Steve Schmidt, a former campaign strategist for John McCain, discussed HBO's "Game Change" on Monday, stating that the film was a "very accurate" depiction of the 2008 presidential campaign. Schmidt also candidly discussed his part in bringing Sarah Palin onto the Republican ticket.
In an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe", Schmidt talked about the film, which premiered on Saturday night, and his role in McCain's presidential bid.
"I think it was very accurate," he said of the movie. "For all of us in the campaign, it really rang true. It gave you a little bit of PTSD at times."
Schmidt's take on the film is a departure from others depicted in the political drama, based on the 2010 book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin. Palin dismissed the film as inconsequential, and said that she would not watch it. McCain, who also refused to watch, criticized the filmmakers for the way they portray Palin.
"They continue to disparage and attack her person," McCain said in an interview with Fox News on Sunday. "I admire and respect her, I'm proud of our campaign and I'm humbled by the fact that I was able to give her [the vice-presidential nomination]."
Schmidt also discussed Palin's political future on Monday, stating that the idea of a Palin presidency "frightens" him.
"I think the notion of Sarah Palin being president of the United States is something that frightens me, frankly," he said. "And I played a part in that. And played a part in that because we were fueled by ambition to win."
Although Schmidt does not blame Palin for McCain's loss to Barack Obama, he seemed to express regret about putting a candidate on the ticket who was "unprepared" to be president.
"Politically, she was a net positive to the campaign," he said. "John McCain lost that race because the global economy imploded in the middle of September, and we were outspent by $250 million."
He continued, "I think a net negative in the sense that someone was nominated to the vice presidency who was manifestly unprepared to take the oath of office should it become necessary. And as it has become necessary many times in America."
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