September 11th, 2008
06:38 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: Sarah Palin
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Lucie for Obama

    Hit the naill right on the Top. say it bro say it .Obama/Biden 08

    September 12, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  2. Cindy

    I just read some of the other reports and have to add to my previous post.

    "Palin didn't hestitate to take VP slot" and "Palin Revealed: Dad says she showed grit early." First, we need a leader who is going to think about serious decisions and not impulsively jump. Next, I am so sick of the "John Wayne – True Grit" style of politics. It has done nothing but get this country into the mess it is in. We have witnessed this type of leadership over the past 8 years and it is not working!

    We need a leader with the temperment and intelligence it takes to run the greatest nation on earth. That means no more shooting-from-the-hip actions, instead well, thoughtout actions, directions, plans and policies.

    September 12, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |

    Poor Lincoln- Irrelevant while in the Senate, so much more so right now and still searching for his 15 minutes of fame.....

    September 12, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  4. JEFF

    Where is all the negative coverage on Obama and Bidden? CNN is sooo bias it is disgraceful. Lets look into Obama's past....lets ask him the same questions as the other candidates. But i suppose that would reveal too much.

    September 12, 2008 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  5. Frank Ri

    I also believe Palin is messed up. I constantly hear of things she has done that does not sound like she is a thinker. Yes a true folllower of McCain inher beliefs. Do we need another one in the White House like Cheney who bows down to the Bush. I really cannot figure Palin out and I do believe there is more to her than comes out in the press.

    September 12, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  6. Spencer from VA

    I couldn't agree with the senator any more. She's a nut job.

    September 12, 2008 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  7. Bruce

    Ms Palin's performance in the intereview shows that she has been totally trained by the Neo-con's They are the brains behind the Bush doctrin. They are the ones that think the USA is the big kid on the block and instead of leading by example we can BULLY others to do what we demand.

    Once the smoke and dust settle it is clear that it is all about MONEY< POWER< and of course OIL because thta is the sorce of both MONEY AND POWER.

    The things Palin said show a direct connection to the BUSH ADMINISTRATION policies. Her statements about Russa will drive us into a new cold war and arms race. Arms race is good for the people that build wepons thye make lots of profit.

    September 12, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  8. John McPain

    Sounds about right.

    September 12, 2008 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  9. roberto

    Nice. He sounds like a very kind guy. Rush to judgement. Keep him off jury duty.

    September 12, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  10. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    I wonder what he would have to say to Biden. It sounds like he has a problem with anyone that voted for the war.Biden voted for the war. Now that Biden is fallowing Obama maybe Chafee thinks that Biden was borne again.

    September 12, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  11. John McPain

    WHERE IS HER FLAG PIN??????!!!!!!!

    September 12, 2008 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  12. Chris

    So let me get this straight: Sarah Palin's a "cocky wacko" because she believes in the 2nd Amendment (it's in the Bill of Rights, so feel free to look it up and read it) and is consistent with her church's teaching about the evils of abortion. Really? Well, I guess I'm a cocky wacko, too, along with tens of millions of my fellow Americans.

    Sen. Chafee, I think I speak for all Republicans when I say, "Good riddance."

    You Obama nuts need to get a grip.

    September 12, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  13. Ken

    If the shoe fits...

    September 12, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  14. Luis Berrios

    Mr. Chafee could not have described Mrs. Palin any better, a 'cocky wacko'. She came out with a lot of bravado (anybody wants a piece of me out there?!!!) during that interview, with guns blazzing and an 'in your face' attitude with her responses. She certainly responded like a 'Pitbull' that she portrays herself to be, in other words a 'bully'. I can imagine what people that stand in her way get from her, a bunch of tire tracks running over them. There was not one hint of diplomacy or conciliation in her responses. Going to war with Russia? Without blinking she responded 'yes'. NATO or no NATO, diplomacy has ALWAYS been the first and foremost approach to resolve international disputes. This woman is both empty in her knowlege of international affairs and very confrontational/antagonistic, which makes her a very dangerous individual within reach of the Presidency of the United States. She will come out swinging her 'hockey stick' before any words are spoken. I hope voters are beginning to see through the 'smoke screen' that hides Sara Palin's true identity. This is not the type of approach this country needs at this very crucial moment in history, both for our nation and the world, unless voters in this country want a 'senile' President and a gun totting Pitbull as Vicepresident. These are scary times so voters beware and be careful what you ask for (McCain/Palin) for you may get it.

