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. Where's My Gun?

    The new GOP party is the Hatfields and the McCoys.

    November 25, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  2. ME

    If all of you hate Palin so much, WHY do you spend your time reading about her and commenting about her? Can't get enough, huh? 900+ requests for media interviews with her from around the world.....2012 🙂

    November 25, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  3. paul

    John McCain destroyed my beloved Republican Party by chosing Palin. McCain could have won this election with a good smart running mate and his war-time merits, but he elected to chose the dumbest person in this world. Palin the attack dog that spewed negative vibes was the primary reason McCain lost the election. The people that Leader who manage the Republican party must take harsh actions and inform Plain she needs to stay in Alaska – if they want to win another election. If not, the Party I grew up with and loved will be destroyed.

    November 25, 2008 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. NO Palin in 2012 or beyond

    If she runs I hope the Democrats STOP her skinny little ???

    November 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. Dan

    With judgment like this it is no wonder why he lost, I guess he can not say how it really is and still has to toe the party line until his political carrier is over.

    November 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. John

    Breath of fresh air.....*cough*

    Why do Republicans hate America?

    November 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  7. Lauren

    I only have one question. Why are all the Democrats so scared of this lady? Why do they have to slam her every chance they get. Lets put this in perspective. If she really is not as good as you Dems think, why bother putting her down?

    Is it because your worried she might actually be good for the country, and you can see where she will make a honest canididate for President, and that scares you???????

    November 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  8. Alan

    So many people so confused about Sarah Palin.

    The "hatred" you hear spewing here...was brought on by PALIN! Did you LISTEN to her speeches when she was on the trail? Did you HEAR the repeated lies, the "pallin' around with terrorists" the racial slurs?

    The woman threw vile hatred carelessly into heated crowds and literally endangered Obama's life and the life of others nearby, willingly, as long as it helped her push forward her own personal agenda.

    Any hatred spewing her way now was EARNED.

    November 25, 2008 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Paul DObro

    Maybe the media coverage of Palin was not negitive, maybe the media got it just right and when you represent an idiot correctly, it looks like negitive coverage when it fact they tried there best not to make her look too bad, but if you put lipstick on a pig, well, you know.

    McCain can't go negitive on her because it just reflects badly on him if he does, but those leaks were intentional and came from teh top of the ticket.

    November 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. laughing at the right

    I don't think the liberals are bashing her because they are afraid. She can't string together a coherent sentence, I wouldn't say afraid she is hilarious. I can't believe republicans would allow someone like this run there party because she believes that it is ok to to take away the rights of pro choice. I would be surprised if she had an education. Those of you that think it is some kind of major accomplishment to be a mayor of a small town have never been to big city.

    November 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  11. Missourian

    Sarah is back in Alaska and that's where she needs to stay. She was not ready for the national stage, and it appears from her poor performance that she never will be!

    November 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Lauren

    Mike in Pa,,,

    If you really think you would be better off in another country, what is keeping your butt here now,,,, MOVE.

    November 25, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Ancient Texan

    BJ- You and I may be the only two posters on this blog to agree. But one thing is very apparent, all the liberal folks hate everybody but liberals. And yet, they think we should gather ranks behind their candidate in a show of solid unity.........Yeah, Right!, just like they united behind President Bush.

    November 25, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  14. CMG

    Can you spell "scarey?" The country has some real frightening issues facing many of us. However, Palin in 2012 gives a whole new meaning to the word "frightening." If she is the best that the GOP can produce, then the country is really on the downhill spiral.

    November 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. Cathy Brandes

    To Washington Observer: This is the kind of thinking that lost the GOP the election! I have two words for you: Phil Graham!

    November 25, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Mr. Oy Vey

    Oy Vey! Sarah Palin in GOP's national politics? Where do I send my money to help this cause, as it will ensure the that the party will go no where.

    November 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  17. Lauren


    Are you afraid your welfare checks will stop if you do not vote black?

    I did not vote for Obama, but race never entered into my thought process. You just shown how racist BLACK america is.

    November 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  18. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    From one of the osers' mouths about his losing counterpart. We would believe him on this WHY?

    November 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  19. Dayahka

    Well, you could hardly have expected John to say anything else. By saying the American people "decided" again this pair is his way of saying it's not his fault; most "small" people always blame other people for their failures...As for Palin energizing the so-called base, the Republicans have got to find some other base–an intelligent one, to begin with. But this old base is quite happy with Palin for the principal reason that she annoys intelligent and educated people everywhere–and that base is anti-intellectual in the extreme. Let this base thrive on the Palin phenomenon; the rest of us should just ignore them.

    November 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  20. Vegas Barbie for Obama

    That's Losers' mouths...

    November 25, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. patriot

    Palin a GOP leader? Kinda like how Moe is the leader of the Three Stooges, I guess.

    November 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  22. Tina, NC

    As I Democrat I hope the Republicans run Palin in as many future elections as possible. She may have energized the base but she also drove away all the sensible, tolerate Republicans and Independents. Please Republicans bring her back next time. Nothing will ensure a Democratic victory more than Palin.

    November 25, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  23. colwell

    Don't forget that nearly 50% of voters cast votes for the GOP ticket. While 90% of the viewers from this site think she's an idiot, that's not true for the public at large.

    November 25, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  24. Madcitychick

    Teresa, when you said the following......"All you who have nasty comments about Sarah Palin and how smart you think she's not. WHAT STATE ARE YOU GOVERNOR IN???????"

    I think you might have meant is 'What state are you governor OF'? I'm not sure how to re-word 'How smart you think she's not' for you since it sounds like Palineese to me & I don't understand Palineese.

    I think you missed the whole point dear. None of the people commenting about her intelligence are or were trying to be the VP of the United States of America or governors for that matter. Big difference.

    Palin as VP would be like handpicking a woman you see walking through the mall and telling her she's going to be the next VP of the US because she looks good.

    Do some research on Palin. Try reading the Alaska newspapers and read some older stories on her. Read the comments on those stories from Alaskans (made and written long before VP slot). You'll see that she was just as clueless about running a small town like Wasilla as she is as Governor and as she was as a VP candidate. You'll see that after just a few months as mayor of a town of 7,000 she had to hire a city manager because she didn't know what her job was.

    You'll see she's made many, many mistakes in her political career because she has no business in a political position of ANY kind. It just isn't her place to be and if she wants it to ber her place, she will have to spend many, many years yet learning about her country, it's history, it's laws, it's constitution, it's people and how it works. As of now, Sarah has no knowledge on these topics.

    It explains perfectly why she's gotten herself into so many messes in her state..............SHE DOES NOT KNOW THE RULES AND DOESN'T BOTHER TO LEARN THEM EVEN AFTER MAKING A MISTAKE!!

    Even children learn from their mistakes.

    November 25, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  25. L

    I appreciate hearing so many of the tolerant voices of the more liberal political minds out there (sarcasm). I've never encountered people speaking out so hatefully against supposed hate, or so intolerantly about supposed intolerance. Labeling people of a different political viewpoint as hicks or wackos is not productive or cooperative, it only magnifies your hypocrisy – as well as ignorance when such labels are based on your feelings about the ugliness of their eyes. Furthermore, labeling any political, moral, or ethical viewpoint you disagree with as far right/left wing is sickening. What made you and your opinion the barometer for the majority opinion? And who cares anyway about these labels when so many people writing on these stupid message boards couldn't give any logical or coherent explanation for their positions on any issue?

    Everyone please just use your heads, bring the self-righteousness down a few clicks, and realize that thinking you're great and intelligent doesn't mean you are.

    November 25, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
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