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. Someonewhocares

    Is there anyone in Hollywood that is not a moron? These were real pit bulls with lipstick – pitiful really .....

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. Cynthia

    Do your thing Barbara, handle your business.
    Enough is enough!

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. Virginia

    Sad thing is, no matter how much you point out the facts, the Bush style campaign that McCain and Palin have adopted is working. He's hired the same people that got Bush into office and they know how to manipulate the populous. It scares the hell out of me, but I can't help but be amazed by it. The polls show how it is working.

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Jill- IN

    Town Hall Meetings? Get over it John! Why should YOU dictate how Obama manages his campagin and communicates with the Voters. Do you think we are so stupid that we don't realize that would mean less important ground covered meeting voters all over the country? The tradeoff would be town hall meetings – big boring snooze!!!!!
    I am deeply concerned about Palin's ability to be on the top ticket in the country – not here now now. There are way too many serious problems to tackle after 8 years of Bush, Cheny, stinky Rove tactics. Really good jobs leaving the country, layoffs, job eliminations, mortgage backed securities crisis, default crisis, billions a month spent on Iraq, loss of lives and limb, veterans care improvement, bankruptcies, lack of good health care access, unaffordable college for average folks wanting to send their loved ones to college, possibly more war and the draft (which would draft your daughters too) -- PEOPLE HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO BE HIT OVER THE HEAD BEFORE WE SAY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH? Also, in the Gibson interview Palin didn't even know what the Bush Doctrine was - this should scare you. If the average person doesn't know what the Bush Doctrine is that is okay, but a person running for the highest ticket in the land should know!

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. Barack Obama IS Our 44th president!

    My question is, how can McCain reform Washington with his experience, when he can't even reform his campaign ? He is running the most negative, divisive , low road campaign ever . Certainly, if he had better judgment and experience, it would be clearer to him that the American people would believe him a little more, in terms of reforming anything if his campaign was reflecting it !

    His record is very clear, regardless if he has the courage to face it or try very hard to separate himself from the Bush administration — 90% of the time he votes with Bush ! And there is no reason to think Palin will be any different.

    I don't want to take a 10% chance on change. I prefer to choose the REAL agent of change, and that is Sen. Obama !

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. bertha doucet

    These women on the view is jealous of a strong woman,especially barbara walter.they was grinning when obama was on the view.obama have no experiences what so ever to be running for president,I doin't see no one questioning him. Houston Texas

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Shane


    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. GOAT

    Well, I am glad someone is finally asking the tough questions. CNN is afraid to ask those questions on their shows because they don't want to be accused of "Belittling" or being "Sexist". When Campbell Brown asked Tucker the decision question, McCain punished CNN by pulling a Larry King interview. Man-up CNN. I love you guys but we need to get the answers to the tough questions and you're backing off.

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Nowhere Man

    I hope Ba-Wa-Walters invites The Chosen One on and keeps asking him his specifics on WHAT he will "reform"? We already know his answer : build a bigger government, and then tax the crap out of anoyone, anything and everything to run it!

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  10. Roger

    Good for you Barbara. Finally someone asking this man the questions that need to be answered. I don't know why the "best political team on television" or "The Morning Joe in the tank for McCain" bunch don't see fit to nail him down. There need to be more interviewers like you Barbara – not afraid to ask the real questions rather than waste our time on lipstick and mooseburgers!!! This election is too important and voters real concerns need to be addressed. Even if I wasn't a Democrat, I'd still be voting for Obama if for nothing else this country needs to do a dramatic 180!!!! Keep up the good work Barbara!!

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Grandma for O

    I watched it. Those girls can teach the MSM a thing or two about interviewing without the claims of

    "they were so hard, they were attacking, they were sexist"

    Thanks for letting us all know McCain that you do intend to pick judges that will interpret the constitution as you see it.

    That roe v wade was a mistake that needs to be corrected.

