November 12th, 2008
09:11 AM ET
14 years ago

McCain: Palin will play a 'big role' in the future


Watch McCain on Jay Leno Tuesday night.

(CNN) - Sen. John McCain said Tuesday he "couldn't be happier" with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, despite polls suggesting she was a drag on the Republican ticket.

In his first television interview since the election, the Arizona senator said he was proud to have had Palin as his presidential running mate and grateful that she agreed to run.

"She inspired people. She still does. And look, I'm - I couldn't be happier with Sarah Palin. And she's going back to be a great governor, and I think she will play a big role in the future of this country," he told Jay Leno on The Tonight Show.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released the weekend before the election indicated that Palin's unfavorable ratings had doubled since McCain picked her, and 57 percent of Americans believed she didn't have the personal qualities a president needed.

As for the future, the poll indicated that only four in 10 voters would support Palin if she chooses to run for president in 2012. Among Republicans, however, 77 percent said they would support a Palin candidacy in four years.

McCain said Tuesday night that his party "has a lot of work to do," and he predicted that new leaders like Palin would help carry the party into the future.

"I really believe that Sarah Palin is amongst some, like Tim Pawlenty and Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana, there's a group of young Republican governors and - mainly governors, but also some in the Senate - that I think are the next generation of leadership of our party," he said.

Asked if he'd be up for another presidential run, the 72-year-old senator seemed doubtful.

"I wouldn't think so, my friend," he said. "It's been a great experience, and, you know, we're going to have another generation of leaders come along, and I'll hope that I can continue to contribute."

This was McCain's 14th appearance on "The Tonight Show." The former Navy aviator's appearance was scheduled to coincide with Veterans Day.

Today Alaska Governor Palin sits down for a one on one interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer. The interview will appear on the Situation Room starting at 4pm ET. Palin will also appear tonight on Larry King Live at 9 p.m. ET.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (292 Responses)
  1. Jazz

    John McCain will run again in 2012 so that is why he thinks Palin would be a good choice. Pleae Republicans we can not afford a Bush return to the White House in four years. This women is crazy and she thinks that she has what it takes to be President. She actually have star power for a movie and that is it,.

    November 12, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  2. Annie

    I am so over hearing about Palin! Please stop CNN covering every move she does. She was incompetent as VP and she will be as president as well. Let's please move on!

    November 12, 2008 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  3. EW

    Yeah, Gov. Palin is so incompetent that Alaska is pretty much the only state that doesn't have a budget deficit, crime problem, high dropout rate, etc.

    Let's examine Illinois now. Huge budget deficit, high crime rates, high tax rates, high dropout rates, high poverty rate, high corruption rate, rampant cronyism in government, failing infrastructure, etc.

    Yeah, Alaska is in such a shambles with Gov. Palin at the helm.

    November 12, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  4. Candy Wilson

    I guess the nation remains intruiged with Gov. Palin. But I agree with others as I would like to see an interview with Sen. Biden.. Did he not WIN? So maybe she will give her interviews and we will then be over with this Nonsense.. Except of course for Fox who will have her on every nite instead of covering what the Pres. is doing because their candidate did not win....Thank goodness for Shep over there... And even Bill O"Reilly "tries" to be even keeled most of the time....She's got plenty of work in Alaska and also plenty at home.... I also agree she needs to get more education... Go to Law school or something.... Listen to Jill Biden on education. "The country that out-educates us out competes us" Compelling words... Thankyou , Candy Wilson

    November 12, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  5. t woodward

    Hopefully Sarah Palin along with her WHACKO supporters the religious right are not going to be able to rear their ugly heads again.

    November 12, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  6. cindy

    Mccain is just being a nice guy when he defends her, It would not look right for him to bash a person he picked to be his VP that would only futher imply how shappy a job he did as the RNC nominee.
    As for Palin, if she were smart (oops I said a funny), no really if she were smart she would go away for alittle while, get out of the limelight. Because her going on tv and calling people that take things out of context, and use it to there advantage "jerks" is just plain silly, especially after all the lies and "out of context" statements she used in this election against Obama and Biden, just make her look like the pot calling the kettle black. And I think she is right people like that are "Jerks" and she ought to know She is the Queen of Jerks!

    November 12, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Seriously?

    While I truly believe that McCain is lying about his Palin pick, I do at least admire his loyalty to his party. That's more than you can say for Palin. He would have made a terrible president, and he pretty much lost it there in the the last 6 weeks of the campaign, but all-in-all I think he's probably a good person. Again, can't say the same for that nutbird, Sarah Palin.

    November 12, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  8. Kelcie

    In four years, Palin will be a bit older and she won't be able to wink her way out of her substantial lack of knowledge.

    Another younger, prettier (and hopefully smarter) Republican woman will arise and the cycle will start all over again..........

    November 12, 2008 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  9. gary

    Palin was an excellent choice from a strategic standpoint. Female Dems supporting Hillary were entirely in line behind Obama, and I know from personal experience that McCain captured some of these votes.

    She also exposed the self-serving hypocrisy of feminist leaders.

    As for the idiotic comments regarding Palin's personality, I'm sorry you folks have an equal vote with me.

    As for Palin's experience...and you think Obama is experienced?

    As for "irregardless", it is not a word. Taken literally it is a double negative that literally means not regardless. How stupid is that?

    November 12, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  10. Sia

    Sarah should try living in a real city like LA. Maybe the school of hard knocks would help.
    She does make me wonder what ever happened to the real Republicans.
    There was a time when “being a conservative,” meant that you favored careful spending; and developing a common sense budget and sticking to it.= Commom sense Americans.

