(CNSNews.com) - Sen. John McCain, in his first Sunday talk show interview since the election, told ABC's "This Week" that he wouldn’t support his former running mate Sarah Palin if she runs for president in 2012.
Can Palin count on McCain's support, George Stephanopoulos asked McCain. "Oh, no," he replied.
"Listen, I have the greatest appreciation for Governor Palin and her family, and it was a great joy to know them. She invigorated our campaign. She was just down in Georgia and invigorated their (Sen. Saxby Chambliss' senatorial) campaign. But I can't say something like that," McCain responded to Stephanopoulos.
"We've got some great other young governors. I think you're going to see the governors assume a greater leadership role in our Republican Party. Pawlenty, Huntsman...
Stephanopoulos pressed McCain, asking why Palin couldn't count on his support. "She was the best person...to succeed you if something had happened to you," he reminded McCain.
"Sure. Yes." McCain agreed. "But now we're in a whole election cycle,” McCain added. “ Have no doubt of my admiration and respect for her and my view of her viability, but at this stage, again...my corpse is still warm, you know?" McCain joked.
Throughout the interview, McCain avoided opportunities to criticize or disagree with President-elect Barack Obama, saying "nobody likes a sore loser."
McCain said several times he thinks Republicans and Democrats "should try to be working constructively together" on an economic stimulus package and other necessary reforms.
McCain has had "kind words" for President-elect Obama's nominees, including Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, Gen. Jim Jones as national security adviser, and Bob Gates as secretary of defense.
"You look at the national security team; this is a team you could have picked," Stephanopoulos said. "Sure, sure. Absolutely," McCain responded.