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. Gerald Goldbach

    I respected john McCain in the past for his "maverick" stands.
    But something in this man's mind has slipped. Whatever it is,
    old age or some other deterioration...there is no way that Palin
    was the "best qualified" he could find at that time.

    March 11, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  2. Sorensen

    If Palin was "the best qualified", who were the other candidates? Joe the plumber, Prairiebus, Pamela Anderson, ???

    March 11, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Donkey Party

    Since when –

    Why do you right-wingers wear your illiteracy like some badge of honor? Oh, that's right, education and knowledge is frowned upon by your ilk. Pathetic.

    March 11, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. reubenr

    Well, if McCain feels, still feels, that she was the best qualified, the reporter should have followed up with a few questions, like, "qualified for what?" and "who were the other people that you were considering that you thought were less qualified than Palin?" This would probably have lead to a discussion about janitorial work and Newt Gingrich's daughter. In all fairness, the latter may not have met the age requirement for office, so just drop that.

    March 11, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  5. Scott

    It is such a sad day to see McCain give into old age, but we all saw it back then where he Picked Palin as a running mate and his resent statement that she was "Best Qualified" Just shows us he was loosing his Mental capability even back then, He could have picked anyone else and won the election, but he picked the dumbest least qualified person for Vice President.

    March 11, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  6. Donkey Talk

    I donated to McCain for his 2000 campaign. When he picked his running mate in 2008, I donated to Obama and later voted for him. I went with the candidate I felt was most qualified. It seems I made the right choice. Based on the shift of the Republican party (a hard right turn), I'll be doing the same this year as well.

    March 11, 2012 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Tom

    " completely biased and with unattributed quotes, et cetera.”

    Well, that pretty much sums up every Republican candidate.

    March 11, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. GerryG

    McCain, can't tell you how eternally grateful I will be for unleashing that genie-moron out of the Wasilla bottle. Are you still planning to suspend or resume your campaign?

    Time to go, pal. With choices like her, I wouldn't trust any more of your good judgement. Best qualified? Give me a break. Just go away and don't ever say another word about anything.

    March 11, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. paul.cos

    Palin lost the election for mcain,palin had no political discourse,had not one single idea on what she was doing,she was ignorant,uneducated in politics and foreign policy and didnt even know what her role would be as vice president.Lets just call it what it was people,she is and always will be a fool.We have mcain to blame for shoving this hillbilly onto the american public and in one campaign dumbed down american politics.Mcain needs to wake up .war hero or not,he screwed up and wont admit it.Palin ruined all of mccains credibility,Hey johnny,do you think she really cares what you think? pays her were just a stepping stone to fame and money..nothing else.wake up john..Thanks for giving this idiot to us...We wont forget even though you do!

    March 11, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. TM

    She was the "best qualified person"? Seriously?! She utterly FAILED to demonstrate a grasp on foreign affairs. She demonstrated a TOTAL LACK of knowledge of the Constitution and our system of government, including her supposed place in it (remember he statement about how she would be "leading" the Senate?). Is Sen. McCain honestly trying to say that there was not one SINGLE person in the GOP who had better qualifications? Who is he trying to fool? Us, or himself?

    March 11, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  11. T in Dallas

    Did we expect him to say anything different? That old coot will never admit he unleashed this media addict on the nation!

    March 11, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  12. Alfuc

    "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."

    This truly confirms that Mr. McCain is senile. To say Palin was the "Best qualified person" is insult to others who would have been best VP candidates. Mr. McCain should keep his mouth shut. He is embarrassing himself. We are really lucky this OLD MAN is not our president.

    March 11, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  13. mdn

    Good thing McInsane lost. If that was his "best" judgement in picking a running mate, imagine the decisions he would have made by now. Particularly when he thought, "the fundamentals of the economy were strong".

    March 11, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  14. Cathy

    She was the best qualified?? Doesn't say much for the Republican Party.

    March 11, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  15. kendra stevens

    The next election is shaping up to be as big of a sham as the last. Do you know why Sarah Palin's bus tour was really canceled? Do you know why she stayed 30 miles away from the second debate and chose the death of Steve Jobs to announce that she's not running? Know what leaked out? Sarah Palin and Cain aren't in the race for the same reason, the truth leaked out. Search PalinsDirtyLittleSecret for the biggest cover up in history

    March 11, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  16. frank

    Palin was "the best possible choice". For what? Cleaning your toliet, taking out the grarbage, being stupid and uninformed, getting the racists behind you, and the list goes on. But the list does not include anyhting about intelligence or experience or education. Her college degree came from a cereal box!

    March 11, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  17. Royce

    Palin the “best qualified person” for VP? Person, yes. Qualified...huh? Best...duhhhh? A new low has been reached in English semantics.

    March 11, 2012 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  18. CoJo

    his "judgement" of hiring her was what cost him the election. Obviously his "judement" has not improved for amny reasons

    March 11, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. bzig

    If she was the most qualified what does that say for the rest of your party.

    March 11, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  20. Namehmm...interesting

    Actually, mccain's characterization is accurate. She was the most qualified.

    March 11, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  21. Donald in CA

    I think McCains doesnt want to watch the movie because he looks old and weak. You would have thought palin was running for president and he for vice president. But the botton line is john lost and Obama won, that isnt in dispute. All of this after game is just that after game. Palin becomes a star for losing and john had to turn hard and get palins help to retain his senate seat.

    March 11, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. Beverly Gay

    So John McCain thinks Sarah Palin was more qualified than Mitt Romney?

    March 11, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  23. AllrightyThen

    You can bet they already obtained "first glimpse" DVDs of the movie – and have watched it. Who are they kidding? Of course they have to watch it – they need to know what their constituants – and non-supporters are watching. Totally rediculous to say the opposite. But then again, they historically underestimate the average intelligence of mainstream Americans.

    March 11, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  24. marilyn yick

    See why John McCain should never be president - he thinks Palin was "qualified"

    March 11, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  25. Tony

    Republicans are in bigger trouble than anyone realized if Palin was the best qualified. This explains why their current slate of presidential candidates is so pathetic.

    March 11, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
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