April 14th, 2009
05:59 PM ET
13 years ago

Did McCain snub Palin on Leno?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/14/art.mccainpalin.cnn.jpg caption="McCain left off Palin's name on his list of future GOP leaders."]

(CNN) - Did John McCain snub Sarah Palin during an appearance Monday on NBC's The Tonight Show?

That's what some pro-Palin bloggers and other political observers claim after the former GOP presidential candidate left out his former running mate when naming five governors who he thought were in position to lead the Republican Party.

"We have, I'm happy to say, a lot of voices out there," McCain told host Jay Leno before listing Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Utah Gov. John Huntsman, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

"There are a lot of governors out there who are young and dynamic," said the Arizona senator.

McCain then quickly joked, "I've left out somebody's name and I'm going to hear about it."

Criticism of McCain's comments are particularly fierce at TeamSarah.org, a blogging Web site for Palin supporters.

"McCain, who screwed up his campaign by not voting against the bailout, can't mention Sarah's name on Leno? It hurts the party and it makes him look bad by dissing her a 3rd time," wrote one blogger. "Maybe it's a good thing he didn't become president."

McCain has said in previous interviews it is too early to say whether he will support Palin should the Alaska governor run for president in 2012. His daughter Meghan made similar comments on CNN's No Bias, No Bull last week.  (Video below)

McCain has also praised Palin since Election Day, saying late last year of the Alaska governor, "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."

Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Dave in Houston

    What can you say? After all, she DID sink his campaign. Sure, she whipped up the right-wing crazies, but how many of them were "leaning Obama" before she was named to the ticket? Zero. What she did do was to scare lots of the moderates to the Obama camp and prodded others who were pro-Obama to make sure they showed up at the polls.

    Most of McCain kind words about Sarah Palin are a technique called "death by faint praise." He can say all kind of vague pleasant things about her, but unless he definitively supports her as the presidential nominee, he is really saying to the world that she is not fit to be president. (Which is true.)

    April 14, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. Susan

    McCain need not bother "dissing" Palin - she manages that quite well on her own!

    April 14, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Get Well Soon GOP

    Did anyone ask Kerry if he was supporting Leiberman for POTUS? No but they aske McCain because they know what he is going to say and want him to admit it. And he will as the next run becomes closer. I feel sorry for Palin.

    April 14, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. JB

    I'm an independent and would have gladly voted for McCain had he picked another running mate. I could never stomach Palin. If the GOP wants to court more independent voters, Jindal and Romney are more the direction in which it should be heading.

    April 14, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Mike Syracuse, NY

    McCain's pick of Palin was a Hail Mary pass. he was behind, and only something dramatic would work. It would have worked too if the mortgage crisis hadn't exploded in the final months of the campaign. The truly sad part of this whole affair is how the feminazi left trashed her, when she actually had more executive experience than the guy who won.

    April 14, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Kristin

    Deep down Mr. McCain knows that his choice for V.P. was a gimmick. He waited until after Obama picked someone other than Hiliary. McCain thought his pick would pull all the disgruntled Hiliary supporters to the GOP corner. Instead it did the opposite. He put her in the spotlight and she will do anything to stay there. Her world is crumbling around her. Her party is not supporting her, her own state republicans are angry with her for abandoning her post while she hunts for her next post in D.C., she has more family problems right now than she can handle. Her life is falling apart around her. Her 15 minutes are just about up. Tick,tick,tick,.

    April 14, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. Lisa Libra

    WHY is this shocking? One could tell how uncomfortable he was with her as his running mate, like he couldn't tell she was mistake from the get-go? He had to go along with it. But... should we not be grateful he choose her? She was a huge part to his losing this election.

    This party is falling apart, she is not helping, maybe she'll just go away.

    April 14, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. William Giunta

    John is just being honest. He does not think Palin is a qualified person or he would say so. Leave John alone.

    April 14, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Vic

    McCain is smart now to treat Sarah Palin as "someone I once knew." And Palin would be smarter to treat her campaign experience as "something unwise I once did." Their erstwhile togetherness in testing presidential campaign waters should be put away forever and ever.

