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. Michigan Independent

    Thank you Mr. Chafee for adding your name to the long list of Obama supporters who are tainting this campaign with nasty and irrelevant remarks.

    The more you fools do this sort of thing, the more you push Independents like me to McCain-Palin.

    September 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. tennisguypitt

    I agree. Wait... COULDN'T AGREE MORE!

    Obama/Biden '08

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


    Come on now. No need for that - if indeed you are voting for Obama

    However, I tend to think Helene is a Republican "operative" just trolling around throwing out anger enticing statements.

    September 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Jean 2

    I hope we are waking up!

    September 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. BJ

    And who is this "FOOL" Chafee? Must be upset because he is a "FORMER Senator". He is a nobody and is just trying to bring attention to himself. Who cares what he thinks. He is just like the rest of the Obama supporters. They can't do anything except call people names. All that shows America is how insecure they all are.

    September 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Helena

    I liked Caribou Barbie the best so far. All kidding aside – she is far too extreme and negative. The only thing I have in common with her is that we are both mothers. I on the other hand will talk to my children about sex , birth control, etc. I want them to go on to college and get a good education and enjoy their young lives. There is plenty of time to get married and have children or not. It will be entirely their decision.

    September 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Linda K.

    Some of these comments are too extreme and may come back to bite us. But I do regret that Palin didn't go into journalism instead of politics. She would have been a tough reporter, and the nation would have been safer.

    September 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. Danielle MN

    I'm sure the G.O.O.P. will just call him a "sexist."
    Of course, it was Sarah Palin who forced rape victims to pay for their own rape kits when she was mayor of Wasilla.
    Sarah Palin who slashed AK state funding to programs supporting single mothers.
    Sarah Palin who runs the state with the highest national rate of rape and incest.

    Don't even get me started on John "NO Equal Pay for Women" McCain.

    September 11, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. Will the real John McCain please stand up, Palin-McCain ticket exposed

    Thank you for saying what most of us are thinking.

    The world is watching and we can't let this happen. McCain did not think "country first" but "political first" when he made this decision. It's a hint of things to come where the Palin McCain ticket is concerned.

    September 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. Rick

    Thats the best you got "she is a cocky wacko" Sounds a little like jealousy to me. You know the school kid who picks on the girl he has a crush on.

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

    there is a reason McCain is up in the polls, and it isn't because Palin is a cocky wacko. If the rest of America thought she was a wacko, she wouldn't be so popular.

    September 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Gracie

    And this is why he is the "former" Senator.

    September 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. I miss Hillary

    You go Mr. Chafee!

    Anybody but McCain/Palin '08

    September 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Moderate and Balanced

    I love watching the Liberals flounder ...splashing around in the water aimlessly...not knowing how to get out of the mud. Sarah Palin is a game changer....Obama picked the wrong VP (who admits it!) and now the liberal left is freaking out completely.

    I couldn't be more thrilled. Once again...the Democrats have shot themselves in the foot due to ego and arrogance.

    September 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. Stacy Simmons

    So very true!!

    The McCain/ Palin ticket is to the United States/ World, as the Wizard of Oz was to Oz....... out of touch with the ppl HIDDING

    September 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Reality Check

    The woman seem a bit scary. By the way CNN, where is Jack Cafferty?
    The situation cannot go on without Cafferty. Bring him back.

    September 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. FreeNLovIt

    Look, the candidates arent perfect, but we want to hire the lesser of the two evils...

    Obama has LESS baggage than McCain.... Cant train an old dog, new tricks...

    September 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. Mike in Columbus

    Couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you Chafee for having the guts to stand up and tell the truth. No one else in your party does.

    September 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  19. Cliff

    Sarah Palin is being set up. Her Republican handlers have not stopped her from making false claims of her record that undercut her candidacy because they want her to fail. She’s not qualified to be VP so they want to replace her on the ticket and blame the media for having to do so. They want voters to rally around the Republican ticket by making them think they have been so “unfairly” treated by the media that they had to let Palin go. Palin is a sacrificial lamb without enough insight to know what is happening. She is more to be pitied than castigated for things she is saying. The media is playing into Republican hands by going after Palin.

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

    mccain and palin are the biggest joke in the history of american elections, I have never seen such liars and distortions of truth since thelast rovian election by dubya and lord chenader. The GOP are scared because they know the real change is coming and soon they know they are going to be out of power. Yes we the people have made up our minds we are sitting back and waiting until 11/4, then you will see like the primaries the largest number of democrats in history come out and rip power away from the GOP and give it to Obama and Biden, where the power belongs with us. Where we can help the people. Get out your check books GOP ers its payback time. The middle clas is rising up and demanding that we the people are heard. Obama/ Biden, and Clinton will be there and alot of other brilliant democrats this is our time lets take back our country...

    September 11, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. veterans' for obama

    Republicans for Obama UNITE!!

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

    im shure thats why he,s a former senator,,must be a male shovenist,,,,,he gave no reason,she must have stood up for herself,or her country ,and made him look bad

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

    yet another obama supporter who is not helping the candidate by making such outrageous statements. obama needs to get control of all the people around him as it would be them that would help him loose the election by mobilizing palin's supporters and discouraging people in the middle or wavering a little in their support. in the same light, some of the comments here are just plain vile! how does anyone defend a comment that implies that it would have been a good thing for Palin to have been drowed at birth?

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

    CNN is desperately trying to find anyone they can to diss Palin.. Sorry CNN.. This loser doesn't do it for me.

    September 11, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  25. Tommy Hussein in St. Louis...not wearing lipstick

    If she thinks that whenever somebody mentions lipstick they must be talking about her, then she is cocky.

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