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. jondavis

    The truly scary bit is she was the best qualified. A failing that even 4 years later they still don't have any one who is qualified.

    I watched the film and McCain proved to be a pretty decent guy. He should have few complaints about how is was portrayed.

    March 12, 2012 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  2. 100% ETHIO

    ...until now, there are no comparable Presidential Hollywood Movie than former President and Movie Actor Ronald Regan. It is a must watch, nowadays.

    Since, the Movie atracted Billions of People around the World, the former Libyan leader, Muammar Qaddafi was so surprised and he made his own, Arab based Hollywood Movie. In his Movie, Qaddafi acted as Movie Star(technically by replaced Regan), and torching Regan by tied him up the rope against the tree. This has been watched as well by Millions of Arabs, in Mideast.
    Pew...., the old time was much better, either for heroism or for fun, although we weren't around at that time.
    But now, we have some incubated ... races, who do not make senses.

    Whaaaa, the Old time!!!!

    March 12, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  3. cyberCMDR

    Saw it last night, and it made Sarah Palin more real to me. She was a typical American; knew enough about the world to get by and thought that was sufficient. It was when she was thrust onto the national stage that she, and everyone else, found out how much she didn't know. In many ways she was like a teenager, old enough to think she had figured everything out but inexperienced enough not to know what she didn't know. Unfortunately, the Internet makes staying in this state longer to be easier, because you can find sites that just reinforce your own limited world view. If you want to grow past that, you have to try to learn things outside your comfort zone.

    March 12, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  4. cardog

    With all due respect to Sen. McCain, he is placing his head in the sand. It could be that he has a personal problem saying anything negative about Sarah Palin. Really, Sen McCain does not need to say a thing. Palin has shown her level of intelligence over and over again.
    This movie simply put a "human" face on this lady....

    March 12, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  5. Evil Hollywood Liberal

    Come on, John. You can come clean're not going to be running for President again. No need to put Lipstick on a Pig.

    March 12, 2012 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  6. steve

    Even if there was "artistic license" taken in the making of this film, the overriding message is clear: Sarah Palin, or ANY candidate for the office of President of the USA, who is that ill informed about world history, foreign policy, science and economics has no business whatsoever even considering leading the most powerful nation on earth.

    March 12, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  7. RE McKay

    He watched it. He knows how true it was too ... sad for him, fallen hero, lost the presidency because no one in Washington wanted to run with a warmonger except for an uneducated chick from Alaska that still thinks Russia ia threat to the world. Sad.

    March 12, 2012 01:47 am at 1:47 am |
  8. deaner

    Wow, I guess that's what years of brutal torture can do to a man's mind.

    March 12, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  9. deaner

    Wow, Best qualified? I guess that's what years of brutal torture can do to a man's mind.

    March 12, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  10. Anonymous

    That's a lot of poeple criticizing something they won't watch1 I saw it, though it was probably pretty accurate based on what we saw 4 years ago. Other than her lack of knowledge of domestic and foreign affairs, Palin came accross as very focused on America and winning the campaign. And for the record- I don't like the woman!

    March 12, 2012 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  11. VA Curmudgeon

    Of course McCain has to defend his VP choice; It will probably be some sort of posthumous bio where we will find out the truth, if ever. However, statements of his campaign staff are the most telling (and believable).

    March 12, 2012 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  12. Dave A

    Both of these people are criminals and liers I'm ashamed they represent American values

    March 12, 2012 02:34 am at 2:34 am |
  13. Palin Power

    Sarah Palin is not only the best qualified to be president over the entire GOP field, she will be our next and greatest President of all times.

    March 12, 2012 03:04 am at 3:04 am |
  14. Mark from Canada

    The GOP party is akin to comedy, except those ain't comedians – they are running for political office to turn those ideas that seem like jokes into the rule of law that will affect real peoples lives. We are one or two elections away from ending capitalism and the irony is that it will be the GOP that makes this happen.