    April 14, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. Patrick

    Just the latest in a series of really bad decisions on McCain's part. I used to really like John McCain. Thought he was an "independent maverick". But once he got the nomination, he emerged as an "angry old man" with no real backbone. Selecting Palin was a stroke of genius. It was his only chance of winning the election. And it almost worked. He was ahead in the polls after he picked her. But because they hadn't prepared her in advance, and kept her from the press, Palin became a joke and a victime of unprecedented sexism. And then they blamed her. If his campaign hadn't done such a terrible job both with him and Palin, he could have won the election. I'm glad he didn't, but I don't celebrate the blantant sexism that plagued Palin (just as it had Clinton earlier in the election season).

    April 14, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. ruth

    He didn't mention her because he finally admits he screwed up by naming her for V.P.

    April 14, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Clark

    McCain is certainly smart enough to know that Palin's appeal is to a very narrow group of voters, and that group is rapidly shrinking in number. Just as Reagan's election really marked the end of the FDR years, Obama's election marked the end of the Reagan era. The world has changed, and only the parties and candidates that speak to the current reality will be viable. With only 7% of the US electorate claiming to be die-hard Republicans, any successful candidate will have to appeal to a much broader spectrum than just the party base. Palin is a fringe personality, and if the Republicans nominate her they will end up being a fringe party. Her 15 minutes have passed.

    April 14, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. kcl

    I'd say it was an oversight and he was speaking generally about leaving out a name, but he's too smart of a man for that. Now he's being a 'maverick' and speaking his mind once again. My respect for him has been a bit restored.

    April 14, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  14. stac

    He didn't mention her because he's embarrassed by her now!

    April 14, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  15. Steve -- Ohio

    There's no doubt that McCain is a good politician, but he showed that he's no statesman by picking Palin - putting his political ambitions ahead of what's good for the country0

    BTW, a lot of people think that he is raising his reputation by ignoring Palin.

    April 14, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. Scott Douglas

    Palin is a total embarrassment to the GOP, and one of the great regrets of Sen McCain's life is being railroaded into picking her for his failed ticket. Saying she has a future in leading the republican party is like saying Cheney is going to make a real and serious run for the White House in 2012. The only upside to all this is that it shows the GOP aren't any closer to pulling themselves together. Say goodbye to 2010 GOP!

    April 14, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  17. mark

    McCain made a huge mistake in selecting Palin as his running mate.
    She wasn't ready to assume the duties of Vice President of the United States, let alone become president if something happened to McCain.

    Personally I think one of the reasons McCain lost the election was because he selected Palin. If he had a running mate with more experience, and the ability to handle the "drive-by" media (as Limbaugh calls it), he might have fared better at the polls.

    April 14, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  18. Johnny

    It is my hope that McCain will eventually admit that selecting Palin was his biggest mistake, it seems that he's headed there little by little. And now he's created a monster who thinks she's someone important; she's nothing but a pretty face with ambition and no ethics. Shes clueless in many ways, including in how she helped tank his campaign.

    We just got rid of one clueless right-wing unethical religious zealot, I think that was more than enough.

    April 14, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  19. MD

    Good for the Senator. He shouldn't have to endorse anyone he doesn't believe will make a good President no matter who he or she is...

    April 14, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. today

    mccain and the republicans used palin as a gimmick, it back fired on them terribly, this is mccain's way of admitting to his disastrous choice.

    April 14, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  21. Jaison Biagini

    not that i have anything against hicks in general, but i don't want one as my president. i mean come on!! palin is now having a press war with a 19 year old, and she is losing!!
    please go away and do it soon!!
    jindal and pawlenty are both wet noodles.
    mitt had his shot and lost to an 80 year old.
    christ might be able to run and do well.

    April 14, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  22. Jo-nita

    I for one hope Palin is the GOP nominee....President Obama would win in a "Landslide".

    April 14, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Tim

    Hey Palin supporters. Palin used her daughters baby daddy for her own gain. She was trying to put a good light on the fact that her daughter was a unwed mother. When she knew she would not get the VP job, she kicked him to the crub. McCain used Palin for his own purpose. He was trying to use he to pull in what the media was saying was a large group of mad Hillary Clinton women. When he lost the election, she was of no further use to him. I know it sucks, but that is life...get over it.

    April 14, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  24. daniel

    Yeah it's cause he knows she is a crazy pit bull!!! Even McCain knows he made a mistake with that crazy lady!

    April 14, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  25. Connie




    April 14, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
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