Cheney: Picking Palin Was a Mistake

  • By Sarah Portlock

Sen. John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as a vice-presidential candidate in 2008 was a mistake, Dick Cheney, vice president to President George W. Bush, told ABC News Sunday.

“Based on her background–she had only been governor for, what, two years–I don’t think she passed that test of being ready to take over,” Mr. Cheney said. “And I think that was a mistake.” Mr. McCain chose Ms. Palin, the governor of Alaska, as his running mate in the race against now President Barack Obama.

In his experience choosing vice-presidential candidates, Mr. Cheney told ABC News there are two lists–a big list, which is easy to get on, and a “very, very short list.” The test for the small list is whether the person is capable of being president of the United States, Mr. Cheney said.

Mr. Cheney ran the 2000 search for Mr. Bush’s running mate that ultimately selected him as the vice-presidential candidate.

ABC asked if Ms. Palin was qualified because of other factors, such as reaching out to specific demographics or helping to win Alaska.

“Those are important issues, but they should not have been allowed to override that first proposition, and I think that was one of the problems,” Mr. Cheney said.

The comments came as Mr. Cheney discussed how presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney pursues his own vice-presidential vetting process. It is “pretty important” Mr. Romney handles it differently, Mr. Cheney said.

The remarks were part of an interview that will air in full Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Mr. Cheney spoke with ABC News about the 2012 election, tax cuts, gay marriage and other advice he gave Mr. Romney, according to the network.