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. Jim from CT

    Wait a minute now. Yes, this is NOT a private family matter. Not when the woman is running for VP and makes an annoucement about it. This woman has NO BUSINESS being the VP or President. NONE. She should be spening more time with her 4 month old with Down Syndrome and her pregnate teenage daughter. Sorry, she has too many distractions going on to do the job that needs to be done. END OF STORY.

    September 1, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. You guys are unbelievable.

    Obama himself said lay off the families. The Dems families AND the Republicans. Obama himself said drop it.

    How is this a big deal? It's not.

    Listen to your leader. Obama HIMSELF was born to an 18-year old woman.

    September 1, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Christy

    Senator Barack Obama selected his running mate from his heart with a compelling story. John Mccain selected his running mate from the Jerry Springer show with a trailer trash story.

    September 1, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  4. media DOES NOT know when to stop

    Would Mr Blitzer PLEASE leave the "young girl having baby story" alone as asked!!!!!!! How many times does someone have to say this??????? CNN is UPHOLDING EVERY BIT OF what I have come to expect from the MEDIA. For some reason, the media feels they have to "crack" every case or "crash" every party. PLEASE CNN, quit talking about this matter, can you?????

    Also, one can have the most conservative,independent, or liberal parents, and the child (dren) behave "out of character" relative to the family,etc.

    September 1, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. cloie43

    It is America`s business because it addresses his understanding of what it is to present an image of what and who could be President of the United States of America. Between the age of the daughter when she began dating the father of this baby,to the Troopergate scandal to her husbands DUI,this tell us either he was completely pandering to the far right. The fact there was no vetting and he met her once and Cindi McCain spent 15 minutes in her company. How can this be possible that he honestly feels 'comfortable"? Something is very wrong here.
    Of course it is a family issue but it brings into question who really is the woman that would be but a heartbeat away from being the President of the United States. Scary

    September 1, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  6. Robin

    Poor Bristol will be chased just like Jamie Lin. Forget the Dems what about TMZ and other rags. The almighty chase for the first "baby bump" pics and new daddy pics yuck. Does this 17 year old homeschooled girl really want to marry the father? Or is this a case of you made your bed now lay in it!
    No way did Mc Cain know about this. Sarah you have child that need you more then we need you.

    September 1, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  7. Sarah the Soap Opera

    I think sarah has too much going on right now to be running for VP. Her 17 year old daughter needs her, and so does her child with special needs, as well as her other children. By the way, who will be taking care of them while she campaigns and her husbands works?

    September 1, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  8. Coral Fleming

    Americans are facing 2 hurricanes, our troops are at war, we are in the middle of a presidential election and all people have to be concerned about is the vice presidential candidates teen age daughter's pregnancy??? Seems like a fly on the wall to me...

    September 1, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  9. Alison

    I respect Obama's request that his supporters not discredit Palin as a result of her daughter's situation; however, as both a mother and a daughter I disagree with Palin's current choices. Children under the age of two and certainly under the age of one need their mother's full devotion. Her 16 year old daughter seriously needs her at this time as well. I hope that the long term ramifications of Palin's decision to run as VP do not negatively affect her children. It is one thing to be a strong woman, it is another thing to be strong enough to put your family ahead of your personal goals. I think that Ms. Palin is failing her family and that there are other women and men who could more appropriately join McCain as his VP candidate.

    September 1, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  10. Hypocrite Right

    The Conservative Right or Evangelical Right is a Joke. As seen by their refusal to drop Sarah Palin or even accept John Mccain the adulterer the fornicator, the Divorcee. Now back to Sarah Palin why is it that the Hypocrite Right hinges their total support of a candidate on whether or not that candidate is pro-life, when the Scriptures teach against Fornication, and especially fornication after marriage, now the scriptures also say that the Lord Hates Divorce but the fake right want you to be clouded by a smokescreen: Abortion. Sarah Palin is unworthy to claim the title Evangelical she is a Fake and Fraud just like McSame


    September 1, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  11. Mahogani Jones

    Teenage Pregnancy is an issue that most American families face EVERYDAY. Sarah & Todd Palin have stated that they are "proud grandparents" and stand behind their daughters decision to keep her child. Any teen facing pregnancy should be so lucky to have this type of support.

    Saying that, I DOUBT how the Palin and McCain camp is spinning the story is the truth

    At 5 months, most people could probably tell she was pregnant. Why during the announcement of McCain's VP pick of Palin was Bristol pregancy covered to the American voters (and none voters) watching?
    -She went the infamous "black is slimming" route.
    -The brother's baby blanket was used as the first layer of coverage
    -She held her brother as a second layer sheild

    Even I wondered as I watched the announcement on 8/29/08, why was the daughter holding the baby and not the husband.

    Now I know!

    September 1, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  12. Calling all Republicans...

    So how's that abstinence-only education working for you?

