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. Kathy

    Wow, thanks Dick, for telling us what we already know.

    July 29, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. guest

    I believe that Sarah Palin WAS qualified to step into the top spot, if it became necessary. But I also believe that she was NOT vetted thoroughly enough, and the decision was made in haste. She electified white Americans with her introductory speech to the repub convention, but was not prepared for the barrage of media scrutiny and deliberate attempts to portray her as simply stupid. McCain spent exactly 15 minutes interviewing her. He should have spent several DAYS asking her about her knowledge of issues, etc. If he had, he would not have chosen her, I believe. I do not believe Sarah is dumb, but is was then, and may still be, vastly uninformed. But, on balance, she probably helped McCain more than she hurt him. I believe NOBODY could have beaten Obama in 2008.

    And nobody is going to beat him this year, either.


    July 29, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Foghorn Leghorn

    **** His Holiness King Obama ......

    Typical Repub hack attack.
    Do you feel bedder ?
    You can take your finger out of your nose now.

    July 29, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. sick of republican phonies

    Yes it was a mistake, just like in 2000 and 2004.

    July 29, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. bankkiller1

    Cheney was the worst "president" ever. How many Americans are dead from their greed and avarice? How many people, world wide, have died and are dying because of "awol" and Cheney? They will be remembered forever as the two who brought America to it's knees. We can credit them with the militarization of our police, the loss of our rights, the loss of face to the rest of the world and to letting the Chinese surpass us as the financial leader of the world. Our corrupt Wall Street, thanks to Cheney and his stooge, "awol", grew under their administration to become the criminal class that they are now. Too bad we have a choice between two Wall Street puppets for "president". Gary Johnson/Ron Paul for 2012, now that would be ticket!

    July 29, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. scottf

    I AGREE and so were YOU.

    July 29, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. polite centrist

    Oh my goodness! He spoke the truth!

    July 29, 2012 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |

    Snooki Palin was chosen instead of Mitt . Where are the tax returns Mitt?

    July 29, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  9. Thinker

    You think? It took this idiot 4 years to decide Sarah Palin was a mistake.

    July 29, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. SPLAT!~

    Well gee, thanks Mr. Obvious!~

    July 29, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  11. Has Mittens "RETROACTIVELY RETIRED" as the GOVERNOR of MA back to before he signed ROMNEYCARE???

    OOPS, looks like Palin missed THE dick when she was servicing all the GOP "leaders" in '08.

    July 29, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  12. CRAIG

    This is the first time I've ever agreed with DICK.

    July 29, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. Fearless Freep

    **** Getoverit

    But it was a bigger mistake picking Obama...

    This is a stupid comment.
    The American people picked Obama.
    It was a good pick.

    July 29, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Craig

    Bush, Quayle, Kemp, Cheney, Palin....The Republicans don't know how to pick VP's candidates.

    July 29, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. wjmknight

    Cheney is right. I was going to vote for McCain until he picked Palin.

    July 29, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  16. Pat

    As bad as she was......and she was BAD..........you, cheney, are the absolutely WORST vp this country has ever endured. You make spiro agnew and dan quayle look like Mother Teresa.

    July 29, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  17. jimbo

    Palin was a gift. She helped defeat the GOP ticket, she has done little real damage other than lower our collective IQ, and she's been a windfall for comedians. Dick, on the other hand, was a mistake of catastrophic proportions. Very likely the most destructive, damaging VP for both the country and the world, in our history. Why he's not in jail is a great shame on America.

    July 29, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  18. John

    What McCain was thinking when he picked this intellectual box of rocks is a mystery even he can't explain. The GOP didn't want the White House after litter-box Bush screwed the pooch, the same is true with this election. A guy who is part of a religious cult doesn't belong in the White House, or any elected office. The GOP knows that.

    July 29, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |

    Snooki Palin will be in Tampa working hard to be the nominee this fall,not the VP.

    July 29, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |

    wow you talking about your "Monday morning quarterbacking" is it just me or does it seem that more and more Republicans are starting to "diss" Sarah Palin after at onetime she was supposed to be the rising star of the GOP? I bet even John McCain realizes he made a mistake but will never admit it in public. To be honest I looked at McCain,who I have always had respect for even though I tend to lean Democrat, as the possible POTUS until he picked her and she opened her mouth.

    July 29, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  21. jane

    Cheney had issues with Condi....This is a dog whisle to Romney....The estabishment don't want you to pick Condi

    July 29, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Jersey George

    It took Cheney 4 years to come to that conclusion? McCain probably knows he cost himself the presidency when he chose the valley girl from Alaska for the VP slot, but won't admit it publicly fearing a backlash from right wing extremists.

    July 29, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  23. Hammerdown

    deliberate attempts to portray her as simply stupid.

    She got her panties in a knot because somebody asked her what newspaper
    and magazines she read, and she couldnt name one.
    She then spent the next four years screaming about the lame stream media's
    gotcha questions........


    July 29, 2012 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  24. george of the jungle

    over 50% of the American people picked president Obama and we made a good choice. And over 50% of us told you Palin was not ready to step in as president. It only took 4 years for her own party to figure that out. Give us all a break the repo party has no clue when it comes to governing this country. Look at the idiots they have put up for the office. Mitt the twitt has made blunder after blunder on his foreign policy tour. Where are you tax returns and tell us again when you left baine?

    July 29, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Schocked in Miami

    This relavation by Mr. Cheney wreaks of "HIPOCRASY", Mr. Cheney openly expoused his admiration for the EMBARRASSMENT that we have come to know and cringe about as "Sarah Palin".......

    In 2008 Mr. Cheney raved about Palin's "One Liner", aka her bumper sticker communication style talking points, so for Mr. Cheney to come out in 2012 and make statements contrary to what he said in 2008 makes him a Flip Flopper just like the guy McCain didn't choose in 2008 Mitt Romney.....

    The bigger picture here paints a horrific mistake made by John McCain in picking a person with this kind of childess, imature bahavoir, I mean Palin presented herself as someone that refuses to do anything in a traditional sense, she was incredibly undisciplined and unintelligent.....Palins lust for petty vindictive drama was just too much to deal with, let alone having someone like this be a heart beat away from the Presidency, I honestly feel the picking of Palin will forever be remembered in history in similar fashion to Atomic bombs being dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, you will never forget for all the wrong reasons.....

    This also paints a portrait of Palins robotic supporters, Palin was obviously extremely FLAWED, her supporters are modern day TEA PARTIERS, that speaks for itself, BLIND ALLEGIANCE to a cause of person based on HATE.......!

    July 29, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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