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McCain gave Palin the equivalent of a "it's not you, it's me" breakup line when responding to the ABC host.
"I have the greatest of appreciation for Governor Palin and her family," he said. "It was a great joy to know them. She invigorated our campaign. She was just down in Georgia and invigorated that campaign."
"But I can't say something like that," he went on. "We've got some other great young governors."
Hang on, John...
Stephanopoulos wouldn't let McCain off the hook though. After all, just over a month ago McCain was touting Palin to be the best person - save himself - to take the reins of the most powerful country in the world.
"Have no doubt for my admiration and respect for her and my view of her viability. But at this stage, my corpse is still warm," he said to much laughter.