    March 12, 2012 03:12 am at 3:12 am |
  15. BeverlyNC

    Come on John. You and everybody else knows Palin was a total disaster from the moment you chose her. She was a nobody, with no education, no knowledge of the most basic subjects like American history, the most basic information on the other nations of the world, and way over her head and unqualified as a VP candidate. Palin is still a joke and McCain should just not comment on her. She was the main reason he lost the election. She was too stupid and too dangerous to be let near the White House. Same with these Republlcan "candidates" who are extreme, liars, no solutions, no ideas, just whining about social issues settled long ago and ignoring the real issues facing the People. Republicans have no clue what is going on. They are so focused on hate speech, slander, and lies against President Obama they have no sense of reality or understanding what the People want, need, or deserve.
    No more Republicans in November. None in any local, state, or national seat. We need to restore our democracy and rid Congress of these Republican betrayers of the People.

    March 12, 2012 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  16. Richard

    Who else should McCain have picked? Newt?

    The GOP is so uninspiring they're having problems in 2012 getting people to unite under a single presidential candidate.

    March 12, 2012 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  17. migeli

    Qualified for what? Shooting moose.? Or is it meese?

    March 12, 2012 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  18. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    Without seeing the HBO show, I still think that Sarah Palin's public statements and the fact that she gave up on the only big job she was ever elected to shows that she was not qualified to be Vice-President. Her knowledge of basic facts about our government, in particular the judicial branch was dismal. Reporters did not hit her with hard questions during the election. She simply blew it, even on the softball questions being given to her by the press.

    Her appeal to the Tea Partiers is obviously not based on her expertise on the government nor on her sadly lacking skill with foriegn policy. She simply gives good sound bites and manages to look attractive while doing it. But, then again, Tea Partiers don't seem to be mental giants in the first place.

    March 12, 2012 03:58 am at 3:58 am |
  19. Franny

    This shows you just how out of touch McCain appears to be. This is the Woman who cost him his election, and he still praises her? I use to have more respect for McCain, but now I see he;s just a sad old man who hasn't a clue.

    March 12, 2012 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  20. yoga enthusiast

    Gee, if Palin was/is the most qualified, that makes a persn shudder. There are far more competent, knowledgeable people in the Republican party then and now than S. Palin or Michelle Bachman. Both these candidates were and are not qualified to consider a run for President or Vice President. That John McCain, a man of integrity, or so it seems continues to support Mrs. Palin is strange. He would be better off stating 'no comment'.

    March 12, 2012 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  21. belindar

    After watching “Game Change”, the characterization of John McCain impressed me. He appeared to be an honorable man, as I have always thought he was and still is. Seeing the portrayal of Palin did not change my opinion of her either. She is backward, mean and self-centered and will always be. Speaking of backward people, let us see what the genius in the south do about voting for someone with southern hospitality. The only thing the three nuts have in common is that they have no respect for anyone and definitely no common decency. I can see Ron Paul as an honorable man. At least they have one who is decent.

    March 12, 2012 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  22. steve

    LOL LOL LOL stop your killing me stop LOL LOL LOL

    March 12, 2012 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  23. JCheffo

    OK Roscoe, you ever work in an office? I can always find people that work there that don't like a particular person. It's very easy and common. When people say journalists and networks are "biased" they usually mean that the network only airs, or mostly, a certain point of view. It's what they leave out that makes it biased. Some of the people that worked with Palin said she was energetic and smart and funny, etc. But those people are left out. These same advisors that set Palin up with an interview with Katie Couric are the same ones who trash Palin. I remember 60 minutes, supposedly the toughest interviewers, asking Obama how he and Michelle met and nothing at all about reverand Wright, Tony Rezco, who is the president of Greece, etc. Why schedule Palin's first interview with a hostile liberal? Is that Palin's fault or the people that set it up? Why not do the first interview with Shawn Hannity, just to start off, and then do the liberals later? Seriously, they were idiots not to do that.

    March 12, 2012 05:05 am at 5:05 am |
  24. db

    I wonder how many times since that election that McCain has invited Palin to his Arizona home......

    March 12, 2012 05:38 am at 5:38 am |

    Snooki Palin is STILL out of control. The movie is about what we all saw. McDoofus is still delusional if he thinks that she was ever qualified.

    March 12, 2012 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
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