September 1st, 2008
03:52 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain aide on Palin baby: 'This is their business'

ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) - Hours after presumptive Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin revealed her daughter Bristol was pregnant, senior McCain adviser Doug Holtz-Eakin rebuked a reporter who asked him whether there was a “sense of panic over the love child issue” within the campaign.

“All kidding aside – a little respect. I mean ‘love child' issue?” he responded. “I mean, this is a young woman. She is 17 years old, and I believe that treating it with a little bit of respect is appropriate. This is the governor’s daughter. It is their issue. It is something that we believe should be treated with a lot of respect.

“This is clearly something that we have a lot of concern about: the future of this young lady. She’s a wonderful woman. From the campaign’s perspective, we have an outstanding candidate who is a governor and she has a family. She loves that family, and this is their business.”

He would not tell reporters at a Christian Science Monitor lunch Monday whether he knew about the news before the statement was released. “It doesn’t matter when I became aware,” adding that the Palins’ statement “speaks for itself.”

“They are now conscious that their daughter will have to address the great challenge of raising a child sooner than they might have hoped. And that they are being supportive of her and the man that she will marry and they would ask that we respect their privacy and I think out of respect for that request that’s probably all we should say.

“…I said what I think we ought to do is recognize that the governor was completely vetted by the campaign,” said Holtz-Eakin. “Senator McCain has complete confidence in her as a running mate and as a future vice president of the United States, and the particulars of the family life of the Palins is really something that’s best left to them.”

He would not discuss how the news might play with the evangelical base, calling it a “matter of speculation” but said that “as they get to know her they’ll understand why the senator has such confidence in her as a running mate and as a vice president and that in the end they’ll be very pleased to pull the lever that says McCain-Palin.”

Filed under: John McCain • Sarah Palin
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Patty, Big Bear, CA

    That would be fine and everyone would respect that approach if, when the tables are turned, you gave the same respect. This would be a non-issue if the self-righteous weren't so judgmental when these things happened to anyone but their own.

    September 1, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. mos

    It's all about JUDGEMENT. McCain's lack of it and Palin's lack of it. McCain made a rash decision – a purely political choice – for VP and it shows. Someone is lying about who knew what when, and just how vetted the person in line for second-highest office in the country was.

    September 1, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  3. sarah, missoula MT

    and now you're calling that poor 17-year-old girl a woman? she is hardly. and we're not going to mention the fact that this pregnancy caused her to drop out of high school? this is a *child* and now her childhood and education will be taken from her, all because her mother doesn't believe in safe sex or birth control.

    September 1, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  4. Wendy

    Wrong this is all of our business. Yes the Palin family may be the typical family but as American's wants a family we can look up to in the White House. The best of the best.

    September 1, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Foreign observer

    Of course it is their business but then Palin should stop to push limitations on other women. Many women would like to have free choice on their own body – same way as Palin´s daughter did.

    September 1, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Bulldog

    "What I admire most about John McCain is his unwavering ability to put our country first and to ask for nothing in return for his decades of service. He's shown his resolve, toughness and strength of heart in the darkest of places; all in service to his country. This speaks volumes about the type of selfless leadership John McCain will bring to the White House."
    Sarah Palin – August 30, 2008

    Ummm Sarah, you need to do some more research. John has received numerous special favors due to his POW status. Shortly after he got back home he was given a special Naval position that he was completely unqualified for and it was only because he was POW. If he was selfless he would have declined that position, but no he took it. He also receives disablity and retirement checks every month for his military service. If he was truly selfless he would return that money knowing that he and Cindy are mega millionaires. But no he keeps it. So Sarah, please do your research or quit lying, one or the other.

    September 1, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. PonderOnIt

    It is unfortunate the Republicans don't follow this advice themselves. I read about an attack ad John McSame released about Obama's kids after the first night of the convention when they came on stage to say hell-o to their father. These children are under the age of 10.

    September 1, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Family values

    The character of our Executives and public leaders is so important. We need leaders who we can trust, who demonstrate honesty and integirty.

    I am not comfortable with the news that McCain was married when he engaged in a rletaionship with the lady who is now his wife.

    I am really not comfortable knowing that Governor Palin's new baby and older daughter both need her during this time. She doesn't seem to have the right experience, or enough experience. She's very young. And she has young children who need her. I don't understand this.

