John McCain is careful to praise Sarah Palin at the same time he stands by the staffers she's going after in her book. “There's been a lot of dust flying around in the last few days,” he tells Reuters, referring to the publication of Palin’s Going Rogue. “I just wanted to mention that I have the highest regard for Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace,” the two staffers who bear the brunt of Palin’s ire.
McCain suggests campaign stress is the reason behind the friction. “Campaigns are high-pressure situations. The only more high-pressure situation that I've been in is combat and prison.” But really, he’d rather not talk about it. “I think it's just time to move on,” he says. On the subject of Palin, he says he’s “still really proud of her,” and “it’s pretty obvious she has a substantial base and interest out there.”