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. Akinola - Houston

    Mccain is still campaigning!

    November 25, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  2. boered1

    @Washington Observer November 25th, 2008 3:45 pm ET

    To all the liberal Democratic hate mongers, what goes around comes around. The sub prime mess, the root cause of the current financial crisis, is the brainchild of the Democrats

    Here it is again folks the great republican lie "all this is the democrats fault"

    Let me point out a few things to you idiot republicans
    1) since 1968 the REPUBLICANS have controlled the White House about 3/4 of the time
    2) since 1968 the Republicans have controlled the congress about 60% of the time

    so for this to be "the democrats fault" it must be true that democrats are better leaders and more effective once they get control than republicans.. so you crying members of the radical religious right which is it?
    Is this the fault of the party which has controlled the government more over the last 40 years (Republicans) or are Democrats just that much more effective?

    Either choice you make it seems to me Democrats are the ones we want in power now to fix the mess either the Republicans caused it or the democrats are better at governing...

    November 25, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. Carramia

    Sara Palin is a joke a true joke. Only the not very bright think this woman is anything but a clown

    November 25, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. Papasan

    Racism and Bigotry are still alive in the GOP!

    November 25, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. george

    she is our future

    November 25, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. Carramia

    Confused. I do not even think shes a nice person. She is very corrupt and evil A liar and two faced hypocrite that preached abstinence when she was knocked up when she got mariied

    November 25, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  7. Ted, Washington DC

    Bush with his high deficits dug the hole. for the Grits. The only thing left for McCain which would have some traction was immigration but McCain jumped in the hole dug by Bush. He aligned with Bush and the liberals including the Democrates even on that isue and left nothing for himself to fight. with. He had no chance. He belonged neither with the right nor the left of the political spectrum. Even if the economy had not turned down, he would have lost albeit not with the high margin that he lost to Obama. There was very little that tied him up with the base. And while he may have ilked to refer to himself as the maverick, his eagerness to get involved with the rescue package made him erratic. Palin had agreater affinity with the base but people do not vote for vice presidents. It is unfrtunate because John McCain deserves better than that

    November 25, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |

    Just a way to cover up his poor judgment with his pick of Palin. His lousy judgment still shows up with his or Palins opening of their mouths. Just do us all a favor and go away.

    November 25, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  9. Bob A. Looie

    always nice to have the base really

    November 25, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Ron

    The sad part was that McCain meant what he said... that Palin supporters acctually believe that they are following someone who represents them... Wait a minute, she DOES represent them - the undeducated, inarticulate, illiterate, gun-toting shallow rabble!
    I am NOT suprised that she has a following, after all, she WAS Miss Congeniality in a beauty pageant!

    November 25, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. Jim

    While she did energize your base John. The fact is she energized far more Democrats and independents. Though I am a democrat when this race started, Sen. McCain definitely had a chance to win my vote due to his history and principles and Obama's overall lack of experience. The fact is that after her 1st interview, it was a no brainer. Gov. Palin belongs no where near the White house and never will. She will never be President or anything close. This campaign served as a continuous blooper real for her. Try as they might the republicans will never be able to overcome her own words, and would be wise to move on. If she's the best you have to offer America you will never again gain the trust of this country. We expect and deserve better.

    November 25, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  12. AP from Illinois

    Here's an idea....taking a page from the Rush Limbaugh playbook. Operation CHAOS II. For anyone who voted for for Sarah Palin in the 2012 primaries. That ought to make the GOP very very nervous.

    I really feel sorry for the people who drank the Palin Kool-Aid. Get a grip. We don't hate her. We just don't think that she is qualified to be the leader of the free world and THAT scares us. Sarah Palin could single handedly erase any chance the GOP has to regain power for the next decade! It is kind of like the Dems having such candidates as George McGovern or Walter Mondale.

    I encourage anyone who likes her to watch You Tube videos of her answering questions. She rarely answers a question with specifics. She is very good at the non-answer. If that is what you want for a leader, then I can't talk you out of supporting her.

    If can only hope that Sarah Palin does not cost the dems votes in 4 years by NOT being on the ballot!

