McCain Blasts HBO's 'Game Change': 'Based on a Book That's Completely Biased'

Although Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) kept true to his word that he wasn't going to watch HBO's Sarah Palin-bashing film "Game Change" which premiered Saturday evening, he did have some harsh words about it on Fox News Sunday.

"It's based on a book that's completely biased and with unattributed quotes," McCain said before taking issue with the depiction of him as a vulgar man that asked his campaign manager to find him a female running mate (video follows with transcript and commentary):

CHRIS WALLACE, HOST: Well, that brings us -- speaking of elections to the new HBO movie "Game Change" about your selection of Sarah Palin as your running mate. Now, you have swore that you are not going to watch "Game Change". And I want to know because it premiered last night on HBO.

Did you break down and tune in?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (R-ARIZONA): I watched the Phoenix Coyotes defeat the San Jose Sharks, 3-0. It was a great game.

Of course, I'm not going to watch it. It's based on a book that's completely biased and with unattributed quotes, et cetera. And what I don't understand even in the tough world of politics, why there continues to be such assaults on a good and decent person, Sarah Palin, a fine family person, a person whose nomination energized our campaign. We were in the lead and they continue to disparage and attack her character and her person.

I admire and respect her and proud of our campaign. I'm grateful that she ran with me and I will always be proud of what we did and humbled by the fact that I was able to get the nomination of the Republican Party for president of the United States.


"It's based on a book that's completely biased."

As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, the stars and people involved in the production of this film have in recent years given a total of $200,000 to Democrats and liberal causes. By contrast, they've given nothing to Republicans.

Zero, nada, zilch!

But I digress:

WALLACE: I do want to ask you, not about Palin but about yourself, because it does portray in the movie. What one of the things it says is that for all of your talk about putting country first, that your decision to pick Sarah Palin was pure politics. And here is a clip from the show.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOODY HARRELSON (as Steve Schmidt): We desperately need a game changing pick. None much these middle aged white guys are game changers.

ED HARRIS (as John McCain): So find me a woman.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WALLACE: "So find me a woman." Simple question, Senator, did that ever happen?

MCCAIN: Of course not. And, by the way, I have been told I am portrayed as using an exceeding amount of coarse language. I don't use coarse language very often. I have a larger vocabulary than that.

But, of course not. I thought that she was best qualified person. I thought she had the ability to excite our party and the kind of person that I wanted to see succeed in the political arena. She is very effective and successful governor of a state.

And, again, Chris, I look forward and not back. This kind of stuff is something that I don't spend a lot of time on, because right now, I am trying to work on issues such as those we previously discussed.

WALLACE: I just want to ask one last question on this regard.

MCCAIN: Sure.

WALLACE: Because it does speak to the question credibility. And then we'll leave it.

You say that the authors and Hollywood made stuff up. But I want to point out some quotes from Steve Schmidt who was your chief strategist during the 2008 campaign. He's played by Woody Harrelson in the movie.

And here's what he says. He says, "It's the true story of what happened over those 10 weeks." This is Schmidt talking now. And then he says this, "I regret playing a part in the process that yielded someone on the ticket that was not prepared to be president."

So, I'm not asking you to respond to Hollywood or to the authors. But what do you say to the guy who was one of your top advisers in the 2008 campaign, Steve Schmidt, who says this is all true?

MCCAIN: I regret that he would make such a statement.

WALLACE: We'll leave it there.

Senator McCain, thank you. Thank you as always for coming on, sir. It's always a pleasure to talk with you.

WALLACE: I was going to say that, in the movie which I watched part of, you swear like a sailor, but I guess that would be unfair to sailors, so I'll -- I'll leave it there.

(LAUGHTER)

MCCAIN: Thanks again, Chris.

WALLACE: Thank you, sir.

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