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.

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Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (633 Responses)
  1. Joseph in Dallas, TX

    Finally...someone asked a tough question and kept pressing on...
    You go girl (Barbara)!!!

    This is what McCain does. Every interview....every speech, forum...etc. There are no SPECIFICS! People need to press Palin also...she was very unfortcomfortable and some what stand-offish.

    Obama...just listen to what he said last night....he gave specifics about what he was going to do!!!

    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  2. Debbie, Independent Voter in Missouri

    McCain made a big mistake. Palin was scared and did not know the answers in her big interview. This is why she has been hiding. All you McCain fans need to get real. The McCain team needs to replace a team member. Please tell why I should vote for him ??

    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. P Carter

    Questions to Ask McCain:

    Ask McCain about the economy he distract you with an ad on stars.

    Ask McCain about gas prices he distract you with an ad on drilling

    Ask McCain about the economy he distract you with an ad about pigs wearing lipstick

    Ask McCain about education he distract you with an ad on Sex Ed for children

    Ask McCain about healthcare he distract you with an ad on Wolfs


    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  4. Jon

    Walters is absolutely right. McCain claims that he and Palin are going to reform Washington, but McCain IS Washington. So far the Republicans have run their campaign like it's a popularity contest rather than one of the most important and consequential public decisions we'll ever make.

    I won't consider voting for them until they drop the slogans and give me some specifics about what "change" they're talking about, how we're going to pay for at least two wars while at the same time lowering taxes, and what we're going to do about our energy problems other than drill, drill, drill.

    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  5. DR

    CNN this is how you ask questions that the american people want to know about these candidates. McCain flat out lied about the lipstick and sex education tv ads but Barbara, Joy and Whoopie did a great job by putting him on the spot and making him change the subject to something else that pertain to nothing they asked him.

    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  6. Obama Boy

    At first I really thought she was a great looking lady! I don't know if its the politics coming through, but she has kind of a creepy 60s renegade look to her!?! I also see some deer in the headlights looks also???

    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  7. Gregory

    Now that's the Barbara Walters we all remember!!

    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  8. Sheri

    So. . .because Obama didn't play McCain's game, McCain goes on a vendetta. Now. . .why does that remind me of Bush and Cheney?

    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. Judy from PA

    I find it humorous that Barbara Wa Wa hammered McCain on what Palin is going to reform, after we have been listening to Obama for 18 months nonspecifically claim to change something.

    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. Maureen

    Now there is a someone who knows how to press a candidate for real answers.

    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Grill, baby, grill!

    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. Jason, OH


    Kudos for Barbara doing what 99.9%of her media brethren FAIL to do...which is THEIR job.

    If McCain wants to make this campaign about personalities and slander, then he should be called out for it.

    It's that simple. Its not Obama's responsibility to counter that. Its the media's obligation to confront, inquire, and then analyst what McCain's motives are.

    Thank you, Barbara.

    September 12, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Dems are blowing it.... again

    Keep it up Obama supporters, You make McCain look better and better. Such Hostility! The women on The View made themselves look like they were jealous of Palin and that doesn't sit well with voters. I thought Obama supporters were educated...

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. FreeNLovIt

    I saw the Palin interview. She's a robot. I need a leader with a vision to lead. I need a leader that can think for herself/himself. Someone that takes the time to understand the situation.

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Helen

    I find fault in SEN. JOHN MCCAIN. He is constantly trying to trump his father and grandfather who were admiral. He is putting the American people safety and security at RISK. He doesn't care of Americans...he cares about winning and holding that position. He and Cindy are FAKES.

    To think that Sen. Palin should be next in line should something happen it him is the biggest knock knock JOKE i ever heard.

    Should he win...God be with us....cause God is the only one that can help.

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. Hypocrits for Obama

    What would Obama change? Biden?

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Kevin

    I saw the Interview of Sarah Palin. I am an Independent, but after seeing her, there is just no way I can vote for McCain. He already has one foot in the ground, so we would be electing her as the next President. I didn't know much about her, she seemed ok at first, but the more I learn, the more she scares the crap out of me.
    I will vote for Obama/Biden!

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Sheon

    Sarah Palins candidacy is the Republicans idea of AFFIRMATIVE ACTION....And they do it poorly.

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  19. Daniel

    The more people in the media pick on Palin the more the voters will rush to her side. Everyone loves an underdog; that's basic human psychology. Obama was the underdog against Hillary, now Palin is the underdog. McCain is brilliant for choosing Palin.

    Barbara Walters can also be asking Obama who HE thinks he's going to reform because the President is only one man. Congress legislates the laws in this country and Congress holds the real power.

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. 8toolong

    Thank you, Barbara......for not being stupid like they hope we all are. It's about time. McCain can dish it out, but apparently, he can't take it. Bottom line, if you don't play his way, then he will lie about you. Guess that's ok in McCain's world. And Palin......not a BARRACUDA, but as evidenced by her first interview, a FISH OUT OF WATER. McCain certainy didn't put the country first making that pick, only his political apsirations.

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. Andy J, NY

    Double standard much?

    Michelle Obama, who has very visibly and vocally campaigned for her husband, was not met with these lines of tough questions.

    I do agree that candidates need to be pressed harder, and questioned harder, but if you're going to do it to mccain, do it to obama too.

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  22. RFO

    Actually from an average Joe/Jane point of view I like the selection of Sarah Palin and I'm a Barack Obama suppoter.

    Either way we will see change!

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  23. Anthony

    man i wish i would have watched the view today. thats a first!

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  24. Henry

    Anonymous September 12th, 2008 1:39 pm ET

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

    That was media created. Mccain placed that flower July 4th. They both had one flower at hand.

    This should be not political in the first place. Obama is not begging for Presidency to be careful of what he is doing in private functions!!

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  25. Larry-Minn.

    Where does it say that any of the women on the show are qualified to do anything but talk.. They dont agree with each other, so who are they to judge, just because they are the bandwagon with Obama, they have to go after McCain..because Obama cant beat him by himself.

    September 12, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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