October 11th, 2009
12:01 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain weighs in on Palin in 2012

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain is openly admitting that there were tensions between his former campaign manager Steve Schmidt and those close to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, McCain’s one-time White House running mate. Still, McCain calls Palin “a formidable force” in the GOP and remains open to the possibility of Palin being his party’s presidential nominee in 2012.

“With a high-pressure situation, there's always tensions that develop within campaigns,” McCain says in a wide-ranging interview that airs Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. ”And there were clearly tensions between Steve Schmidt and people in the Palin camp.”

Still, McCain said, Palin was an asset to his presidential campaign.

“There are fundamental facts … that cannot be denied,” McCain adds. “When we selected or asked Sarah Palin to be my running mate, it energized our party. We were ahead in the polls, until the stock market crashed. And she still is a formidable force in the Republican Party.”

“I have great affection for her,” McCain continues. But “did we always agree on everything in the past? Will we in the future? No.”

While McCain said he could not predict what would happen in the next presidential election, the Arizona Republican says he is open to many potential nominees for his party - including Palin.

“Look let's let a thousand flowers bloom. Let's come up with a winning combination the next time. … let's all go through the process, rather than condemning anybody's chances,” he says, reacting to recent comments about Palin by Schmidt. “And I'm happy to say we have some great people out there, and Sarah is one of them.”

Asked about Palin’s prospects in 2012, Schmidt said he did not think Palin could be a winning candidate in the next presidential election.

“And, in fact, were she to be the nominee, we could have a catastrophic election result,” Schmidt told CNN National Correspondent John King in an October 2 interview.

Asked about Schmidt’s comments, a Palin spokeswoman said the former vice presidential nominee would address the tensions within the McCain-Palin campaign in her forthcoming book, "Going Rogue,” which is due to hit bookstore shelves next month.


soundoff (236 Responses)
  1. Shelby

    I thank God that if $arah should decide to run in 2012 she will be thoroughly VETTED NEXT TIME AROUND by her contenders in the primaries. Shame, shame McCain for turning loose on our nation the childish, hateful and money-hungry $arah Palin. Voter "death panels" will also see to it that this loon never reaches the highest job in the land.

    October 11, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  2. johnrj08

    Let's talk about the alleged success of Sarah Palin's book, which she obviously did not write. Before her book was even available online or in bookstores, several conservative organizations pre-ordered bulk copies of the book, which it plans to give away as gifts (a write-off). This amounts to an abuse of the seller listings because it creates the false impression, which many suckers have bought into here, that the book is a big hit.

    Sarah Palin has fewer credentials and less education than the majority of city mayors in this country. It took moves to four different colleges before she found one that would award her a Bachelors Degree in Journalism. She's not an attorney, nor is she a student of world history or economics. She is, for all intents and purposes, a small town girl who was anointed by people like William Kristol to be the leader of the new Republican Party. These are the same people who selected Michael Steele to be the head of the RNC.

    There is no rational justification for supporting Sarah Palin for any public office, much less President of the United States. Everything that she said in the unscripted interviews during the campaign reveal exactly who she is and what her capabilities are. She is God's way of telling some of us that we take politicians far too seriously.

    October 11, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. Pat in IL

    It seems that McCain continues to defend Sarah Palin as his choice because he's not accountable enough to simply admit that he made a mistake. How foolish.

    October 11, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. Erik in Real Pennsylvania

    Dear Republican Party,

    Please, oh pretty please, nominate Sarah Palin for President in 2012.


    The Democratic Party

    October 11, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. Pam

    I am hoping that Palin take the money from ber book sales( I'm sure the book will be as difficult to follow as it is to folllow her lame speeches) and ride off into the sunset. I would vote her grandbaby's daddy Levi into office before I'd give her as much as a thought of giving my vote.

    October 11, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. James

    "We were ahead in the polls, until the stock market crashed."
    Keep dreaming, you were ahead in one or two polls for a period of about a week.

    October 11, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  7. Sighko Sis

    Sarah (Sassy) Palin has proven herself to be a smart and talented rogue with a gift for speaking and leadership. She's a REAL American. And the best part is that she's just like you and I. The GOP had better get on board the Palin Plain Talk Express. It's going to be a high-speed railway to the White House! All aboard!!