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Hey BlackMan4Mac

    His OFFICIAL birth certificate is posted on his website, born in Honolulu! Get the FACTS before you go out and start making unbased, unfounded accusations! I see now why your for McBush.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  13. Kpawlak

    This is to be expected. We all know if Obama was in that seat they would be talking about his loving wife and daughters and his hopes, dreams and change for the future. I suppose at this point they don't care how transparent they seem as long as they get their guy in.

    How disappointing. The media and commentators or whatever they are, have lost all credibility and I am sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. bakersfield


    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. Charlie

    Democrats are LIVID right now. In an election that they were POSITIVE they would walk away with, they can't get any better than a statistical tie, and are losing ground fast, even in congressional races. The one thing the left wing media will never get is that Americans aren't stupid. We see right through the crap they try to shovel and it doesn't work. Obama is finished and so will be the Democratic party. Good Riddance!

    September 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Richard Grover

    What a onesided and unprofessional interview. I would like Glenn Beck or CNN News to show Obama's interview on the View and the questions asked alongside of McCains.
    Just watching Walters face of discust and Joy and Whoopi sharing nods and winks to one another made me sick.
    What a good example of the bias media attacking a presidential nominee.
    The show has been discredited by the women of "Tunnel View"

    September 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  17. JoelWhy

    lol! Wow, it's sad that it takes a fluff show like The View to show 'real' news organizations how they should treat ALL people running for office. Stop reporting these mock-outrage stories, and start grilling them on REAL issues!

    September 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  18. Mark

    CNN, this is how you speak with Presidential candidates. You ask them REAL questions and press them on their lies. Obama, Biden, McCain and Palin need to answer REAL questions and you need to hold their advisors and the media pundits to higher values than you currently do.

    The MEDIA is to blame for the lowbrow in this campaign. They allow it to happen. CNN, you allow it to happen. It's time to grow up and be something more...

    September 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  19. David, Vancouver WA

    I'm so proud of Barbara for asking those tough questions and for not letting him circle around a real answer. We need interviewers like this on every news channel, who take all candidates to task whether they be republican, democratic, green, independent ... whatever. You're a hero, Barbara!

    September 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  20. Chip

    sold the plane at a loss... OK Barbara... so what should she have done? Kept it, at the taxpayers expense?

    September 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Steve Hodge

    Did I hear that McCain says he is punishing Obama for not agreeing to debate McCain on McCain's terms? He would be more amicable if Obama did what he (McCain) wanted him to do? This is the person who wants to make peace with the world after 8 years of Bush?

    September 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. miken

    Lets see… John McCain spends 5 years in a P.O.W. camp fullfilling his duty to protect her freedoom and she has the gall to ask “Do you want me to be a slave again?”

    Does you people on the left really respect people like her? I could never support the same candidate she does.

    September 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. Emily

    Yes, I definitely want to know what Palin plans to reform?

    The fact now one knew about her and she is new does not reform anything. Her reformist records have been already under scrutiny. What does he mean by reforming Democrats, Republicans, and Independents? What do you want to do with Independents? Are not they by definition not a part of organization you can reform?

    What we need to reform is healthcare, social security, education, economy policy, equality for women, all the things that matter to us. If government is delivering that to us, we do not ask for a reform of parties.

    September 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  24. Obama Supporter

    American Citizens

    Please take not that RNC candidates are saying and repeating lies after lies without any proof of evidence. We must cast our vote for the Democratic Nominee or any of the other candidates that are running. We must not let the GOP run our country. If, they succeed our children will not see the future nor shall we as citizens. Please vote against the GOP. We must take our country back from them.

    September 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  25. Douglas, Los Angeles California

    Wow, the View does a better job than the press getting the real issues and seeking truth to real questions. I wish I could have seen it!

    Is Palin going to go on next? She wanted Oprah thinking that Oprah is a softball – – I think not. Oprah didn't want her because she doesn't want these clowns stinking up the air ways.

    September 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
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