John McCain: I Regret Choosing Sarah Palin As My Running Mate

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The ailing senator said he wishes he would have selected former Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

The New York Times reported Saturday that Arizona Senator John McCain does not look back fondly upon his decision to run for president alongside former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

The Republican congressman discussed the topic in his soon-to-be released memoir.

According to The New York Times, he feels that if he could do it over he would have picked former Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut.

Lieberman told the Times that he hadn’t known McCain felt that way. “It touched me greatly,” he said.

Though The Times notes that McCain defends Palin’s performance in his book, analyses after the election showed that she did in fact hurt his chances of winning.

The Independent highlighted one study that found Palin had cost McCain more than 2 million votes in 2008:

According to a 2010 study from researchers at Stanford University, noted by Brendan Nyhan, Palin's presence on the 2008 Republican presidential ticket cost John McCain 1.6 percentage points. In an election in which 131 million people voted, that's 2.1 million votes that McCain should have gotten but didn't.

The New York Post also notes that Palin quickly became a controversial element of the Republican ticket:

Palin started out strong as the first Republican woman selected as a vice presidential candidate. But she soon became a controversial figure. In one case, she denounced as “ridiculous” talk of the Republican National Committee’s $150,000 spending spree on clothing and accessories for the Palin family. “Those clothes, they are not my property,” she insisted.

“Just like the lighting and the staging and everything else that the RNC purchased, I’m not taking them with me,” she said.