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. D Beasley

    Ah, the spin! It is difficult to believe McCain handlers would risk thier efforts at wooing the Evangelicals and take on an albatross at the beginning of this critical time. Surely the did not know! If they did, they deserve to lose.

    September 1, 2008 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  2. I toldyouso

    "Hey, a little respect. This is a young woman we are dealing with here." Give me a break. If this were anyone else, the Repuchicans would be out in a vigilante mob to determine who the father is and looking for the tallest tree to hang him. Amazing how all these wonderful Psuedo-christian Repuchicans behave. (lie,cheat, and push the blame away from themselves)

    September 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  3. John McShame, Obama Is Going to Tax You & Cindy, but Not Me & 95% Americans Making < $250,000/Yr

    this is a judgement that John McSame lacks............John McSame judgement to lead this nation is equal to paralysis!

    September 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Doug

    Can you imagine what Faux News would have said and done had Chelsea Clinton got pregnant at 17?

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

    leadership starts from family. If this lady can't take care her kids,is she able to lead this country?

    September 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. DWoods

    Since CNN has closed the comment section for Obama's response to Bristol's pregnancy, I will write my comments here. If you take a look at one of the family photos, it appears that Bristol is pregnant. I doubt if Obama and his campaign leaked the pregnancy. I think the McCain campaign is trying to cast a negative light on their opponent. It is so sad that they would stoop to such a low. However, that's politics for you. It really doesn't matter how it was leaked. We know everything and everyone is placed under the Media's Scanner. Air your unclean laundry before someone else puts it out for all to see.

    September 1, 2008 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  7. Matt, Pittsburgh, PA

    If the McCain campaign touts Palin's family as part of her allure, they open the door for voters to be critical.

    September 1, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  8. lore satt

    Who is a conservative with strong moral values? Excuse me but, sounds like many of them before, when we all came to find out that their values were not as "strong" as they said they would be: affairs out side the marriage, ten daughter pregnant...Yes, it's a sensitive issue for a family, but remember these people are public figures and they ARE expected to follow through as a good husband or a good mother. When a mother has no idea what her ten is or what she is doing it's also a sign that this mother didn't expend too much time talking and teaching her daughter how to protect her self. Irresponsable... Would she be this irresponsable in vice-presidency also? I hope we don't have to wonder...

    September 1, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  9. otis

    Sarah Palin and her husband can teach their children all the right wing values they want but in the end their children make their own choices. Apparently their 17 yr old daughter chose poorly in this situation.

    Just think if Sarah Palin had been involved in such felonious acts as illegal drug use when she was in her youth. She might be running for president on the democratic ticket now instead of vice-president on the republican ticket!

    September 1, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  10. V

    It is ridiculous that how the media is handling this, leave her family out of this campaign. Everyone has made mistakes in their life, Senator Obama is an admitted user of drugs and alcohol in his youth. The democrats need to back off of this. Also the democratic leader that said “god is on our side” today needs to be denounced, I don’t think the residents of the gulf coast will appreciate that comment or Michael Moore’s comments on MSNBC.

    September 1, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  11. Maggie VT

    Wonder if the Republicans will respect the Obama family??? I doubt it

    September 1, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  12. VB

    Great point Gene...They wanted to impeach Clinton for an a Affair...How about impeaching bush for WAR CRIMES


    September 1, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Amy

    I really enjoy watching CNN, but I feel that using the Sarah Palin story to kill some time before the convention is a poor taste in judgement. If Obama thinks this is off limits, then why is the media–CNN–continuing to not honor the wishes of the candidates of BOTH parties.

    September 1, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. KS

    Very well said Gene. Just want to add one more to your list when the Repugs (including McShame's wife) pounded and twisted the statement by Michelle Obama's on her patriotism. What is the Repugs trying to teach the American teens on the family values is very evident from what we hear now. When Palin could not teach her own daughter the true American values how is she going to preach the nation? That is the question every American should ponder before casting their vote on November 4. ENOUGH of this shameful Repugs. Period.

    September 1, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. James

    This is not the example we want for our children from a Vice President of the United States of America. If may be her own personal problem but when in political life this affects the entire country.

    September 1, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. Langly Wickersham of Baltimore

    Let me get this straight Palin has five children, a new born with Down’s syndrome, and now a teenage daughter who is five months pregnant. How in the world is this person going to find time to help fix our economy, repair our nation’s status in the world, rebuild our army and find Bin Laden. It seems really risky to put this "supposed Hillary" replacement, one 72 year old four time cancer survivor heartbeat away from the most powerful and time consuming position in the world.

    I am amazed that the Republicans would have so much disregard for our national security, McCain really is out of touch if he thinks the American people are willing to take that much of a risk!!!

    September 1, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Loretta from California

    EXACTLY Senator! A womans right to choose is her business. Not yours. He finally gets it. Or is he just trying to get elected.

    September 1, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Stephen, Bedford, TX

    The next question is one of McCain's judgement. I've long thought McCain is a little too reckless to be president. We've already got one cowboy, do we really want another one?

    September 1, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Betty, OH

    I think it is good Obama stood up for the Palin family, but you and I know the GOP would not do the same. I just hope nobody forgets about it throughout the campaign. This lady needs to tend to her family and get back into politics when her kids are grown. I am a mom and I am offended by her attenpt to put politics before her family.

    September 1, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. DDB Omaha

    I am amazed. Why would McCain pick a VP with so many problems? What does this say about his judgement? Why would Palin put her daughter under such a spotlight? I am amazed.

    September 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. USAF RET

    McCain's pandering and Palin's ambition is what put this 17 year olds business in the nation's spotlight. Once again I question McCain's judgement and Palin's judgement. They both owe Palin's daughter an apology for putting her in this position.

    September 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. Harold (Canada)

    They should not talk about conservativism. Palin's daughter was not conservative. Can Palin run the country if she has to? She could not even control her duaghter's own morality.

    September 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  23. Sheryl

    It seems that teenage pregnancy affects many American families. This is a private matter. This isn't an issue for political comment. It takes a strong young woman to stand-up for herself and her baby. Or have we forgotten that this is her right. Freedom of choice!
    As far as affecting the republican political arena "go Mcain/Palin-you have my vote"

    September 1, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. Cynthia Putzell

    What has happened to Ms Sarah Palin may be her own business and her private life but this affects all Americans.

    September 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  25. P. D.

    I question McCain's judgment. After this Faux Pas, I think he's pretty much finished. I'm a former Hillary supporter and McCain blew it for me.

    September 1, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
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