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Cheney: Picking Palin for VP was a ‘mistake’

Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sen. John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his 2008 running mate was a “mistake” and cautioned presumptive nominee Mitt Romney to select someone “capable of being president.”

In an interview with ABC News aired Sunday, Cheney said McCain’s decision to pick former Alaska Gov. Palin was not “well handled.”

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?,” he said, adding that Palin had failed to meet that qualification. 

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“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.

Cheney said he had spoken with Romney and Beth Myers, the campaign adviser heading the search for the vice presidential pick but would not publically share his advice. 

Cheney headed the vice presidential searches for both former President Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, before serving himself as Bush’s number two.

Speculation has grown over Romney’s selection, which the campaign said would be announced before the GOP convention in late August. 

On Friday, Myers tweeted out a list of suggestions for supporters to follow on Twitter that mirrors the campaign’s likely short list for running mate. 

Myers mentioned Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), and Former Speaker Newt Gingrich in her first tweet.  

In a subsequent tweet, Myers called on supporters to follow Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

The interview with ABC was Cheney’s first since he received a heart transplant in March of this year.

The former vice president though has remained involved in policy discussions, meeting with House Republicans earlier this month to discuss his concerns over the impending $500 in sequester cuts to the defense budget.