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. Sandy - PA

    'Cocky Whacko' doesn't begin to describe her accurately. This is an insult to cocky whackos everywhere.

    September 12, 2008 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  2. Carmen

    I agree with the cocky wacko after looking at her interview last night. Republ needs to ditch her now.

    September 12, 2008 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  3. Carrie

    Ouch....My goodness...Chafee's remarks are very blunt. But the real test here is," Can she take this kind of criticism?" He will certainly be criticized for being so blunt. Do you think he will be called sexist, or disgruntled, or bitter?? The barracuda/pit bull will pucker up to the camera with her lipstick and probably say, "Don't pick on me." Or can she teleprompt her way out of this one. She better run to McBush and Uncle Rove right now for advice.

    September 12, 2008 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  4. kB

    Thank God! Someone sees her for what she is.......

    September 12, 2008 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  5. Saved

    Palin is a nut waiting to crack – this women has no place in America politics let alone the White House.

    September 12, 2008 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  6. Mrs. Betty Wolff

    It scares me to death to think this woman could end up running our country! Please America, see past all the smoke & mirror "hockey mom" superficiality! This woman is downright scary; from her book bans at libraries to her despotism and dreadful environmental record. I pray this ticket is not elected.

    September 12, 2008 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  7. Mike

    He is right on both counts. The Republican 'Truth Squads' are trying to deny the True Story of the Palin book banning incident but the truth is that it did occur. A newly elected Palin feeling the Raw Unlimited Power of a tiny town Mayor. Approached the Wasilla town librarian to "Discuss Banning" certain books objected to by Palins extreme pentacostal Church. This is a Church that says the World will soon be Destroyed but that God will spare Alaska as a Divine Christian refuge.
    A Church that has Preached that Terrorism is God's punishment for Jew's disbelief and that Critics of Bush are going to Hell. Well the Librarian of course refused to Ban Books and Palin fired her. This puts Palin in the same company of Adolf Hitler and the Spanish Inquisition. Should Palin stumble into the Presidency. Will Palin call her opponants Witches? The GOP already suggests critics of Palin are evil Wolves. If Reagan could see what mcBush has bone to the GOP he would spin around in his grave.

    September 12, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  8. JMarie

    Nice. love the unsubstantiated remarks with a caustic label leading the way.

    Frankly, most politicians are a bead off'd have to be to subject yourself to the scrutiny of media and the out-of-context firestorm over even the smallest thing.

    September 12, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  9. Bruce

    Durning her first and I have heard last interview Palin said something that TIEs her and McCain directly to BUSH. She was talking abut the BUSH DOCTRIN and pre-emtive strikes. For those that do not remember or what to forget that is what got the USA into Iraq. It is a dangerous concept. It means if you THINK someone MIGHT attack you then itis ok to attack first.

    That sounds good if you only look at it from one side. But that same idea supports Russa's action in Geroga. The action that she is so upset about. That is WHY SHE IS SO DANGEROUS.

    THAT IS WHY they are not change they are MORE OF THE SAME MORE WAR

    September 12, 2008 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  10. Brandon

    I agree with his comments. Palin seems too good to be true for Republicans. She's like the wolf in sheeps clothing, of the fairy tales and cartoons. She could potentially be something that McCain will regret choosing. Shes already in more favor than he is for her controversy. She obviously is very cocky for her comments of Obama and Biden, and she was chosen just recently. I can't wait to see McCain and Palin lose so she can shut her mouth.

    September 12, 2008 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  11. Undecided....

    Former Rhode Island Sen. Lincoln Chafee...Former....Go home, eat whatever you do.

    Palin is a good choice. McCain needed some additional fire. When do we quit listening to all of these X office holders and and start listening to the candidates and what they are going to do?

    'Bill Clinton says Obama wins big!" Wow really? I am SO surprisd at that. All should shut up and let us hear the peple who will be running this country instead of the ones who have had thier chance.

