Palin Disputes That McCain Regrets 2008 Vice President Pick

‘Like a perpetual gut punch’ every time she sees the assertion, former running mate says

Sen. John McCain appears with running mate then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin after he accepted the Republican nomination for president on the last night of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, September 4, 2008. (CQ Roll Call file photo)
Sen. John McCain appears with running mate then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin after he accepted the Republican nomination for president on the last night of the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, September 4, 2008. (CQ Roll Call file photo)
Posted May 11, 2018 at 9:34am

Sarah Palin is disputing revelations from Sen. John McCain’s new book that he regrets choosing her to be his running mate on the GOP ticket in 2008.

“That’s not what Senator McCain has told me all these years,” the former Alaska governor told the Daily Mail on Thursday. “I attribute a lot of what we’re hearing and reading regarding McCain’s statements to his ghostwriter or ghostwriters.”

In a new HBO documentary on his life and his final autobiography set to be released later this month, McCain elaborates on some of his biggest political regrets. One was that he did not choose independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, a former Democrat who supports abortion rights and sweeping rights for LGBTQ people, as his running mate, The New York Times reported.

McCain defends Palin’s performance in the documentary and autobiography, but does not think she was the right choice.

As he was selecting his running mate, McCain’s advisers told him that Lieberman’s crossover appeal with moderate Democrats and independents would be outweighed by many Republicans put off by some of the Connecticut senator’s liberal social policies.

“It was sound advice that I could reason for myself,” he writes in the book, entitled “The Restless Wave.” “But my gut told me to ignore it and I wish I had.”

Palin said the torrent of news coverage over McCain’s regret that he did not select Lieberman is “like a perpetual gut punch” each time she sees it.

“It’s not a real fun thing that part of my job is the requirement — is having to read the news every day,” she said.

But Palin does not necessarily believe that McCain rues the 2008 ticket as much as he seems to. She blamed part of the negativity surrounding her ascension to the vice presidential nomination on many of McCain’s former advisers, who have continued to push the narrative over the last decade that Palin’s presence on the ticket hindered their odds of winning.

“I don’t know unless I heard it from Senator McCain myself,” Palin said.

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