(WASHINGTON) — Dick Cheney has some advice for Mitt Romney on choosing a running mate: Don’t pick another Sarah Palin.
In his first interview since receiving a heart transplant in March, Cheney told ABC News, that John McCain’s decision to pick Palin as his running mate in 2008 was “a mistake” — one that it is important from Romney not to repeat.
It’s subject on which Cheney has some unique experience. He helped Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush lead their vice presidential searches and, of course, served as vice president for eight years. He’s also privately offered some advice to both Romney and Beth Myers, who is leading Romney’s search for a running mate, on the process.
Cheney would not comment on what he told Romney and Myers, but he was harsh in his assessment of McCain’s decision to pick Palin.
“That one,” Cheney said, “I don’t think was well handled.”
“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’”
Cheney believes Sarah Palin failed that test.
“I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her. She was an attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don’t think she passed that test…of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jennifer Rizzo, CNN
Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Tal Kopan and Evan Perez, CNN