November 25th, 2008
02:54 PM ET
9 years ago

McCain says Palin has a 'very bright future' as a GOP leader

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain confirmed Tuesday he’s planning to run for a fifth Senate term in 2010."](CNN) - Former GOP presidential candidate John McCain denied Tuesday that political considerations - a desire to appeal to Clinton supporters - played a role in his selection of running mate Sarah Palin, calling her “an energizing factor” and telling reporters the Alaska governor has a “very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.”

"She did a great job of energizing our base. I'm very proud of her,” he said at a press conference in Phoenix, his first since losing to Barack Obama three weeks ago. “It's one of the great pleasures I've had to get to know her and her family, and I think she has a very bright future in a leadership position in the Republican Party.

"....I knew that she would be an energizing factor, because she energized me," he added. "Our base, and most Americans, viewed Governor Palin as a breath of fresh air."

Taking a look back at the presidential contest, he said his campaign was dealt a fatal blow when public focus shifted from foreign policy to the faltering economy. “The American people - and I respect that decision, I don’t in any way criticize it – [decided] that the economy was of vital importance. And it is,” he said.

He also told reporters: “We worked hard, and we inspired a lot of people, Sarah Palin and I. I think we look back with pride."

The Arizona senator said that he’s planning to run for re-election in two years, and that an official announcement would come “at an appropriate time.” He praised the president-elect for his cabinet picks so far, especially his reported selection of Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano – long mentioned as a likely 2010 Senate rival - as Secretary of Homeland Security.

Multiple sources have told CNN that Napolitano is Obama’s top choice for that post.

"I have already talked with her, and look forward to moving her nomination as quickly as possible through the United States Senate," said McCain. He said he is also planning trips in the near future to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Even with his stiffest competition is reportedly taking a pass, McCain’s home state has been trending blue - he beat Barack Obama by just 9 points - and the four-term senator told reporters Tuesday he’s expecting a “tough race.”

Filed under: Arizona • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (801 Responses)
  1. Lynn in CT

    I really wish Republicans would stop saying that MOST Americans viewed Sarah Palin as a breath of fresh air. If we had, McCain would be the president-elect. He's not. When will politicians admit they made a mistake instead of digging themselves in deeper and sounding more foolish by the day.

    What we found with Sarah Palin is someone who doesn't think before she speaks and takes every advantage she can and more than she's entitled. Not a breath of fresh air, more like the same old pollution.

    November 25, 2008 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Pepou

    Yeah, she could work in a turkey farm for instance ...

    November 25, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. johnny

    It is laughable to think that democrats are intimidated or frightened by Sarah Palin. She's a "Case Study".

    November 25, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. kk

    I don't doubt that Sarah Palin has a bright future - most telegenic actresses do. It is now up to the citizens of Georgia to step up and vote once again; please don't stay home. Please stay as interested as you all were during general election. Good luck to all of us.

    November 25, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. jane

    The "base" are the fundamentalists and creationists, correct?

    November 25, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. Sheri

    When Sara Palin talks, her sentences don't make sence. I hate to be so hard on her, but she seems like she came from out of space.

    November 25, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Marie in California

    I'm just sorry the McCain-Palin ticket didn't win. Now I'm stuck with the likes of BHO for four years.

    A sad time.....with little to be thankful for in politics on Thanksgiving, a blue Christmas coming up, and the tragedy of BHO in the presidency come January. I've never been this depressed about politics in my entire life.

    Palin – 2012

    November 25, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. dorothy

    Sarah Palin was an excellent choice for the Republicans. She has good Christian Values and that is what the liberal media don't like. That's why the U.S. is in the state it is in. CORRUPT leaders who have been 'flirting with corrupt people'

    At least Sarah speaks her mind, is a true example of a 'working mother', and does not put up with the controversy that the media have genered up against her.

    She is quite popular now and everyone wants to write books, do movies, have her at speaking engagements, etc. She has had many, many, many invites. Not bad for a northern Alaskan GOVERNOR.

