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. elliott

    Sounds like Chafee is a little insecure.....Maybe he's jealous because Palin has bigger balls.........(or ANY for that matter...Ha!!)

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  2. Nan

    Ok, so yes her views that we know of, we know very little because she only repeats her convention speech written by Bush writers, are really off the wall. But we need to remember that Obama should not campgain down to Palin. He is running against McCain. That should be his focus.

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

    So this is the 9/11 campaign truce: Chaffee over here calling
    Palin wacko and Rove over there calling Obama dumb!

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

    I hope Obama spends as little time answering for this as McCain spends excusing all his surrogates' every word.

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  5. Chris

    Absolutely right! She IS cocky and wacko. Indeed, you'd think someone SO wacko would be a little LESS cocky, but in her case it's the other way around. The more ignorant she is about foreign affairs, and the more wacko she is in her extreme, extreme zealotry, the more cocky she is.

    Madness. It's all just absurd.

    Please, America, STOP THE INSANITY!


    Obama-BIden, 08

    September 11, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  6. Leroy

    McCain is hiding behind her skirt...

    What does that say about his choices and leadership qualities?

    A one time maverick that has turned into a desperate shell of who he was.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Robert

    There's been a lot of talk about how "energized" the silent majority on each side has become. It doesn't require careful scrutiny of these "forums" to note that most of whom we are hearing from appear to be relying soley on the word of spin doctors. Wake up folks! You find Americans at a mud wrestling event, but they do not speak for the rest of us regardless of how loud they speak. The silent majority is watching all of this trash talk unfold as it paints the picture of who will truly be more qualified to run this country.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. jmasterson

    Coming from Lincoln Chafee is a laughable. Political do-nothing who clung to his father's coat tails.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Hey Linda

    McSame himself never spoke to Palin or know her before choosing her for VP how come Mr. Chafee knows. Anyway, we dont have to know her before, but now after seeing her I am scared to death that this pit bull woth lipstick cant be president.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  10. Truth

    Cocky Wacko, haha. Sounds good to me

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  11. Tom, VA

    Uh, LINDA...He lost BECAUSE of anti-Republican sentiment, not despite it. Lincoln Chafee was a Republican.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  12. Cynthia

    She is cocky for sure! I always hesitate to call people wacko but I'm am definitely sure that I don't think she is ready to be VP and even more sure not President.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  13. sario

    I don't understand you "He lost despite the anti-republican feeling in the country in 2006." statement. I think you might have meant something else.

    I don't care for Palin, don't want her or McCain in the White House.

    However, can we refrain from all these petty statements. On both sides!

    I don't care if he knows her or not, "waco" is really a poor choice of words for a politician. Is this the best way to get ones message across?

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. Stacy Simmons

    and believing their own malarkey....

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. ben

    Chafee will be back in office, soon.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. gary

    Ex-Senator,thats says it all, he is the wacko for leaving the republican party,and thats also why he an ex-senator,lol what a joke he and bill clinton are to everyone.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  17. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Bottom line – If McCain is elected and dies in office, do you trust this woman to lead the world? Have not heard ANYONE from either side say they were comfortable with this scenario.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  18. Don

    Thank you! After researching all I could about Palin, I made a contribution to the Obama campaign. I know that I was not the only one.

    Obama/Biden '08... freedom for all!

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  19. Jim Dandy

    To the Bush's Crusader

    "McCain is the only one with enough guts to take out our enemies in North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia.
    With the no abortion policy and a draft, we will have enough solders to continue God's war for our country."

    Because of wackos like this I may be broke by the end of this election, another $100.00 to the Obama campaign.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  20. Bryan

    I've been trying to find the right words to describe Palin for a while. Now I have them.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. redneck for obama

    not all white people, and not all republicans, are stupid enough to believe the mccain/bush campaign.

    September 11, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  22. Alan Mack

    Ms. Palin and others who think like her will perpetuate the "RAPE AND PILLAGE" continuing to be inflicted upon our Constitution by Bush, Cheney et al. Trust me, just because Palin looks like sweet doesn't mean that she is capable of governing wisely, fairly and justly.

    I am deathly scared of her, McCain and the radical right-wingers who will come flooding back into the highest levels of government with them, should the Republicans win.

    I can only hope that there are enough sane, intelligent and truly patriotic Americans who will ignore the tripe the Republican smear machine is throwing out.

    I say let McCain retire to Arizona and send Palin back to Alaska, where she can "do God's will" and kill a few hapless Polar Bears, Caribou and Moose.

    September 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. Dana from the Chi

    Yeah Karl Roves started a firestorm,

    All the republicans did was energize the Democrat base. Now we know to take nothing for granted and get those new and young voters out. The new and young voters will be the deciding factor of this race!!

    September 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. JAS

    Don't hate....Sarah is a great American....Mr Chafee is a Lame dog that is going straight to the pit with obama.....

    September 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Rick

    Once more the dems show how desperate they are. The ship is sinking and they know it.

    September 11, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
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