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. Kelvin Marshall

    I think the comments are a little extreme, but I not think she is ready to lead this country.

    September 12, 2008 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  2. JImmy in California

    Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee says of Gov. Palin, "she's a cocky wacko." Now when Senator McCain hears this I suppose he will demand an apology from Senator Obama for it. They all talk of polotics being really rough and harsh. Well I think it depends on who the target is. For months, Senator Obama caught hell about speeches made by his then Pastor Wright. Now video comes to the surface where Gov. Palin is seen making a speech in church about this war being GOD's war and nothing is hardly said.This was not her pastor in a sermon at the church. This was a Vice Presidential candidate making this speech and it is news for all of a few days.

    Don't talk to me about her being treated unfairly when she gets almost no attention about her church speeches and Obama is all but hung for the words of his pastor.

    I'm waiting now for Obama to be blamed for the comments made by former Senator Chafee.

    September 12, 2008 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  3. Ben

    Finally a conservative and a christian who speaks the truth!..Overall, Republicans lie through their teeth and Americans have no problems sleeping over lies. SAD!....

    September 12, 2008 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  4. anfo

    Whenever I see someone use such language I think they must be a "cocky wacko". Seriously???? That is how you make an intelligent arguement???

    September 12, 2008 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  5. Get this off

    There was a Presidential Forum tonight. Instead of having that as a lead on your little blog, you've have an incendiary article about a former a GOP Senator blasting Sarah Palin as your top headline for the pst 19 hours.

    This is blatant partisanship on the part of your company. Shame on you all. If a "former Democratic Senator" were to criticize Obama or Biden, it would be tucked away in your blog somewhere and not even a top headline.

    You should be ashamed of yourselves.

    September 12, 2008 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  6. Ben

    Likes of Karl Rove have no problems looking into your eyes and bs all the way. Nothing Karly boy says carries facts!

    September 12, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  7. Ed in Texas

    Wacko – sounds like it to me; she is a perfect running mate for McWarMonger... I'd say that was a rather irresponsible and pretty flippant discussion of war, with Russia, like that is feasible. Come on, give me a break, anyone who thinks war with Russia or China or any other country for that mater, with our weakened forces, low international standing, weakened (imaginary) economy and the absolute certainty of not a win, but mutual destruction is an idiot and should not be running for elected office. Mcwarmonger 1 meet PitBullWarmonger 2 (with lipstick of course). I hope America is listening and watching these 2...

    September 12, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  8. DebM, Allentown, PA

    I think that Chafee is probably expressing the same view that many Republicans express secretly.

    For the women who think that the McCain/Palin ticket will work well for them, please consider that, as mayor of Wasilla, Palin's town was the ONLY one in Alaska that charged rape victims for the forensic tests required to determine rape. And that John McCain, when presented with Joe Biden's sponsored Violence Against Women Act that made it illegal to charge rape victims for those forensic tests, voted AGAINST it.

    September 12, 2008 06:33 am at 6:33 am |
  9. Don

    Like he really knows all about her. What makes him such that he can call someone a name? Can he back up his mouth or is this just another political ploy from the extreme left wingers?

    September 12, 2008 06:34 am at 6:34 am |
  10. Mike Narducci

    Lets take back our country. It is time that U.S citizens realize that our system does not work. We vote politicians in and when they become corrupt we are stuck with them. Why would politicians stay in office all of they're lives instead of retiring? They do it for the perks. Do you know any politician who is not a millionair? TERM LIMITS. For example Charlie Rangel and his tax problems will get a slap on the wrist unlike the average person who would pay a penalty with interest from the IRS. How about the politician from Loisianna where they found $90,000 in his freezer? He still hasn't gone to trial. Face it politicians are better than the average person.

    September 12, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  11. Joan

    I saw her interview on ABC. Definitely she is a very dangerous person. Dangerous because she has very ignorant and dangerous mindset with no knowledge at all of foreign affair and national security. Mccain put America into a danger by picking her only for his political ambition. This is crazy.

    September 12, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  12. Rob

    well after Palin's first press interview yesterday –she had NO foreign policy knowledge whatsoever . She is scarey , i can she her and McCain getting us into a 3rd war. just what we need.

    September 12, 2008 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  13. maddawg

    who is this unknown imbecile that clearly has never done any good for this country within his own capabilities as a senator???

    i swear, some people are just dumber than stumps and this guy is just a flake.

    i never saw this guy 'check & balance' the president nor have i ever heard a single thing he, or his lame, do nothing father, ever did for this country.

    you are a typical 'keep your head in the sand' politician; a real lowly nobody with zero backbone.

    i'm sick and tired of this country's pathetic losers that call themselves politicians and public servants.

    oh yea....BO (and i'm sure he has it bad) will not be taking the white house....i've said it a hundred times over the last 2 years and it has been no more true than it is today!!!!

    thank goodness for at least that one good thing.

    September 12, 2008 06:37 am at 6:37 am |
  14. katie spencer

    Barack Obama has 143 days of job experience in the U.S. Senate.
    Palin Cocky? What about the "Messiah Obama"?

