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)

    Can you imagine a debate between Palin and President Obama? Or, shall I say watch Obama masssacre Palin and send her home crying? It would be like pitting a Rottweiller against a Cocker Spaniel. President Obama would chew her up and spit her out. What I can't imagine is that the Republican party isn't smart enough to know that. I don't think she has a chance in hell of being the Republican nominee in 2012. The Republican party may be out-of-touch, but I don't believe they are totally in la-la land. I do hope they are though. LOL

    April 14, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  2. Queen

    What's the problem? He divulged who he felt was most qualified...he did nothing wrong! LOL!

    April 14, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. cat

    After McCain experienced first hand Palin's lack of knowledge about a wide range of topics regarding foreign policy and economics, he is honestly not able to endorse her for POTUS. That makes perfect sense to me & I admire him his honesty. Who would know better than McCain the truth about Palin?

    April 14, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. Mike

    Mr. McCain, I would have seriously considered voting for you without Sarah Palin. I do not have any confidence in this woman, and voted that way.

    April 14, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  5. skip

    I think it's time for him to tell how he really feels and I bet it's not good. She made his campaign look like a bunch of amateurs and he knows she is not ready to lead.

    April 14, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. Too True For You

    Hey, isn't this just another case of McCain being "mavricky"? He's a mavrick, right? We should expect the unexpected, like a return to lucidity, or snubbing his former running mate.

    April 14, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. My 2 Cents Worth

    McCain has shown he is a man of integrity except when it came to his his slapstick comedy acts of choosing a running mate and standing up for her foolishness, and also when he focused much of his campaign rhetoric on some sort of handyman named Joe. I think he is doing a good job of redeeming his credibility by never mentioning their names again on the airwaves.

    April 14, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  8. Dan

    It's time to make room for the unemployed John. Please retire and ENJOY the rest of your life. There should be no senator over the age of 65 (unless serving out their term) in the Senate anymore. Too many stubborn fossils with old ideas and too much corruption.

    April 14, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  9. Rose

    Even McCain knows Palin isn't worthy of leadership.

    April 14, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. Steve In California

    I used to have a great deal of respect for McCain. Then he picked Palin as a running mate, and most of it went away. As of his visit to Leno, my respect is returning.

    April 14, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. Bette

    John McCain knows in his heart he screwed up when he chose her as his running mate and he ought to be man enough to admit it. She cost him the election . She set a mean, nasty, hateful tone and he fell right in behind her with the same tone. What does it say about McCain when he couldn't make a better choice than Sarah Palin?

    April 14, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  12. cornell agba

    Yes, Sara Parlin is an attack dog but when a dog is untrained,hungry and not fed, it will attack the owner rather than the opponents and that's what happened here. Sara Parlin chewed John Mccain's image,career and future and there is no doubt about that. May John Mccain rest in peace.
    Cornell from NJ

    April 14, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. Jerry Buzhski

    What extacty has Sarah Palin ever done that is so bad? I hear all the negative comments about her work (and even more personal attacks) yet no one seems to say WHY, other than she hunts moose, speaks a little different or flubbled an interview (if the interview is the focus then Biden would of been gone long ago) or is unqualified (more experiance than Obama if you look at the facts, who by the way is doing a fine job as Pres). Please explain other than, she is dumb, Obama is smart.

    April 14, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  14. Pat, CA

    His only intention was to bring in a WOMAN thinking it was a sure fire way to win, until AFTER he figured out how much of a dingbat she was. He's been distancing himself slowly and now surely ever since.

    April 14, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. LRicks

    Well thank you McCain for finally seeing the joke we all saw. Thanks again.

    April 14, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. Anonymous

    Mitt Romney can sell off two of his houses but he still won't win the presidency. He is unlikeable.

    April 14, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Dom Pfefferkorn

    I don't think McCain has anything against Palin, I just think he knows that for whatever reason, the media has put out a hate campain against her, and as such she cannot be elected. Again, nothing against her, but with the liberal media such as this reporting on every little thing that has to do with Palin, there is no way she can win with all the (unfair) negative attention.

    April 14, 2009 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Barbara - Atlanta

    McCain dissed "country first" for a "skirt". The sad part is he thought most American men would too. Gotcha!!

    April 14, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. Martiniano

    Palin could not raise a child properly. If she can't perform this fundamental task well how could she ever lead a nation?

    April 14, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  20. Brian Smith

    He wanted to get elected, he didn't want her to get elected. To maximize his votes, he picked a person at least half of the country can understand. Someone with no vision, no quantitative leadership ability, who hired others to do her job while she 'looks nice and folksy'. It is a no brainer that the Joe SixPack Mom can't and won't be allowed to screw up the country – she's done plenty of great stuff for Alaska, I'm sure. Let us name five things she has actually done in her career to make a positive difference – anyone?

    April 14, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Ray

    The thinkers in the Republican Party have always been drawn to the pretty faces who aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer. The theory is that they're easier to manipulate. And as long as they stick to the script, everything's groovy. Think Dan Quayle. Think George W. Bush, who everybody agrees was a nice guy, a good buddy, just not presidential material. But he was the perfect stooge candidate in the hands of a Karl Rove or a Dick Chaney, who ultimately WAS the president. Sarah Palin is cut from the same cloth. The problem starts when the stooges open their mouths. They can be very funny - and spooky at the same time.

    April 14, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  22. Gretta Smith

    "Better Late than Never". I am glad McCain sees the light at last. I am glad he did not mention Palin's name. She has to come a long way to be anywhere near the Presidential position.

    April 14, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. Get Well Soon GOP

    I am sure John McCain will admitt that Sarah Palin was the worst move he has ever made in politics and that he had no idea of what he was doing when he selected her.

    April 14, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  24. HouseDiva

    John McCain knows that Sarah Palin is dysfunctional. How can she run a party or a country when she can't even run a functional home?

    April 14, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  25. McCain in Vain

    Omitting Sarah was a shrewd move. The best the Republican Party can do is shake off the infection of toxic personalities like Palin and Limbaugh and McCain's failure to mention her by name was a subtle but important step in that direction.

    April 14, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
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