Dick Cheney Palin

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Former Vice President Dick Cheney said Sen. John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin as his GOP running mate in 2008 was a “mistake” — and one that Mitt Romney can’t repeat.

In an interview segment broadcast Sunday — his first since receiving a heart transplant earlier this year — Cheney told ABC’s Jonathan Karl he does not think McCain’s decision to pick the former Alaska governor was “well handled,” largely because she would not have been ready to be president of the United States.

Cheney, who headed up the running mate search for Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush before being named the latter’s No. 2, said there are always “two lists” in play during the vetting process: The “big list,” which is broad and full of non-serious contenders, and the “small list, the one that’s really under active consideration.”

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’” Cheney said.

In Palin’s case, he said, the answer was no.

“I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her. She – attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d 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,” Cheney said.

Watch below, via ABC:

Dick Cheney: Picking Sarah Palin for VP Was a Mistake