During an interview with CNN’s John King on Sunday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) admitted internal tensions during his failed bid for the presidency and told King that while he was initially hopeful, he and running mate Sarah Palin were not a “winning combination.”
McCain was responding to a follow-up question by King, whose interview with former McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt produced several eye-opening quotes.
Among them: “I think that she has talents,” Schmidt said, “but my honest view is that she would not be a winning candidate for the Republican candidate in 2012, and in fact, were she to be the nominee, we would have a catastrophic election result.”
“I have a degree of clairvoyance,” said McCain. “But, in 2009, to predict what would happen in the 2012 election is, I’m not capable of. Look, I …”
“Why the bad blood?” asked King.
“I, look, whenever there’s a political campaign, and I’ve been involved in them for many, many years, there’s always tension,” he replied. “You know, with a high-tension situation, there’s always tensions that develop within campaigns and there were clearly tensions between Steve Schmidt and people in the Palin camp.
“There are fundamental facts though, that just can’t be denied. When we selected, or asked Sarah Palin to be our running mate, it energized our party. We were ahead in the polls until the stock market crashed and she is still a formidable force in the Republican party and I have great affection for her. Sarah and I, did we always agree on everything, will we in the future? No.
“Look, let’s let a thousand flowers bloom,” McCain concluded. “Let’s come up with a winning combination next time. We, and, uh, let’s all go through the process rather than condemning anybody’s chances and I’m happy to say that we have some great people out there and Sarah is one of them.”
This video is from CNN, broadcast Sunday, Oct. 11, 2009.