Former vice president Dick Cheney’s advice to Mitt Romney is to select his running mate more carefully than John McCain, who made a “mistake” four years ago by picking Sarah Palin.
“That one I don’t think was well handled,” Cheney said in an interview with ABC News at his home in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
“I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her — attractive candidate,” Cheney added. “But based on her background, she had 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.”
ABC aired a brief excerpt of the Cheney interview — his first since a heart transplant in March — Sunday on “This Week” and will show an extended version Monday on “Good Morning America.”
Romney was in Israel on Sunday on the second leg of a three-country tour scheduled to end Tuesday in Poland. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee has said he will not announce his vice presidential pick while abroad. He is expected to unveil his choice before the party’s national convention Aug. 27-30 in Tampa.
Romney’s campaign has revealed little about the search for a running mate. Both Romney and Beth Myers, the adviser leading the search, said last week that a decision has not yet been made. Romney’s wife Ann said earlier in the month that a female running mate is possible.
In May, Politico quoted a “Republican official familiar with the campaign’s thinking” as saying Romney is looking for someone unlike Palin — an “incredibly boring white guy.”
When he has described the sort of person he would like on the ticket, Romney has cited Cheney, who hosted a fund-raiser for the former Massachusetts governor earlier this month.
“This is a man of wisdom and judgment, and he could have been president of the United States,” Romney said of Cheney at a campaign event last September. “That’s the kind of person I’d like to have — a person of wisdom and judgment.”
Cheney, 71, said in the ABC interview that demographic and political factors in the selection process ‘‘are important issues, but they should never be allowed to override that first proposition’’ — being ready to serve as president.