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. TAK

    The sad thing is, McCain did not really pick Palin. She was foisted on him by the ultra conservative elements of the GOP. As I recall, McCain wanted Tom Ridge as his running mate, but Ridge was considered to be too modererate.

    July 29, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  2. WDinDallas

    Biden (snort....snicker)

    July 29, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  3. Dyslexic Dog

    2012 is the same old republican strategy. 2000-2008 were 8 years of a puppet president Bush with Cheney running the country. Now the republicans are looking at 4 years of a puppet Romney with half a dozen billionaire donors actuallly running the country.

    July 29, 2012 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. deanna1

    Cheney! what a joke! The only thing this goon did was to be mean and nasty! Why on earth did anyone think 'he' was qualified? Palin was still governor while running for McCains VP, she quit afterwards! The reason she quit is quite known to Cheney! Cheney needs to go to Montana, or wyoming of whereever and stay there, we've had just about enough of your mean and vicious ways!

    July 29, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  5. Cat

    I Besides the fact the woman is a blithering idiot, she is just plain stupid. And I do not need Cheney, the lying coward to tell me she was the wrong pick!!! Cheney was the wrong pick right along with her and the equally stupid Bush.

    July 29, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  6. billy davis

    Dick Cheney tella another lie. When Palin was selected for the GOP candidate for VP she was Governor for 6 months.

    July 29, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. fernace

    LOL, OMG, & DUH! Snookie aspires to be Sarah Palin in another 20! Look out, America!!

    July 29, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Pete Pratt

    And Obama had how much experience to be president. That was an even bigger mistake.

    July 29, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Larry L


    Sarah Palin is sitting on between 18 and 20 years executive experience.
    I will partially agree... Sarah Palin is sitting on her best asset.

    July 29, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  10. Tex71

    In other words, she was evil enough, just not smart enough.

    July 29, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  11. Larry L

    The big mistake is the entire shift to the ultra-right by the Republican Party. They were unable to grow with America, choosing instead to remain entrenched in the belief that the Party represented only the rich, white establishment. The math didn't work so Republicans needed radical social hot buttons and the blatant dishonesty of Fox News to fire up the under-educated masses. Their real platform became bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia and religious intolerance. They stacked the Supreme Court and gained some ground with the most illogical ruling in U.S. history – "corporations are people too". Still, the path leads to the disaster we now see unfolding – with candidates competing to see who is least logical, most unable to distort the truth, and the most narrowly focussed on a radical, right-wing agenda.

    July 29, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. ooshie

    I agree with Cheney. Taking it further, McCain, by the single act of selecting her to be VP, doesn't meet the number one qualification to be President. That choice by itself (regardless of if you're Rep or Dem) rules him out. Clearly US voters felt the same way.

    July 29, 2012 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Michael

    Cheney & Palin !! DARTH VADER & CARIBOU BARBIE !! The best and brightest the GOP had to offer until now !!

    July 29, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Cheney was picked for "W" for Bush, Sr., so Cheney could run things for Bush, Sr. "W" many times has stated that his first choice was Tom Ridge, another "heavyweight" and first DHS Director – and weall know how that worked out, don't we?! And once in, Cheney made sure Halliburton was pimped to the "nth" degree.

    Palin was chosen because Obama did not choose Hillary. Can you imagine a debate between Hillary and Caribou Barbie?! Also, Palin appealed to all the giant, male thinkers in the trailer parks across the country.

    This is what happens when you vet someone in 5 days using Wikipedia.

    July 29, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Of course she was a big mistake, Republicans picking any VP candidate now makes that candidate look more stupid following behind Palin. Palin ruined the Republican party but thank God she didn't get the chance to ruin the country.

    July 29, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. EffortPA

    This guy is a genius! Did he figure that out all by himself?

    July 29, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  17. TeeDeeDubya

    He is right, but I don't care if she was governor for two decades rather than two years it wasn't her lack of experience that disqualified her. It was just that she just is not VP material (let alone presidential material) and never will be.

    July 29, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  18. Global Traveler

    This falls under the "and water is wet" category of breaking news.

    July 29, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. craig

    He just now figured that out? Well, I guess conservatives do prefer that things move at a slower pace, but this is...well, yeah.

    July 29, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. Jim

    Well, there we have it. The worst VP in history agreeing with what anyone with two ears already knew.

    July 29, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. sarahnikki

    Everyone and their brother knows that Palin was a mistake. Here's my question: Why does anyone care what Cheney says? He's irrelevant, as are his opinions.

    July 29, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. Donald in CA

    For the first time i agree with dick. McCain probably lost the election by putting a tea party idiot on the ticked. She ended up the winner by becoming rich by being on that ticket..

    July 29, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Ed

    So was he

    July 29, 2012 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. CBR

    Don't understand why Cheney is talking about this now. The view that Ms. Palin was not prepared to be President is well known. The McCain team was not thinking about that when they named Ms. Palin.

    Mr. Cheney was head of the committee that helped George Bush choose a VP who just happened to be Mr. Cheney. Enough said.

    July 29, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. when your nightmares end WILLARD begins

    I still feel that the main reason Sarah Palin did not run for POTUS this year is that she did not want to deal with one on one confrontation and during the GOP primary debates should would have had to have done just that. Palin is a very good attack dog on Obama and the left.....from AFAR. As long as she has FoxNews, SaraPac, and her Facebook and Twitter to protect her. Without that and the thought of her own party questioning her or even attacking her I don't think she could have handled. And they would have had to do it...not handle her with kid gloves either. She let a few of her fans down that wanted her to run thus her star is not shining as brightly as it used to.

    July 29, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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