    “Being a Republican,” meant that you favored business, especially the opportunity to create and grow them, and see them prosper. Not be full of greed. Are there any good Republicans left?

    November 12, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  11. 60 year old white catholic woman for obama

    i hope and pray that she does head the republicans next shot at the white house. they make it so easy for us. they still have not learned that the american people are smarter this time and we will NEVER AGAIN let them scare, terrorize or fool us ever. so keep it up boys, keep dividing and race baiting and fear mongering all you want. the american people do not want you in our bedrooms or telling us who we can marry or what a woman can do with her body. its none of your business. keep shooting animals. keep selling guns. keep shoving your god down everyones throats, keep working for lobbists and not the people, just keep up what you have done for the last 38 years since regan, that boob, and you will continue to lose. that is just what you deserve.

    November 12, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Arlene, Illinois

    Instead of Sarah Palin thinking about a run for 2012 she

    should be planning for her daughters wedding and birth

    of her 1st grandchild and keep a closer eye on the rest

    of her children.

    November 12, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  13. maca

    Go Sarah!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 12, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. anti palin pro women

    --i would be glad to see palin in 2012.....
    -------------it sure will be an e-z win for Dems.

    November 12, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  15. beevee

    Of course McCain could not and would not admit that selection of Palin was a blunder and was the reason for his losing presidency. It is so obvious the way she is behaving like a loose cannon after the election trying to put the blame on everyone else but her. She needs a psychological evaluation.

    November 12, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. Reality Check richmond virginia

    of course he is not going to admit he picked a dimwitted wacko as his running mate.

    November 12, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  17. Robert of Long Island

    yes I love that idea!

    I am praying as well

    Palin-Keyes 2012!!

    November 12, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. Rob

    In 5 years even Jo-Jo the Yak Boy will be able to do a better job than what we're gonna be put through over the next 4 years.

    All the Palin bashers are either delusional Democrats or people claiming to be Republican. We'll see over the next 4 years how a good conservative will lead a state like Alaska to great things, while a liberal yutz (with accompanying carnival of idiots in Congress) can lead a country to ruin and disaster.

    The real question shouldn't be "Can Palin be President?", but "What will be left of America for Palin to be President of?"

    And I know all you freaks will bash me. That's OK, I know your eyes are still misty, from bawling like Jesse, or maybe you're still dreaming along with Oprah and, but we'll check back with you in 4 years.

    Welcome to the welfare, socialist state. Starting up in Januray 09.

    November 12, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. inat2

    the media did a number on Palin... they ruined her reputation. As for all of those that continue to obsess about and degrade Palin, I would ask that until you've had a family, been a mayor, a governor AND a VP candidate, you hold you comments for you have no right to judge

    November 12, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  20. ellen

    All you guys in the media have to do is one of the following: 1. Quit giving her free publicity. The election is DONE. You all are covering her more than you cover the people who actually WON. 2. If you're going to continue to incessantly play into her hands with the constant interviews, ASK HER SOME REAL QUESTIONS, such as what she would like to do in office if she actually got in, especially with regard to the far-right views that helped her ticket lose this election.

    November 12, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  21. Mike S.

    I always vote Republican, but this whole Palin thing has really shaken me. The party has moved towards religious extremism to the exclusion of economic issues. This is a problem for me because I support gay marriage and abortion rights, and also support small government and low taxes. Apparently, there is not a viable option for people like me now (and don't say libertarianism, that's a joke). Apparently, in this country, you have to be either a) A pro-choice socialist; or b) A religious fundamentalist capitalist. Where did I get off the train? Why is there no option "c) Pro choice capitalist?" Currently, there is no viable political party that supports my ideology, and the way the country is heading it doesn't look like there ever will be.

    November 12, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  22. Terry

    Isn't it about time some body in Alaska with some say told this person to come back home and do her blooming job?

    This is beyond ridiculous. I voted for McCain, but i WILL NOT vote for Ms. Palin. Period!

    November 12, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  23. Norcal DM

    I am glad that Sarah Palin is the future of the GOP. She represents the unintellectual side to the GOP and that is awesome for Obama when he starts his reelection campaign in '12. If runs against her and some other yahoo, he will win in a landslide. Here is an individual who didn't know the main participants in the NAFTA agreement, wasn't aware that Africa was a continent and not a country. The list goes on. She wasn't ready for prime time, she needs to go back to Alaksa, shoot some more moose, or w/er ppl in Alaska like doing, and just disappear. She needs to then read up on world history, us history, and the constitution. She needs to know what the role the VP plays (no it doesn't involve presiding over the senate for policy issues). She needs a full blown make over. She will win the southern white evangelican christian vote, but thats it. She needs to win the moderate vote, and the independent vote. She cannot do that w/out being alteast somewhat intelligent. If she wants to stay ignorant and do these interviews where she sounds less than intelligent, I say go for it, it only makes the GOP look less than intelligent for picking her as the face of the party.

    November 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Mike, Syracuse NY

    So nice to see all you Obama supporters embracing your candidates philosophy of bringing people together in a bipartisan manner. Ever think that continuing bash McCain and Palin is just poking a stick in the eye of the very people Obama wants to bring together? Just remember 67% of those eligible to vote didn't vote for Obama. Keep up the hateful partisan attacks and the backlash will be awesome.

    November 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. Bubba

    What did you expect him to say, "No, my judgment was totally flawed, and she cost me the election? Now I'm going to Disneyland?" I heard he intended to pick Pawlenty, but got the name wrong and ended up with Moosie instead. I call the process Palinoscopy; just shove that camera way up there and listen to her babbling.

    November 12, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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