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. BarryG

    McCain ought to apologize for foisting such an incompetent to a world stage. Embarrassing and dangerous.

    March 11, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. Dvet

    He has already seen the movie. He is suppose to lie he is a republican. He picked her because of hillary

    March 11, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  3. Colin

    Roscoe. 8 persons who DID travel with Palin during the campaign have given statements that what is shown in the movie is FALSE. The movie should be called "FACT CHANGE". The movie is supposed to be based on stories told by ten or so unidentified persons. Maybe they were people like those arranging travel and hotels etc but who did not have reason to be present at activities shown in the movie. There is about 500 hours of ACTUAL FACTUAL videos of Palin during the campaign. She is always in control, properly dressed, pleasant to people.

    March 11, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  4. mmaxum2002

    Clearly she lost McCain the election. He can say what he wants, it was one of the biggest political blunders in recent times.

    March 11, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  5. Robert

    I supported McCain, sent contributions and bought yard signs and bumper stickers. Then, after months of search at the last minute McCain choose Palin for VP. I voted for Obama.

    March 11, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  6. drew

    What's McCain going to say ... "I brought an idiot in as my running mate and blew my chances?"

    March 11, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  7. maine liberal

    Best qualified .. he must of received a BJ for that endorsement

    March 11, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  8. RushBeGone

    Why not at least watch the movie?

    March 11, 2012 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  9. T'sah from Virginia

    Pah-Leezzeeee!! Every time I think John McCain is making sense, he once again goes off the deep end!!!

    March 11, 2012 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  10. Little Jimmy Truth

    The Path to 9/11 film was far better than Game Change. Democrat hated the Path to 9/11.

    March 11, 2012 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. Mrs G

    McCain is just trying to justify his reckless move in putting her on the ticket. Need I say: UNQUALIFIED!!

    March 11, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  12. Liz

    oh please. Palin was the best qualified to run with McCain? Is he on drugs? Kind? More like, he's protecting his own sense of integrity. I mean, who in their right mind would say that Palin was the best choice? Palin was the cheerleader all the men wanted to sleep with, or had fantasies of – in high school. Whatever it was McCain thought she had, it certainly was not brains. It was obvious. If she has a problem with the way she acted or responded, then maybe she ought to have stayed in school – in one school – long enough to actually learn something.

    March 11, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. PR

    McCain is senile, needs to take his meds and get back to the nursing home. He wants to gget us into another war in the middle east. He's a lunatic!

    March 11, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  14. twm

    Qualified for what? Flake? Hustler? Noisemaker?

    March 11, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  15. Manny

    You know they are going to watch

    March 11, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  16. Patrish

    Best qualified? Don't make me laugh. He has to defend her because of his poor judgement in picking her. My gosh she even got fooled by the French Canadian radio host posing as French President Nicolas Sarkozy. She had to be told it was prank, because she did not catch on..... sooooooo dumb!... but is was soooooooooo funny! and still around somewhere on the web.

    March 11, 2012 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. nena

    I watched the movie Sat. night. Yea, we all knew how dumb and ignorant Sarah was, and is. Her interviews during the campaign said it all, she wasn't ready for the political stage. How on earth did this lady make it to be governor. Alaskans must've been really desperate for a governor and she was all they could find. Sarah has no wits about her, she is as dumb as dumb can be.

    March 11, 2012 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  18. bill

    McCain just can't ever admit he's wrong and just say he's sorry for unleashing that fool Palin unto the American public.

    March 11, 2012 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  19. GordyB

    This movie is not a grin and chuckle for Democrats. It put a real face on the great challenge Sarah Palin had to deal with. It reinforced what most of us witnesses on TV through speeches and interviews. Sarah added buzz to the election but was clearly in way over her head. They did not vet her and it came back during the campaign. She was a plus and a minus at the same time.

    March 11, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. judith

    "Proud of the campaign?" Poor Old McCain must be developing dementia to feel Palin was qualified for any high office. She couldn't even name more than on Supreme Court decision and thought Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. She's still am embarrassment anywhere by on Faux News.

    March 11, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  21. ATLmatt

    McCain is a sellout. He has proven he will do/say anything I was considering voting for McCain in 2000 if he had won the nomination. it would have been my first time voting republican for president. I am glad he didnt get the nomination in 2000. He claims Palin was qualified. He bent over backwards to when the extreme conservative base. When I hear his voice now, it instantly provokes a feeling of distrust and anger from me. What a creep.

    March 11, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  22. HenryB

    I watched the move and found that McCain was treated rather well; like a kind father who cares about his child. Palin, on the other hand, did not come across nicely. She was emotional and out of control. Based on her post-election rants and behavior, I don't doubt that the movie portrays her accurately.

    March 11, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  23. Bill in Florida

    What does it say about a woman who criticizes a movie she hasn't seen?

    March 11, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  24. rec

    Mcain was portraid FAIRLY in the movie. Palin was not qualified to be his wifes secratary. Palin is and was ignarant and rediculous. GAME CHANGE IS THE BEST MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN. SHOULD GET AN OSCAR!!!!

    March 11, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  25. lob ojoe

    Nothing new here, most folks realized from day 1, or two, she was totally inept. Let's move on; she's had her fifteen minutes of fame

    March 11, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
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