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. Randy Johnson

    Palin was the best qualified????????

    March 11, 2012 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  2. aj brown

    one dummy crediting another hope he got blown at least even if he's not clinton

    March 11, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  3. pat carr

    So much for respecting this 'war hero" heh?

    March 11, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  4. PK California

    Does anyone really believe that McCain would come out and say, "I made the worst decision in my life choosing Palin to run with me. It cost me the presidency." Using her in politics will cost the GOP votes, but there isn't one among them who would say so!

    March 11, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  5. Bibico

    If this guy had been elected we'd have a quarter million troops in Afghanistan and we'd already have invaded Iran. He's unbalanced.

    March 11, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  6. jk from MN

    Senator McCain: Your choice of Gov Palin cost you my vote and I suspect a lot of other independent voters. I wouldn't spend much time trying to justify it.

    March 11, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  7. Wanderer

    “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.”
    Are words that come from the same brain different, specially, words from the mouth that is good in twisting the truth? For instance, instead of saying the truth: “worst qualified person”, that was twisted to: “best qualified person”.

    March 11, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  8. sqeptiq

    Interesting that they can claim it is inaccurate without seeing it. Must be clairvoyant.

    March 11, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  9. Dennis

    She's still better than a mormon.

    March 11, 2012 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  10. DrVonBrain

    Of course McCain and Palin are going to say the movie is a lie. That's because the truth hurts.

    March 11, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  11. Pb

    Translation: there is nobody in the republican party qualified to be President! 🙂

    March 11, 2012 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  12. Thomas

    The choice of Palin may have pleased the Republican far right but it cost McCain the presidency.

    March 11, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  13. Core republican Values

    Its super to see McCain take the low road on his Palin debacle. In what may be the best example of how completely unqualified McCain himself was for the presidency, his stunningly stupid choice of an obscure, unqualified woman virtually without character or poise, may be the dumbest choice ever made by a presidential hopeful.

    And to see him now, years later, still trying to put a happy face on it is either pathetic, sad, or embarrassing, depending on whether you are sympathetic toward this tired, old war veteran.

    March 11, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  14. deegeejay

    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?"

    Because she was the consultant who wrote it. lol Have you stopped beating your wife?

    March 11, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  15. killerB

    If McCain really believed Palin was best qualified, then its a testament to his ignorance.The American people shoud feel truley blessed it turned out like it did. Really scarey. Now it's round two.!

    March 11, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  16. TomNPitt

    That's really too bad it's all fictional. I really liked McCain and Palin in this movie. I would have voted for those two. I guess the real guys are what we all thought they. Bumbler and Boobs!! No votes for youze!!

    March 11, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  17. Independent jim

    McCain .. brought Palin in to get the undecide vote ... once Sarah opened her mouth the undecided.. decided to vote for Obama .. Thank God

    March 11, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  18. Glenn Lemke

    And McCain probably believes we won the Viet Nam "war" and he was defending our freedom and country!

    March 11, 2012 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  19. WhereIsPalin

    I'll keep asking......Where Is Palin?? Why didn't she run for president?

    March 11, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  20. Art Vandolay

    So what if Palin would have been a bimbo-VP. Isnt Biden a bimbo-VP? The movie is great. McCain needs to man-up and watch it. Having whiney Joe Lieberman would have not changed anything. Selecting a woman VP candidiate was a genius move by Repub party.

    March 11, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  21. Joshua Ludd

    She was the most qualified they could find? It comes then as no surprise that they can't find a single decent candidate this election cycle. McCain is just trying to make people forget how bad a running mate he picked.. who was picked only because Hillary Clinton did not get the nomination for Pres. or VP. The GOP wanted to balance the black guy on the Democratic ticket with a woman. If Hillary had gotten the nomination instead we would never have had to suffer through Sarah Palin... though we would have had to suffer through Hillary Clinton as President or VP.

    March 11, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  22. EllisF

    When I saw the headline, before reading the article I started to laugh, "best qualified choice," indeed! Then I remembered the current field vying for the Republican Presidential nomination, and I lost the smile. It's entirely possible McCain was right judging by the current crop of freaks, fools, phonies, and serial adulterers running now. Good lord, what has become of the GOP?

    March 11, 2012 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  23. sharoom

    All I remember from the 2008 campaign was that it was really painfully uncomfortable to watch some of Governor Palin's dialogue and it left me with the sense that she was just incompetent for the position of VP (and president if McCain died during term). I don't know how accurate the movie is about real events but what I'll say is this: the movie made me relive those uncomfortable moments during the campaign, but the movie paints Palin in a much more sympathetic position as someone who was just caught in way over her head. I can empathize with that. In the movie, there is definitely pain in Julianne Moore's (the actress who plays Palin) face and that's something that would have tempered my reaction to her if I saw that during the actual campaign.

    March 11, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  24. Relieved

    McCain nearly put our country at great risk by accepting Palin as a running mate. His desire to win won out over his responsibility to choose someone capable of taking over the Presidency, period!

    An Independent

    March 11, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  25. ArtInChicago

    What else can he say? I am a sitting senator who made the worst choice that could have been made and I currently have to evaluate legislation. Don't trust my decisions.

    March 11, 2012 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
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