    September 12, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  15. Mike

    This source is anti McCAin in the first place- what do expect? Maybe CNN can find some more haters out there to interview of either party and print it as news!

    September 12, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  16. Independent Women for Obama

    I could not agree more. Look this person is thrown into the race and we still don't know what her involvement was with the firing of the people in Alaska. Is she going to fire anyone who disagrees with her. She does not respresent most of what America needs.

    People please vote wisely. We cannot reward McCain / Bush with what they have done the last 8 years. They are LIEING to the American people and we have had ENOUGH.

    Obama / Biden '08

    September 12, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  17. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Has Chafee ever met Palin? He shore judged her like he has known her for years.

    September 12, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  18. geod

    I'm commenting after seeing Ms Palin's part interview on ABC News last night. Regrettably, I have to say that I find the prospect of her taking over the presidency even scarier than before. Among other things that bothered me, she casually blurted out once again the BIG lie about Iraq being responsible for 9-11, while talking of her son shipping out for duty. She did it "without blinking".
    I can't help feeling a bit sorry for her though. Besides showing McCain's bad judgement, I think his VP pick reveals his callousness and ungentlemanliness, in putting this woman in that position.
    Also, what's up with cutting her off in mid-sentence over and over and over!? How demeaning is that? She seemed to have no trouble completing her lines at the convention.

    September 12, 2008 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  19. Judy Mason

    Lincoln Chafee hit the nail on the head. She is definitely cocky, and she is definitely a waco. What mother, who claims to have conservative values, parades her unwed pregnant daughter in front of a national audience? If this doesn't denote cocky and waco, what does?

    September 12, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  20. Jim

    Palin is the bridge to nowhere

    case closed

    I tried to give her a chance and watched her talk to Charles Gibson

    you can tell that she is reheared, puppet on a string,

    Where is the pitbull with no lipstick.?

    I did notice on Charles Gibson ABC worldnews tonight that Palin did not have any stockings on. That tells you how my mind wandered off to somewhere else because she did not hold my interest to listen once I notice the strings attached to her. I finally just turned to TV Off.

    September 12, 2008 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  21. kim,richmond,va

    He is absolutely right. Watch her family on youtube...the world would take us as a joke if she is allowed in the white house. I can't believe we are still entertaining the thought of her as VP.

    September 12, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  22. Rodham Democrat

    I think the Republicans now have their version of Joe Lieberman.

    Lieberman = Democrat turned Independent supporting Republicans
    Chafee – Republican turned Independent supporting Democrats

    September 12, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  23. jfz

    Former GOP Senator? What makes anyone think Rhode Island's Lincoln Chafee was EVER a Republican? No need to wonder why he is called a FORMER senator – the voters saw through him.

    September 12, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  24. Joyce in Florida

    I agree with you Senator Chafee. She is not qualified to be V.P. She is a pit bull in lipstick (LOL). It was her own statement. Every time I see or hear her, it sounds like she is chastising and always using that pointed finger. What's with that?!?! We are not children and do not need to be scolded. She is not capable for this title. She should just stay in Alaska. Democrats will take back the White House. Still a Hillary Clinton supporter who will vote for Obama in November.

    September 12, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |

    As to the issue that Obama is using the "race" card. The man is bi-racial! For the high information voter, he is a person of color as well as Caucasian! For low information voters, he is half black and half white and for the Bubba’s he was a “swirl baby” before he grew up to be “uppity”(arrogant is another favorite word for uppity). Now, hopefully we are all on the same page as to the meaning of bi-racial,

    So unless you are a little green alien from Mars(hopefully, a small voting bloc), the cries of racist are not justified.

    September 12, 2008 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
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