    September 12, 2008 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  12. John A. Saah

    As a white American male, I agree with Senator Chafee on both issues!

    He courageously did the right thing and voted against the illegal Iraq invasion in 2003 (compared to all of his fellow Republicans, and Hillary) and he has publicly come out against Sarah Palin, the redneck Walmart mom !

    Palin is nothing because she came from nothing. She is one of the those angry whites living in the middle of nowhere who feels "entitled" to a better life without working hard for it. And if they don't live a comfortable life, they go back to guns and religion as a backup!

    September 12, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  13. RJ show me state

    Palin may have glitter and shine, but most people can (we hope) realise she does not have the experince to deal with the world issues if mc cain becomes unable to command our country. they say obama doesn't have the experience. but he does have the education and wisdom and understanding that it will take a world effort to repair our country and outher countrys as well. this country will become a devided country for a very long time if mc cain becomes presendent. since 70% of the world chooses obama to be our leader. see the point in who has the skill and wisdom to handle the world affairs. is obama GO OBAMA yes we can

    September 12, 2008 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  14. The Light

    I completely agree with Sen. Chafee! She feels that it's necessary to start messing around with Russia???? I'm all for protecting our allies and ourselves, but you can't really do that when you're in support of an unjustified war that we are still in! If we piss off too many Russias, Chinas, and N. Koreas, our little allies will not be able to help us. GOD HELP US ALL!!!

    September 12, 2008 07:52 am at 7:52 am |
  15. Michelle

    She is scary.

    I hope Obama and his people take it easy on her, she was ill prepared for the interview. I think we Americans can make up our own minds, even I knew the Bush Doctrine.

    September 12, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  16. From abroad

    Please, please, dear Americans don't vote with your heart, please don't vote another pair of relgious fanatics to the Whitehouse. The world begs You. It is apparent that new heights of double standards are being set by the republicans (abortion, NRA, Palin can't even get her own daughter to live by the "high moral" and so on)....

    September 12, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  17. Juan Grain

    No she's not. She is a cocky whacko that has not a clue about the job of President or Vice President. And this country is headed for some terible times if they get into the white house. Fight with the Russians. with what Nukes! Because our military is not in a position to go there right now. Americans need to wake the hell up and realize that this is not a game of red states and blue states. It is about competence. and McCain Palin is more of the same incompetence that got us here in the first place. She does not even know what the Bush doctrine is. Give me a break, she has not a clue and i sure as hell do not want her to have the nuclear codes.

    September 12, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  18. is this true

    this woman did not even know what the bush doctrine was.How can people vote for this woman reguardless of what mccain does.Picking her was clearly a bad political choice. Why wasnt she pressed on not knowing something as simple as the bush doctrine? And she is suppose to be a heart beataway from the oldest presidential candidate in history.

    September 12, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  19. Lipstick on a Palin

    S H E___D O E S___N O T___K N O W___W H A T___A___
    V P___D O E S___Y E T____S H E___I S___R E A D Y___
    T O___B E____A ___V P___O N___D A Y 1????

    September 12, 2008 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  20. Matto

    Sounds about right.

    September 12, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  21. Paul Thompson

    I'm a democrat. And I don't believe that making people mad about our country is a good strategy or will ever result in any thing good.

    You need to get it....less than 50% of us 'hate' this country.

    It's not perfect...but it's not despicable.

    September 12, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  22. Kevin

    The selection of Palin may have energized Borama supporters but nothing like it's energized the entire Republican base and many Independants who were looking for something they could believe in; proud Sarah Palin was choses as the V.P. candidate.

    September 12, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  23. Sue in MI

    Palin said that we have the right to invade a sovereign nation without their permission. Do they have the same right? World War Three?

    September 12, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  24. Vicki K

    Remember Terry Schiavo politics? If not, you will with Palin.

    September 12, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  25. Timothy

    Well said. I love it when people tell the truth. I think he may have held back a bit though.

    September 12, 2008 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
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