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. Gene

    Oh! now it is their business when John Edward and Bill Clinton were involved in sex scandal, republicans and right wings radicals like Rush and Foxnews spin on it for weeks, now the same people 're telling us to keep quiet; it is their business–shame on republicans.

    September 1, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  2. tina-repub turned DEMOCRAT

    So sad that they are trying to make this seem okay. No, it's not okay. We need to teach our teenagers to be responsible. Not only did she have unprotected sex which resulted in having a baby, but she opened herself to all kinds of STDs.

    If this was any other family, it would not be praised. This is not a family that we should look up to. Just because her mother is running for VP doesnt make it alright.

    September 1, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  3. Mary Beth

    When Palin stood Friday parading her family in front of the World to accecpt the VP nomination family privacy went out the window.

    September 1, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  4. judy

    All these women are wonderful long as they don't preach to the rest of us that their views are the only ones. Moral values are taught in our homes not controlled by the government.

    September 1, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. Lorna Doone

    She is 17 years old and that is not a woman yet, but a teenager, who is supposed to be educated by her parents about birth control, sexual activity and stds, as well as the importance of withholding sex until you are old enough to be responsible. She is hardly old enough to be responsible for raising a child. The child will be raised by the grandparents in the WHite HOuse? Such role models. First there's Britney Spears little sister and now a White House president or vice president's kid? What are we supposed to tell OUR children?
    Mistakes happen? Her parents don't believe in higher education I guess. And all this drama in their life with an infant with Down's, 4 other kids, one of who will be a parent herself at 17 -is ok for someone who has the responsibility of leading our country? I can see this conservative woman has her priorities straight (NOT!)
    I'm not casting stones, even though the repubs are great at throwing them themselves, I just think this is unfair to the American people.
    Abortion is some circumstances - or at least adoption - is fairer for all concerned. A child should be a child before taking on adult responsibilities when her parents haven't done their jobs. And a child should not come into the world unwanted or unplanned usless the parent is equipped and willing to sacrifice 20 years of their life for it.

    September 1, 2008 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Obama is right.

    It is not our business that the daughter is pregnant. It just comes to light when you are running for office. Respect her.

    Leave the girl alone but also have to note that many bloggers in Daily Kos were against the person that brought up the baby rumors. Obama's campaign had nothing to do with it.

    It was some random blogger that came on and most people booed to go away because it wasn't right. I checked it out myself and the blogger was not liked on the site.

    I support Obama/Biden, but we need to respect Palin's family in this matter. It is THEIR business and we are all Americans.

    God bless and Go Obama!

    September 1, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. Jackie

    Jamie Lynn Spears, Ashlee Simpson and Bristol Palin, wow all of these "unfortunate and underpriviledged young ladies".
    It's amazing how save our "premartial sex rants" for the urban and unserved youth. We handle one group with kid gloves and another group with wagging of fingers and looks of disapproval. AMERICAN media, got to love it!

    September 1, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. Jason

    To say this selection was properly vetted and thought out is absolutely laughable. Her ties to a party that wishes to secede from the United States and former director of a 527 ... showcases just how out of touch with reality Mr. McCain is. This pick was pure and simple for political purpose only and did not think of the family, or country first.

    Mr. McCain: That is not putting your country first.

    As a former independent voter – I have decided Obama/Biden will be my ticket. All due to this horrifically rash decision by McCain. We don't need more of that in the White House.

    September 1, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. Julie

    I give Palin and her family a TON of credit. This is a family that is putting their money where their mouth is. Christian conservative families are NOT perfect. You can't define any person or family by it's imperfections. We ALL have them – we ALL have things we wish we could change that would make our lives easier. But it's how you handle the great challenges of life that will define you and your family. I have more respect for her now than I did before because in the face of a challenge they are standing behind their daughter and offering her unconditional love and support.

    For all those trying to "make fun of" Republican family values in the face of this situation needs to wake up. This is PROOF of family values. Valuing family, valuing life, living up to their responsibilities, and supporting each other through tough times. THOSE are family values and the Palin family is PROOF of what that phrase means.

    I am an independent voter in Colorado (a swing voter in a swing state) and if the democrats continue to slam her for standing by her daughter they will permanently affect my decision.

    Enough already. What happened to love, acceptance and tolerance? I thought democrats were supposed to showcase those values. They are showing NO tolerance here. The more tolerant, loving and accepting party right now is the REPUBLICAN PARTY. Wake up.

    September 1, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  10. Sandra - Ohio

    I would like to know what kind of mother throws her own child under the bus for career gain? If this were a democratic nominee the conservatives would be on a witch hunt. But now when the shoe is on the other foot it becomes a "personal family matter". What a bunch of hypocrites.