    November 25, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. Pepou

    Fred in SC : In case you haven't noticed yet, we have a President elect, soon to be President of the United States. Get used to it !

    November 25, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Karen - Proud of This Country

    Please let Palin energize the Reulbican base because the American people think NOT for being any part in the White House. Let Palin, stay were she is in Alaska, so she can continue killing moose and give more interviews while turkeys are being slaughtered. YIKES.

    November 25, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Stop, stop, stop, my stomach hurts to much from laughing!

    November 25, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  12. Beth, MA

    McCain went against his party's best interests when he decided Palin would get the Hillary vote. He was arrogantly stupid when he figured women would follow any woman.

    He will never admit he made a mistake.

    November 25, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  13. J.Crobuzon

    "liberal Democratic hate mongers" bla bla bla. Do you realize no one listens to anything you say after a start like that? Are you a child, or perhaps a talking dog? Since you provide info with no attribution, do you think you sound reliable? Are you, in short, too stupid to contribute to this discussion? And which of us is a "hate monger?" Can you even define 'monger?'
    Grownups are talking, honey. Go play with your Caribou Barbie.

    November 25, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  14. ross berg- Buffalo, NY

    Hard to understand how McCain can be so tone deaf. The exit polls showed clearly that Palin was a "significant" factor in 63% of uindependent women and 54% of independent men voting democratic. Therefore,whatever chance he might have had was killed by choosing her.

    I was going to give her and him the benefit of the doubt until I watched the Couric interview. After that I find it impossible to belive that any thinking person could have voted to put her a heartbeat from the Oval office!!

    Seems to me that the GOP should be hoping that she'll stay home and raise her brood and try to not ruin Alaska!!

    November 25, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  15. T

    Why this hysteria over Gov. Palin? What are you all so afraid off?

    November 25, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  16. D.Adams

    Palin thought she was still in a beauty pagent! Who is going to write her book for her, Joe the author?

    November 25, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. 37-year-old First Time Voter

    She did not "energize" MOST Americans. That's a lie McLoser need to face. He just don't want to admit he made a horrible judgment picking her and technically there's no excuse to keep asking him whether his VP pick was a mistake because he's going to continue to defend and justify why he picked her.

    November 25, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  18. kaz

    Republicans need Sara Palin and democrats will love her as a GOP candidate in 2012.

    November 25, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  19. bethi in alaska

    A"breath of fresh air"???More like poison.But Senator McCain is being a gentleman and speaking nice generalities.
    He is however, responsible, for unleashing this relentless narcissist onto the American public and for that he should be sorry.

    November 25, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  20. K.B. Denver, Colorado

    I could learn to like her if she would moderate her views, Believing in science is a good start also
    she could stand to show humility and intellectual curiosity.

    That being said everyone's entitled to there believes and that includes Sarah Palin. I just wish people
    like her would acknowledge that legislating the bible is bad idea because not every American is of
    Christan faith and to force the laws of one faith on those of another is cruel and unjust. She and
    others like her need to remember they share this country, no this planet with people of other faiths
    and even those without and that is freedom.

    November 25, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  21. Janet, American in Canada

    Obviously, the Republican Party didn't get the message from GOD on November 4, 2008! Gov., Palin was praying for that crack in the door.

    The door must have been on the other side of the room!

    November 25, 2008 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. Edwuan frm Florida

    Can someone tell Palin to stop trying. She is the dumbest candidate EVER!!!!

    November 25, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  23. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    If she is the brightest bulb in the pack, then the Republicans will spend a lot of years in the dark I'm afraid.

    November 25, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  24. No McPain

    Good thing they lost – if he's that much of an idiot.

    November 25, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  25. Matt

    the caption under the picture should read "McCain tries to keep a straight while continuing to promote Palin when the election for President is not on the line"

    November 25, 2008 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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