    I'm worried. This situation leaves me feeling vulnerable.

    September 1, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  9. deb

    This is America's business. Palin made herself a public commodity when she accepted the VP. How sad that McCain didn't have time to vet her or to search out her background. He was too busy putting himself above the country. Country First McCain? You are so pathetic. What else is Palin hiding? It will come out and McCain, you will be done! You have dug your grave, you'll see. Palin doesn't have time to raiseher family. She made her husband Mr. Mom and he is drinking it off! Wow! So much for conservative values!

    September 1, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Carl Unger

    This is a matter between the Palin's and no one else should get into their private business.....period. Does not affect the office of VP.

    As a side note.....what wemt on between Bill and Hillary was also no ones business but theirs (Monica affair).

    Carl Unger
    Democrat from Arizona

    September 1, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. D from Ashburn

    John – you made it everyone's business by making Polin your VP!

    You and your buddies would have laid into Obama and Biden if that would have happened to them. I guess that makes him more experienced in making decisions.

    September 1, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  12. Tracy

    Sarah Palin dragged her pregnant daughter into the world spotlight due to her own warped political aspirations.

    This IS our business as it affects our country and the attitudes of teens everwhere. When you elect to stand on a national stage and perhaps represent our country to the world, then the American people have every RIGHT to vet you AND your family, and that includes your judgment and your parenting skills.

    September 1, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  13. Greg FL.

    If anyone was truely concerned about the well being of this teenager. They would never have thrust her into the national media spotlight. I think Sarah Palin has put her own career ahead of her children and her accepting the the VP slot proves it.

    September 1, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  14. Mary

    Only excuse for McCain is - that indeed - he didn't know!

    September 1, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. Herman In LA

    family values?

    September 1, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  16. Drew

    It's the business of the American people if the VP is going to try to push abstinence-only education.

    September 1, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  17. Beth2008

    Yes, it is the Palin's family's business.... But Sarah Palin tries to get into OUR business by telling us about abstinence only programs, by trying to push her ultra conservative pro-life agenda (no abortion even in the cases of rape or incest)..... Sarah Palin has no business being a VP, or telling us that her values are so much better than ours. A pregnant 17 year old daughter is hardly something any mom can brag about.

    September 1, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  18. observer

    Will this also be the case when it comes to a woman's right to choose ??"IT IS A WOMAN'S BUSINESS, AND HER'S ALONE" Respect a woman's right to choose. Excellent choice of words. Do not legislate on my body either, keep off my body!!!!!!!

    September 1, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Chris @ ASU

    I agree that this isn't something that should be used for political purposes. I also am very impressed with Obama's comments about family being off-limits. It's unfortunate, however, that if it were one of Obama's children that was under the spotlight for this type of situation the McCain camp would not hesitate a second to use this against him. Because of that I ALMOST wish that Obama would take advantage of it. But then again that just goes to show you how good of a person Obama is, and why he should be our president.

    September 1, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. Little Hawk

    McCain says to treat Palin's 17-year old pregnant daughter with respect? Why is it the Republicans wish to cut off funding for sex education in the schools, deny women the right to choose for themselves what to do with their own bodies, and talk of sterilizing minority women who have multiple pregnancies but when a white woman running for VP has a pregnant, teenage daughter they ask for respect? WHAT A DOUBLE STANDARD. THEY ARE SUCH HYPOCRATES!

    September 1, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Foreign observer

    Such things happen when the mother is not at home. Palin should get more time to look after her family !

    September 1, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. Jen

    I am not surprised it was announced as the hurricane struck the coast. If they think this will go away and it is off limits they are mistaken.

    September 1, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Colleen

    Oooh, so there are times when moral religous type decisions are just the "family's business"? I would be find with that – if there were not so many rightous republicans preaching how others should have certain standards they want to place on others, when time and time again don't live up to to the holier then thou attitude they portray.

    September 1, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. Anne

    loony republicans and their loony beliefs. And of course now we have their loony self rightrous BS about it being their personal dealings. Now when youre the presumptive VP for the conservatives it aint. It becomes fair game for anyone. And of course great fodder for the comedy channel.

    September 1, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. John

    I agree with both McCain and my candidate, Barrack Obama, "families, and especially kids, are OFF LIMITS."

    September 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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