McCain defends Palin but puts the brakes on a comparison to Reagan

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) praised former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) on Sunday, calling her an "incredible force" in American politics, but stopped short of calling her a parallel to former President Reagan.

"I think that anybody who has the visibility that Sarah has is obviously going to have some divisiveness," he said, adding that "a guy named Ronald Reagan used to be viewed by some as divisive."

CNN host Candy Crowley pressed him on that point.

"So you sort of — do you see her as a parallel [to Reagan]?"


McCain retreated a bit.

"No, I think she's doing a great job. I think she's doing a great job. I think she has motivated our base. I think she had a positive impact on the last election, and I'm proud of her."

Palin has said she is weighing a run for the Republican nomination in 2012.

A tour for her new book, "America by Heart," is making two stops in Iowa, which has prompted speculation that she might be trying to establish herself there.

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