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May 23rd, 2012
03:03 PM ET

Sen. McCain's advice to Romney on VP pick

CNN’s John King interviewed Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) about Iran, 2012 politics and more. A highlight from the interview is after the jump and the full interview will air today at 6 p.m. ET on CNN’s John King, USA.

Please credit all usage of the interview to CNN’s John King, USA

Highlight from Interview

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED

KING:  The governor right now is going through a process you had to go through four years ago, looking for a partner, looking for a running mate.  If he asked you, give me one name, Senator, who would it be?

MCCAIN:  You know, I can’t - I can’t do that, John.  I can’t do that to him.  That would put pressure on him.  It’s a decision that only he can make and it has to be dictated to some degree by the circumstances that surround his campaign and where he is at the time of the - that the decision has to be made, which, as you know, is not till the end of August.

Who is that - first question is, can I trust that that person can take my place immediately?  But the second thing, obviously, is, is how does this person help me win the election?  Let’s be clear.  That is a - that is a real important factor.

And that decision, I think, can only be made by the president with all the facts that he can gather at the time and that won’t be until a couple of months from now at the earliest.

KING:  You make your criteria there, ready to succeed you if necessary, God forbid, and to help you in the election.  Four years ago, you vetted Governor Romney and in the end settled on Governor Palin.  Why?

MCCAIN:  Well, I thought at the time that we needed a catalyst.  We needed an energizer, which we got.  As soon as she spoke at our Republican Convention we were up by three points.  She energized our base.  That’s what I thought we needed at the time.  She had experience as a governor and she obviously had an enormous amount of charisma.

And I thought it was really - and I still do think it was the right choice at that time, and I’m still very proud to have had her as my running mate.  The circumstances may be very different for Governor Romney when he has to decide, and that is why I don’t presume to tell him who he should - who he should choose.  But he does have a good bench.

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Topics: John King, USA
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