October 1st, 2008
08:35 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain defends Palin against experience attacks

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/01/art.dmr.cnn.jpg caption="McCain became visibly frustrated during an interview with the Des Moines Register when he was questioned about Sarah Palin's credentials to be vice president."](CNN) - John McCain defended embattled running mate Sarah Palin in an interview released Tuesday night, telling an Iowa newspaper he thought she had the” experience and knowledge and background” to be president and that he was “proud of her record.”

McCain ticked off Palin’s achievements with the editors of the Des Moines Register – a swing state paper that endorsed his presidential bid before January’s Republican caucuses.

"So, with due respect, I strongly disagree with your premise that she doesn't have experience and knowledge and background,” he said. “I fundamentally disagree, and I'm proud of her record.”

Later, after continuing to counter Palin’s critics, he pointed to what he called a divide between the press and the public on their view of the Alaska governor. “…You and I just have a fundamental disagreement and I'm so happy that the American people seem to be siding with me,” said McCain.

When editors pointed to similar recent assessments from conservatives, McCain responded “Really? I haven't detected that,” attributing those sentiments to the “Georgetown cocktail party” circuit.

“Some people allege that others may have spent too much time inside the Beltway, and too much time not out in touch with the American people,” said McCain. “Some people that know that Franklin Delano Roosevelt didn’t address the American people on television.”

Asked later if he had benefited from taxpayer-subsidized health care his entire life, McCain replied that the question had no relation to his ability to understand the concerns of those Americans who had not.

“You know that's an interesting statement, isn’t it?” he responded. “And I have never been an astronaut, but I think I know the challenges of space. And I have never done a lot of things in my life that I think I am familiar with.”

According to CNN's Iowa poll of polls released September 22, before the first presidential debate, Obama held a 7-point lead (50-43 percent) in the state. Iowa narrowly voted for President Bush in 2004, but gave a major boost to Obama's presidential fortunes earlier this year at the start of the primary season.


Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (260 Responses)
  1. Joe Idaho

    There's another bailout coming the first Tuesday in November; the bailout of Ignorance in American Leadership: We cannot afford this foolishness any longer...

    October 1, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. Matt

    The "public" is not siding with you McCain. Rather, the small segment of already-convinced-before-the-election-year-began Republicans and conservatives are siding with you. Note, however, that not all of them are siding with Palin. Recent articles have shown that many of them are decidedly against her.

    October 1, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. Bruce

    Come John..time to wake up...you know you messed up but you will not admidt it.
    She is in no way ready to be the VP for a 72 year old. 1 in 3 chance she will have to take over. She is not ready,,and you cannot get her ready.
    She does not resonate with me and many that I know think she is a joke and are afraid of her.
    John admidt it you screwed up this time.

    October 1, 2008 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  4. welches, oregon

    Funny nobody raised a complaint when George Stephasnotful was the moderator of the CLinton-Obama debate last year. Snotful was the CLinton's press secretary for years. Biased? Humm? How the conservatives love to move the bar down a notch.

    Reeks of a losing campaign.

    Obama/Biden

    October 1, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. John in Ohio

    -"So, with due respect, I strongly disagree with your premise that she doesn't have experience and knowledge and background,” he said. “I fundamentally disagree, and I'm proud of her record.”

    I'm a Maverick and I don't care what you guys think!

    October 1, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. John in Ohio

    -Later, after continuing to counter Palin’s critics, he pointed to what he called a divide between the press and the public on their view of the Alaska governor. “…You and I just have a fundamental disagreement and I'm so happy that the American people seem to be siding with me,” said McCain.

    If you look at the voter approval ratings, you've got Obama and Biden over 50%, and McCain and Palin below 50%, and Palin is dragging McCain down. I think she's at 41% or so now.

    October 1, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  7. KG, Twin Cities

    We cannot, CANNOT, go from a "yee-haw!" adminstration to a "boo-yah!" one.

    October 1, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  8. mmd

    Goodmorning CNN plrase update your polls. It looks like Obama is leading mccain in the three battleground states, Penn, Fl and OH by 6, 7, and 8+ points.

    Now is the time for a security crisis, 1,2,3. We need mccain to the bailout. Oh no, wait, Obama is just as capable of handling these issues as mccain. Maybe something wrong in the palin camp will have to do this time.

    October 1, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. OMG

    After reading what Pakistan president said with Palin, now i wonder repubs stooped to such low that they are using their VP to lure world leaders with her looks and figure because nothing else is working for them. Shame on you Mccain, people like you are responsible for economic crisis, unpopular war and what not.

