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. Greg

    Funny, they never asked Michelle Obama why her inexperienced husband should be president did they? They never asked her why she was not proud of her country. They never asked here how she and her husband could attend a church where the Pastor preaches hate. They never asked her why they had this same Pastor baptize their children.

    Totally biased left wing crap!!! Walters ought to stick to interviewing people like Michael Jackson. Did she ask McCain her typical tough question. "if you could be a tree, what kind of tree would you be?"

    ABC should fire her just like NBC and Olbermann

    September 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. scared

    CNN, can you do something close to that. Or you just want to waist our time with the lipstick story...

    September 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Katie

    I just saw this posted as a response on one of these articles... all you frustrated Hillary supporters out there TAKE NOTE!!! These people are using you, but DO NOT care a bit about you and WILL NOT practice policies that benefit you:

    Palin 2012 September 12th, 2008 1:41 pm ET


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

    Palin 2012

    September 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Miami4Barack

    Barbara did a much better job than Gibson at pressing the issues.
    Go Barb!!!

    September 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. michael bower

    People forget that Babs used to be one of the most respected reporters on the scene. She has been to most every country, visited hundreds of heads-of-state, and asked tough questions of many presidents. She actually has more foreign policy experience than most of the people running. So I'm glad she asked this pinhead some hardball questions. I'm sick and tired of leaders who have no vision, no imagination, and no scruples. John McCain = More of the Same. Barack Obama = a way into the future and out of the mess we're in.

    September 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. mary


    September 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. Ask Obama what he will change

    Obama is a socialist. It is very scary to think how involved the government will be if he was running the U.S. Read his platform...he wants to "redistribute the wealth". How anti-american is that...yes, we know you worked hard for your money but we are going to take a lot more of it now because there are people who don't want to work that need addition he wants to give tax breaks to men who stay with their families. Since when do real men need an incentive to stay with their families?

    Also, Can Barbara Walters at least let the person she is interviewing anser a question without interrupting them? Journalists and media are supposed to be objective, she clearly had an ax to grind.

    September 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Jason Rodrick

    All the reporters should be asking both candidates and their running mates for specify details and stop filling time with lipstick commentary...give the people information to make an informed choice..good for Barbara, let's hope the rest of time is now spent on issues!

    September 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. Hillary 2012

    Past 2 weeks we are taking about Hurricane and Palin

    Hurricane season not good for Obama Camp

    Every where you go people are talking about Palin

    Palin is big threat for Obama camp

    September 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. ann

    The negative commercials from Mc Cain are something he should be ashamed of, lies, BUT Mc Cain has no shame because he has no honor!

    September 12, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. Trent

    All those complainers out there about this interview or Gibsons interview....Obama went into the Lions den with Bill O'Reilly...this is hardly a bill O'Reilly interview nor could either Republican handle a O'Reilly type interview. If he can't handle getting called out on his contradictions that is his problem to deal with!!

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  12. Obama and Veto Power?

    By the way in case you have all forgotten, Palin is a VP choice and the dems Presidential choice did not know what Veto power was. You all are pathetic!

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Jaison Biagini

    with those town halls. mccain asked for 10 with no press debates at all, after he spent 4 months doing rallies as the repugs nominee.
    obama sent a counter offer of the standard 4 normal debates and 2 town halls. 6 debates in total.
    mccain said no.
    so it can only be mccain's way??

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Ian

    Now THAT'S the interview we have all been waiting for! Finally someone has exposed McCain and begun the process to seperate Palin from her comfort zone of McCain and his watchdogs!

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. independant voter,


    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Tom

    McCain is lying repeatedly and no one is calling him on it. When something he says is demonstrably false, that should be the media's first priority. Instead, they play right into his campaign's false outrage. I don't want a liar in the White House. I used to like McCain, but how he will ever regain his credibility is beyond me.

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Mystery

    McCain answered the question but apparently to an audience of deaf ears. He said Palin supports his efforts to cut pork barrel spending. That is the reform he is running his campaign on. Barbara wasn't listening and most of these comments convince me people don't listen. What a world of hurt when people can not even listen to each other.

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. S.M

    If McCain can become that easily frustrated by a simple question; what will he do when he is asked the real hard one's, haul off and slam the interviewer? He and Palin have a very short fuse and we don't need a President and VP who will fly off the handle at the drop of a hat. No McCain, No Palin, No How, No Way!

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Sam

    The look on Palin's face throughout the interview says a thousand words: her facial expression reflects total insincerity.
    She tried so hard to recall what she was coached to say that she forgot to carry on a real conversation with her interviewer.

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Terry, Butte, Mt

    You go Barbara, someone has to keep him honest.

    For McCain to say that since Obama didn't join him in town hall meetings, (which was the right call) that somehow means that McCain can lie and distort Obama and drag him through the dirt, is dispicable at best.

    "If you don't stop lying about me, then I'll start telling the truth about you." – Abraham Lincoln

    Go Obama.

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Emily

    I hope everyone sees what a nasty limited man he is when he is
    away from his canned speeches. He can't even admit when pushed that his talking points are based on lies. What a shame he is moving up in the polls, are people stupid? The only ones who will win if
    he and the STepford vp win are the oil companies and the very rich.
    We are toast.

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Joe P

    To: Open Your 3rd Eye

    She is not qualified but Obama is? During his tenor in the Senate was in session for a total 143 days. She was Gov for almost two years, everyday she worked that position and she is running for Vice President. Obama has 143 days of experience and is running for the top office. So tell me who is or isn't qualified?

    Let's talk about what they both have done while in office.

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. McCain & Palin 2008!!!

    Wow. When is Obama (ever) going to be grilled about his 20 years in the racist Trinty UCC? Something must have resonated with this man for him to sit in the pews & listen to hate-filled sermons of rev. Wright. Give me a break, folks. This is the core of who Obama is. Why is no one talking about this? One cannot sit in a church & listen to this crap & one day "denounce" the pastor. It would be the same if McCain had been attending a church with Klan ties for 20 years. I would feel the same about him. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. Elle

    After these horrible interviews from both Palin AND McCain, I wouldn't be surprised if they sequestered themselves from the media completely! McCain can't give a straight answer to any tough questions, and Palin can't give an answer without being coached (or an answer at all, because she doesn't know half of what goes on it Washington).

    Here's a thought: Let's get someone in the White House who has an exceptional eduction, knows about Washington but hasn't been there long enough to be corrupted by it, and has the unique ability to inspire people while calling for changes that really need to be made to make this country strong again. Only one person running for President who fits that bill: I'm voting Obama.

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. chucky

    Lets be real....none of this will really matter because some women wanted to vote for a woman and John McCain gave it to them. some white democrat men did not want a black man for president but didn't want a McCain gave them a reason to. why else would you support someone who goes against everything you're for? the 18,000,000 voters that voted for Hillary didn't vote for Hillary....they voted for her gender and her race.

    September 12, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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