John McCain: ‘Of course’ Palin can beat Obama

Laura Donovan Contributor
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Ariz. Sen. John McCain, who ran for president with Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, says the former Alaska governor has what it takes to beat President Obama in the next election — that is, if she decides to run.

During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” McCain expressed optimism that Palin could win in 2012.

“Of course she can. She can. Now, whether she will or not, whether she’ll even run or not, I don’t know,” McCain said when asked about Palin’s presidential prospects.

McCain said Palin inspires “great passion, particularly among the Republican faithful,” but added that there’s a connection between her high unfavorability rating and the heavy media criticism of her.

“I’ve never seen anyone as mercilessly attacked and relentlessly attacked as I have seen Sarah Palin in the last couple of years,” McCain said.

Regardless of McCain’s kudos, it remains a mystery whether Palin will seek the presidency. Palin fueled speculation that she’ll run last week when she announced an East Coast bus tour. She dubbed the “One Nation” trip a chance to “educate and energize Americans about our nation’s founding principles, in order to promote the fundamental restoration of America.”