Three Years Later Leno Challenges McCain for Picking Palin

It's been three and a half years since John McCain asked Sarah Palin to be his running mate in the 2008 presidential campaign, but liberal media members still can't accept it.

On Wednesday's Tonight Show, host Jay Leno - for what must be approaching the millionth time - challenged the Arizona Senator for his decision (video follows with transcript and commentary):

JAY LENO, HOST: Now, this movie "Game Change," it comes on HBO next week.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R-ARIZONA): I hope it's one of those silent ones.

LENO: No, it's not, it's not silent. But it deals with Sarah Palin and the whole election. Are you going to watch the movie?

MCCAIN: No.

LENO: No? No?

MCCAIN: No. I heard enough about the book that it was taken from…

LENO: Yeah.

MCCAIN: …unattributed quotes, unnamed sources.

LENO: Yeah.

MCCAIN: But it's a free country.

LENO: Yeah, yeah. Well, you come off very good in the movie.

MCCAIN: Is that right?

LENO: Yes, you do. You come off as the gentleman you are. And, and I thought it was quite fair. Yeah, I thought you really came off, because sometimes you think, "Oh, they're going to portray me as." No, I thought it was good, and your reluctance to go after the Reverend Wright, with Obama, and all that, you didn't want to fight a dirty campaign. I thought you came off very good. So, you can make a little bit off of that.

[ Applause ]

What a surprise Leno would be thrilled McCain didn’t go after all the skeletons in Obama’s closet basically handing the election to the junior senator from Illinois. It seems a metaphysical certitude he won’t have any problem with the President mercilessly attacking whoever his opponent is this year.

LENO: I mean, let me ask you about that. I know that you say you still stand by that decision. Would you do the same thing again, picking Sarah Palin?

MCCAIN: Oh, sure. Listen, facts are stubborn things as Ronald Reagan used to say. We were three points down before she spoke at the convention. She beat Joe Biden, the gift that keeps on giving, Joe Biden…

LENO: Right.

[ Light laughter ]

MCCAIN: …in the debate. She energized…

LENO: Did she beat him in the debate, or she didn't? She looked okay in the debate. I don't know if she won the debate.

MCCAIN: Well, you know.

LENO: I think people didn’t expect her to hold her own and she did.

MCCAIN: Here was a young governor, female, against a guy who had been in the Senate for 30 some years. And in my view, that means she won a victory. She energized our base, she's a a good and decent person.

LENO: Oh, I never said she wasn't a decent person.

MCCAIN: Her husband is a fine person.

LENO: Yeah.

MCCAIN: I think she would have made an excellent vice president, and I understand the controversy, but frankly I've not seen as constant and relentless attacks on her as I have observed on anyone. But again, so, it's a free country. I have to…

LENO: But, don't you get back what you give a little bit?

MCCAIN: I have to look back with nothing but pride. And the fact that a guy that stood fifth from the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy would get the nomination from the Republican Party for President of the United States.


"Don't you get back what you give a little bit?"

Exactly what did Palin do prior to being chosen as McCain's running mate that warranted the media attacks she received after that point?

That's a question I wish McCain would have asked his host.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.