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. BlackMan4Mac

    o-bambi releases tax returns, but where is his valid birth certificate???

    September 12, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Kryptik

    I love how they tout 'Democrats have been in control of Congress for 2 years', forgetting that before that, we had Republicans for 6, our president pushning 8 years, and that despite Democratic 'control' in Congress, Republicans have essentially remained functionally in control of our legislative course.

    September 12, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Frank

    So much for Ba-ba being unbiased. She is as liberal and biased as NBC and MSNBC. Why don't you report the conversation he had with Elizabeth? Do you know why? Because that would defeat the primary purpose of CNN and the liberal press.

    September 12, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Nancy from MA

    Senator McCain did a great job on this show. I am sure he did not provide a list of questions that could not be asked like his opponnet did.

    Babawawa, you tried to force your questions upon Senator McCain, but since he is a real man with his real thoughts you could not goof him up. Nice try babawawa.

    And to Whoopie; it is time you get over interjecting 'slavery' everytime the constitution is brought up.

    Just remember it was not just the black person who were slaves. There were many slaves of different colors and gender.

    And to MY God, I pray that all Americans will come together and vote for the person who will help our country get back to the great country we had always been.

    Godspeed and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

    September 12, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. Rob Howell

    Finally !!!!!!

    September 12, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. Looking for presidential inspiration

    Why doesn't the democratic party latch onto the fact and publicize that McCain cheated on his first wife? Does the religious right know they are voting for a ....gasp....10-commandment-disobeyer?? You know if Obama had done that....they would be all over it.

    September 12, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. OMG

    "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."

    So he is acting like an a$$ because Obama wouldn't do something like HE wanted?! Jeez, what is McCain going to do when the leader of another country tells him no he's not going to meet with him?!

    September 12, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  8. Gwee

    Is the resentment you feel toward Palin, Barbara, in any way related to the fact that she didn't have to sleep her way to where she is today like you had to? And why take your frustrations out on McCain? If you don't like who he selected for his running mate, vote for the candidate of your choice and move on. Jeez.

    September 12, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  9. independant voter,

    Thank you Barbara Walters !!! I thought Palin was very defensive TOO..and scary, specially saying we "might" have to go to war with Russia !! Thats insane !!! she gave very right answers , bUT, to worng questions !! so much for "scripting her !! She wasnt preparefd, couldnt read a teleprompter, had to answer questions on her own, I give her a grade of D !!
    Nope, Obama, go Obama...

    September 12, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  10. LT for Obama

    Johanna not voting GOP – you can find it on YouTube. Everything ends up there. I watched some of it on Nightline last night.

    Barbara Chicago, IL – Yes, she did come off aggressive. I think she is trying to be tough but it is not. Also, did you notice that Charlie was getting increasingly annoyed by her lack of understanding and clear answers? He even made a reference to the whirlwind of words during their exchange.

    I have been saying it from the beginning when I did my initial research on her, she is a nightmare that just keeps getting worse and worse.

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. The Voice of Common Sense (Independent Voter - Charlotte, NC)

    Proof (coupled with the Palin pick) that McCain is aggressively "courting" women voters!

    Answer the questions, Senator...without dodging them or spinning the answers! That would be a start in bringing TRUE CHANGE to Washington and to American politics!!! ......

    Baldwin/Castle 08!

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. Miko Kansas city

    I was disappointed that the ladies didn't ask him 2 questions
    1. why is sarah not appearing alone
    2. did he really think that Obama was calling Sarah a pig with lipstick.

    There are actually tons of questions I would like asked of John, but I wished they would have asked those questions.

    Oh also, does serving in military make you qualified for presidency

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. Moderate and Balanced

    The media continues to be biased....all but fainting in Obama's presence and then pounds the conservatives. And America sees this bias. They see these blogs full of Obama campaign workers posting fake posts...Americans see this and McCain/Palin poll numbers go higher and higher.

    The Democrats will never learn.

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Obamacan

    Americans are not stupid. palin is not ready for president. Vice president is just one step away from president. Did Mccain put the country first?

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  15. Cathy Agu

    Walters walked the walk and talked the talk.

    She has been around along time to eat crap...

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. Twowetdogz

    Thank you Barbara.

    Somebody's finally trying to get some real answers about her qualifications. (And surprise...nobody has any real good answers)

    The only other thing I wished you would have pushed on is how McCain being a POW all those years ago has ANYTHING to do with him being President now. That seems like the entire theme of the RNS was hey look at our former POW. Now he should be President. Still wish somebody would finally grow a pair and ask that question of him.

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. janine

    Palin 2012-

    You continue to bash Hillary supporters. What is your problem with them? Hillary is not a witch. She deserves just as much respect as Palin.

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. Charlene, CA

    It's about time someone outed these republicans as the frauds that they REALLY ARE!

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  19. jo

    if you keep using the word reform 100 times without doing anything You become a reformer......

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. MLH

    Thank you Barbara Walters for starting to ask some real questions. Honestly, why has it taken this long for someone to take seriously the point that these people are running to lead our nation. It isn't all just about funny buttons or who is Republican and who is Democrat. This is about our country and who will lead it and whether they are fit to do so. I hope that other journalists will follow your lead.

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  21. TheTruthHurts

    I'm watching and he's doing fine. I'd expect that. My problem is people are always allowed to dodge the direct questions asked. We need interviewers that follow up until the question is answered. Whoopie tried, but they still got distracted.

    Strict constitutional interpretation is a dream and anyone who has actually studied constitutional law (e.g. barack obama) already knows this - as Whoopie's comments make apparent.

    Being pro-life is different that changing the law. Changing the law is different that making it criminal to have an abortion. The distinction between church and state needs to be addressed explicitly and dealt with . . . and I'm a Christian.

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  22. Kate, Atlanta

    So, what does he really mean, and would someone – anyone – please ask him. If Obama had done his stupid townhall mtgs and given in on every wish of the old man – what then he wouldn't have run ads full of lies? Is this some sort of old man punishment thing? Is this the kind of thing the angry old man does if you won't get off his lawn???

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  23. Dee

    Well it's about time someone is tough on McCain/Palin. Anyone of those women on The View (even Elisabeth) could probably have done a better interview than the one Palin did last night with Gibson.

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  24. Leslie

    Thank you Barbara! I wish the media would demand interviews - or stop covering her. We, as Americans, have the right to know who we are electing. Her inexperience is something that just cannot be shielded from the public.

    They lied about WMDs. We can't let them lie about this woman!

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  25. Harry

    Mccain and Palin can just draw 20000 in Va, but Va has more than 80000 people who live there. If you think this election is going to be determined by one lady coming out of the blue, and we don't know much about, just wait America!

    Obama is embarking on ground game and I am waiting handily with my vote!

    I am college student, not ready to be fooled!!!

    September 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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