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. charles r breitbach

    smoke screen sarah
    lipstick on animals
    lead by decree deport oppsition
    prevaricate preterition

    September 12, 2008 07:30 am at 7:30 am |
  2. Bob

    Well, she's at least a liar if not a wacko. All that nonsense about telling Congress "no thanks" on the "bridge to nowhere." Wonder if she's repeated that lie enough that she now believes it really happened.

    September 12, 2008 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  3. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    Took a deep breath and watched Gibson's interview last night. This is a joke....right? The registered, thinking Republicans I know have either decided not to vote or are voting for Obama.

    September 12, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  4. Recoss

    Umm can we get another negative Palin story on the front page? We only have 5 today, isn't that a tad below your normal dose of biased based "journalism"?

    September 12, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  5. Lee

    I have never been prouder to be from RI! Tell the truth, Chafee!

    September 12, 2008 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  6. Jim

    In Rhode Island Chaffee has been described as “goofy “ a moniker that suits him well. That’s why he is “former senator “ Chaffee.

    September 12, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  7. dee

    this type of statement should be let known more openly to the american community.

    September 12, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  8. Joe - Wilmington, DE

    A-la Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin places her need for power over the needs of the nation and, I would say, her family too.

    Unlike Hillary Clinton, she is not articulate and as far as I can see not highly intelligent.

    America and the world deserve much better.

    September 12, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  9. Betsy

    "Cocky wacko." I sure hope it becomes a popular catchphrase, cuz this woman scares the bejeezus outta me. Thanks Senator Chafee!

    September 12, 2008 07:33 am at 7:33 am |
  10. Alabama

    Pft, this hardly seems newsworthy. Obviously, Palin is quite the wacko! Yes, lets support her in this "holy war"! Lets finish God's work in Iraq! Lets ALL ask if we can ban books from being at libraries! Lets make sure we all believe that Alaska is the holy land the good Evangelical Christians will flock to when we destroy the earth... or whatever that was about! 🙂

    (I don't necessarily totally support either McCain or Obama, by the way. I just kinda don't want another psycho possibly running the country...)

    ...wacko? Yeeeeeah, a little.

    September 12, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  11. williefloyd

    Lots of people are probably losing sleep over the prospect of MCain and his "lame duck" running mate. The two of them in the White House would give anyone "nightmares" if they were lucky enough to fall asleep.

    America, wake up, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! No more Repubs.


    September 12, 2008 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  12. James From Chicago

    Chaffee hit the nail on the head.Palin is a WACKO.All you had to do is
    listen to her interview.She didn't have a clue of what she was talking about.

    September 12, 2008 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  13. Kpawlak

    ......and all of the sudden we are supposed to believe what Mr Chafee has to say? Mr who? What about his background. What makes this
    "ex senator" so credible? Give me a break. This is just another Obama supporter wanting to knock Palin down.

    September 12, 2008 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
  14. Eugene

    How right you are!!

    September 12, 2008 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  15. Chris

    2012 is the next best chance for democrats.

    September 12, 2008 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  16. Palin is Scary

    He's right! She is cocky and trying to be more than she is ever qualified to be. Gotta love the way she dodges National Security questions in the latest interview. No way this pair gets in the oval office.

    September 12, 2008 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  17. Anonymous

    I bekieve this X- Senator is full of sour grapes.

    September 12, 2008 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  18. lee

    If Senator Lincoln Chafee uses that strong description of Palin, then I believe him! Add his comments to Noonan's and Murphy's and it's conclusive.
    How many women that "relate" to Palin have skinned a moose? Or hope to someday? They are pretty weird, too.

    September 12, 2008 07:40 am at 7:40 am |
  19. Alex

    Cocky wacko are the exact words that one of my colleagues uses to describe Palin. Chafee hit the nail on the head.

    September 12, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  20. Karyn

    I bet he's right about her. She seems to be a hypocrite to me. She's pro life, but pro gun law. Doesn't she realize that because of the gun law that allows people to own guns, there higher crime rate in America? Incidents such as school shootings happens because of easy access guns. She is for teenage abstenance, but her daughter is pregnant. I think people that are energized by her are probably those that like guns and war like she does.

    September 12, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  21. Tom

    It just goes to show – Democrats are scared. Palin has energized the Republican party, and now the issue is very much in doubt for Obama.

    It's really sad to see everyone attack Palin. This race has been divisive enough, but Democrats and Republicans keep throwing grenades.

    I've had enough with the personality attacks. If you think Obama has experience enough to be President, then Palin does to. If you think Palin has experience enough, then Obama does too.

    Let's get past this ridiculous rhetoric and personal attacks and get BACK ON THE ISSUES!!!

    September 12, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  22. Rivkah Rubinstein

    Ex- senator sure to make headlines by tagging on to Palin's coat tails. But, does he have an original thought, or is he saying anything that rational folks want to hear? Liberals are generous only with their insults and other people's money!

    September 12, 2008 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  23. Sue

    How refreshing to see an honest evaluation of this potential VP. She will never get a vote from this former Hillary supporter. She is as scarey as it gets and we need to take off the kid gloves and start dealing with this wack-job before it is too late.

    September 12, 2008 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  24. J. Sully, New York

    Chafee is right! I agree wholeheartedly. When I heard McSame picked Palin, I was shocked. The repubs pick their running mates haphazardly just like they voted for this unwarranted war. Again, the repubs are trying to sell America a stale phony bill of goods.

    September 12, 2008 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  25. valerie

    Thank you. It's nice to know that there are others out there who think she's a pyscho nutjob.

    September 12, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
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