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.”

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

    I remember a time when I used to respect this guy.

    March 11, 2012 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  2. colowest

    I watched it. I have also watched, over the last week or so, several interviews with Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace, two of the main characters in the film, neither of which had much to argue with if I remember correctly.

    I of course have no way of verifying the dialogue that wasn't part of the public record, but most of it was (is) and as a political junkie it was all as I remember it - heck a lot of it was actual footage, which is kind of hard to argue with.

    It makes it absolutely, totally, unequivocally clear that Sarah Palin was not under any circumstances whatsoever, qualified to be Vice President of the United States except to the extent that the Constitution demands - that she met the Constitutional requirements to be President, specifically that she was over 35, was a natural-born citizen of the United States (SFAWK, don't remember seeing HER birth certificate!), and had not already served two terms as President.

    That said, as strongly as I opposed McCain/Palin then and now, Realist is right. The movie did end up making me feel sorry for her and her family, at least a little. Maybe someday she will understand why so many feel the same.

    March 11, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  3. Sean Winn

    If that was the best you could do, you should have dropped out!

    March 11, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  4. Dagobomb

    First off, I wouldn't take Nicoles Wallaces word for a bucket of spit. She has publicly stated that she voted for Obama. She took campaign money and voted for the person she was supposed to help defeat, and you believe what she says is the gospel truth? Steve Shmidt was with Palin in only four of the two hundred trips she took during the campaign and is hardly in a position to prove anything he says. In Fact Wallace and Schmidt cannot verify one thing they claim. No other sources are named in the book or movie nor will they step up to state their evidence, maybe because if they did they'd have it rammed back at them. The people who worked closest to her near every waking hour go on the record as calling this book and movie a massive lie and are willing to prove it. I watched "The Undefeated". Its a documentary, you know, where you have to document what you say? I don't expect you to like Palin, but challenge anyone with an ounce of integrity to show where anything in that film is a lie. Whereas Tom Hanks and all the other lefties involved with this film offer no proof what so ever that can be VERIFIED to the truth of their film. Which says more about them than it does about Sarah Palin.

    March 11, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  5. plenty

    McCain would not admit he made a huge mistake and handed the Demos a victory

    March 11, 2012 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  6. tcaros

    Palin didn't deserve to be elected governor of Alaska, much less nominee for VP.

    Crazy McCain is out of his mind, but that never changes.

    March 11, 2012 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  7. tcaros

    Crazy John McCain.

    Some people say he crashed in Vietnam all by himself, not from enemy fire like it was later told.

    March 11, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  8. deb

    Ok poor McCain is put on the spot trying to be nice.... HOnestly.... He is lying. I know he didn't like running with Sarah the ditz.... Nobody likes her or thinks she is smart enough to drive her car... He had to lie here but that is what is wrong with America. YOu can't share the truth because you might just never work again.... When will America wake up?

    March 11, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  9. nolimits3333

    It is frightening that someone so unqualified was nominated for vice president.

    March 11, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  10. ron07

    Several things come to mind. First, it's amazing how many of these people are criticizing this movie, followed with the words "I haven't seen it yet, nor will I". It really shows your ignorance when you offer an opinion on something you haven't seen. Second, ya gotta be kidding, right McCain? Palin was "the best qualified?" That's not saying much for your party. I can understand you wanting to stand by your decision, but sometimes it's ok to say "I really heaped a hand of crap on the American people". And then move on.

    March 11, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  11. EllisF

    Yeah, Since when, you are soooo right. The enlightened remarks of Santorum, Limbaugh, and others tells us time and again what pro-women guys you all are. So, tell me, how many Republican women are there in government compared to women Democrats? Hello, did I lose you?

    March 11, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  12. David

    @Realist. I couldn't agree more. Not to mention the fact that these people get more and more undeserved publicity which makes them more and more money for their books and speaking engagements. Gosh, those poor souls and all that cash they get. ::eyeroll::

    March 11, 2012 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  13. bassman

    Just like there will always be people that believe Pres. Obama is Muslim, there will always be people that believe the worst about Palin. Both are delusional.

    March 11, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  14. Demswin2012

    What is with Sen McCain? Is it that he does not want to be remembered for accepting that hateful talking woman on his ticket? Is it that he does not want to be rembered for such a bad choice for a running mate? Yes, that is it. He keeps reminding himself that so he doesn't look the fool. McCain got himself into a pickle with Palin and will forever have that woman on his back.

    If Mccain's daughter said all those negative things about Palin on the campaign trail, someone in that family is not telling the truth!

    March 11, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  15. CLEVLE

    Go back to you Alaska Paylin and please stay there

    March 11, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  16. n

    Of course. Politicians can't tell the real truth. If they talked about Palin, it would kill their worthless credibility.

    March 11, 2012 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  17. Kenny

    Boy how the truth hurts.

    March 11, 2012 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  18. mnsue

    Wow, if she was the best qualified of their choices, who the heck else was on the short list? Joe the plumber?

    March 11, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  19. Terry

    That settles it, Pigs Can Fly. The movie left out the part about the McCain Campaign telling the media that Palin was vetted by the FBI. The date was, August 29, 2008. The following Monday, the FBI released a statement announcing that the FBI does not vet political candidates and did not vet Sarah Palin. The facts are clear, no one really vetted Sarah Palin, and she was the joke of the campaign, for everyone on the outside looking in. I have been amazed that not one person from the McCain Campaign called the movie producers and director a bunch of liars. Facts are facts. Sarah Palin is a person who hunts and cannot read.

    March 11, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  20. Larry B.

    The man is obviously senile and has been for some time. Sad. Sort of like Saint Ronnie, huh?

    March 11, 2012 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  21. Mike Sk

    I watched the film and I can see when McCain does not want to see it. It paints him as a man who never even knew this woman was not ready for the prime time campaign. Actually I felt bad for Palin she looked very naive and did not know what she was getting into. To throw someone into this campaign with no vetting at all is a bad reflection on McCain and his lack of know what was going on. Country First that is a joke in itself.

    March 11, 2012 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  22. LydiaLydia

    You have to love how the "intellectual" leftist keep saying Palin is stupid when they worship obama who has no idea how many states make up America, that Hawaii is not part of Asia and cannot speak without a teleprompter with words written by his handlers. Like many words redefined by the left, I believe "intellectual" is another one that has now come to mean the opposite of it's intended definition.

    March 11, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  23. A voice from outside the US

    Oh qualified? to do what......? She was woefully unqualified, and Game Change shows that in spades. Having former half-governor Palin a heart-beat from the Presidency would have been very, very scary....

    March 11, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  24. Vivek Chaudhary

    Looking at the current President, she was many times more qualified and would have served the country well. It was a good thing that republicans lost otherwise majority democrats would have created havoc on McCain which would have been worse for the country.

    March 11, 2012 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  25. 35yearRepublican

    Most qualified? Really? MOST qualified? That statement is a insult to the dozens of brilliant women and men in the Republican Party who are more intelligent than Sarah, more experienced than Sarah, more creative than Sarah, less polarizing than Sarah.... I would have voted for McCain if his running mate was someone I trusted to run the country if anything happened to him...I wouldn't trust Sarah to run a PTA meeting let alone the U.S.

    March 12, 2012 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
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