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
9 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. CBR

    It is in poor taste to criticize Senator McCain of choosing Sarah Palin. If he had strong feelings he should have made them known 4 years ago. Sarah Palin continues to be in the public eye. There were people who thought she was a good candidate.

    Sen. McCain's statement about torture was on the money. Mr Cheney was a powerhouse in the Bush administration. He certainly helped President Bush to make some questionable policies.

    July 30, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Expat American

    Palin gave the country and the world abroad a lot of giggles, tickles and laughs during the 2008 campaign. McCain should at least be proud for having accomplished that. Palin also put a face to Conservatives in America for the real time global media. Probably not the best one that they wanted portrayed though.

    July 30, 2012 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  3. Roger

    Look into the mirror Dick. You were the big mistake.

    July 30, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |

    "I respect the vice president. He and I had strong disagreements as to whether we should torture people or not."
    Ouch! First of all, I don't know why on God's green Earth anyone cares about Cheney the WAR CRIMINAL. Secondly, Failing Palin was the primary reason McCain lost. The republican party has gone completely whacko. I saw a McCain/Palin bumper sticker the other day. The guy scratched out McCain's name. Shows how dumb people are.

    July 30, 2012 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  5. stars

    Liz your dad is telling the truth. He has a good heart now I wish they would find you one.

    July 30, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. SlowGun

    When someone calls Dick Cheney the "best VP ever" should they really be taken seriously?

    July 30, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. maf

    Oh my! Liz is seriously off key with her tweet about her dad being the best VP ever! Props to her for supporting a colleague at the same station, but delusion is something she is swimming in!!

    . . . and John, well, it really is time to wave goodbye into the sunset! Your huge gaffe of bringing Sarah into any spotlight will be the lasting impression of your failing legacy!

    July 30, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  8. B.

    This is a sample of why McCain has become irrelevant. He has never been able to concede a mistake and move on.
    Palin was a disaster waiting for McCain to let it happen. He never did, and still does not get it.

    July 30, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. watch your back

    Best VP who should have been dead a long time ago. How much tax $$ was used to give him a beating heart. No money was spent for a caring heart

    July 30, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    At the time of her selection, her political record said that she had been governer of Alaska for roughly half a year. He previous political experience was as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, population around 10,000 or so. Her academic record was not something one would want to brag about.

    I know McCain will stand by his choice of Palin till the end of his poltical career. He really has no choice, but to do so. Just as soon as he admits that Palin was anything less than the best of choices his political career is over.

    July 30, 2012 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. Vince

    Who cares what Liz Cheney thinks? She currently holds no elected office...her opinion means jack.

    July 30, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Some people just have nothing good to say – Cheney should reflect on which of the two, he or Sarah Palin were the worst picks for VP since by most accounts, it will take a generation or more before the people of America, Iraq and Afghanistan are able to recover from his blunders.

    July 30, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. 1+1=2

    GOP talking point. Never, ever admit you made a mistake.

    July 30, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    mcCain is Soooooooo afraid Palin will turn on him. He will continue to pander to her now matter what. She must have something really big on him or his family.

    July 30, 2012 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I don't agree much with Cheney, but he is correct. I don't think that Palin, then or now, really understood what it takes to be the president. As for people who think she is qualified, technically she is according to the US constitution. I don't she really understood the dynamics of how things work on the world stage or or in Congress which are important points in order to be president.

    July 30, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. datablade

    "But based on her background she'd only been governor for what, two years."

    ..and Obama was only a senator for what, two years....who spent the two years mostly campaigning. While an Illinois senator he voted "present" 189 times, and did little else but campaign for the US Senate. Of course that is all Obama is doing now.

    We truly have a less than intelligent electorate...

    July 30, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Best VP Ever?

    If Liz Cheney thinks her father was the greatest VP ever and that Sarah Palin was more qualified than Obama and Biden combined, well I guess that speaks for itself. Cheney best VP ever? Move over Thomas Jefferson, the guy that probably should have been put in prison for treason rather than letting his chief of staff Scooter Libbey do the time for him was the greatest VP ever!

    July 30, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  18. ge

    looks like cheney wants to pick romney,s VP wonder why –more blood money

    July 30, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  19. NikoEsquire

    Best VP ever? Liz Cheney needs to pass around the bong. I think that we all need some of what she's smoking in order to even take that comment with a modicum of seriousness. That's what happens when people are so insulated from reality–they gain a distorted sense of self-importance that blinds them from reality. While he may have been the most powerful–please consider who his boss was, he was by NO means imaginable the best VP. In fact, he's probably rated as one of the worst VPs in history. If not, he should be.

    July 30, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Fair is Fair

    "Secondly, Failing Palin was the primary reason McCain lost. "
    Ummmmmmmm... nope. Given the mood of the country at the time, it was pretty much a given that whomever won the democratic primary was going to be the next president. Charles Manson could have been elected if he was the dem candidate.

    I suggest Obama learn from how a country in a foul mood reacts at the ballot box. But he won't... and that will be his undoing.

    July 30, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  21. aaron

    Oh, great. Now Cheney has unleashed the ultra right-wing lesbian daughter again. Palin's been quiet, so it must be time for another loon for the news to report on.

    July 30, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  22. Bill

    Liz Cheney is a clown and a shill for Fox. Yes, Liz, Sarah has done mch for the GOP – she reminds people daily was a shambles your party is in.

    July 30, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  23. Michael Q

    We call it the New Real American Republican gene pool. The last thing America needs. If Cheney or George W ever left the USA, they run the risk of being captured and sent before the World Court for crimes against humanity. Those two men and all those who supported their regimes have caused the largest and greatest damage to the people of America both domestically and in foreign affairs. It will take another term by Obama plus another eight years by Obama's successor to even remotely correct the damage done. Let's start re-educating America, not on a "me first" theology, but on combining the best minds of the world to make for a better world, not a "you are either with me or you are against me" mentality. Look where that has gotten us.

    July 30, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  24. Linda

    Anyone in the GOP that thinks Palin wasn't a MISTAKE for McCain and the Republican party is on the same intellectual level as PALIN.....and that ain't saying much.......She has put on a new FACE for the GOP called the far right religious wingnuts and that is most of the Tea Party that suports her.....this is the group that will finally do the GOP in and Romney pandering to this bunch makes himself look weak.....he will say anything to get their votes and anyone elses vote but when it comes to being President he will only cater to the RICH and POWERFUL....he will not care about the religious christrians then (he's morman), he already said he's not worried about the poor, yet everyday more and more people fall into the catagory of lower middle class and poor so he doesn't care about them......he won't get my vote.......

    July 30, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  25. Annie, Atlanta

    Honest to God, the spin and lies are getting out of hand. Have we ever seen a presidential candidate make a bigger mistake in his pick for VP? Seriously? Pretending this isn't the case isn't going to make it so. When will our media stand up to the spin and lies and start delivering news again, news that is vital to the decisions we make in elections, how we live our lives, etc?

    July 30, 2012 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
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