McCain comes to Palin's defense

The senator says his former running mate has been the subject of "vicious" attacks

Published November 25, 2009 5:26PM (EST)

John McCain really can't go anywhere these days without the subject of his old running mate, Sarah Palin, coming up. That's especially true when he's giving an interview with Fox News' Greta Van Susteren, who's been a favorite of Palin's for some time now.

So on Tuesday night, at the conclusion of his appearance on her show, Van Susteren asked McCain, "I've got to ask you a Governor Palin question .... We went on the road with her; she's drawing thousands for book signings. What do you make of this sort of Palin mania so to speak?"

McCain's response was interesting:

I think it's fantastic. I think, you know, I'm so proud of her and can I say I'm entertained and sometimes a little angry when I see this constant, vicious attacks by people on the left that, you know, tell them to calm down. I've never seen anything like it in all the years that I've been in politics, the viciousness and the personalization of the attacks on Sarah Palin.

But I'm very proud of her. I'm proud of the job she's doing. And I believe that she will play a major role in the politics in America. Americans like her, whether The New York Times and others happen to like that or not.

There's certainly plenty of criticism of Palin coming from the left, but the most potent fuel has often been provided by McCain's own staff, from his presidential campaign. And last week, he was defending some of the staff members who'd come in for the harshest treatment from Palin -- in some cases, though, those aides have given as good as they've gotten.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

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John Mccain R-ariz. Sarah Palin