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. stone

    This is a really stupid comment and not at all what Obama promised the American people. I've yet to hear Sara Palin say a single wacky thing. can someone name one?

    September 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  2. Obama sunking

    stop nonsense Mr weirdo.

    instead of highlighting any "good" in Obama, you are pin-pointing at others.

    Tell the world what good your candidate can do., if he can any :)-

    Bama-Bden sunking ship.

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

    cnn where is an article that victims of domestic violence are rallying aganist Palin because she is not funding their programs in alasks. Also, there was a conference call conducted by alaska officals about Palin charging rape victims for their examinations and rape kits.

    September 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Former BO & Dem Supporter

    Who is this guy?

    Never heard of him before in my life. I was thinking the same thing about the far-left wackos, which he probably is.

    No relevance here whatsoever. Carry on.

    Obama and his obamabots are in for a rude awakening from working middle-Americans in November.

    September 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  5. Moggy

    God... where is George Carlin when you need him?

    September 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  6. John Kaleto

    This wacko Chafee should read the polls!

    September 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. brad

    thank God someone other than the Dem party speak out for the sake of our country. It's not about the party. It's about getting back on track. And we are way way off.

    September 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  8. FactCheck

    > This coming from a "former" Senator. The people of Rhode Island
    > woke up. He lost despite the anti-republican feeling in the country in
    > 2006.

    More brilliance from the Republicans. He lost BECAUSE of the anti-Republican feeling because HE WAS RUNNING AS A REPUBLICAN. He lost to a Democrat. Do your homework!

    September 11, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  9. deltadon

    cocky wacky works. This has got Rove all over it. The Himmler of the Bush Regime

    September 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. Michael, Farmington, NH

    I'm so happy to see someone finally calling it like it is.

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

    What do you think Mr. Obama is????

    It is amazing how quick you forget that she has run a Government and he has voted "present".

    Come on folks just because you are mad and GWB and Chaney is no reason to check your common sense at the door and just jump on whomever the Democratic Party puts up.

    September 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  12. Chris

    "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."

    I laughed.

    (1) You left Afghanistan, where, you know, the people who actually attacked us seven years ago today are/were, out of your comment.

    (2) So, basically, what you're saying is that without legalized abortions, we'll have more young, inglorious bastards to send to war? Nice!

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

    Funny cause it's true . . .

    September 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. ralph

    Fiesty hockey mom alright. Nut job that will pull the wool over your eyes, but not for long. Bill Clinton will fix her little red cariboo. Oh thats right she shot her cariboo. opps!.

    September 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. skip


    I am a staunch Democrat, I will be proud to vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden, and I shudder to think of what our country would be like under a McCain-Palin administration.

    Having said that, your comment is more sick and twisted than anything Gov. Palin could probably dream of.

    September 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Realistic

    The whole country is seeing that Governor Wingnut is a corrupt, dishonest, far right wing fundamentalist wacko, and far from being a brilliant pick, McCain has (again) shot from the hip and hit himself in the foot. Maverick!

    September 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Anna

    amen, brotha.

    September 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  18. scared

    Does this mean CNN will talk about this coment for next 48 hours and not air anything informative about the issues. I wonder if this guy Chafee is sincere or is he working with Karl to distract us from the issues while Palin finishes her Politics 101 crash course.

    September 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. Vic of New York

    The hypocrosy of the Right Wing is too much to bear. Down with ALL Republicans! Vote Democrat across the board!

    September 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  20. Republicans hate america

    he will get a talking point memo soon from Karl Rove and will be apologizing in no time.

    September 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. Kjetil

    I agree – she is so much more worse that Cheney that in fact was a bit center in social issues because of a lesbian daughter. With Palin its like totaly extreeme ultra. She is so far right and so brainwached in social issues that you do get affraid. This is a governor that wanted to ban books that tells what expert have found out in f.eks geology because it makes the claim that this world is no older than 4000 years not so strong. So then ban all books that tell fact. What kind of politics will it be in white house? Ban science that tells the fact? Fire people that teach history?

    September 11, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Kevan, Arkansas

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaand Republicans expressing phoney outrage, demanding an apology, and saying those remarks were sexist in 5, 4, 3, 2...

    September 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. That Other Jerry

    "A cocky wacko"? He's a US Senator and that's the best he can do? I expect as much from the playground-level debate that fills up this forum, but I had hoped for more from one of our so-called leaders. Come on, people! I don't care who you support, we're talking about a change of leadership in the biggest superpower on the freakin' planet! For once, how about a discussion of issues and positions without terms like "McBush" or "Obamabot," or ridiculous generalizations like "so and so will destroy this country if elected"? Sen. Chaffee and anyone else, if you have something thoughtful to say, say it. Otherwise, stay home in November and let the grownups choose a President.

    September 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Andy J, NY

    Yeah, ok, bud.

    And Sarah was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it.

    FACT: She stopped federal money from going to the "bridge to nowhere" project.

    FACT: Biden and Obama voted FOR the bridge to nowhere money.

    FACT: When given the chance, Obama and Biden voted AGAINST moving the " bridge to nowhere" money to hurricane Katrina victims. look it up.

    Where's the media on that?

    September 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Mikey

    I'll bet a lot of the Republican pundits are still in a state of disbelief – but they are keeping appearances up and charging forward with the thinnest of arguments.

    At least with Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy, we had a open mic moment to see how they really do feel.

    September 11, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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