Rumor has it that Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) regrets ever asking then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate in the 2008 presidential election. We heard reports for years, but this week The New York Times revealed this week that McCain makes the claim in his new book, The Restless Wave, writing that he wanted Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman by his side instead.
Palin, now retired from politics, told the Daily Mail that those reports are a "perpetual gut punch," but she doubts their veracity.
"That's not what Sen. McCain has told me all these years, as he's apologized to me repeatedly for the people who ran his campaign – some who now staff MSNBC, the newsroom there, which tells you a lot,'" Palin said.
The former governor went on to suggest those words did not come out of McCain's mouth.
"I attribute a lot of what we're hearing and reading regarding McCain's statements to his ghostwriter or ghostwriters," she said. "I don't know all the details of his condition right now. It happens to me also where people speak for me and a bell is rung, and you can't un-ring the bell."
Palin went on to defend her old friend, who is currently battling brain cancer, in light of President Trump's often disparaging remarks about the Vietnam veteran. While Palin endorsed Trump in the 2016 campaign, she nevertheless is "disappointed" with his tone toward McCain. Trump has questioned McCain's heroism because he was captured in Vietnam, but Palin acknowledged that the senator "made sacrifices" for America when he was taken as a POW. On Thursday, we learned that one of Trump's White House aides made her own unfortunate comment about the senator.
Like many conservatives, Palin was able to separate McCain's military service from his Senate record. She expressed regret in her Daily Mail interview over his recent votes, particularly that time he helped derail an effort to repeal Obamacare.
As for those reports about McCain regretting making that phone call, Palin remains unconvinced.
"I don't know unless I heard it from Sen. McCain myself."