March 26th, 2009
01:30 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain: People voted 'mostly for Sarah Palin' last year

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Speaking at the Heritage Foundation Thursday, Sen. McCain acknowledged the political star power of his former running mate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has no illusions about the 2008 White House race.

"God bless them," McCain said Thursday at the Heritage Foundation when reminded of the tens of millions of people who voted for him last year.

"Over 50 million people voted for me and Sarah Palin – mostly for Sarah Palin," McCain said to an eruption of laughter. But "there was a sizable majority of the other party returned to Congress. And, elections have consequences. Elections have consequences. And these consequences we are seeing now in full display."

McCain described himself as "very nervous" about the Obama administration's proposal for FDIC-like resolution authority over non-bank financial institutions like AIG in order to prevent another near calamity in the global financial system.

"I understand that we need some of these institutions to be taken over before they are total failures but I am very nervous about that . . . about the expansion of government oversight," McCain said. "But we have to do a better job of regulation and transparency. The status quo is not acceptable either."

McCain's speech Thursday at the conservative think tank focused on the country's economic crisis and dire long-term fiscal outlook. Before he spoke, the former presidential candidate was greeted by a standing ovation in an auditorium filled with people primarily in their 20's and 30's.

Filed under: John McCain • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (326 Responses)
  1. KR

    McCain what is wrong with you? If you hadn't had SP on your ticket you might have stood a better chance. Do you realize how many people did not vote for you related to SP. You have to have more than the conservaties and SP has a lot of work to do if she ever makes it. I don't mind a woman president but I sure want one that knows what she is doing. Articles like this remind me McCain on why I an my whole republican family did not vote for you. Sara Palin was a heart beat away from Pres and not qualified.

    The vote you got were for you as President not SP

    March 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. Ryan

    Whether Palin is energizing people or whackjobs are alchemizing prophecies in the minds of "us" (whatever that means), Palin is still an attractive woman running her campaign on an appeal to sex. I don't think many educated Americans take her seriously as a member of the executive branch of U.S. government. Just maybe, a few isolated small town Americans still buy into the politics of their Sunday sermons, but reality is stepping forward in a hurry. The conservatives have successfully ripped off the 3rd world and stuffed plenty of cash into their pockets. I say, take your money and move on. America is moving on. The little guys are back in the focus. The old mantra of "survival of the fittest" may be a biological reference in liberal discourse, but it ironically is a phrase that embodies the conservative performance over the last 20 years. I'm glad that our homeless, disabled, uneducated, hungry, jobless, and even our veterans will start getting the attention they deserve as an American. Thank you President Obama.

    March 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. Brian Crooks

    Despite what some whackjobs on the Left would have us believe, even though McCain lost to the empty-suit in November (and it was an Electoral College landslide, not an electoral landslide), Sarah Palin on the ticket prevented an even worse defeat for McCain. She has and continues to energize the conservatives in this country, much to the chagrin of the Left
    ========================================================= was an Electoral College landslide but somehow also NOT an electoral landslide? Her popularity among the arch-conservatives is NOT to our chagrin, we LOVE it! She turns off everyone who isn't on the far far right, just as Dennis Kucinich turns off just about everyone who isn't on the far far left. The difference is, we give Dennis a pat on the head and send him on his way when he runs for President and you guys give Sarah Palin a crown and a million dollars. Go Sarah!

    March 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Ariana

    uhhhh NO. You LOST because of her. She only appeals to ignorant, hateful rednecks, like herself.

    March 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  5. Amazed

    Palin in 2012.
    When thing are in dire state, everyone can use a good laugh.

    March 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  6. Jake

    "I understand that we need some of these institutions to be taken over before they are total failures but I am very nervous about that . . . about the expansion of government oversight,"

    Where was this speech when he had to drop everything to vote on the first bank bailout? What a joke...

    March 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  7. Donna from Colorado Springs

    So, let me get this straight.......most republicans voted for Sarsah Palin and not McCain last year? She was the lesser of two evils? No wonder that party is in the toilet. It's run by absolutely the biggest group of stupid inept people in the world!

    March 26, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. Ryan

    I still since bitterness from the Republican party members over the election that has already happened.

