September 11th, 2008
09:28 PM ET
14 years ago

Former GOP senator calls Palin a 'cocky wacko'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee has words for Sarah Palin."]

(CNN) - Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee was known for keeping a low-key profile on Capitol Hill, but the Republican -turned -Independent is making waves with his exceedingly blunt comments on newly-minted Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin:

She's a "cocky wacko," he told a Washington think tank earlier this week.

WATCH: Chafee make the remarks

Chafee, the lone Senate Republican to vote against the Iraq war who endorsed Obama's White House bid earlier this year, told an audience at the New America Foundation in Washington Tuesday that Palin's selection has energized Obama backers.

"People were coming into my office, phone calls were flooding in, e-mails were coming in, 'I just sent money to Obama, I couldn't sleep last night' - from the left. To see this cocky wacko up there," he said.

He also described McCain's candidacy as "lackluster” and described the selection of Palin as a throwing "this firestorm, this tornado, into the whole presidential election."

Chafee, whose father served as senator from Rhode Island from 1976 until his death in 1999, narrowly lost his re-election bid two years ago to Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse amid that election cycle’s wave of anti-Republican sentiment.

Chafee made a stir earlier this year when he directly called out Democrats who supported the Iraq war and were now expressing regret for their vote.

“I find it surprising now, in 2008, how many Democrats are running for president after shirking their constitutional duty to check and balance this president,” he wrote in his January 2008 book, “Against the Tide.” “Being wrong about sending Americans to kill and be killed, maim and be maimed, is not like making a punctuation mistake in a highway bill."

Filed under: Extra • Sarah Palin
soundoff (373 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Chafee was always a bit of a nut himself. Funny how this has turned into a race about VP's. Dems are just mad that their guy didn't think of it. Palin rocks!

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  2. Don of Wisconsin

    What Bill said. :o)

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  3. faye, NV

    People listen to this Rep he knows what he is talking about.

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  4. Sarah- ARIZONA

    I agree with the Republican independent senator 100%

    She is CRAZY and does not stand up for womens rights.

    As Mayor of her town she charged rape victims for their forensic exams bc she did not want the city to pay for it or the tax payers.


    Since she didnt to squat for women as mayor when she had the "responsibilites" she wont do anything as VP

    This country is crazzzzy to elect mcain

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  5. Stike1

    how can mcclain lead the country when every place they go he is being led by cindy or being led by palin. is he or her allowed to go out after dark by themselves?. will probably need to get a surgeon to cut the cord so they appear on the debates.

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  6. Democrat

    I suppose the Republicans will say that Chaffee's comment is sexist too! Ah..the American way...crying the victim...

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  7. Canadian POV


    Do you know Mrs. Palin any better? Nobody does because she is being protected from the press. It is absolutely unprecedented in any western democracy for a political candidate gunning (every pun intended) for the top job not to face the press. It is ridiculous and very suspicous. What I can't understand is people like yourself you take the criticism of Palin so personally when you should be very, very worried about a scheme that is being played out to get your vote without providing you with facts and information. Mrs Palin wold be toast north of the 49th if she was not put before the press to answer to the public on important issues. Nobody would trust that, here or anywhere else in the First World. We would never tolerate any network putting on a pre-packaged show and calling it a political interview. Imagine what the Brits would do with that circus? Use your power and insist that the GOP let the media ask the questions that need to be asked so everyone can make an informed decision. Sounding redundant but please remember you are not voting for the high school prom queen but rather the person who could be the president of your great nation and influence the rest of us out here in the world.

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  8. Tim

    Lincoln Chafee was and is a moron. He and all the other loonies on the left are just upset that McCain made a choice that shows them to be even more irrelevant than we already knew they were.

    The liberal wailing and nashing of teeth begins the moment they lose the upperhand. They cry foul when none has occurred; they make dishonest and inflamatory remarks in their usual attempt to draw their competition to their level of depravity; they misconstrue their fiction for facts... This is normal operating proceedure for liberals and the likes of Lincoln Chaff Me making this comment is more of the same. Let's all wait to see what the rest of the loopy left have to say ... at least it keeps the rest of us laughing ... at them.

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  9. doob

    I second that!

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. Silence Dogood

    ....and I just heard a guy on the street corner say an alien told him Elvis is alive.

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  11. ProudDemocrat

    Thank you Mr. Chafee once the American people get to know the true color of this "cocky wacko," woman ,they will think twice when they go to the voting the both. As president Clinton predicted our next resident is going to be Obama, I have no doubt about it.

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  12. J L

    CNN is starting to sound like a child that is always 'tattleling' on someone. Instead of real journalism, we get this non-sense every single day.

    Johnny called Suzy a name!
    Annie called Peter a so-and-so!

    GROW UP!!!

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. John in Ohio

    Lincoln Chafee is awesome.

    He's like me, reasonable people who were pushed out of the Republican Party when it was hijacked by pseudo-conservative pseudo-Christian special interests.

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. michelle

    Sure he's not talking about Obama?

    Hillary supporter - voting for Democratic ticket-– saying you rock, Palin-- I'm starting to wear lipstick again- as for lipstick on a pig, better that than a SEXIST PIG !

    Viva Hillary !

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  15. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Bravo !!! Tell it like it is!

    O and Joe '08

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  16. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Welcome to the change and sane House!

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. Lou

    The media are the ones keeping this election close so their ratings stay high. I see the polls but all of my close Republican friends are not thrilled with Palin "Gimick". Obama does win handily.

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  18. Stacy Simmons

    HIDDING Behind a curtain, hoping no one sees through the BS!

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. GREG

    What is going on down there .... dems are name calling and losing it.I must say i am suprised at media and reactions . Who and what is Biden all about ? Why are dems starting to sound like repuplicans?Come on people ... the things Obama was to lead people to in conduct and change .... is just not showing .I was expecting better.
    A Canadian watching .

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. shannon

    Even former Dems are melting down!!!

    Will someone get control of the DNC message??!?!

    Attacking Palin only brings the DNC down.

    Check out the polls...the attacks are not working!

    HELLO!!?!?!? Is anyone in the DNC paying attention?!?!?

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. Steve

    Palin is a sad little woman from a jerkwater town in a jerkwater state.
    She is probably the only one who would actually agree to serve on McCain's Straight Talk Titanic Express. They can try to hide her inadequacies, by refusing to let her talk to the press, but in a week or so, she will have to communicate or evacuate. McCain's campain has made some pretty dramatic mistakes, but this one takes the cake.
    Lieberman, where are you now that McCain needs you?!?!

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It should be no surprise that Senate Republicans aren't buying into McCain and Palin, I expected this and the best is yet to come.

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Republican for Obama / Biden 08

    I think that as long that as long as terrorism is no on peoplr's mind, Obama should seize the Economic Guru mantle. Keep talking about teh economy so that people can really see the difference. Hopefully tonight will give the AMerican people a contrast between him and McCain. Obama/ Biden for the poeple!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Real Real Change

    Oh I'm sure this is just going to be soooooo hurtfull to poor, vulnable Mrs. Palin. Goodness how wounded she and poor John will be.

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. Zman

    Can you seriously imagine going to bed on the night of the 5th nov to the 6th and wake up in the morning and finding out that mccain is in the in the coma so palin is president of the USA? If that happen i do not want to ever go to sleep, cause i will not feel safe

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
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