am |
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