McCain: Palin can beat Obama
May 29th, 2011
10:38 AM ET
12 years ago

McCain: Palin can beat Obama

(CNN) - She was his running mate in the 2008 presidential election and now Sen. John McCain thinks Sarah Palin can beat President Barack Obama in 2012.

"Of course she can. She can. Now, whether she will or not, whether she'll even run or not, I don't know," the Arizona Republican said on "Fox News Sunday."

"But she certainly is a major factor and I believe she can be very competitive."

While he said she inspires "great passion, particularly among the Republican faithful," he also said her high unfavorable ratings have something to do with the attacks she's sustained in the national media.

"I've never seen anyone as mercilessly attacked and relentlessly attacked as I have seen Sarah Palin in the last couple of years," McCain said.

Palin's public flirtation with a bid for the White House reached new levels this week with the announcement of a bus tour that begins Sunday in Washington, D.C. The former Alaska governor has declared the "One Nation" trip an opportunity to "educate and energize Americans about our nation's founding principles, in order to promote the fundamental restoration of America."

But McCain acknowledged the campaign will be a "roller coaster" before the Republicans find their nominee.

When asked about the chances of his 2008 rival, Mitt Romney, winning the GOP presidential nomination, McCain said his biggest problem is "Romneycare," the health care plan Romney signed into law while he was governor of Massachusetts, and which bears resemblance to the current national law.

"I think he realizes that and is trying to address it," McCain said. "Whether he will address it successfully or not, I don't know. But he certainly has a good ground campaign in places like New Hampshire and others where he's really - you know, having been around the block once is always more helpful for next time."

- On Monday, June 13, CNN will host the first New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, live from Manchester, NH at 8 p.m. ET. Follow all the issues and campaign news leading up to the debate on and @cnnpolitics on Twitter.

Filed under: 2012 • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (244 Responses)
  1. Ade

    Even Sarah Palin herself does not believe John McCain's assertion.

    May 29, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. Madtown

    "I've never seen anyone as mercilessly attacked and relentlessly attacked as I have seen Sarah Palin in the last couple of years," McCain said.

    And, she's earned every bit of all of those attacks.

    May 29, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. gus

    You will have to question this man's mental capacity. Delusional at best. Palin is a self-serving person who found a way to make a living by spewing hate and lies. McCain is an out-of-touch old man and Palin is a money-hungry person. Both have nothing to offer to this country, except hateful diatribes and negativism. They are both losers.

    May 29, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Willow

    Obviously McCain is showing signs of early dimentia!
    The poor fool needs medical attention before being placed in front of the mic again.
    History, John tells us all a different story, Palin caused you to miss the golden ring in 08–don't forget!

    May 29, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. Sigmund Freud

    No I know for sure he's senile or just plain crazy lol

    May 29, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  6. dude

    At a boy John, just keep lying to the public. How do you look at yourself in the mirror? How will you REALLY feel if she gets nominated...?

    May 29, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. oregonian101

    I get so tired of the media being blamed for this, that and the other thing. Candidates themselves put out enough garbage that they deserve what they get.
    At least main stream media report more factual data over Fox "news".

    May 29, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. J.V.hodgson

    Gosh, me I want to see a Palin for president and McCain as VP for the the Republican 2012 ticket.
    The result will be absolute slaughter!!

    May 29, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. Kirkland Voice

    Just another sign that McCain is senile and maybe he thought he would get some if he defended Palin and thought she would beat Obama. Wait another year and he'll be diagnosed with Alzhelmer's. He's just another conservative Republican that has commited Adultery big time.

    May 29, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Angy

    Oh please what do you expect for old mcsame to say. he is responsible for bringing this loser on the scene. just like all repugs, they will never admit they are WRONG. sarah palin couldn't teach me or anyone else ANYTHING about America. she is dumb as a tree stump, a lost ball in high weeds. she couldn't beat my dog in any election. LOL!!!!!

    May 29, 2011 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. thesewist

    Total garbage. McCain knows she lost the election for him, but won't go against the Republican Party by admitting it. Therefore, he is constantly justifying. If he admitted Palin is stupid, it would be the same as admitting he was stupid. I had some respect for McCain in years past, but the respect has changed to puzzlement and stupification. Cannot figure out what he's all about.

    May 29, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  12. Maxine

    Please...from McCain's lips to god's ears! My husband has promised that if Sarah Palin is ever elected President we can emigrate. I've already signed up for the T party so I can work for her and hopefully move to a civilized country as my reward.

    May 29, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. pccel

    McCain will forever be remembered for his introduction of Palin into national politics rather than any of his legislative accomplishments. Because he cannot admit that he made a mistake in choosing Palin as his running mate, he continues to endorse her and make ridiculous comments, including his comment today that she could beat Obama; it's pathetic.

    May 29, 2011 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    I also used to have so much respect for this man. He did so many great things for this country, and sacrificed a lot for this country. For the last several elections I've been voting 3rd party as I think both the Dems and the GOP are addicted to destroying the other, even if it hurts the country. But with McCain I began to think I might just vote GOP again (last time was for the first Bush).

    And then he brought this Palin on board his campaign.

    She ruined his chances. And he still supports her, even after she quit half-way through her governorship? He supports a quitter? Something odd.

    May 29, 2011 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |

    Can't she just go away....She keeps coming back like a bad case of boils. If you follow her track record, she would be a disaster for this country. Those that appear to support her have the intelligence of a chicken. She is one of the most shallow, narcissistic women I have seen in a long time. This country would go from being admired to being mocked if that ding-a-ling ever made it to the White House.

    May 29, 2011 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  16. Barbara

    He thought that he'd be president, too.

    May 29, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  17. Al Boree

    John MCain : Remember a time when people actually respected you for being brave and honest. Now most have realized you are none of those. It takes courage to admit you were beaten by a better candidate and you screwed up by picking the idiot from Alaska. Instead you have chosen to lower yourself in intelligence and character of your former running mate.
    To those who have read your life story this should come as no surprise. We keep hearing of your experience as a POW but rarely hear how after coming back home you divorced your wife who had stood by you and traded her in for newer and loaded model. If this does not show a lack of character , I don't know what else does.

    May 29, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  18. demogal

    I said it before and I'll say it again: "Run, Sarah, run.

    May 29, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  19. sparky

    "he also said her high unfavorable ratings have something to do with the attacks she's sustained in the national media"

    yep, thats it – someone else's fault the majority of america think the is a complete moron...

    May 29, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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