Cheney: McCain's choice of Palin was "a mistake"

FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2011, file photo, Former Vice President Dick Cheney addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. Cheney writes in his new memoir that President George W. Bush rejected his advice in 2007 to bomb a suspected nuclear reactor site in Syria. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

(CBS/AP) - Former Vice President Dick Cheney said it was a mistake for Republican Sen. John McCain to pick Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee.

"The test to get on that small list has to be, 'Is this person capable of being president of the United States?," Cheney said on ABC's "This Week."

"I like Gov. Palin. I've met her. I know her. She - 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," he said.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney is expected to announce a running mate in August. He is widely expected to choose someone perceived as competent but safe.

Cheney, who oversaw candidate George W. Bush's search for a running mate and whose own unpopularity became a flashpoint for the Bush administration, said there are two lists that candidates maintain. The bigger list includes politicians who want to be viewed as "under consideration" to boost their standing.

Cheney said a second, much shorter list contains those who are actually being considered.