McCain prays Palin stays out of SC primary

Sen. John McCainJohn McCainOvernight Defense: Congress overrides Obama 9/11 veto | Pentagon breathes easy after funding deal | More troops heading to Iraq McCain comments won't derail Bergdahl case Senators already eyeing changes to 9/11 bill after veto override MORE (R-Ariz.) said he prayed Sarah Palin does not get involved in a GOP Senate primary fight in South Carolina. 

But the Arizona senator said he does not expect her to target the primary fight with his friend, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). 

“Oh, I pray she wouldn’t do that,” McCain told The New York Times in a wide-ranging interview. “And you know, I find it hard to believe that she would.”

Palin, McCain’s vice presidential running mate in 2008, has hinted about targeting South Carolina and a number of other states housing GOP incumbents up for reelection. 

During the interview, he continued to defend Palin but appeared uninterested in relitigating his pick for running mate. 

“I’ve moved on,” McCain said. “What’s the statute of limitations on this issue?”

In the lengthy profile released Wednesday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says McCain’s two defining moments in life were his time in a prisoner-of-war camp and “his failure to win the presidency.”

Looking to 2016, McCain said he would vote for the Republican ticket when asked if he would consider supporting Hillary Clinton if Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzHouse approves stopgap funding, averting costly shutdown Overnight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Could Snapchat be the digital bridge to younger voters? MORE (R-Texas) — with whom McCain has had dustups — won the GOP nomination. 

“I will support the Republican ticket,” he said

He added: “With all due respect, that is a foolish question, my friend.”

At another point during the profile, McCain was asked if Cruz’s trip to Nelson Mandela’s memorial service was a wise decision. He was one of two Republicans on the trip. 

“Would it help you if I called Cruz a wacko bird again?” McCain said, referring to past comments he has since apologized for. 

Earlier this year, he joked it would be a tough decision to vote for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) over Clinton. 

McCain said earlier this year he is strongly considering running for reelection. He had previously hinted that this could be his last term. 

During the Times profile, McCain worried about rapidly aging after retirement. He is 77 years old. 

“My grandfather actually flew home from the peace-signing on the Missouri and died,” McCain said. “I have seen people age dramatically when they go into retirement.”

His daughter also expressed little excitement about running in a “Tea Party election” during another reelection bid in Arizona. 

“I’m really not psyched about going back to Arizona to do another Tea Party election,” Meghan McCain said. “I honestly don’t know how much more of that I can hear.”