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. Stupid is as stupid does

    I love it. Yes let the idiot run again and see how bad they lose for the second time. Even after the election is over, she's been making mistake after mistake. Did you see the interview with the turkey's being slaughtered in the background? Now she's saying that she didn't know it was going on behind her. Uhhh, WHAT? You nut! they told you what was going on before the interview and your response was :"No Worries" . Guess there are worries now that there was a public outcry. Palin is so stupid.

    November 25, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  2. bob

    Sara Palin is better then anything the democrats can or did or will put up. Obama has proven by his cabinet selections that it is business as usual for the democratic party.

    November 25, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. Chuck Pittsburgh

    I know people in retirement homes with better judgement than this man. Not enough Aricept in the world.

    November 25, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    John McCain has only given one reasons why he picked Palin, energizing and nothing more. But then again he's always liked young women.

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

    I voted because he was black, your telling me all the rednecks in the south didn't vote for that old white dude because of race. blacks stick together, tom you must be white

    November 25, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. theresa rossi

    McCain is till in a coma! When will he realize his big mistake that cost him the presidency? He shoud stop being nice to Sarah Palin since the entire Republican fiasco is over, over, over!!! I love saying it: over, over, over!
    Sarah Palin is stretching her 15-minuites of fame because she knows that SNL needs fresh material.

    November 25, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Jacqueline in Missouri

    I once imagined how Palin would pick Cabinet positions and then thanked the Higher Power that she is media crazy and will fade away with over exposure before she can be a worse president than Bush.

    November 25, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. John

    I have voted Republican all my life, except in the last election – I voted Obama. And with the Republicans putting forward superficial and ignorant candidates like Palin, I guarantee all of you – I will NEVER vote for the republicans again.

    November 25, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. Rob

    John McCain must have been suffering from some sort of brain illness that causes dillusion and poor judgment. I don't know what he sees in her. I don't think the entire GOP agrees with him on that accessment. He should really retire NOW. He has made a fool out of GOP, made a fool out of all Republicans. I hope that bimbo stop showing herself for that 5 minutes of fame, and I hope GOP can put a muzzle on her asap. As for John McCain, I am predicting he will lose the relection bid for his senator seat, and we can all move on doing better thing and forget about McCain-Palin nightmare.

    November 25, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. patriot

    Obviously, loyalty trumps judgement with this man.

    November 25, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. disgusted

    you arrogant mesogenistic S*B's

    the fact that any of you question her intelligence calls yours into question.

    and lets not forget that Obama's lopsided victory was only in the electroal college...meaning lots of us didn't actually count. Look at the millions that voted against him before you spout that "most" American's voted the other way....

    November 25, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  12. SJF

    "Our base and most Americans viewed Governor Palin as a breath of fresh air"


    I don't think so John. The extremists of your base were energized, the moderates and center-leaning members of your base turned tail and fled the GOP the moment she was announced as your running mate. Once her lack of vetting and intelligence was made apparent, the American people turned out in record numbers to make sure she got nowhere near the White House.

    November 25, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. jc

    Oh goodie. Let Palin run....that'll mean the Dems will be in for a long time!

    November 25, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Vigla


    If I lived in Alaska and won the Republican primary against a corrupt incumbent I could be elected Governor too... Face it Sarah Palin wouldn't get elected to my township council let alone governor in my state.

    November 25, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. Ad. Musila

    Hey, fred in SC,
    Keep on dreaming. If you think McCain/Palin would allow that, keep dreaming.

    November 25, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Ghost

    We all make mistakes, but senator John McCain selection of
    Governor Palin as his running mate was one the biggest mistake in history.

    November 25, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  17. Etienne

    Palin wasn't a breath of fresh air,
    She was a gust of hot air!

    November 25, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. Mary

    Listening to all this vile from Democrats makes me wonder what type of change is coming.

    Are Obama's supporters a reflection of what type of leadership can be expected? The southside of Chicago is a ghetto and it won't take him long to bring that type of change to the rest of us.

    John McCain, you are my hero and thank you for bringing Sarah Palin to the national platform.

    God bless America.

    November 25, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. McCain's alright

    C'mon people. I'm an enthusiastic Obama supporter and a staunch critic of the policies McCain supports. Palin horrifies me. But really, if you read McCain's words, he's being very fair. Palin did energize the Republican base. And Palin does have a future if that Republican base grows. I personally think the base will have to change before it can grow, and I don't think Palin will be a part of that. Therefore, I think McCain is wrong about Palin's future, but at least he's not playing the blame game and so far he's supporting President-elect Obama.

    McCain's campaign was a disgrace, but the man is trying to earn some of his dignity back. You've gotta give him credit for that.

    November 25, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  20. GERRY

    wow – gosh, I thought comments would have closed on this one.!
    Sarah & her husband, Todd, please stay in Alaska – okay? We got along before we met ya and we'll get along now – got it or gotcha – whatever, later....

    November 25, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. Donna from Colorado Springs

    What else would he say? He would die before ever admitting that he made a huge mistake by choosing Palin and that she probably cost him the election. You would think that he'd be man enough to say what he really feels about her now that the dust has settled.

    November 25, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Tony

    If Palin wants to run in 2012, good...let her. That only ensures another Obama victory!

    November 25, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. Salt

    Gah. No Palin for days and suddenly she's back to back to back on the ticker. Ew.

    November 25, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. DP in CA

    That's it, I'm getting my news elsewhere.

    November 25, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. Response to Fred in SC

    Let me guess – you bought the "swiftboat veterans for truth" story in '04, right?

    November 25, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
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