    October 1, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Donna

    Senator McCain's statements about his pride in Palin's experience are wholly predicated on mischaracterizations and exaggerations of what she has actually done. While McCain used to appear to be a person of integrity, it is apparent that he is a person who will say or do anything for political expediency. He is neither honest nor honorable.

    October 1, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  11. John

    She wouldn't answer a question on what magazines she reads?

    Who gives a crap?

    October 1, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  12. Jeff Brown

    Old King Cole was a Merry Old Soul!

    October 1, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  13. welches, oregon

    Gwen Ifil is a professional and has been on the Newshour for years. Do you really think she's gonna jeopardize her career for a VP debate?

    Nobody seems to remember the Clinton-Obama debate last year on ABC when Geo. Snotful was the moderator. Snotful was the Clinton's Press secretary for years. Biased?

    October 1, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. Bob Indianapolis IN

    Dude, you compared Caribou Barbie to Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton! Is your October Surpise the fact that you are clinically insane? You try to paint yourself as a maverick, when 26 years of legislation points to the fact your have ALWAYS voted for deregulation. Your VP pick is a product of packaging by the same Karl Rove brain trust that tanked your campaign in 2000. HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT???

    October 1, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  15. KJ

    Wait, WHAT? How can he know the challenges of space if he's never been an astronaut? That's almost as nonsensical as Palin's interviews with Catie Couric. Please vote these rascals out.

    Obama / Biden 08, Seriously.

    October 1, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  16. McCain=the draft

    McCain should have a mental evaluation NOW!!!!!

    October 1, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  17. Thebe

    I believe a small-town "feminist" such as Palin might want to refer to herself as Jane six-pack, not Joe, dontca think. Yup!

    * John McCain't for president of Student Council USA *

    * Sarah Palin't for vice president of Student Council of USA *

    October 1, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  18. Tony

    I prefer to vote for someone I actually think may be smarter than me or my neighbors to be the LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD. The last eight years we have had "Joe Cool" and look how great that has turned out. The choice of Palin is a joke, and insulting.

    October 1, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  19. E POP

    BREAKING NEWS::: MCCAINS 13 ROOM, 6 CAR GARAGE, A LARGE AIRCONDITIONED PLAYHOUSE FOR ALL THE KIDS IN THE BACKYARD,10 FIREPLACE MCMANSION IS FOR SALE IN ARIZONA! 10 FIREPLACES IN ARIZONA? DESPERATE TIMES CALL FOR DESPERATE MEASURES! WELL AT LEAST HE HAS 6 HOUSES LEFT. I THINK HE WILL BE JUST FINE.

    October 1, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  20. Lisa P

    "And I have never done a lot of things in my life that I think I am familiar with.”

    John, I have no doubt that you think you know a lot of things. Problem is we need a President who knows he knows. Another four years of self-aggrandizement, ignorant "certainty" and delusion masquerading as leadership just won't cut it.

    October 1, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  21. SARAH PALIN IS THE OCTOBER SURPRISE - CLUELESS!

    How about SPINNING THIS TOO JOHN! –

    John McSame 13-bedroom mansion for sale = price tag = $100 million DOLLARS!

    October 1, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  22. Thank you Sarah

    I was planning on sitting this election out. No happy with either choice and then along came Sarah and I and many other woman like me are very much engaged in the process. WHAT AN INSULT. This chatty moron isn't qualified to run the PTA. Obama should thank McCain, his insult to every female voter with a triple digit IQ, has brought millions of female voters back.

    October 1, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  23. Fred, So. St Paul MN

    McCain/Palin
    It is about time that McCain stands up to the media that has made this a one sided election, give him a chance and he will deliver and become the next president. And to all the media that wants Obama, they willl be praying to the east 3 times a day and going to church on Sunday listening to that Wright guy.

    GO McCain/Palin deliver us to the days of Clinton.........
    Oh buy the way I am an Independent that was going to vote for HILLARY!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 1, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  24. jason

    KC: Name a Supreme Court case

    Palin: – long silence –

    October 1, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  25. Darryl

    Why is it that Senator John McCain coverup the second Bridge To Nowhere project of Govenor Sarah Palin.... What else is Senator John McCain Covering up? Why is Govenor Sarah Palin not telling us about the money that she got from VECO Excutives Why are they covering it up

    Can they be honest!!!!!!

    October 1, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
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