In the past couple of days since the passing of former Republican Senator John McCain, several personalities on both CNN and MSNBC have lamented his selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential nominee in 2008 as a "mistake," with some suggestions that he helped set up the Republican party to go down the wrong track by doing so.
On Sunday's afternoon's MSNBC Live, after Barack Obama administration member Jake Maccoby complained about President Donald Trump advocating birther conspiracy theories about Obama's citizenship, host Ayman Mohyeldin turned to him and posed: "Is there any fault at Senator John McCain for bringing someone like Sarah Palin into the mainstream of national politics? I think some critics would look at it and say, in bringing her on as his vice presidential candidate or nominee, he legitimized that part of the Republican party."
The MSNBC host soon turned to former George W. Bush administration member, Trump critic, and frequent MSNBC guest Rick Wilson and followed up: "What is the fault here in terms of the soul of the Republican party -- the fight that took place between the John McCains and what he represented, and the Sarah Palins and the Trumps and the wing that John McCain, to some extent, paved the way for?"
Later in the day, during the Kasie D.C. show, the BBC's Katty Kay characterized the selection of Palin as a "mistake" as he recalled: "One of the unusual things about John McCain is he was willing to admit when he was wrong, and he, after the 2008 election, he did say he would have actually in retrospect, he should have chosen Joe Lieberman, who was his good friend ... and effectively said that this was a mistake."
After noting that McCain had admonished a woman at an event for calling Obama an "Arab," Kay complained: "There was Sarah Palin, in the same breath, going on stage and saying Barack Obama was someone who palled around with terrorists, and John McCain didn't stop her."
Moments later, former John Boehner staffer Michael Steel -- a frequent MSNBC guest -- also complained about Palin as he chimed in: "It was a mistake, and it was definitely -- there is a straight line from the selection of Sarah Palin to the situation we find ourselves in today."
And on Monday's Morning Joe, Kay appeared as a panel member and echoed her comments about the Palin selection being a "mistake."
Over on CNN's New Day, CNN analyst Max Boot complained about the current GOP's embrace of Trump and threw in some jabs at Rush Limbaugh and Fox News as he commented:
I wish to God it were an anomaly, but I'm afraid it's not. And, of course, we don't know what's going to happen sometime in the future, but, for right now, Donald Trump has completely captured the Republican party, and I think these were trends that were building for a long time. They go back to Rush Limbaugh in the '80s, the creation of Fox News in the 1990s, to people like Sarah Palin who people like John McCain regretted picking as his vice presidential nominee.
He went on to complain that the GOP had become a "deep, dark, divisive, populist white nationalist" party.
He concluded: "To me, one of the most damning things you can say about Republicans today is that 90 percent of them approve of Donald Trump, and only about 41 percent of them approved of John McCain. That, to me, is a horrible indictment of the state of the Republican party today."
A couple of hours later, CNN co-host Alisyn Camerota brought up the issue of McCain regretting his choice of Palin as she posed: "He says that he made the mistake when he was running for President of who he nominated for Vice President."
After praising McCain for admitting he made a "mistake," CNN's Jamie Gangel added: "But I think it's also interesting because the same base that Donald Trump has tapped into may have very well started with Sarah Palin."
CNN's Dana Bash soon chimed in: "When he went with his gut, he was happy, then he generally ended up doing the right thing because sometimes doing the right thing was doing the wrong thing politically. When he didn't go with his gut, he ended up having regrets, and that, you know, certainly was the case in not picking Joe Lieberman."