Senator John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his VP in 2008 because she was a “better candidate” than Romney, Pawlenty, or any of the others under consideration.

McCain made the remarks Tuesday after being asked if Mitt Romney’s tax returns were the cause of him choosing Sarah Palin:

“Of course not,” McCain told POLITICO when asked if the contents of Romney’s tax returns disqualified him from the selection process. “I don’t know what depths these people won’t reach. Obviously, it’s just outrageous. That’s just outrageous. It shows the – it’s so disgraceful for them to allege something that they have absolutely no knowledge of.”

Asked why he chose not to go with Romney, McCain said: “Oh come on, because we thought that Sarah Palin was the better candidate. Why did we not take [Tim] Pawlenty, why did we not take any of the other 10 other people. Why didn’t I? Because we had a better candidate, the same way with all the others. … Come on, why? That’s a stupid question.”

It’s refreshing to hear McCain defend Palin, especially during an election cycle where retrenching to establishment choices seems to be the only plan the GOP has put “forward.”

H/T Voter Mom