    October 11, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Candy Wilson

    Far be it from me to understand Management of war.. But we know Sen. McCain is a military man and thrives on War... It doesn't surprise me about what he says.. But maybe he is right that we need to hit hard and heavy.. But will that be the end of it? Or will we be here now for 8 yrs spending way to much money and losing way too many young men....I am still so angry over Irag.. NEEDLESS!!!!
    As to why the repeat questions re SP? Isn't that also OVER? Or was that questioning because of the "BOOK" I don't understand how someone who throw out so much hatred and caused so much unrest in this country can come out smelling like a Rose and making Millions?

    October 11, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  9. Annie, Atlanta

    The only reason McCain is stating Palin is a formidable force is because he probably lost the election because of his choice. He's just saving face. And I'm still waiting for him to apologize for unleashing her and her hatefulness on us. I've never seen a politician who, in such a short time, created such a division between us that we may never heal.

    October 11, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Susan McGeachy

    Oh Please. Sarah please do run so we can keep the Democratic's in office. She doesn't believe in elevotion (FACT), she doesn't belive in global warming (FACT), she doesn't belive in birth control (GRANDMA), She QUIT on the State of Alaska as Governor.
    Now really! To bad it wasn't a beauty contest. She may have a chance then.

    October 11, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. S M R

    I perdict a landslide by Obama. can't wait for the debate, make her look like the fool She is

    October 11, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. Larry

    Palin a "formidable force?" That's probably not the funniest thing I've heard but it's up there.

    Wake up McCain. By 2012 there won't even be a Republican Party in this country.

    Every time you open your mouth you give us another reason not to vote for you.

    October 11, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  13. Don

    Maybe a Ron Paul / Palin ticket might unseat Obama in 2012, Dr Paul called for "Change" too.

    October 11, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. Mark

    Here's a fundamental fact that can't be denied: Someone has clearly stolen John McCain's brain. The John McCain of just a few years ago would have scoffed at this nonsense. Since when did putting on a brave face mean losing all credibility?

    October 11, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Allison

    McCain first needs to admit that Palin sank his chances for President. McCain has bad made bad choices but will never admit it. Beings he's a Republican McCain view himself God-like.

    October 11, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Amanda

    If Palin was ever to become President of this country, I am OUT OF HERE ! and fast.

    October 11, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. btgh

    A thousand flowers bloom?

    Who does McCain think he is, G.H.W. Bush with his thousand points of light?

    The good senator is way out of touch with the American people.

    October 11, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    When she found herself in a lot of trouble as gov, she quit., what would happen if elected as pres? Quit??

    The presidentcy is probably the toughest job I know of, could she possibly handle that???

    October 11, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Mark in Canada

    Go Sarah for 2012! Best thing that ever happened to the Democratic Party. Nothing the Dems could do would GUARANTEE 4 more years of Obama like this fool could. Yay for Palin!

    October 11, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |

    IF Sarah 'the Gunslinger' Palin were to win the presidency we're MOVING TO CANADA!

    October 11, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Joe

    Please sarah, please run....please please please. You'll ensure the end of the Republican party. Please Republicans, please support her.

    October 11, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  22. ihate television

    I say give McCain/Palin another chance to win the White House. If McCain/Palin ran again in 2012, got their message to the people, and used Bristol as campaign manager there would be some very interesting results.

    October 11, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. Stephee

    I hope that will never happen.
    Would be awesome to have the first female President of the United States, but that female does not (and should never) have to be Sarah Palin!

    I'm a woman and would never vote for someone like her.
    If people think the world will end in 2012, that will happen if Palin does get elected. They might have to remake the 2012 movie to cover that theory.

    October 11, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. Lou

    Just goes to show how incredibly out of touch McCain is. I don't think there is a snowball's chance in hell of this country ever stooping to that level of intelligence and ignorance in electing so inept a person to be the president of this country. Her so called base is the minority in regards to how people feel when it comes to Palin.

    October 11, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. Eliza

    Well! About this time, after hearing McCain's take on Palin, it looks like John might need to have himself a nice long rest. And Palin, her chances for running again? With or without John? Or as the lead, instead of the second fiddle? Got for it, Sarah. We all need a few good laughs now and again. And the Democrats can easily keep their places, sliding on to victory once again.

    October 11, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
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