    November 25, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. Terry B.

    McSame still can't tell a joke....

    November 25, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Raghu Bala

    I, for one, am not at all impressed by Sarah Palin's knowledge of various matters – whether it be geography, foreign policy, economic issues, and more.

    Her rah-rah soccer mom cheerleading style lacks substance and he academic pedigree is close to pathetic. The US is where it is now because we chose George Bush – another person with subpar intellectual credentials (albeit he went to Yale due to family connections). When you vote intelligent, bright leaders (Clinton was a Rhodes scholar and many in his cabinet were also super bright people), you end up with a solid economy and strength as a nation.

    Ultimately, like the saying goes A's pick A's, C's pick C's....referring to the fact that smart people are usually surrounded by other smart people. There are people far far more qualified in any dimension – experience, intelligence, knowledge, etc than Sarah Palin. She is underqualified and unqualified for high office. So, McCain has it completely wrong. By the way, because he picked a C, he is a C.

    November 25, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. Steph

    Adjust your medication.

    November 25, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  16. Alain

    Dear Republican Party:

    Please tell me there are far better qualified people in our great party that have what it takes to lead this country!

    Otherwise, many folks like myself are giving thought (shudder!) to abandoning this ship until it gets a rudder beneath it.

    November 25, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  17. Bill in Illinois

    I will be forever convinced that the reason that Silly Sarah was chosen was to counter the fact that Sen. McCain was running against a black man and needed a gimmick.

    In the end it turns out that it was a really poor decision and one that will forever haunt the GOP. Sarah demonstrated a severe lack of knowledge of anything beyond Moose stew and snowmobiles. It has to cause a considerable amount of heartburn to the leaders of the party that she is being touted as the new wave of republicans. God help us all!!

    I do object to some of the really despicable comments that are being made however. She does not deserve that nor does it serve any purpose other than allowing socically challenged individuals spew a message of hate and evil. Make an effort to be civil folks.

    November 25, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. KLEE


    November 25, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. Andy

    If thats the best the GOP has to offer for leadership it's sayonara for the GOP or should I say good riddance. But then again Americans did elect the village idiot from Texas not once but twice. How's that go? fool me once uh uh duh

    November 25, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. matzmaw



    November 25, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. Jack

    I think he meant colorful future as she is sure to keep us amused with her idiocy.

    November 25, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  22. Beverly, NYC

    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."

    Really, look back with pride!!! Senator McCain surely you jest, look back with pride at what, the dirty campaign you ran, or the fact that your campaign was so lackluster you had to import a dunce like Palin just to energize your base for 2 weeks, and you only got that because for week one no one knew who she was, and week 2 she was the new it girl. Are you really looking back with pride on the stunt you pulled of "suspending" your campaign and rushing back from NY to DC in the record time of 25hrs. All while not reading Paulson's 3 1/2 page bailout proposal so you could maybe ask and intelligent question or come up with half an idea on the "sound fundamentals" of the economy during the photo op with the current "President". Bet you had time to talk to Bono and spped date your running mate through chats with world leaders.

    Are you nostalgic for the underlying hate you sufaced, over the audacity of a person of color to run for President in losers like Limbaugh, Hannity and their minnions? So much so that he and his family needed a security detail before any other candidate in history. I could go on but in your heart of heart Senator I think you know you have no honor. As a democrat I do hope that Palin, Guiliani, & Romney are the future faces of the GOP, what Bush hasn't done to your party these 3 will surely finish.

    November 25, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |

    McCain's still in denial!
    Hey Johnny boy, it was Palin coupled with your "geezerness" that lost it for you – period. Deal with it.
    And If you think Palin is good for the GOP you ARE delusional. That hick-talkin' Wasilla trailer park trash is "certainly probably" what the GOP doesn't need more of...

    November 25, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  24. WHO ME?


    November 25, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. Spencer

    Gee whiz. If Sarah Palin has a future at all in national politics, and it's with the GOP, then all of the rest of us can look forward to a Democratic government for the next 50 years. The woman is such an insipid waste of time.

    November 25, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
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