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. Bryan from Rochester, NY

    I can't believe I'm saying this, but thank god for The View.

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |

    She will reform the same stuff Obama claims to change.... ??????

    Funny they don't ask him about anything...

    It would have been more interesting if Rosy would have been there...

    Bitter ladies... hating.... if Palin was pro choice they would be kissing her butt.... LOL

    What a joke

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  3. Ish

    wow...i'm impressed with the ladies of the's about time somebody presses's all i've to say...good job ladies

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. Palin is a Bridge to Nowhere

    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.

    You are really a moron, do you know that?

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  5. joe

    Palin is a "cocky wacko," !

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. Fed Up


    Unfortunately, they actually asked him real questions instead of letting him recite his stupid stump speech. My oh my, what a shame.

    The armor's getting chinked and will soon start falling off. Palin's first real interview with Charlie Gibson shows how unprepared she really is to be VP, much less the President.

    I just hope we as a country aren't stupid enough to fall for the act and put us through another 4 years of hell.

    GO OBAMA!!!

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Hard to believe it took the ladies from "The View" to finally ask the tough questions and not accept the B.S. coming out of the McCain campaign recently. McCain has a lot of explaining to do and it's about time someone called him on it.

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Alisha (Independent voter,) MN

    RIGHT ON BARBARA WALTERS!!! She is a true journalist. The late Tim Russert would have been proud! Step up your game CNN.

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. mk

    Since when is outright lying called "We politicians are never given to exaggerations or hyperbole
    Talk about lipstick on pig, this is more like trying to dress up the whole barnyard.

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  10. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    Barbara, you go, girl! Finally a news person with cojones!

    And since when is any one candidate required to do whatever another candidate demands! Hang in there, John, you and Palin will have your chance in the upcoming debates. Joe will make mincemeat out of Palin. She couldn't even handle Charlie's gentlemanly questioning and pressure. She knows nothing!

    Palin will self-destruct. Let's stay with the issues, please!

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. SexyMe

    LOL – Barbara in IL. Keep pushing these kinds of questions and both of the Repubs candidates and you going to continuing to get - All BITE and no substances.

    What gets me is that neither is talking about how they are going to change the economy - reform - right – and I'm with Barbara (View) who she going to reform - him? Yeah, that'll be the day. McCain is probably trying to find a way to get her off his ticket now. Probably kick him self in the anal - about not Vetting her properly and than again, he believe Voters are Stupid and will not pay attention, which some are showing their ignorance.

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  12. Chi4Obama

    Sarah Palin was the mayor of an Alaskan town with a population of 6,000 people. That is the equivalent of being a Councilman or Alderman in most major cities.

    She was also the Governor of a state with a population of 600,000. That is the equivalent of being mayor of a mid sized city like Memphis, TN, or Columbus OH.

    Not to mention that she has NEVER been to either Europe or Asia.
    In fact, she has even yet to visit all of the states in the U.S.!

    And this is the person that McCain chose as his runningmate?

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Victoria Anderson - Seattle, Washington

    Not only did they grilled him, they stuck it to him where it hurts. I thought Walter's hit McShame on the money with Reform when it came to Palin.
    The fact that Johnny wanted Obama to come on The View for a joint appearance – but Walter's added "You get Palin on the show then we will get Obama" I was very pleased The View this morning.
    The questions were hard hitting but they were questions that needed answers. These are questions that should have been asked a long time ago. McShame wanted to Pimp Palin to win votes, so now he have to answer questions on why she is worthy to be our VP......

    September 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. PCL

    Thank you Barbara for asking valid questions about someone that nobody knows. You are one of the few persons that has shown some "cohones" (ovaries?) when our nation is hanging in the balance.

    McCain acts like he is punishing Obama for failing to meet him at town hall meetings. "If he had come like I asked, I wouldn't have to tell lies about him". Puh-lease.

    September 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. American Son

    they made him look like moose-munch!!!!

    obama/biden '08

    September 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  16. PKS

    McCain lacks character!! What kind of man cheats on, then leaves his first wife after she has a car accident?

    How could women vote for this turd!!

    September 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    Told you. Obama's next.

    I find it interesting that Cindy appeared with John, not alone for an hour,

    September 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  18. GOP Woman for Obama

    McCain and Palin are too angry to be the leaders! It was Obama that reached out for the 9/11 talks, no McCain. McCain isn't reaching out and he's not putting country first...if he was he wouldn't have picked Palin! There were way better choices both women and men!

    For the first time ever, this Republician will vote for a Democrat...and I couldn't be prouder!

    September 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    My God, the grilling that McCain should be getting from the press is coming from The View.

    This Bizarro World campaign is frustrating.

    McCain, as usual, had NO answers.

    September 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. Chut Pata

    It is unfair to grill an old man. They should have invited and grilled Sarah Who. Then again, Miss Congeniality is good just for "She is a white-woman-victim-of-a-black-man card". Hillary tried the card and failed, so would McBush.

    September 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Leslie

    Barbara Walters is not a known Democrat. She just sees through the BS. Thank goodness someone is calling him out for all of his lies. I hope women are watching and paying attention.
    Being a hockey mom in no way makes you qualified to be VP. It was apparent last night on her interview. I can't imagine Palin negotiating with Palin. She is a joke!



    September 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. G

    Russian Bombers in Venezuela. Will be in Cuba again also. I hope Abortion is that important an issue for the Southerners in America.

    Vote Obama!

    September 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Lex Blanton

    Now Sarah will cancel all appointments to be on the View citing insult to Ol' Man McCain.


    And all these people who type in telegram text – please stop – I can imagine you on a black and white screen tapping your your telegrams with a Morse key.

    September 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. nust be cultural

    i agree Anonymous...

    i also noticed how John & Cindy respectfully leaned and “gently placed” the flowers into the pool, and that Obama just flung his in...

    Thank you John and Cindy – honorable and very respectful.

    September 12, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. janine

    What does not meeting with McCain in town meetings have anything to do with lying and negative tones in his campaign ads? I'm glad Walters asked the tough questions that is on everyone's minds. I'm hoping she continues to ask the tough questions with Obama, Biden, and Palin.

    September 12, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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