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. Bea

    Sen. McCain – do your self a favor and tell Sarah to go home and stay home

    November 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  2. Sam

    Please John take your head out of your 'you know what'.

    November 25, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  3. Charley

    Who is this fool that keeps asking, "WHAT STATE ARE YOU GOVERNOR IN???????" Since when do you have to be a chicken to have an opinion about eggs.?

    What a turkey !!! Careful not to lose your head over this.

    November 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  4. Mickey-Texas

    To paraphrase the NY Governor, "If Palin(Mccain) is the answer, the question must be ridiculous!"

    November 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  5. Tafari

    If Palin is a breath of fresh air, we all need to stop breathing! That woman is the perfect dim wit.

    November 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. J Stuart

    I thought John McCain was out of ideas and out of touch with America. He is continues to confirm this.

    But when you look at what is happening in the country today and the challenges we face, all I can say is "Thank god John McCain didn't win!!!"

    November 25, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. Doug R.

    The overwhelming majority of American have an unfavorable view of this Sarah Palin. She's a clueless dimwit who can't even speak in complete sentences and is incapable of rational thought. Wasn't she the one who said Africa is a country and that planet Earth is six thousand years old. If McCain actually thinks Palin has a bright future with the GOP, he's living in a fantasy world. She's one of the reasons McCain was beat like an old drum.

    November 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. Glenn in California

    His dementia is obviously showing. Picking her was a disaster. What a ditz (both of them).

    November 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. james

    Either he's in denial or his judgment REALLY is that bad! She seems like a nice enough lady on the surface, but someone that is THAT ignorant of her own short-comings and still believes she should lead our country is not what we need.

    November 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  10. Debra

    "Energizing the base" . . . . doesn't this actually mean just stirring up the lowest common denominator of voter, the stubbornly religious and the recklessly under-educated? Palin may have also DEFINED that base in a way that made it very clear that the GOP thrives on uninformed GOP-bots who are driven by fear, their faith, and the idea that freedom from the government is the cure for what ails ya' . . . .

    November 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. Soccer Nana

    The media should stop asking Senator McCain about Governor Palin; they are causing this man to lie, again. I am sure he has recognized his mistake and he simply wants to go on with his political career, and allow Governor Palin to continue to destroy her own.

    Let him be.

    November 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Matt

    I don't know ho wmany times I have to say it (and CNN stop being chicken about posting it)


    It's that simple. Good news for the Dems. EPIC FAIL for the GOP.

    November 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Marc P. Blumberg

    Sarah,the gift that keeps on giving. I am hopeful she will be a factor in the Republican party for generations to come because it will only insure the fact that the Democrats will retain the White House in perpetuity. She is mindless,ignorant,uninformed,narcissistic,self-promoting idiot. And that's on her good days. What newspapers do you read? SARAH, IT AIN"T A TRICK QUESTION!!!

    November 25, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. crystal gesumaria

    I think John McCain is out to lunch. Sarah Palin was a big mistake she is an idiot. She also is a thief. I hope I will never see her again go back to Alaska already.

    November 25, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Richard

    Why is it the Republicans always love figureheads with no intelligence? Look at Bush and Regan. She went to like 5 community colleges in 6 years!

    November 25, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Kevin in ND

    Fred in SC.... you need to sober up and stop posting nonsense.

    You must belong to the "base".

    November 25, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. Georgia for Martin

    Sarah Palin will never be president or vice president why is she coming to Georgia everybody in Georgia think she is awful....Majority people have spoke with said they are voting for Jim Martin because of Palin coming to Georgia to campaign for Saxby......Martin win my vote

    November 25, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. pat C.


    November 25, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. r.austin

    i shudder to think how we would be now if mccain/palin had won. what we would have to look forward to especially during this difficult time. plain is a ditz, and all of those people thanking her for what they perceive as wholesome family values ought to move to alaska right with her. she divided this country, she spouted nonsense, and she look like a fool doing it too. john mccain got exactly what he asked for a shakeup and damaged to the republican party. how he could so proud of someone who knows nothing of government management of all people is a question for the ages.

    November 25, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Truth Hurts

    Fred in SC,

    Are you on dope or dog food. If Obama was not legally to become President he wouldn't have made it this far!! People stop with the wishful thinking and myths!! And Palin is as bright as navy blue!!

    November 25, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Steph

    Fred in SC,
    You scare me. Your disrespect towards OUR President-Elect is unpatriotic!

    November 25, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. Bruce

    Both of them need to go away. You lost get over it, and shut up..both of are now and were then irrelevant.

    November 25, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Wynter

    More like a breath of stale air... She injected harsh partisan rhetoric where there shouldn't have been any. Her rallies were more like riots filled with those "supporters" that would be more willing to spit in your eye than discuss the issues.

    Palin is a poster child of everything that is wrong with the Republican Party today. No intelligence, no ideas, just the same old attack dog talking points.

    November 25, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. Joe

    So many liberals bashing her is starting to make me like her.

    November 25, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. An Independent for Obama

    The economy helped derail Sen. McCain, but Palin was the nail in the coffin. Too many Americans had you know, common sense; and realized what a train wreck she is. If she is a rising star in the Republican party; it guarantees the Dems many years of White House and Congressional control.

    November 25, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
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