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
10 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. Since when....?

    since when being Governor of a State is Celebrity status...? The left namely Dems are good at destroying women who have asperations to run for public-office....remember what the Dems and media did ot Hillary Clinton...we cut out news-paper clipings showing Hillary in tears ....!

    March 11, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. James Ruston

    I remember when Bush I said that Clarence Thomas was the best qualified person he could find for the Supreme Court. Wrong then, wrong now.

    March 11, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. roscoe

    If it is fiction, why do the people who worked most closely wtih Palin say it's accurate? So accurate, that it makes you squirm?

    March 11, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  4. Realist

    I have no idea why McCain is so bent over the movie. If anything the movie gives Palin the human face she herself shouldn't be hiding. It also gives McCain a persona of kindness that isn't around much these days in politics.

    March 11, 2012 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  5. TheTraveler

    McCain and Palin ... cold leftovers from the last presidential election. Meh ... who cares, really?

    March 11, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Rich in NJ

    "Best qualified"? Only if by "qualified" he is talking about electoral results. I am willing to believe that she excited the base in a way that prevented an even bigger loss, considering that the election took place in the midst of a collapsing economy. There probably isn't a Republican alive who could have carried McCain to victory. But qualified to be President? Still not.

    March 11, 2012 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Mark

    If McCain thinks Palin was the "best" choice for VP, could you imagine the idiotic choices for all other appointed positions if he had been elected? That would have been beyond scary!!!

    March 11, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. deuce

    Given what the current lineup of GOP nominees looks like, I totally believe it...

    If there's someone with half a brain in the party, they ain't talking, that's for damn sure.

    March 11, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  9. out of step

    "....completely biased and with unattributed quotes, et cetera.” I thought he was talking about FOX news, not his old advisors who wrote the book. He knows it is true, and he knows he created a monster that has helped divide his own party... that is why us libs love Palin.

    March 11, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. brian in denver

    You betcha she was the best qaulified...

    March 11, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  11. migeli

    He was right. We needed a straight shooter as vice-president.We are being over-run.Someone must do something about these moose.Or is it meese?Give Sara a gun and she can empty the chamber as fast as she can shoot off her mouth.And reload quicker than Roy Rogers.Really should change the name of the movie to Lame Change though.

    March 11, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  12. Donnie

    Then you should tell romney to have her as his vp pick too.

    March 11, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Deni

    Nicolle Wallace, who served as a senior adviser to Team McCain , ...said.... the movie was “true enough to make me squirm.”
    Since the Queen of Crosshairs has come out with a vehement denial against the accuracy of the movie then it must be spot on. The woman will neither own nor acknowledge her incompetence so the story must be told and people reminded of what a disaster this idiot-narcissistic quitter is.

    March 11, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. out of step

    "From what I have heard." Seems to be a common saying with him and his wife. This tells me two things.. McCain is not capable of making his own judgements and that his close advisors don't want him to see the film because it is too real for him to handle.

    March 11, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  15. Drew

    I watched the movie last night and I didn't see Sen McCain represented with too many potty mouth segments but what I found interesting was the portrayal of Sarah Palin as being overwhelmed with information and seemingly uneducated in many arenas of world politics, geography and US policy. I thought that the portrayal of her debate and initial speech introducing her was true enough to the real thing so I have no doubt that a lot of the scenes of her unwillingness to cooperate with The McCain staffers was probably true as well. If these portrayals are anywhere near true than McCain is lying about her being the most qualified.

    March 11, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Bob

    The partisan liberal producers insisted the movie was not a partisan attack against Gov Palin.
    Transparently false...the best evidence being , liberals are now attacking Gov Palin based on this fictional movie.

    March 11, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  17. PJ/TX

    McCain's not about to admit he made a terrible mistake. He has to defend his horrible lack of judgement. The
    fact that not only is she not qualified, neither is he. I guess she will be attending the Convention trying for
    Round 2. Maybe this time she will get the long deserved knock-out punch.

    March 11, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  18. MikeH

    The two senior McCain staffers in that campaign, Nicole Wallace who was Sarah Palin's handler, and Steve Schimdt, McCain's campaign manager, both say it is very accurate. They saw things McCain did not. Both are still Republicans. What more do you need?

    McCain is just being politically dishonest, his wife is flat-out lying, and Sara Palin is a deranged mentally-ill individual who isn't qualified to be a dog-catcher.

    March 11, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  19. Whatever

    So glad I don't have HBO lol

    March 11, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. hank kelly

    Palin was the most qualified that McCain cound find? That's sad! No, McCain wanted a "babe" as Rush Limbaugh called her and thought American women were fall in line and vote for a woman. A woman yes, but they wouldn't vote for a bimbo.

    March 11, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  21. Michelle

    I am a independent. I was actually leaning towards Hillary Clinton, but after Obama got the nod, I looked hard at McCain. He was moderate enough for me so then I waited to see who the running mates would be. It was just like how the movie unrolled for me – the more I listened to her, the less respect i had for McCain for bringing Palin into our lives. I felt I had to take a gamble on Obama. Now with how dysfunctional the congress is and some of the crazt stuff Palin has continued to say, I don't regret my vote. As for the movie – it shows McCain in a good light. But I can see him not wanting to revisit the terrible decision he made to put Palin on the ticket.

    March 11, 2012 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Emerson

    What do you want him to say – that choosing her cost him the election?

    March 11, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. John

    John McCain say keep saying thing that show just how dumb he Really Is. All most everyone In America have said that Saran Palin cost him that election.

    March 11, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. mk

    I watched the movie on HBO last night and I think it actually portrays Palin like a dim light bulb who wanted to do something to help McCain win. Picking her was not well thought out. However, she did try to get up to speed. Now, if McaCain could stand the heat he would watch the movie too, I bet he would be surprised out how he is protrayed too. What do I care now, they are both so out of touch with our Country now it is pitiful.

    March 11, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. abby

    I wonder what Mrs. McCain really thinks.... I bet there is no love lost between her and Palin.
    As for Palin, she remains only a pale reflection of who she thinks she is and pretends to be....
    Otherwise, she is not worthy of any public office.

    March 11, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
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