    March 26, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. alejandro

    ToddonCapeCod: Look up the numbers. Obama won 52.9% of the the popular votes, while Reagan won 50.7% to Carter's 41% in 1980. Obama won the popular vote by a wider margin than Reagan for the first term. I would call that a landslide. Reagan did win more states than obama however. But clearly if Reagan won by a landslide in 1980, you must consider the 2008 election an even bigger landslide by the numbers

    March 26, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  10. LJ

    When it comes to Palin, there is no "chagrin on the left", only relief that the "ditz" wasn't voted into public office, representing the United States, what a fiasco that would have been. Idiots like Palin don't belong in DC, they belong in the deep south, representing rednecks, that's her fan base, the "loons" on the right.

    March 26, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. Brian

    Uh, actually, I don't think that's true at all. And it probably underscores not only what a bad decision he made in choosing her as his running mate, but that he still doesn't understand why it was a bad decision. He squandered his credibility and sealed his loss with the selection.

    Palin is unfit for national politics, and I don't see her star rising any further than it already has... she's already fading into a fringe element in a marginalized national party.

    March 26, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Ghost

    Please, putting Sarah on the ticket was the proverbial nail in the coffin. If she thinks the media was tough on her then, imagine what they'd be doing to her right about now. I'd bet dollars to donuts she'd be crying at the podium.

    March 26, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Brian

    Not sure I agree ToddonCapeCod, if McCain ran as a moderate, he might of pulled more away from the Dems than he would of loss from the base.

    I know at least the potential of a Palin Presidency is what put me solidly in Obama's camp, though in all fairness, I was leaning that way.

    But I don't know a single person who voted for Obama who disliked the more straightforward, moderate McCain. They all across the board loathed Palin. I think there were a lot of other choices for VP that would of made the election closer for McCain.

    March 26, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  14. Right Trash

    Oh Toddie from Cape Coddie, perhaps you didn't realize that when your fair (but incredibly dumb) Sarah joined the Repub ticket, donations for President Obama increased dramatically. So, yes, she's an energizer alright.

    March 26, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Mark

    Denise March 26th, 2009 3:30 pm ET

    It's terrifying to think the lying duo could have been Prez and VP!

    No kidding! Just imagine what would have happened to the stock market!

    March 26, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Mike

    Actually, I think we've got the terrifying President and VP. I only hope America wakes up before the damage is permanent. Go McCain!

    March 26, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. George Hayduke

    I voted for Obama because of Palin. She and the rest of the right wing ditto heads scare the crap out of me. Eight years of Cheney was enough. We don't need any more myopic leaders.

    March 26, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. FuturePrez

    Although I voted for Obama, I think McCain would have made a great president. His choice of Palin, however, left no doubt in my mind who to vote for.

    March 26, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  19. Observant

    I would have voted for you McCain, if you had not selected Sarah Palin as your VP. I believe that she is main reason you lost.

    March 26, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  20. zumpie

    Todd, Palin's ability to energize the far right doesn't upset those of us on the left, it thrills us! Since Palin appeals ot your extreme base, she helps continue the Republican wanderings in the political desert. I'd LOVE to see her as the Repug candidate in 2012. Entertainment AND an easy reelection for President Obama.

    March 26, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  21. Ramon N

    The general statement should be –

    A lot of people voted in the 2008 Presidential Election because of Palin. ....majority of them, to the misfortune of the Republicans, voted for the Democrats.

    March 26, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. Streamwood Bill


    I did not vote for John McCain BECAUSE of Sarah Palin.

    She was not then, and still is not, fit to run this country.

    Had the good Senator picked a qualified V.P. candidate, John McCain, not Barack Obama, would have received my vote.

    March 26, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  23. justobserve

    Mostly people voted for Palin and she lost!

    March 26, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. Ariana


    That's the problem. She only energizes the hardcore Republicans, which is usually white Christians, noone else. OTHER people matter in this country. In case you haven't noticed, the number of minorities and independents have increased. They see her as wicked and hateful...which she is.

    March 26, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  25. Valerie

    well how closed minded some of you are....I voted for John McCain and a big reason for that was Sarah Palin!!!! Because those of us who are conservative do not agree with your ideals of socialism, big government, and making everyone feel a sense of entitlement because they are a "victim" does not make us stupid.

    Well I see Obama doesn't feel the need to look for Bin Laden heck we aren't even in a war on terror...

    March 26, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
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