    September 1, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |


    September 1, 2008 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Sarah

    Had the McCain camp not made Palin's motherhood and 5 children part of her roll-out then I could agree that this is simply "their business." However, the buzz on Palin was that Americans would simply "fall in love with her story" that story being Hockey Mom becomes the potential VP of the United States. The fact that she could "do it all" balancing an up and coming political career with raising 5 kids was supposed to impress all of us. Not only that, but her traditional "family values" views were supposed to impress the party base. Given all of the above, the fact that her teenage daughter is pregnant is certainly warranted to be part of the narrative.

    And frankly, given the way she was introduced to American as this super mom, I just cannot believe that McCain honestly knew about this before today. Sure they will say he did so as not to add fuel to the fire on questions of his decision making – but I don't buy it.

    September 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  13. McNoWay

    Sorry but it's everybody's business now. That's what happens when you enter the public arena. Maybe the "hockey mom" should have stayed a TV babe sportscaster. (See her on YouTube) . Its easy to mouth family values, quite another thing to live by them-ask hypocrite Governor Palin!

    Thank you John McSame for picking Palin – she keeps just getting better and better! What will we learn tomorrow? – I love it!!!

    September 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  14. family?

    Talk about putting your career before your family. Between her infant son and her grandchild to be, seems she would rather galavant around the country than be there for her children/grandchildren. Sheesh.

    September 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  15. Virginia Mom

    This woman is with McCain, who is running for the highest office in this land. EVERYTHING her family does is important to us! If she wants to keep secrets, let her stay in Alaska! On second thought, maybe she should stay there anyway.

    September 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. antonio tomachi

    These are the same people that would be quick to criticize young inner city girls who found them in similar situation, now the young girl in question is the daughter of a governor and vice presidential nominee, all of a sudden its ok. Its not ok and people should speak out, be it a poor girl from inner city or the daughter of a vp nominee.


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

    As governorof the state of Alaska did Palin make sure that the schools in the state of Alaska taught sex education including responsibility to avoid unwanted pregnacy? I'm sorry but teaching abstinence does not seem to work very well and youngsters bombarded with sex need to know about the backup of condoms or other methods of birth control.

    September 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  18. Bobby

    Does the word vetted mean: Cleared of all transgressions.

    1. Under investigation for abuse of powers. Fired a public official for supposed wrong doings against her sister.

    2. Has a son about to leave for Iraq.

    3. Has a child who suffers from Downs Syndrome.

    4. Now, we conveniently discover (during another huge news event in the gulf coast that should have taken focus off this major issue) that her seventeen year old daughter is pregnant. Conveniently the GOP mentions the intentions of the young couples pending marraige.

    5. What is left to learn about the husband?

    Dysfunctional is an understatement. Many of you will argue that this is a private issue and every family has these problems. Sure, but not every family is running to be the second most powerful person on the planet.

    Obama/Biden 08/12
    Eight is Enough

    September 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  19. RevRayGreen

    McCain, even 'Smokey the Bear' couldn't put out this fire.

    September 1, 2008 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  20. ispeakthetruth

    "Sarah and her husband, Todd Palin, issued a statement saying they are 'proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents.'

    She had a "CHOICE" ???????????? wow!

    September 1, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  21. No McCain/No Palin, CA

    Where is this Repubs strong leader character who is a heart beat away from becoming Commander In Chief but unable to convenience a party of one, her own daughter that she knew what she was talking about, the Abstinence Policy. This is getting to be actually laughable, but it is just to serious to be funny. McCain puts politics first, not country. No McCain, No Palin, No Way, No How.

    September 1, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  22. barbara bateman

    If teaching is part of leading, and I believe it is, is it fair to question the effectiveness of the Palin's instruction in their conservative values?

    September 1, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. randy from canada

    Why is everyone commenting on how happy they are that she chooses to keep the baby?

    What else, other than adoption, could she do, five months into the pregnancy.

    Hypocracy at its greatest...

    September 1, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. patsy of Iowa

    I hope this teaches Palin to show a little more empathy for human conditions and causes her to support efforts to teach birth control and sex education in schools. It is not a scandal – couples everywhere are having babies before getting married. But Palin's record on this sort of thing makes it a scandal for her. And come on, once you are in the public eye as a vp candidate, family business is everyone's business.

    September 1, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  25. judith wahler

    I am so disgusted with McCain's choice of VP. This is no role-model. Are they waiting to have the wedding on the grounds of the White House. This is despicable and Ms. Palin needs to see she needs to spend more time at home teaching sex education and her children need to bond with her. Her plate is too full and this ticket is imploding!!!
    This seems to be a gimmick and probably will split the Republican party and move it in a better direction.
    Judith Wahler

    September 1, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
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