Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate's defense authorization would set cyber doctrine Senate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Overnight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions MORE (R-Ariz.) said he's open to backing his former running mate, but seemed to indicate there are a number of candidates he'd consider.

"I'd like to see her compete," McCain said of Palin's presidential aspirations on Meet the Press Sunday morning. "We've got some very good candidates."

But McCain also dropped the names of some of Palin's fellow Republican governors, perhaps hinting he may back a candidate other than Palin. In particular, McCain named Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and dark-horse candidate Utah Gov. John Huntsman.

"I'd have to see who the candidates are and what the situation is at the time," McCain explained. "I have no doubt of my respect, love, and admiration for Sarah and her family."