    September 12, 2008 06:39 am at 6:39 am |
  15. sue of canada

    wake up americans!! it's anyone's guess that this VP pick by mccain is solely for politcal gain and not "country first". mccain's decision is not only reckless but irresponsible and reek of desperation. sarah palin is the kind of woman who would make a mistake and stick to it regardless without admitting that mistake even though the facts are clearly pointing in the opposite direction. take the 'bridge to nowhere' for example. she repeated it endlessly and someone should just stop her. who in their right mind would vote for the republicans if mccain is a 100% staunch supporter of bush's policies. only in america but in other democracies, the republicans would not stand a chance! as some tv host said, "don't vote out of stupidity, fear and prejudice".

    September 12, 2008 06:41 am at 6:41 am |
  16. Steve in CT

    Just a scorn and bitter whiner who's jealous he didn't get tapped. This guy is so low key nobody realizes he exists except himself who has visions of greatness within himself. Picking this guy for VP would have made even Biden look exciting.

    September 12, 2008 06:43 am at 6:43 am |
  17. GARedNeck

    Hopefully Democratic politicans will be able to correct any damage they caused by not standing up to the Bush White House in the past. Hopefully American voters will come to their senses and vote to keep another GOP puppet out of the White House, thus allowing both houses of Congress to correct the damage done to America while Bush and his GOP terrorist organization tried to destroy this country: something no outside terrorist organization has been able to do.

    We have to break this cycle of elected officials who apparently want to destroy the fabric of our government from within: the government that our forefathers created. If the government doesn't care for the citizens what good is it?

    I'm not impressed with a president who is mostly interested in deploying our troops overseas to save a people from themselves. I'm more impressed with a president who will take the necessary actions to ensure that the government is looking out for the welfare of American citizens – using every tax dollar it has to satisfy every American's basic needs before we take on the problems of the rest of the world. This is the purpose of the government.

    No one is forced to remain in a country that they hate. If you want anarchy and the "Wild West" atmosphere which the GOP seems to desire, I'm sure there is some place for you, but not the USA!

    September 12, 2008 06:45 am at 6:45 am |
  18. Bill, Owego, NY

    I have felt there was "something wrong" with this candidate ever since watching her acceptence speech. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I knew she was even worse than the other Republicans. Now that the stories about her involvement in the "Bridge to Nowhere", the firing of her ex-brother-in-law and the earmarks she requested as Governor of Alaska have been published, I have figured it out; she was lying to everyone about everything.

    September 12, 2008 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  19. Coger

    After hearing Sarah Palin state that she would go to war with Russia over the its incursion into Georgia, Chaffee may want to rethink his portrayal of Palin as a çocky wacko, and upgrade it to dangerously kooky wacko. Considering her 'Alaska First' views, and her Pentecostal adherance to her church's doomsday prophesy that the world (excluding Alaska) is soon to be destroyed in a God ordained nuclear holocaust, one must wonder how far she might go to insure prophesy becomes history.


    September 12, 2008 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  20. ken

    Look whos talking.

    September 12, 2008 06:47 am at 6:47 am |
  21. ANDROLOMA, Commerce City, Colorado

    Cocky wackos? Loony leftists? And this is what politics has become, an insult fest? When did the brain-damaged children start running this country? Or when will they stop? The best and brightest minds of this country must be doing anything other than politics.

    With all that said, Pentecoastals are indeed some of society's most earnest, uncaged psychos. It takes a special type of imagination to believe that babbling in made-up languages to a god actually pleases that god; but humanity is especially adept at tricking itself.

    September 12, 2008 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  22. Palin is A Step Back In Time John Mccain is Older than the Telephone

    That is a understatement she is some many more thangs than Just a wacko lets go down the List: she is a Liar, Fraud, in A Very empty Pants suit. She is against abortion rights, She is against Sex Education, Condoms, Stem cell Research which could one day find a way to cure such illness as Diabetes, Liver Cancer, Asthma, Aids, Autism..... But of Course she doesn't support it that means these diseases may never be cured which also means that Million on upoun Millions will Ultimatly die We Need a True Leader that will Aid in ending the suffering of Millions and Death of many More Those are just a few of the Reason we need to Elect Barack Obama And Joe Biden as the Next President and Vice President.

    September 12, 2008 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  23. shaun goodwin

    Keep up the media blitz on Palin! It's great for the McCain ticket! If you can make it last til November, McCain is a sure thing!

    September 12, 2008 06:51 am at 6:51 am |
  24. M.B. from Berlin

    Genious. He's so right. I guess a lot of Repugs think his way.

    Well I know if you look at Polls at RCP... well yesterday 22times McCain in front, just 8times Obama... But just wait till the fairy dust is blown off of Mrs. "Failin" and wait for the debates to come and afterwards there will be upside down and Obama will roll on to victory.

    This cocky wacko together with Mr. "I don't care for modern techniques, American people and Soldiers" McSame MUSTN'T become our leaders in Oval Office. The whole world will make jokes and laugh about the USA for being sooooooooo stupid if it votes republicans again...

    OBAMA + Biden 08

    September 12, 2008 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  25. faxbot

    I agree This UNvetted candidate is a threat and a danger. My family and friends were horrified about the city council meetings she had in Wasilla ,Asking the city Librarian about banning books not just once but TWICE that proves MOTIVE that proves this women had /has an AGENDA Did she and her entire family think they could have a state trooper fired EVEN IF he was derilict in his duty it was NOT there call to make. This women has and will continue to work the system in her favor and does not care if other people happen to get in her way.
    I have watched and listen to her and to these new interviews John Mccain made a huge mistake Americans deserve better.

    September 12, 2008 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
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