McCain, Liz Cheney push back on Palin 'mistake'
John McCain and Sarah Palin attend a campaign rally at Pima County Fairgrounds on March 26, 2010 in Tucson, Arizona.
July 30th, 2012
11:49 AM ET
10 years ago

McCain, Liz Cheney push back on Palin 'mistake'

(CNN) – Dick Cheney's assertion that it was a "mistake" for John McCain to put then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on the 2008 Republican ticket drew some pushback Monday from the Arizona senator.

"I'm always glad to get comments four years later," McCain said sarcastically on Fox News. "I respect the vice president. He and I had strong disagreements as to whether we should torture people or not. I don't believe we should have. The fact is I'm proud of Sarah Palin. I'm proud of the job she did. I'm proud of the job she continues to do. Everybody has their own views and I respect those views. But I'm proud of what we did."

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On Sunday, ABC News aired portions of an interview with Cheney in which the former vice president detailed what he felt was the most important quality for a vice presidential candidate: a readiness to step into the top job if needed.

"Based on [Palin's] 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.

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.

Cheney's daughter also pushed back against her father's assertion Sunday, writing on Twitter she disagreed with the assessment that picking Palin was a "mistake."


Both Palin and Liz Cheney are paid political contributors on Fox News.

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Filed under: Dick Cheney • Sarah Palin
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Reggie from LA

    " VP ever but @SarahPalinUSA more qualified than Obama and Biden combined." Uhm, I don't think so. Not even remotely close. the "best VP ever" was exactly right. She was too chosen as a campaign centerpiece to counter balance the Clinton fervor of a woman in high office. The didn't even know her for the most part. I recall all the "real Americans" expressing how much they loved her. Who. She was a virtual unknown. I know she was a Gov, but who knew. In office, she would have hopped up on her high horse (she is not a person of humility) and ruined McCain's presidency. Not cerebral enough or in touch enough for nation leading. She's a monster. People see her as folksy and down to earth. She's not.

    July 30, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Brad

    Despite flip flopping like crazy in tough elections, McCain is still one of the most intelligent and well spoken Republicans out there. While Palin was and continues to be a disaster, I think Cheney is the last one who should be lecturing anyone on poor choices. He was an embarrassment on a global scale and likely did irreparable harm to our nation.

    July 30, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. GwynniesPapa

    JOHN Wake up you are not the president nor will you ever be the president because of Sarah Palin. Finally somebody in the Grand Obstructive Party admidts that that nut job cost the McCain 8 yrs in the white house

    July 30, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. winky

    Romney sounds just like this man no clue! Want to start another war by degrading another country! Nitty should have called the Palestinians axis of evil what a candidate for the great obstructionist party!

    July 30, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Alex

    Liz Cheney is a joke.

    July 30, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  6. beevee

    Vow! Cheney can be so heartless to say such a thing about a thing of the past.

    July 30, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. Patrick from Minnesota

    Well if not Sarah thenJohnny, why'd you lose?

    July 30, 2012 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Steve, New York City

    I trust Dick Cheney about as far as I can throw an Amtrak train.
    While I agree with him on Palin's lack of preparation, he's one to talk – he and (Joe Lieberman) collectively represented the most unbelievably bad vp picks, ever seen in a US presidential election.

    July 30, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  9. sammieb51

    Although I think Cheney should shut up and RETIRE already!! – He is spot on right. Of course he should recognize incomepetence when he sees it, having brought up the rear on George Bush, the worst president we have ever had. But to bring it up now, what's the point? American voters figured this out in November 2008 when they overwhelmingly voted for Obama, including many Independents. And Palin was their (the Independents/undecideds) deciding factor. Romney's trip to England is having the same effect on many Independents/undecideds. We can't have a fool like that walking around the world representing "OUR" interests.

    July 30, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  10. Huh?!

    I notice Liz Cheney mentions "all she's done for the GOP" and not all she's done for the country which is less than nothing. All she's done is to bring more hatred into politics and help divide the country even more just so she can make a couple of bucks. Carpet baggers like her need to be bounced from both parties. It's time to bring civility back to the forefront and let us discuss the topics reasonably. Just because you don't agree with me does not mean you're not an American any more than my not agreeing with you makes me less of an American.

    July 30, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |

    Palin would be a better President then Obama. I would be a better Present then Obama.

    July 30, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  12. Canuck

    "I'm proud of the job she continues to do."

    ... I thought she quit ???

    July 30, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. CRAIG

    I don't think that even the most partisan people would agree with Liz Cheney that Palin is more qualified than the President & vVice President combined. Her comment would only appeal to those who are as equally delusional as she.

    July 30, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  14. DarqueSide

    “Each administration is different... And there’s no reason why Sarah Palin can’t be a successful vice president in a McCain administration.” ~~ Dick Cheney, Sept 2008

    "There’s no reason why Sarah Palin can’t be a successful vice president in a McCain administration." ~~ Dick Cheney, Sept 2008

    I guess the flip/flop Etch-a-Sketch isn't reserved for Mitt the Twit... Cheney seems to have the same gift!

    July 30, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  15. Tony Z

    Cheney- Best VP ever under the Worst President Ever. Is she for real? What a joke!!!!

    July 30, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. DarqueSide

    “I think she’s a good candidate" ~~ Dick Cheney, Sept 2008

    Flip/flop much, Dick?

    July 30, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    I am not a Cheney fan by any stretch of the imagination, but I do respect the fact that he had enough gumption to break rank and state what most of us have known for 4 years.

    July 30, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Liz Cheney supporting Sarah Palin when she never would speak out in support of her own sister who is Lesbian and recently married, thanks to President Obama. Liz has no credibility and her father is right on this one because Sarah Palin completely deminished the role of any VP pick for the Republican ticket.

    July 30, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    So mcnasty is proud that she tanked his last change ever to be president?
    Is this guy ever going to grow a pair and tell the world that "ms big risk big rewa" was. HUGE mistake and that he sold his integrity and anything he has ever done in hismlife for some backwoods traitor from AK?
    You would have lost anyway but maybe the bully flip flopping lying bishop might be looking as a better choice for you in 2008. At least we would have gotten to see his tax returns which he keeps hiding from the country.

    July 30, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
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