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. Zman

    Thanks Barbara some one need to tell him in his face that he is wrong and selfish. He also picked because he was jealous of Obama celebrity. Now he seems to enjoy celebrity life by always making sure that palin is at his events

    September 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Steve in CA

    I think Barbara Walters needs to go back to doing what she does best: Reporting! Good for her! Yes, she is biased and it showed, but still good questions. And what does this say about McCain's bad judgement for even appearing on the show in the first place? Hello? Elizabeth is the only conservative on the show; was he expecting a warm welcome? Does he not remember how good Barbara is at interviewing people?

    September 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. mfish

    Barbara Walters is a true journalist..... Thank you for finally asking some legitimate questions versus all that nonsense about field dressing a moose........

    September 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. Find out the facts....

    I think this interview shows two things...
    1. John McCain is talking and talking and attacking and attacking but he is really not saying anything. He can't Sarah Palin is not qualified.
    The only thing he can do is tear down Obama. He blames all the negative ads and mud slinging on Obama for not wanting to do too many Town Halls....

    2. When Barbara Walters starts in on someone like that on the View you know there is some frustration with the lack of information coming from Palin and McCain. They won't answer questions means they have no good answer to give!

    Sarah Palin may be a nice person and yes has done a few things, but there is no way she is qualified to be VP and God help us President.

    September 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  5. Paul

    I don't understand how she "Hit him with the hard questions" you want ot know what Palin is going to "Change" in Washington, well Obama hasn't ansered that question in 19 MONTHS!!! Sounds like fair reporting to me.


    September 12, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. Joe for McCain

    I still don't care!!! I like and am going to vote for Palin even though I know nothing about her. In fact, I hope she never gives another interview because I might learn something that scares me.

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. Truth

    I am so proud of our ladies of the view. Finally, someone is keeping McCain honest!. It is a morning again in America. Deceits and lies have brought us to where we are.

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  8. Jen P

    For all of those who think Obama hasn't been grilled, have you seen the OReilly interviews?

    And what is this about not hitting hard with our politicians? Stupid. This is much more serious than "ohhhh they are asking weeellly hard questions to Palin" How Woood!


    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. God Bless American Women

    I believe Barbara was on a "task that is from God" there!

    Excellent work Barbara!

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  10. Larry K, Toronto Canada

    Just to let "j" know that Russia is not a member of NATO. Perhaps you are referring to the UN Security Council. If you want to blog and attack people, please check your facts. Most people outside US view Palin's selection as a big gamble in as much as the GOP will drum up her readiness and qualifications. The world is watching!

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  11. Laverne

    Good for Barbara for asking the question that the McCain camp has scared most Americans into not asking. Listen, Sarah Palin is a fake and a distraction to try and get the Obama camp off its game. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time. I know Mrs. Palin got moose, but where is the BEEF, did not see it last night!

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  12. smart woman

    McCain lacks the intelligence and people skills needed to represent America in today's world. His stupidity is reflected in the fact that he didn't expect hard-hitting questions going on the View.

    He thinks women are stupid, too. So stupid that they will take the Palin bait and vote for him just because he's got a female running mate.

    No wonder he was surprised by the questions of smart women.

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Melanie

    Sounds like Barbara is still miffed that Sarah chose Charles Gibson over her. Get over yourself Barbara!!!!

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  14. Foreign observer

    Every one of the four ladies would also give a nice VP pick on the same level.

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |

    well weres the Obama judement his pick for vp said just 2 months ago that obama wasnt quailified or experenced enough to be president and then he turns around and picks biden to be his running mate so enough bull on palin 2 months ago not knowing exactly what the vp does, probaly 2/3 of the people in this country dont know the exact duties of the vp.

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Kathy

    Watched part of the Palin interview – and got the impression that she really doesn't know very much – the parts I watched I never did hear her give a straight anwser – and I found it so disrespectful that she kept referring to Charles Gibson as Charlie –

    Not that this white, middle aged woman living in Wyoming can be swayed – but IF I was undecided – watching the part of the interview that I did – and seeing some of McCains smear tactics – I would not vote for them –

    That being said – I have been for Obama since the beginning and admire him more each time I see him

    Obama/Biden 08 all the way!!!!!!

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. ready4change



    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. I vote for a person not a party

    I think the Barb did a wonderful job with him. Did anyone see whoopies facial expressions? They were too funny. Elizabeth go and run and cry what will you do now? Even barb looked disgusted!

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  19. karen-phoenix

    Pelin has NO EDUCATION!!! Her whole family are high school drop outs!!!!! Husband and kids!!!! Now our Ambasadores in Venezula, Hondura and BOlivia have been kicked out!!! There's big trouble in South America and Pelin would just ask- where?????? Or bomb, bomb and then find out where it is!!! Scared to death of this women!!!!
    Thanks Barbara!!!

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. Jeff

    It's about time SOMEONE actually asked him some real questions. It's just like Bush- only appears in front of supporters at closed events when he was campaigning. What a joke the republicans have become.

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. David

    I can't believe it took the ladies on THE VIEW to pin McCain down and demand that he himself answer the question as to whether he really believes Obama was calling Palin "a pig". Where is the REAL media? Thats a question Charles Gibson, Wolf Blitzer, and the rest of the mainstream media should have already asked him. Thats a question Charles Gibson should have asked Palin directly. Does she really think Obama called her "a pig"? The rest of American knows he didn't and are tired of McCain/Palin bogus claims. They need to talk about issues and quit whining about nothing.

    September 12, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Somehow the word "ladies" simply doesn't describe most of those who host "The View." I cannot imagine why anyone with any dignity or self-respect–no matter their political affiliation–would submit themselves to even appearing on the show.

    September 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. Frankly I'm Insulted

    I'm impressed with McCain's willingness to go on the View and accept the "grilling" from the ladies with humility. But, a news reporter asked a very good question about Palin the other day, he said, "Why in the world would the Republicans think having a uterus qualifies you to be the vice president of the USA?" – and that folks is about the extent of her qualifications. It is also very insulting and demeaning to all of the wonderful, disbabled citizens of this country – for her to exploit her son with down syndrome and suggest that this is a reason to send her to the White House. And does her husband have a job? On the other hand, Obama's speech hinted that he would cure cancer, aids solve World Peace and everything else under the sun – How in the world can he do all of what he promised?

    September 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Sick of BaBa WaWa

    The View is a democratic love fest. Baba Wawa is the most two faced person in the industry. Didn't she back stab RO-OD??? Not that RO-OD didn;t do the same.

    They should rename the show. The Blue State View

    September 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  25. dee

    Babara is a fraud. She goes with the popular wind. She claims she is neutral but she is Liberal.

    She has 4 Liberal women on the show to 1 Republican.

    She is the same person who through Star and Rosie under the bus.


    September 12, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
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