McCain: Palin was 'best qualified'
Then-Republican presidential nominee John McCain stands with then-Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin at the Republican National Convention on September 4, 2008 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
March 11th, 2012
04:10 PM ET
9 years ago

McCain: Palin was 'best qualified'

(CNN) – Despite the hype, Sen. John McCain has no plans to watch HBO’s “Game Change,” the new film about his unsuccessful 2008 presidential campaign.

“I’m not going to watch it,” McCain said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s based on a book that’s completely biased and with unattributed quotes, et cetera.”

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The film, which debuted on television Saturday, is based on the 2010 book of the same name and focuses on McCain’s vice presidential pick, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. In the election, McCain and Palin lost to Barack Obama and Joe Biden, with Palin’s inexperience on the national stage cited as one of the reasons.

But McCain defended his choice Sunday, as he has done consistently, saying she was the “best qualified person” and had the ability to energize the Republican Party.

“I admire and respect her and I’m proud of our campaign,” McCain said. “I’m grateful she ran with me.”

The Arizona senator also rejected what he said was the film’s depiction of him as foul-mouthed.

“I have been told I am portrayed as using an exceeding amount of coarse language,” McCain said. “I don't use coarse language very often. I have a larger vocabulary than that.”

McCain’s wife, Cindy, criticized the film to CNN’s Piers Morgan earlier in the week and said she too would not watch.

Nicolle Wallace, who served as a senior adviser to Team McCain during his presidential bid and was also portrayed in the film, said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that the movie was “true enough to make me squirm.”

“Watching ‘Game Change’ is like reliving the most tumultuous professional roller coaster ride on which I’ve ever been,” Wallace wrote Sunday on “It brought back the highs – Palin’s surprise selection and her glorious moment on stage at our national convention – and the now well-documented lows.”

CNN and HBO are subsidiaries of Time-Warner, Inc.

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Filed under: 2008 Election • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (381 Responses)
  1. Daniel

    Didn't read the book but it was pretty much the person who ran the campaign (mind went blank) who was cussing. But If you think it's untrue, sue.

    March 11, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Unknown

    Well apparently she wasn't qualified enough to win the election. Please McCain, stop making a fool of yourself.

    March 11, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Leslie King

    If McCain thought Palin was the "best qualified", I will say an additional thank you prayer that someone of his poor judgment never became president!

    March 11, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Chipster

    If Palin was the most qualified choice McCain had, the rest of the Party must be truly pathetic. Palin is terribly uneducated. The comments she has made that are so historically inaccurate are only magnified by her lame attempts to insist that they are correct. It isn't just that she's ill-informed, it's that she also is incapable of learning. Like most Republicans, she has no sense of irony. Her constant criticism of Obama for using a teleprompter made her look especially foolish when it was exposed that she used a teleprompter for her first big speech. Now, there's nothing wrong with using a teleprompter to keep you on message but ridiculing it while doing it yourself is just lame. Then, she was caught using her "redneck teleprompter" (writing notes on her hand) ! ! ! How ignorant was that? I'm sure she never saw the irony. Republicans do understand the concept.

    March 11, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. inewt

    And he wonders why he lost. Does anyone take him seriously? What a maroon

    March 11, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. wake up America

    this is some kinda bad joke??? he serious?....crazy!

    March 11, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. palintwit

    What else would you expect McCain to say? He'll never admit to his mistake.

    March 11, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Indy

    Palin was 'the best qualified" and John McCain invented the Blackberry. Palin was the best qualified to lose the election for John McCain is probably what he meant to say because there is no way she was qualified to hit those red buttons if McCain ever fell ill. It was a scary time,it was a silly time and you can credit John McCain and Sarah Palin for all the sub par idiot circus clowns that followed with their irrational Presidential campaigns.John McCain does not have the cajones to man up about how bad his decision really was and the country would have been in grave danger had voters not done the right thing.

