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. JustAGrunt

    I don't recall any profanity from McCain's character. Granted, it could have been in a few places but not enough to make me notice it. It was actually a pretty fair depiction that meshed with all the grumbles we heard during and after the campaign.

    March 11, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  2. nycbiker

    Forget about Palin being scary, what's more scary is that if she ran today she would get a decent amount of votes, if she won one of her first moves would probably be setting up a meeting with the Queen of England to discuss foreign affairs! Probably not a bad move, come to think of it, she could learn something.

    March 11, 2012 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. Helena Troy

    "The fundamentals of our economy are strong,"
    –John McCain, September 2008

    Wrong about the economy-wrong about Palin...

    March 11, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  4. dan5404

    Quailfied for what? Certainly and completely unqualified to be vice-president.

    March 11, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  5. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    if anyone thinks they will ever hear John McCain say in public that he made a mistake choosing Sarah Palin then they will be waiting for a long long time. If she was indeed the best qualified at the time to run on his ticket then in GOP future is in bigger trouble than I ever thought.

    March 11, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. B

    McCain has turned into a "Get off my lawn" old, obsolete, Warmonger, that should get the heck off stage and go shuffle around a golf coarse because he has absolutely No business where he is and everyone but he knows it!

    Term Limits people, get these out of touch fools out of there before they get us all into more serious trouble, like a War with Iran /Russia /China....

    March 11, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  7. Texico

    The book is just awesome and on target. To think that a portion of this country would actually vote for such a person is beyond comprehension. I mean the woman could not even string together a proper sentence. She gets asked the softest questions by people like Katie Couric and she fails......can you imagine if she had to actually answer questions from people like Rachel Maddow? OMG she would just sit there staring at the camera.......

    March 11, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Ricardo

    McCain is a big liar, I know he blames Palin for his lost in 2008

    March 11, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  9. Steve in OH

    How can anyone in their right mind believe she was ever qualified to be vp!!!

    March 11, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  10. mrklrsn

    I love it when people cricize things that they haven't even seen. Watch it or don't watch it, but don't take McCain or his wife's word for it because neither of them have any real opinion about the movie that neither of them have watched.

    March 11, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  11. Lars Svensen

    Gov. Sarah Palin was best qualified for VP in 2008, and she is best qualified for the Presidency today. She is bold, brilliant, beautiful.

    March 11, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. TPF

    He doesn't need to read it, he knows she cost him the election because he didn't vet her at all.

    March 11, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. Sylvia McNeal

    There is truth is what is said about Sara that Sara is strong,willing, eager, aggressive ,a great supporter but she is just not educated, intellectural, or diplomatic.

    March 11, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  14. Sylvia McNeal

    Realist...I agree with you McCain should watch the movie....he was portrayed as a kind human being with a conscience

    March 11, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. M

    Everyone knows that the only reason McCain picked Palin was because either he or someone on his campaign thought she would attract disaffected Clinton supporters. Well, that notion went right out the window as soon as she opened her mouth at the convention. She may have energized the base, but she repulsed everyone else. If he thinks she was the best qualified choice, I'd sure love to see who else was on his short list.

    March 11, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  16. tim

    Once McCain makes a mistake he will never admit it. He still is gung-ho about Iraq invasion. tTlk about head in the sand!

    Palin? Good Lawd! peggy Noonan said,"It's over" as soon as he introduced her...McCain might've won the 2008 if not for the quitter from Wasilla

    March 11, 2012 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    Doesn't say much about the GOP/Tea Party if Palin was the "best qualified."

    March 11, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  18. Jess C

    Yes, the truth sucks, don't it?

    March 11, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. Rick in Az

    That has got to be the funniest thing I think I've heard this election year. If you really think about it and put it into perspective, John McCain was actually stating that Sarah Palin was even more qualified than Mitt Romney. How funny is that??????

    March 11, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  20. MaryM

    It is truly frightening how close that ignorant Palin came to being the VP of the U.S. OMG, truly frightening

    March 11, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  21. Slightly Left of Center

    Honestly, get that man a top hat. He has officially qualified for Ring Master of the Political Circus and Freak Show.

    March 11, 2012 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  22. fofo

    I don't blame McCain defending his choice by saying she was the “best qualified person". What else could he say? Admitting that he made a wrong choice. Then it would be obvious that he was not smart enough to make any good choices altogether.

    March 11, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  23. Niko_in_Richmond

    Why do politicians have such a hard time admitting that they screwed up? Picking her as his running mate showed poor judgment; yet, watching the movie, it showed that, while he may have thought she was a good choice, he realized that she was in over her head and he tried to help make it a smoother trip for her. It showed that he still HAD an inkling of humanity left in him–a nice contrast to his constant calls for war these days. Also, the film portrayed Palin in the most positive light for someone who turned out to be a bit of a loon, quite divisive and an all out extremist. I never liked the woman, but it did make her a sympathetic figure–something she is horrible at doing herself.

    March 11, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. ted

    Come on McCain?Your statement that Palin was the most qualified only means the pool you were considering for the VP slot was very shallow.

    March 11, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  25. Thomas

    McCain: Palin was 'best qualified'

    Obviously not qualified enough , McCain and Palin lost.

    Time for John to hang up his spurs!

    March 11, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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