September 1st, 2008
03:52 PM ET
6 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. K.S.

    This is very sad for the Republicans. I find it very hard to believe that McCain already knew about Palin's daughter being pregnant. But more than that, I think it was irresponsible of Palin to ACCEPT the invitation to run as VP, considering that her daughter is with child right now. I mean, both McCain & Palin should have known that this news will undoubtedly put a child carrying a child in the spotlight! I think Palin should bow out, first & foremost for her family's sake; secondly, for the good of the country. Obviously, she has bigger fish to fry at this time...

    September 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. John

    This speaks to McCain's judgment, but it also speaks volumes about Palin's judgment. She has a special-needs infant and a pregnant teenage daughter. She needs to be with her family, and not pursuing a national political career. She should have politely declined the offer– and even if she thinks she's up to it, most of America thinks otherwise, and wonders what the heck is wrong with her!

    September 1, 2008 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  3. The Six Pine Trees

    I'd say it's nobody's business and the Palin family should have their privacy respected, except that several things do make this a legitimate public matter:

    1) As an anti-abortionist she wants to make other woman's and girls' private pregnancy crises a very public matter, enforcable with police and jails. "Don't dish it out if you can't take it."

    2) She is not only anti-abortion but anti-birth-control and anti-sex-education for teens aside from abstinence-only. Her own teen getting pregnant becomes an issue if she wants to keep every other teenager in America ignorant about birth control and how to get it.

    It's certainly an illustration that this approach doesn't work.

    September 1, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. RyanD.

    McCain already stated he knew in advance, so know he's backtracking and lying by omission.

    This is going to get worse before it gets better, hypocrites.

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

    WHY DOES THIS MATTER????? She is a 17 year-old woman, it is her business and her family's business, not ours.

    September 1, 2008 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. K.S.

    Besides, we all know how unforgiving the media can be. It's not fair to a 17 year old to put her through that! Mom should do the right thing and graciously make her exit.

    September 1, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  7. k jackson

    How dare they publish the headlines that Mrs. Palin's daughter is pregnant. That is none of anyone's business except her parents. Leave the child out of the election news.

    September 1, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  8. Dee

    "This is their business" I don't think so. McCain nominates someone that we don't know for VP. I think it's all of our business. Plus, I think the father is probably much older. Obviously Sarah Palin is too busy for her 5 children. I've heard reports that Palin is qualified because she can balance family and work. Well, that's not the case.

    What else is this family hiding?

    September 1, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. NY4Obama

    John McBush must be an even angrier man now..being unaware of this until after the Grand VP announcement...

    September 1, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Mike

    who cares?

    September 1, 2008 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. John Q Public

    They reeeeeeaaaaally should have vetted this candidate a little before naming her to the ticket. Did they think the press wouldn't do it for them?

    Had they vetted, they could have chosen someone better or at least not been so blind-sided by all the negative stuff coming out.

    But now, all the negative stuff, much of which isn't a big deal by itself, when discovered a little bit at a time over an extended period, now is becoming a big pile of negativity that calls McCain's judgment into question.

    September 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. No More Surprises

    McShame did tell us we were in for a surprise

    September 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  13. Matt Lees

    This is not a private matter when you have a VP candidate who has historically supported the public funding of abstence only education. It is clearly not an approach to sex education that worked for her family – as it does not work for many families and teens across the United States. The difference is that Palin's family is wealthy and influential enough to help their daughter deal with their poor decision not to give the information and tools to prevent a teen pregnancy. For many families and teens in this country, a getting pregnant means a financial and economic hardship from which they will unlikely fully recover.

    September 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  14. jd

    Joe Biden keeps looking better and better all the time as a VP pick. Atleast he's not a soap opera.

    September 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  15. A big hot mess

    You're right-this is Sarah Palin's business.

    And we don't want her hot messes in our lives or in our government. She has way too much on her plate to even THINK of being VP. Her experience is also practically non-existent.

    This poor choice reflects McCain's bad judgement. He and Palin would be a disaster for this country.

    Keep us ALL out of it, VOTE FOR BARACK OBAMA

    Vote for CHANGE, ...not spin, lies and hypocrisy

    September 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  16. Tyler in Raleigh

    As soon as you put a candidate's wife and pastors into play, its all on the table.

    I hate to see politics play dirty, but when you start slinging mud don't expect to come out clean.

    September 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  17. dejah

    It is true - this is the Palin's daughter's business. But, Palin herself and her attitudes and experience (or lack thereof) are fair game.

    She is against sex education, supports forced-birth and forced-marriage attitudes. That should be enough to put her out of the mainstream of American thought. Do we really want such people having ANY influence over our families?

    However, it's best if we focus on this person's unreadiness to be a leader; her lack of experience, and her fossilized attitudes about other peoples' private lives, and her willingness to use government power to enforce personal family vendettas. WE do NOT need four more years of these kinds of hypocritical Republican attitudes in the White House.

    September 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  18. Splurge

    I never knew how sexist Obama supporting democrats were until I saw their comments in response to McCain's choice of Palin and the news of their daughters pregnancy. Now we know.

    September 1, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. Me

    It became to public's business when she decided to run for the VP job..She whisk her children in the spotlight and for here on out what ever they do will be in the public eye...If this was a teenage daughter of Barack Obama or anybody else the Repub. would be all over this about family values..The Pablins from here on out can't talk about family values. And by the way..First come Marriage then come baby. Having her daughter have a shotgun wedding isn't going to change the fact that she has was pregnant before the marriage..

    September 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Bethany

    What's with these people? Scandal after scandal–TrooperGate, StevensPACGate, BPOilGate, DrunkDrivingGate, BabyGate, BridgeGate, LOL at Cancer VictimGate! And Senator McCain says he knew about each of these horrific ? It's no wonder that God is raining on the Republicans.

    September 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  21. Mike

    This has as much of a right being in the public eye as bill clinton hooking up with monica. in other words, NONE. everyone is human. Life happens

    September 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  22. Bushwhacked in Eugene, OR

    I'm an Obama supporter, but I agree with this. Leave the families out of it - for everyone. It's bad enough that this child has to deal with this issue - but to do it in the public eye this way can be horrific for her.

    September 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  23. j

    Obama, Clinton … they had drug experiments while they were teens. It was their mistakes, just as Bristol Palin's decision to have unprotected sex is her mistake. I do not judge Obama,Clinton or Bristol for their youthful errors in judgment. By the way, we are not electing Palin's daughter. Why should we care too much on her private life? It has nothing to de with our election.

    Clinton's affair was much worse scenario than Briston's pregnancy. But I still support Bill Clintion. I still support Hillary Clinton. But after McCAIN picked his VP, an ordinary mom, a true and brillant Washington outsider, I might swich my vote from DEM to McCain.

    This is the first time I vote for REP. I do not trust people with big party, big show. We are electing a president, not a movie star. I truely believe Obama has the charastma to motivate people. But now his mission is accomplished. I started to look for someone who really knows how to do the job.

    September 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. mensplace

    You sick people! WHY is this anybody's business? LEAVE THE GIRL ALONE.

    September 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Tracey

    No! If she is running for VP of the United States, its everybody business! The only reason why this information surfaced because the American bloggers did something that McCain did not, vet her and her family. She is a conservative with a teenage mom-to-be. She knew about her daughter being pregnant 5 months ago. So, when is the wedding? She should have been married the first day of conception! Remember, that's the conservative ideology. She was hiding the pregnancy while holding the baby! And more will follow!

    September 1, 2008 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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