    March 11, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. VA VERY Ex Republican

    I read the book and I watched the movie and I believe it is true and McCain should be ashamed of himself and if non of it is true then would have heard about lawsuits and damages and all that garbage and we did not. I lost all respect for McCain. I used to like and respect the guy and I was going to vote for him back in 2008 until the day he picked Sarah Palin. that announcement dropped like a bomb that ripped my heart and believes out. I immediately switched to vecoming independent that day thanks to McCain politics as usual and lost all faith in the US political system. this is when I knew that all of them are the same and both parties are 2 different faces for the same coin. I voted for Obama that year and I do not regret doing so. I am planning to vote for him this year as well and any self respected republican or independent who uses his brains and think for himself and on his own should vote for Obama. he is the right choice compared to the clowns running on the GOP side no matter who the winner of the GOP primaries is.

    March 11, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. anonymous

    apparently McCain's "senior" moments are never-ending... the man appears to be more than in his dotage....

    March 11, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. Peace

    Sen McCain, why can't you admit that you made a big mistake to pick her as your running mate. We all make mistakes. Even if you say it million times, very few will be convinced.

    March 11, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Larry L

    With 325 million people in the US McCain felt Palin was "best qualified"? How'd that work out for you John?

    I heard the old fool boldly ask the question about his wishes for the US to intervene in Syria – "How many lives of innocent Syrian men, women and children need to be lost before we take action? Give me a number!". I'd like his to answer a different version of the same question – "How many lives of American Soldiers, Sailors and Marines are the American people willing to sacrifice to stop a war in a nation that consistantly opposes all US actions and initiatives? Give me a number John!"

    March 11, 2012 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. GOP = Greed Over People

    I had forgotten just how many laughs these two provided in 2008.

    Welcome back Geezer and Gidget!

    March 11, 2012 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. DCInsider

    If McCain's senior advisers who ran the campaign say that the events were true, then why would McCain who must have been out of touch say that they are not factual? The movie actually was based around real clips and true events. They did not make up the comments Palin made during debates, her husbands associations, or her lack of foreign policy knowledge. To be honest she probably was not qualified to be the Alaska Governor or in politics period. But the American people vote based on likability and celebrity status. Reagan and Schwarzenegger is evidence of this.

    March 11, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  15. Rider

    Does he not see his own demon? He will lie to himself to make himself not look bad to himself.....amazing!

    March 11, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. Richard T.

    I love the McCains' criticism while saying they have not seen the film nor are they planning to watch it.

    His thinking and blah blah blahing are only matched by his continuos insistence that we should be bombing other countries.

    He was a priveledge child of an Admiral who was at the lowest end of his class at the Naval Academy. He then crashed training aircraft. This was then followed by capture after crashing a naval jet in Viet Nam on his first flight when he went off the mission script for a joy ride.

    A truly spoiled and damaged senile self-serving jerk.

    March 11, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  17. GI Joe.

    He's out of his mind.

    March 11, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  18. rightospeak

    They are both best qualified to be shipped to Israel. They serve no U.S. best interests.

    March 11, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. GI Joe.

    She must have something really bad on him. He won't anger her for some reason.

    March 11, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. Don't make it worse

    gee McCain, you're just making it worse. I was going to vote for him, reluctantly, then when he picked Palin and I listened to them I was blown away. He is an old man and the thought of her ascending to the White House still makes me shiver. This of course exposed his judgement problems. They got what they wanted, a pretty woman. Unfortunately she talks. LOL

    March 11, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. george of the jungle

    repos do not understand the concept of irony. I find it hard to believe out of all the repos she was the most qualified. If thats true God help us all. That means he passed over all the clowns that are running now for president. Like most things repo they don't look at the facts or even research something. Without ever having seen the film he makes a judgement. Poor politics all around. Obama 2012

    March 11, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    But of course, George Bush was still your man even after his campaign told lies about you in the SC primary. Just goes to show your judgement hasn't improved. Glad you'll never be President.

    March 11, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  23. Steve

    John McCain gave us the gift that keeps on giving.

    March 11, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  24. Venturer

    How can people be so critical of a book they have not read? What do they base their knowledge of errors on?

    March 11, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  25. Anyway

    Common McCain, when will you admit what everybody else already knows? (And I'm sure you probably do too in your heart and you know it) Why do you keep praising her?

    I thought you were a weak Republican nominee and you made an absolutely cheap and purely political pandering pick for VP. Your comments on her being a good pick should have sounded stupid even to you.

    March 11, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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