    September 1, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. Xavier

    Bush = Bad Judgment

    McCain = even worse judgment

    McCain / Palin = We are in it deep, and it dont smell good.

    September 1, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  14. vivian

    Life happens. The issue is not that Palins daughter is pregnant.
    The question is, is Palin still an advocate for teaching abstenance only?

    September 1, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  15. Michael

    ladies and gentlemen. If this was family business only why was first word of it comming from the Palins They are using the daughter to disprove a rumor. So it is they and not us who injected this into the campaign.

    September 1, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  16. summer

    I became a mother at the age of 17 and was fortunate to have the love and hands-on support of my family. I really wonder how Gov. Palin will be able to provide the level of support her daughter will need and help run our country. Similarly, I really hope that the Governor is not pushing her daughter to rush into marriage. I know first hand that something that seems good at 17, often doesn't at 27.

    September 1, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  17. ThePoliticalTruth

    First of All, this Political season is lively. Thanks to CNN.

    Second of all we should not judge someone else.
    So do not touch the pregnancy issue.
    But what irks me is the priorities of what the So call Christians
    who think they are Right on morality.
    Third the Truth will come to light.

    For me it is not Christian to run for VP while ignoring
    a small child with down syndrome and another child who
    has a huge problem. I cannot imagine my mother, who is deeply religious, not putting everything down in order to take care of FAMILY.
    That is what the Bible teaches. It could be that the Republicans have a different Bible?

    It seems more and more that Republican politicians are using Christianity as a tool to advance their personal political ambitions.

    Hope that people who really care about the country will see that those who prioritize for their own political gains will not look for the countries best interest.

    September 1, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. Obama Supporter

    The country really needs to pay attention to what's unfolding with this Palin announcemnet about her daughter. It seems suspicious and convenient that she made this anouncement at a time when the revelations are surfacing that she did'nt appear to be pregnant at six months. For all we know she could be leaking this to distract the public and the media to get past this election. Let's see her daughter's baby in 4 mths! She could be lying to us all..

    September 1, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  19. C

    I found the reporter Dana something to be the rudest interviewer on CNN. She kept trying to get the Alaskan rep to make a negative comment on the young daughter of Gov. Palin. She needs to get a life! How would she have felt to have had the same interview. Just more sensationalist crap, looking to be the next Woodward and Burnstien! I may not support Obama but I respect his comment to the reporter when asked to comment on it. He's right, the kids are off limits!!!!!

    September 1, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  20. Dennis Timlin

    This is the main reason middle America can NOT stand for this type of double standards for the have and have nots...... I agree that we should not attack the palin kid, but as in all states there are laws of consent for this type of behavior. In Wisconsin and all across america, the hidden boyfriend would be in jail facing statatory rape charges.
    Case in point being the young black man that was held for two years waiting for release and needed your cable news lawyers to help in his defense when the daughter (who gave illegal consent recanted).
    I am so sick and tired of the two tiered legal system that would jail most of us (USA most incarerating country in the world) VS. those of us WHO REMAIN ABOVE THE LAW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And senator McCain who was aware of the situation but CHOSE to not include the American Public that his VP's choice had a daughter who was the victim of this heinious crime !!!!

    September 1, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  21. david

    One question- how old is the daughters partner in sin, should the father-to-be older than 18, will Palin have him rightfully arrested, or will she and her newly found republican spin doctors somehow try to ignor or discount the rule of law .

    September 1, 2008 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  22. Rana

    If the Republican establishment stopped meddling into the bedrooms of America, this wouldn't be an issue. This family deserves PRIVACY and CHOICE, as does every other family....the option to have the baby, or not, or give it up for adoption, to get married at 17....those are choices for the person in that situation, and NOT FOR POLITICIANS.

    September 1, 2008 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  23. Reed

    For all you crazy left posters......No one on the right is claiming to be perfect. We hope to strive in that direction with such goals as abstinence but no one has the market cornered on being perfect in all aspects of our lives.

    I can guarantee that non of the previous posters degrading this young girl for her mistake have lived a perfect life even according to their own standards.

    September 1, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  24. LilRedFox

    People like this don't want others to interfere in their lives. Fair enough.

    But they are perfectly willing to interfere in others' lives by telling me my child cannot have sex education to prevent such an un fortunate occurrence, and are perfectly willing to interfere in my life about personal decisions such as the saving the life of the mother versus saving a baby.

    Shame on them!

    September 1, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  25. Jack

    IF this group wants to talk about Judgment:
    Obama picks Biden for VP – WHO is better qualified to lead our country AND brings 18 MILLION voters with her – HILLARY
    Experience of Palin – not sure yet, but know for a fact-
    Obama – ZERO
    CNN Reporting on the daughter is a DISGRACE! –
    The DNC will see the results of this and the Hillary treatment in November.

    September 1, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
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