Washington: Top US Senator John McCain has said that former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has the potential to beat Barack Obama in 2012 presidential elections.

"Of course, she can. She can. Now, whether she will or not, whether she'll even run or not, I don't know," McCain told a news channel in an interview.

Palin was McCain's running mate in the 2008 presidential elections. McCain lost to Obama.

While she has not made any formal announcement yet, Palin is widely expected to seek Republican candidacy to fight against Obama in the 2012 elections.

"A lot of things happen in campaigns. You remember, I was written off a couple of times and were able to come back. So, there's going to be a roller coaster ride for all of them
before we finally arrive at our nominee," he noted.

"But she certainly is a major factor. And I believe that she can be very competitive," McCain said.

"That's what campaigns are all about. I've never seen anyone as mercilessly and relentlessly attacked as I have seen Sarah Palin in the last couple of years. But she also inspires great passion, particularly among Republican faithful," said McCain.

Agencies