McCain touts Ernst, Ryan as possible Trump VPs

Story highlights

  • McCain said he would encourage Trump to pick someone to unite the party
  • "I think Joni Ernst would be tremendous," McCain said

(CNN)Arizona Sen. John McCain touted some potential vice presidential candidates for Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."

McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee, also defended his controversial choice for a running mate in Sarah Palin, saying she "energized our ticket" and slammed the media for what the Arizona senator said was unfair coverage of her.
    McCain said he would encourage Trump to pick someone who would bring the warring factions of the party together -- possibly Joni Ernst, the Iowa freshman senator who stumped for McCain last week in Phoenix.
    "I think Joni Ernst would be tremendous," McCain said. "She's really remarkable -- there's a number of members of the Senate. Paul Ryan was helpful to the (Mitt) Romney ticket (in 2012), though I'm not sure he'd want to do that again. I think there's a lot of people out there that (Trump) would choose from."
    Asked if that included McCain, the Arizona senator laughed and said: "No education in the second kick of the mule."
    McCain was widely criticized in 2008 for choosing Palin as his running mate after the little-known Alaska governor made some stumbles along the campaign trail.
    McCain, however, said he had no regrets about choosing her.
    He said Palin "energized our ticket ... contrary to what has become the popular information and opinion."
    "Of course she made some mistakes," McCain continued. "Obviously, I made mistakes. I'll take the full responsibility for my failure. I will not put that responsibility on Sarah Palin. She energized our campaign and I'm very proud of her."
    McCain added: "I don't often make a comment like this. But she was treated terribly by what we know as the mainstream media and that's the only thing I will ever resent about my presidential campaign is her treatment by the media. It was disgraceful."