McCain Says It's Too Early for Palin 2012 Endorsement

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on "The Early Show," Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010.
CBS
John McCain
CBS

Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, wouldn't say this morning whether he would endorse his former running mate Sarah Palin, should she pursue her own presidential bid.

On the CBS' "The Early Show" this morning, McCain said that Palin would be an "outstanding candidate." He added, however, that "neither she nor I would want to say I would endorse her at this time."

"I'm very grateful for all the things she's done to invigorate our party," McCain said. "But I think it's very early to start picking winners and losers. But she will continue to play a major role in the American political scene."

Palin has remained part of the national political dialogue this year by using her prominence to influence key congressional races, such as the Alaska Senate race. Speculation continues over whether the former Alaska governor would start a bid for the presidency, and Palin herself has mulled over what it would take to get her in the race.

McCain said today he holds Palin in the "highest regard" and will "continue to be entertained by the attacks of the liberal media against her."

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Stephanie Condon is a political reporter for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. Follow Hotsheet on Facebook and Twitter.