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. Helen

    Mr. CHAFEEYOU ARE THE 'WACKO' yourself

    GO PALIN – GOOD LUCK ... you have more executive experience than Obama.....

    Keep on Message – Go Girl

    September 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. Amy, Kazoo

    T-10 till the McCain campaign cries sexism!

    September 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  3. David, Silver Spring, MD

    Palin is cocky. When she gave her speech at the convention, I expected her to say stuff like, "I may be new here, but it seems to me.." or "I may come from a small town and a state that's a long way from Washington, but it seems to me..."

    Instead she was boasting about putting stuff on eBay as if no one else had ever thought of such a thing (it was already established practice in the Alaska govt.). Not only did she have answers, but everyone else was dumb!

    I haven't seen this kind of cockiness since George W. Bush said, "Bring 'em on!"

    September 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  4. Dmitriy

    "cocky wacko" he is.

    September 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. MIchigan Mom

    Quick McCain camp, call on Obama to apologize again for something he didn't say! Why not make a commercial out of it? Remember, you have to protect tough, capable hockey mom Palin from the big, bad wolves...
    Obama/Biden 08

    September 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  6. McCain = Mr. 90%

    To now now:

    When John McCain will continue all of Bush's policies there is definitely a reason to turn our hatred of Bush against McCain.

    If McCain starts talking about policy positions that are different from Bush's, then Democrats will stop making the comparisons.

    I haven't seen any new policies from McCain yet, and there are now only 54 days until the election.

    McCain/Palin are really trying to pull the wool over our eyes AGAIN.

    Obama/Biden '08!

    September 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  7. Stephen

    republicans are swine, republican candidates are pigs, and everything republican is pork! let's all keep calling them what they really are! Go Obama!

    September 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. Patricia

    I am so tired of hearing about Senator Palin.They say that the Republican Party will not let this person do interviews. They don't have to. CNN is giving this person a platform which is allowing this fiasco to continue. I cannot turn to CNN without seeing how great Palin is, What Palin did today, Where Palin is going tomorrow, How many White Women are flocking to Palin Camp. No one is debating that Palin is a Woman nor are we doubting that she is a Barracuda (Her own words). What we all are disturbed about is if something happens to McCain this Woman will be in Charge of AMERICA. Please stop saying that White men will not support Obama. If this is true then GOD BLESS AMERICA because we are headed for disaster if we continue this nonsense surrounding Palin and get her and McCain into the White House. Has anyone noticed that on the Republican Campaign Trail, McCain is no longer speaking. Palin is doing all the talking.

    September 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. Boston

    This guy is and always has been the biggest idiot ever to be in elected office. From him "cocky wacko" is high praise indeed and only boosts my confidence in McCains VP pick.

    September 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Chris, Denver CO

    Amen to that.

    September 11, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Donna

    Glad it was a former Republican that said it and not a

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. mark

    wow. way to go! maybe there's hope for this country yet...

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. spiesveeta

    A wacko calling someone else a wacko!!!! ... what an insightful hypocrite!!!!

    Vote for Ron Paul ... another wacko!!!

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  14. A Woman In California For Obama:

    Go ahead you "bible toting hypocrits" call it sexism. I'm a woman and I could not agree more. She is just that Sen. Chafee "a cocky wacko" and let's add "trashy" too. Parading her 17 year old daughter around whose pregnancy as they would have us believe-was not immaculate conception is disgusting. Not to mention this woman is a pathological liar. She looks right into the camera and lies. I can just imagine what she would do in office. Only I'm not giving her that chance. No way would I take a chance on this woman.

    Please God save us.

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  15. Hispanic Female Republican

    Please, he's got some nerve, hello kettle, take a long look in the mirror!

    Sarah Palin all the way!!

    McCain/Palin '08!!!!

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  16. Jim

    Sen. Chaffee, not McCain, is the real GOP maverick. His criticism of Gov. Palin was blunt, as only a fellow Republican could say it without being accused of "sexism."

    Let's get to the real point. Forget all the personalities, pastors, POW biographies, family members, insults, guns, churches, gaffs, advertisements etc. of this campaign.

    The bottom line for this election is "NO THIRD TERM!" That was the GOP slogan in the 1940 election. Franklin Roosevelt deserved a 3rd term; the Bush/Cheney/McCain/Palin policies do not.

    Why do I group the four names together? Because I challenge anyone to name any important policy on which McCain/Palin differ from Bush/Cheney!

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  17. Carol

    Lincoln Chaffee – what a wacko ! All the "wacko's are comming out of the woodwork. Boy! do we need some bug spray – big time. I guess he doesn't remember his Mother telling him "if you can't say something nice, say nothing". It sure will keep your feet out of your mouth ,to say nothing of having to EAT YOUR WORDS LATER !
    WACKO !

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Bon in Hershey

    I think she and McCain are scarey wack jobs. And, the Dixie Chicks were right!

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. dave in RI

    Sen Chafee, welcome back. To everyone who thinks sen chafee is a nut, keep thinking it, that is going to be the republican mantra to discredit him. He stood along against the war in Iraq and he was right. What has Iraq brought us beside debt, Success? Mr Mcgoo can't even define success, unless it is soldiers returning home. In that case Obama wins again. Thank you for restoring your families good name Sen Chafee. Cnn won't print this one as it is for a republican against there unannounced endorsed candidate.

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  20. Concerned INDEPENDENT CT voter

    MATT in LAS VEGAS.....

    THANK YOU... we are in the same boat... We MUST elect Obama... Lets get to the issues please...

    no one even knows ms. Palin.... seriously....


    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Oregonian

    THANK YOU Senator Chafee!
    I am still waiting , in Oregon, for Sen. Gordon Smith to pronounce her a wacko. He will lose if he does not speak up on this. Oregon is going for Obama BIG!

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. Debbie

    As a woman and someone who has voted for republicans in the past, I'm offended that John McCain and his strategists think women are ignorant enough to support the McCain ticket because of his selection of Sarah. She is totally inexperienced and her political views are too extreme! Go Obama!

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. rusty57

    Which of the 57 states was he a former senator of?

    Looks like he's intimidated.

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. lisa d.

    Chafee, a common sense republican "obamacan" is a true leader. When you are a true leader, you must stand up and speak your mind and shape the course of our nations future.

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Eric-29-m-PA

    I'm a Democrat and I was excited when I learned of McCain's pick. It works both ways Senator.

    September 11, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15