September 12th, 2008
01:36 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain gets grilled on The View

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. John McCain was a guest on 'The View' Friday."]
(CNN) - When John McCain agreed to appear on the day-time talk fest known as The View, he may not have been expecting too many hard-hitting questions.

But the Arizona senator was aggressively pressed on VP candidate Sarah Palin's qualifications to be vice president, as well as his new negative campaign ads that several independent fact-checks have called downright misleading.

Co-host Barbara Walters immediately asked McCain about a remark he’d made that Palin might just be the most "marvelous running mate" ever, asking, "that's not a little strong?"

"We politicians are never given to exaggerations or hyperbole, as you know," McCain joked, before praising Palin as the most "popular governor in America" and one who has united a "spark in America."

Walters went on to press Palin's reformist credentials, noting McCain has served in Washington for more than two decades and asking repeatedly, "who's she going to reform, you?"

McCain began to answer by saying Democrats have held control of Congress for two years, before Walters quickly interrupted: “But tell me who she is going to reform - we aren't talking about the economy, we're not talking about housing, she was chosen to reform, who is she going to reform?"

"The Democrat Party, the Republican Party, even an independent," McCain said, appearing somewhat frustrated, "She'll reform all of Washington."

"How? What will she do," Walters appearing somewhat exasperated said. "What is she going to reform specifically, senator?"

McCain said Palin had a strong record on vetoing earmark spending. "The fact is she was a reform governor, she took on an incumbent governor of her own party and defeated him. She sold the airplane and fired the chef –" he began.

"She sold the airplane at a loss," an unrelenting Walters interrupted.

McCain was later pressed on the increasingly derisive tone of the campaign, and his new television commercial that carries the widely discredited claim Obama supported comprehensive sex education of kindergarteners as an Illinois state senator.

McCain defended the ad’s claims, as well as those of a Web ad that said Obama’s “Lipstick on a Pig” comments were directed at Palin. He added that if Obama had agreed to a series of townhalls he’d proposed, the tone of the campaign might have been more amicable.

"If we had done what I asked Senator Obama to do, I don't think you'd see the same tenor of this campaign," he said. “Why don't you ask Obama the next time he's on this show why won't he be in town meetings with me?"

"You bring us Sarah Palin and we'll ask Obama," Walters quipped.

Full story

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (633 Responses)
  1. Johanna not voting GOP

    Where is Palin's interview with Gibson???

    No sane American or European leader would ever ever ever give an answer like that. You do not get into hypotheticals about nuclear war. You just don't. Palin references the Cold War. The only reason the Cold War stayed cold is because our leaders understood the stakes of getting things wrong and saying things that could lead to catastrophic nuclear war. During the Cuban Missile Crisis every word, every public statement, and any message that the Kennedy administration sent to the Soviets was checked, double checked, and triple checked to make sure it was sending precisely the right signal. This is what you are forced to do when you have thousands of nuclear weapons and so does your opponent. The stakes are simply too high. And yet there is a nominee for the vice presidency of the United States who may one day have her hand on the button and she is casually talking about potential catastrophic nuclear war.

    September 12, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. Open Your 3rd Eye



    September 12, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. former hillary supporter now for Obma

    Somebody had to do it!!! Because CNN WONT!

    September 12, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. carol

    who cares. He had the memo of that grill!

    September 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. Hitler Youth for Obama

    Of Course- anyone who isn't the Obama- is met with hostility.

    Obama gets the carpet laid out for him to walk on.

    Isn't anyone concerned about this obvious bias and double standard? Not to mention the adulation poured on Obama?

    September 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Barbara Chicago, IL

    Is it me or did Palin come off very angry and aggressive in that interview with Charles Gibson. If you look at her body language she seemed tense, up on the edge of her chair waving her finger the whole time. Also she was really catty when answering Charlie's questions often saying...."Well what do you mean by that Charles". But look how Mr.Gibson is relaxed in his seat calmly. She came off very combative from the start.

    She's turning out to be more of a Chihuahua with lipstick instead of a pitbull. She all bark and no bite.

    September 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Open Your 3rd Eye




    September 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Obama threw his flowers into the reflecting pool and both John and Cindy McCain respectfully placed their bouquets.

    September 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |

    but he is a pow

    September 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Chi4Obama

    Someone in the media is holding McCain accountable for choosing a "puppet" as his VP.

    Everyone (yes Dems and Repubs) know that the wannabe Pitbull is grossly unqualified.

    Kudos to Barbara Walters for FINALLY putting pressure on McCain.

    September 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. Tim

    Good for Walters. More and more traditional media is refusing to call the McCain campaign on its lies and smears, so now we have other forms of media filling the gap: new media (the internet), satire TV shows (Daily Show especially), and daily talk shows.

    September 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Kenneth "Voter" Rios

    So those five ladies are the first to finally confront McCain personally on these issues? Yikes!

    September 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  13. Joe in NJ

    That's right, beat up on McCain. After the lovefest you've shown Obama and his wife, it's obvious where these women's loyalty lies (except for Elizabeth).

    September 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. Jessica

    Man, I love you Barbara Walters.

    September 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. Cam

    HAHAHAHAHAHA – I used to hate Barbara Walters but now I wish I would have watched it!

    September 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. hmm

    It's sad that the ladies on the view are doing the job of the supposed real media ... go figure. The best part is mccain using the claim that "obama won't do town-hall meetings with me" to defend him going negative and telling lies

    September 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Sue, NY

    I have heard John McCain say many times that if only Obama had agreed to do town halls with him he wouldn't have gotten negative. Now I don't know about anyone else...but this is very's like a child saying if I can't play with that toy I'm going home. I think John McCain needs to grow up because at this point he is not grown up enough to lead this country in these very hard times.

    September 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Joyce, ny

    Way to go Barbara! I wish all media people dare ask these questions. We're trying to decide who will be at the highest office for crying out loud!

    September 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. anon

    He should have known that the ladies on The View don't fret with words. I'm not a big fan of the show but I do know they don't skirt around issues and they speak their minds. He walked right into that landmine!!

    September 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. Mike

    Typical liberal attack dogs from the media. They're running scared now because Obama's poll numbers are going down the toilet. I love it! Palin has more integrity and intelligence in her little pinky than most of those women put together.

    September 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. Palin 2012


    Go home and take your witch Hillary with you. McCain does not need you anymore to win this election.

    Palin 2012

    September 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. McCain wants women to Vote Vagina!

    GO BARBARA WALTERS! HAHA, see, intelligent women know the truth about Palin and her selection. Poor McCain thought he was just going to pick Palin and the women would come crawling to him. Not this year and not this time!

    September 12, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  23. A, Los Angeles

    About time someone asked real questions!!!!

    You go gurl!

    September 12, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. CM

    Good thing that Barbara still can ask the tough questions.

    McCain's lack of specifics and unwillingness to extrapolate on his plans should be noted. Looks like he's still thinking this campaign isn't about issues.

    Now let the GOP faithful bash Walters and bring up Obama in a vain attempt to divert the spotlight from their nominees shorcomings.

    September 12, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. TW

    Good job Barbara......

    September 12, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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