July 29th, 2012
10:38 AM ET
8 years ago

Cheney: Picking Palin in 2008 was a 'mistake'

(CNN) – Sen. John McCain made a mistake in 2008 by picking then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, former Vice President Dick Cheney said in an interview that aired Sunday.

Cheney led the vice presidential search for Gerald Ford in 1976, and again for George W. Bush in 2000. That last search resulted in Cheney himself being selected, and he served as Bush's number two for eight years.

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On Sunday, Cheney said Palin failed to meet the number one requirement for a vice president: a readiness to step into the top job if needed.

"Based on her background, she was only governor for two years, I don't think she passed that test of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake," Cheney said in an interview with ABC News.

Cheney, who said he knows and likes Palin, argued that considerations about which demographic a potential candidate could help pull in clouded the 2008 decision to put Palin on the ticket.

"Those are important issues but they should never be allowed to override that first proposition and I think that's one of the problems that McCain had," Cheney said.

READ MORE: McCain, Liz Cheney push back on Palin 'mistake'

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Filed under: Dick Cheney • John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (591 Responses)
  1. marc

    I do dislike Cheney for many many reasons despite the fact that I am Republican, but I agree with this statement. Sarah Palin was a faux pas from the very get go. It was a deadly mistake for the republicans. I remember when they announced her as a running mate and it made the hair on the back of my neck stand straight out. I find it interesting that he doesnt make mention of McCain who was just as big a mistake as Palin in the eyes of many Republicans. He was so elderly and feeble.....almost came across as feeble minded too. I heard him refered to as Uncle Fuddy Duddy and couldnt help but agree. Its how he was viewed by so many. Will Mitt pull us out of this embarassing situation? I'm not so sure.

    July 30, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. sortakinda

    This falls into the category of DUH. Was there a 2008 VP candidate debate? THAT would have been priceless.

    July 30, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. MaryM

    Darth Cheney speaks out against Palin? Pot meet kettle

    July 30, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  4. Peter

    Not to worry – Mitty will do something just as S T U P I D.

    July 30, 2012 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  5. Harv

    Sarah Palin was a mistake by John McCain.

    Dick Cheney was a mistake for the country.

    July 30, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  6. Expat American

    Sarah Palin is an uneducated bigot and a coward. She was a poor choice for VP and she is indeed a poor excuse for a human being.

    July 30, 2012 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  7. Peggy Munro

    It is my humble opinion that for the first time in election history Republicans would vote for the Democratic candidate. The same might have happened if, for instance, Jon Huntsman, one who is presentable, were the Republican Candidate. There is no question who is the better choice, if one were to be objective.

    July 30, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  8. Alina1

    Cheney, Palin... what the difference? Oh, one without the heart, another one without the brains. See, there is deference.

    July 30, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  9. Doug Marcum

    It's a shame Cheney couldn't speak the truth when HE was VP.

    July 30, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  10. dood

    Cheney should take responsibility for making the mistake of selecting her. And she should take responsiblity for ruining the chances for future women in politics for years to come.

    July 30, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  11. Gloria

    I never thought I'd agree with Dick Cheney about anything, but he hit the nail right on the head with this one!!

    July 30, 2012 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. brian in denver

    Obvious as it is, this might be the brightest statement ever uttered by Mr. Cheney.

    July 30, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  13. ALKP

    Picking Palin was an insult to the intelligence of the american people.

    July 30, 2012 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. Paul

    And now the same party has chosen the etch-a-sketching, draft-dodging, tax-evading, outright lying Mormon Bishop Willard as its presidential candidate.

    July 30, 2012 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  15. Jess Sayin

    I love the smell of smell of self-inflicted GOP napalm in the morning. They do eat their own kind!

    July 30, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  16. Floyd Caveman

    I always thought the VP should be the former president. That keeps him(her) around another 4 years to be held accountable for what they did in office.

    July 30, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  17. NewGawker

    He must be some kind of genius to figure out Palin was a mistake.

    July 30, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. Guest

    So....Cheney, who led W's search for a VP, chose himself. I find that not very surprising at all.

    July 30, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. Tom Joad

    Any Republican in office is a mistake.

    July 30, 2012 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  20. David

    Cheney's observation is true–partly. Did it play out badly for McCain? Tick. Was Palin a poor choice because of limited experience? Maybe tick. But lots of people are handed the baton when by objective measures they might not be ready–ask folks in the battlefields or on stage or on pro teams or in board rooms. The real issue was her total lack of capacity for leadership–instead of substance, you got vacuous, pandering babble replete with more than a dose of unseemly soap opera drama. So "poor" choice became a bizarre choice, confirming for everyone that when it came to McCain For President, his heart just wasn't in it. But some nice spin from VEEP Dick.

    July 30, 2012 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  21. Namejason

    Sarah Palin is worthy of becoming a President. She accomplished in only 2 years what an undeserving politician would do in his or her political lifetime. To all of you haters of Palin, read the facts, not those that media would want you to believe.

    July 30, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Billy

    Cheney was a mistake but was elected next to a good President. McCain was a mistake, "I supported the President 90% of the time" but Sarah Palin couldn't help him.

    July 30, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. LynneSki

    Tell us something we don't know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 30, 2012 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  24. CarolinaGirl

    This is the only time I will agree with Dick Cheney.

    July 30, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  25. Steven Colo

    So the fact that she had only two years of experience was the drawback? Not the facts that she was crazy as a hatter and not willing to learn about foreign policy, economics, etc., or that she was only in it for herself and not the party or the country?

    Amazing that this doofus was ever allowed to select VP picks if he didn't even understand which criteria to use.

    July 30, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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