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. irene

    It's not the economy. Why can't they just admit that they made a mistake? The campaign went south when he bet on Sarah Palin. The GOP foolishly thought that flash was more important than substance and they bet on Bible thumpers to carry the race. Fortunately, we the people have seen the flaws in right wing Christian Conservatism. We want no part of our government dictating policy based on their flawed religous views. Palin is about as stupid as one can get!

    November 25, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Steve

    I would never vote for her for anything. She is just a female version of bush and even people that voted for that moron have all had enough of that guy. Why would you want more of the same.

    November 25, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. MAJ

    The republican base need to think what is best for the party. Palin is a huge negative. On a positive note for the Democrats, if Palin really is a future leader for the Republican Party...The Democrats will RULE!

    November 25, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  4. Sherri

    Senator McCain is loyal, but to a fault. Sarah Palin, with her antics and ignorance, destroyed any chance he had to be elected.

    November 25, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  5. helen J

    I understand the difficulty that John McCain has saying anything negative about the decision that he made.choosing Palin as a running partner.....but let's face it.....but "energizing" the base isn't nearly so effective as giving the base something to believe solid policies and proposals that could be implemented in national leadership.

    "energy" is no substitute for "knowledge"!

    Sarah Palin had no solid policies, proposals or real understanding of what the country needed or wanted. Her antics with "joe the Plumber" and "Tito the Construction-guy" were so incredibly lame that it became pathetic to watch.

    November 25, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |


    November 25, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  7. Undi

    McCain is a lucky guy. By the time history proves Palin to be a total loser, McCain will be long dead. He will die happy believing his own fantasies about her.

    November 25, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  8. John McShame

    Breath of fresh air? More like a breath of fresh gas. From the moment that woman stepped on stage at the RNC, with her pregnant teen and waving her baby around like a trophy, the country new that we were about to take a trip in time back to 1964. This hate mongerer tried to divide the country right down the middle. I will admit that it was really entertaining watching her clueless answers to simple interview questions. The VP debate was great. It was like watching a 12 year old try to debate Joe Biden. But i'll never forget the ugliness and racism and hate that she promoted. Her hate rallies were something that will go down in American History along side the likes of George Wallace and Joseph McCarthy. Shame on McCain for still lying to us. She was a gimmick. G.I.M.M.I.C.K. WASP lives on!

    November 25, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. Meka


    November 25, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  10. uncle elsworthy

    Most of these hateful comments on here are always made by the same people who have nothing else to do apparently. Guess none of them have a life and really they should be pitied. They do nothing but lurk aroound waiting for the next article that has the word "Palin" and they are off and running again with the same old tired comments. Their uneducated ignorance is acutely apparent.

    I wish them well as they stumble blindly through life, may the Lord bless and keep them in the troubling times that lie ahead for them because of their misguided belief systems.

    November 25, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  11. Steph

    Some advice for the GOP – spend at least as much time trying to save the economy as you are currently spending trying to save your party.

    November 25, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  12. Herny the Independent from NYC

    The base, Joe the Plumber, and Suzy the waitress, are attempting to hold on to values that the elite of the republican party never believed in. The republican elite used abortion, homophobia and the trickle down theory to make money, give money (gifts and under the table bribes) and buy polictical favor. While campaigning republicans poloticians shout these concepts to enrage those that are not ready for social, financial and political change to the republican elites cause. Plain represents that cause which has never had true policy making, building and planning beyond winning an issue. Palin has not conherent policy positions and because I want Obama for another term I beg them to vote for her as the republican candidate. I beg them.

    November 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. Texas Trail Kitty

    John McCain must be kidding. This woman became a flashpoint for ridicule and this continues to this day. Keep talking Senator McCain and remind us why you aren't president. But by all means, keep up the praise. I truly hopes she runs for and wins the nomination for president in four years. This should make President Obama a shoo-in.

    November 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. Barbara in NC

    Come on people, McCain and Palin lost. They aren't even worth your time ...................or mine. It's over.

    November 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. bob

    A way to keep these GOP on news? I am tired!

    November 25, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  16. TjayeInLA

    He also said he had Obama right where he wanted him.

    He might want to talk less.

    November 25, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  17. al

    she does have bright future, one of the most popular governors in the country, she makes decisions, no governor ever has foreign policy experience, it was a dumb excuse that the media used on her, some of you people are ridiculous, let's be honest, joe biden?, let me say this, wrong on going into the war and wrong about the surge, on both he was wrong, mccain and obama at least got one out of the two, foreign policy credentials my butt, what else did he say, fdr was president in 1927??, huh? that sounds like a dumb comment to me, lighten up cause she will be kicking your butt in four years and i can't wait to hear the whining from you

    November 25, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  18. Really!

    Maybe she can sell McCain that bridge she's always referring to.

    November 25, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  19. Calm Down on the Hate Blogs!!!

    To the Obama supporters:
    I am an Obama supporter and volunteered for him in Indiana yet I remain appalled that so many of my fellow Obama supporters are being so nasty toward McCain & Palin. I like McCain as a Senator but didn’t think he was Presidential material. While I didn’t particularly like Sarah Palin’s approach and disagree with her policies, I think the media and many of my fellow Democrats were extremely unfair to her. Don’t get me wrong I would like nothing more than for Sarah to get back to Alaska and do her job.

    To the McCain supporters:
    Give Obama a chance he hasn’t even taken office yet. All this speculation about what he’s going to do is just speculation!!!! How about just waiting until he’s in office before blaming him for the mess he’s about to inherit. If Obama turns out to be a great president you’re going to look back at some of the hateful things you said and wonder what you were thinking. To clear a few things up; Obama IS a US citizen, he IS NOT a socialist, a terrorist or the anti-Christ and he WILL NOT take your gun rights away

    November 25, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Susie from Austin, Texas

    Way to go GOP! Please, please, please keep Sarah Palin up front and center. That'll be such a great boost for the Democratic Party.

    November 25, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Palin 2012!

    A simple apology would have been fine. "Sorry for breaking my promise to run a civil campaign. Sorry for sowing the seeds of racism and hate like George Wallace before me. Sorry for putting an unintelligent, uninterested, fundamentalist, hockey mom THIS close to the nuclear codes. Sorry for selling out. Sorry for trying to scare the living crap out of you to get your vote. Sorry President Obama for putting you and your family in danger by questioning your patriotism, religion and character." I pray to the heavens Palin ends up the leader of the GOP. I've been waiting for so long to hammer that final nail in the GOP coffin. We're almost there folks!

    November 25, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  22. Joe the Troll

    Who's worried about HER future? We have our own futures to worry about.

    November 25, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  23. LaJuan

    Fred from SC Seek help! You need it, so does the GOP

    November 25, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  24. Nancy

    I would bet my life "hiros" is a white Republican. Think before you respond to his ignorance.

    November 25, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  25. Gene Penszynski from Vermont

    Well "L',

    To be quite honest what scares me to the point of sarcasm is that we've had eight years of just plain 'DUMBNESS' in the White House and it has nearly DESTROYED this Nation. I fought for this country in Vietnam and I love this nation way too much to see it turned over to ignorant buffoons once again.

    Sarah Palin CLEARLY has little understaniding of the world in which we live. That is all I've ever seen or heard from her in ALL of her public appearances. If you could point me to some information that shows her in depth knowledge of the world in which we live I would gladly read it and consider her comments

    November 25, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
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