Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain: 'SNL' parodies made me feel like 'laughing stock of the country' Our military shouldn't be held hostage to 'water politics' Meghan McCain blames 'toxic' hostility for 'The View' exit 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 CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it Australian politician on Cruz, vaccines: 'We don't need your lectures, thanks mate' 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.”