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. GwynniesPapa

    Sarah Palin is the reason John McCain is not POTUS. I supported John McCain in the primary race that gave us W. I supported John McCain through out the primary in 08 and was excited about 8 years of a moderate statesman in the white house. He ended up looking like a frustraited mean old man durring the debates and then Palin.... I had no choice after that. That dimwit was one (very old) heart beat away from being POTUS??? Sorry John

    July 30, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. JoJo

    Cheney should know better than anyone what a horrible choice for VP is.

    July 30, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  3. realitybites

    "That last search resulted in Cheney himself being selected, and he served as Bush's number two for eight years."

    Riiiiight. Besides the figurative meaning, no one seriously believes that Cheney ever played 2nd fiddle to Jr. He was for all intents and purposes the friggin president.

    July 30, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  4. JASON

    The biggest mistake was wasting a good heart to a bad buy. This war criminal needs to be prosecuted

    July 30, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. Gregory T.

    Takes a mistake to know a mistake.

    July 30, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. REG in AZ

    McCain's problems started with that he didn't feel capable of winning the people over following the regrettable performance of Bush-Cheney, where they completely catered to "the few", totally neglected the majority and cost the country so greatly, so he picked Sarah Palin for the "show" (and to satisfy "the money") while he just stayed in the background. What then happened is that it became obvious to the people that Sarah was all show and no substance, including lacking integrity, and the "house of cards came tumbling down".

    July 30, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  7. Confused

    How is Bush's selection of Cheney a mistake? He won twice with Cheney on the ticket.

    July 30, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  8. Election Observer

    Oh really? Picking himself as VP while running the VP search, a stroke of genius, but also a revelation.
    Criticising McCain in hindsight: grrrrreat style, Dick. As if the majority of Americans hadn't noticed it already: in 2008!

    July 30, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. nitrous

    Darth Cheney is freakin' genius! We never knew she was a joke!

    July 30, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Nissim Levy

    @Confused, it wasn't a mistake for Bush...it was a mistake for the people of the U.S.

    July 30, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  11. Person of Interest

    No kidding. McCain was "too liberal" for most of them back then. Now he's more conservative than ever. I miss the old John McCain. You know the one that wasn't a partisan hack.

    July 30, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. CRG

    Palin was a huge mistake. I do not believe McCain actually picked her. I believe the Republican Political machine picked her because, with the economy in shambles and looking like depression, they did not want to win. It was better to have a Democratic President take the heat for what was going to be an extremely difficult time for millions of American voters. And they were right. This was an excellent strategy.

    July 30, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  13. Rogue351

    You think so ? The fact that it has taken the GOP this long to admit that mistake should speak volumes about the type of ego and mind set they have. Exactly how long will it taken them to admit the George Bush, Dick Cheney mistake, 20 + years.

    July 30, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. JohnW

    He might be a jackhole, but he's not dumb. Spot on assessment.

    July 30, 2012 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  15. Cheney was the actual president for 8 years

    You can make fun a Cheney all you want, but the bottom line is: He got Bush elected twice. In 2000, Republicans liked the idea of another Bush family member in the White House, however, he was no where near as smart or had the savvy of his father. Dick Cheney made Bush Jr a viable candidate. Cheney was an accomplished businessman that understood the economy and many other major issues. He had a load of credibility with older Americans, opposed to Gore, who was fresh off the heels of the Clinton infidelity scandal and near impeachment. Biden has been a total failure and makes a mistake every time he speaks. Biden was quoted as saying Obama was in way over his head and not qualified to be the President.

    July 30, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. quinLee

    Confused wrote: How is Bush's selection of Cheney a mistake? He won twice with Cheney on the ticket.

    Maybe you should look around and realize we (America as a whole) LOST big time with Bush/Cheney driving. No matter how many times you click your heels or squint your eyes, Bush/Cheney was a (disaster x2) x8). Further, the republican party is now FUBAR. The grown ups have been ousted or run off to the hills.

    July 30, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Chney's right Republicans and it's best to admit it and move on because Palin deminished the role of any VP pick on the Republican ticket. Republicans have a lot of work to do to erase the Palin pick.

    July 30, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  18. bluedogboy

    Why is Sarah Palin still in the news?

    July 30, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. normajean @ verizon ,com

    I still want to know what happened to the millions of dollars in cash that was sent to Iraq when Cheney was running Bush and the Iraq war. We heard about it at the time and then never again.......CHENEY KNOWS.................!!!

    July 30, 2012 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  20. zeke2112

    As one of the many people who refused to vote for McCain purely because of Palin, I'd like to say......DUH?

    July 30, 2012 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  21. Vic of New York

    ...as in picking "Bush / Cheney" wasn't?

    July 30, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. WhereIsPalin

    Can't wait to see how the twit responds.

    July 30, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. dizzylucy

    I think hell must have frozen over, because I just agreed with Dick Cheney about something. I too felt she was chosen not because she was best (or at all) suited for the job, but because a) she's a woman and b) she's extreme right, a faction that wasn't thrilled with McCain getting the nomination. Both were about trying to get elected, vs. finding the right person for the job. It happens all the time, but it was still a disgrace and a huge mistake.

    And now back to disagreeing with and despising Cheney on everything else...

    July 30, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. willie

    McCain was the mistake. Cheney said Palin wasn't qualified to step into the presidency because she had only been Governor for two years. HELLO. What was Obama?

    July 30, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Doug

    Cnn let's Democrat after Democrat make death threats against Conservatives but cannot allow a factual comment about Democrat's in America today.

    It should be noted that if Democrats need to censor the truth about 'dem, then they certainly aren't worthy of your vote, that is if you have morals and values, it is debatable if such a person on the left exists today, there has yet to be one to ever post a comment at CNN.

    July 30, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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