September 3rd, 2008
04:23 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain adviser appears to go off message

ST. PAUL (CNN) - Hours after senior McCain advisor Carly Fiorina and other campaign surrogates held a press conference blasting coverage of Sarah Palin they describe as excessive and sexist, campaign co-chair Meg Whitman said she didn’t see any sexism or unfairness in recent reporting on the presumptive Republican VP nominee.

When a Fox reporter asked Wednesday if there had been sexism in coverage of Palin, Whitman responded: "I wouldn't say there really has."

"I actually think it's completely fair for the media to vet Sarah Palin," said Whitman, and reporters were correct to investigate someone who is campaigning for “the highest office in the land."

Earlier, Fiorina had told reporters she found the discussion over whether Sarah Palin was qualified to be vice president “stunning,” and said the question itself was symptomatic of gender bias.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Loretta from California

    The GOP opened the door for this kind criticism when they attack Michelle Obama with a vengeance. DEAL WITH IT!!

    September 3, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. Gary

    Boo Hoo! For heaven's sake quit making up excuses after excuses. \Keep on trying to convience yourselves that John McCain chose the right running mate...he didn't, most of America knows it, case closed Obama was put into the White House by the "Mav" himself!

    September 3, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  3. Adam from NY

    I love how you report on the charges of sexism as a "campaign message." You KNOW its just a campaign talking point, but you'll air the charge over and over again.

    September 3, 2008 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  4. Zeke

    Fiorina has become desperate! She's so desperate, she's starting to look foolish. Poor Fiorina!

    September 3, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  5. Dee from NC

    It's MORE sexist to have this anti-woman running for VP. Nearly every right that women have been fight for in the last 100 years, she's completely against! We as women cannot use at least birth control to DECIDE when or if we have children? Women don't derserve the same amount of pay for the same amount of work? It's immoral to teach our children how to protect themselves against teen pregnancy and STDs?

    The only thing feminist thing she isn't against is women voting!

    I cannot believe that Mc Cain would use this women to try to get Clinton voters. It's so obvious and pathetic.

    September 3, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. Sue, Michigan

    I keep reading "McCain is a proven leader." Of what exactly? He left his first family after having an affair with Cindy. What legislation has he co-authored lately? He votes against energy alternatives, against soldiers' benefits, against a timetable to leave Iraq, even though he declares the surge a huge "success." Oh, and he chooses, in his first big decision, a woman he talked to once for 15 minutes as his VP. Judgment? Not so much.

    Hillary Dem for Obama-a man with a law degree, experience, and the judgment to run this country!

    September 3, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  7. pete

    The Mcshame camp is like the rest of us. Who the hell is Palin? They don't know anything about this woman. What can they say? All they can say is that she has executive experience. Well Bush has executive experience and look where the country is now. Republicans need to drop the act and vote for Obama. They know that everything he is saying is the truth. McShame is just telling people what they want to hear. All he has to go on is the fact that he is a war vet. Well, there are a million men and women that served their country does that mean that they can run for president? Oh, yeah, i thought the shot gun wedding were over. You got my daughter pregnant now you got to marry her.

    September 3, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  8. fa

    I think this says about McCain temparament and judgement. Well somebody got to do the vetting if McCain irresponsibly didnt do that.
    At least there is somebody who is willing to tell it as it is, unsubconciously. She just lost her job. Thanks McCain.

    September 3, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  9. Shannon

    I am appalled at the sexism by the Obama campaign, his horrible, mean spirited supporters and the media. First they destroyed HIllary Clinton, and now Sarah Palin. Not on the issues, but in a personal horrible way. I see in another post, that the Obama campaign is whining because they are bringing up Michelle Obama's hate filled words against America. Apparently quoting your own words back at you is an insult, but labeling working mothers as bad people, and calling Hillary Clinton a racist is ok. Apparently Obama and his supporters think it's ok to attack peoples children, but not question someone's nasty words against their country. Obama and his supporters make me ashamed to be a Democrat, and that is why I'll be going third party. Obama's definition of hope and change is very different than mine, read his supporters comments, they don't understand the meaning of those words either

    September 3, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. Tubby The Tuba

    What is sexist is the Republican Party for throwing Palin into the mix to take advantage of the Hillary edge. Women who voted for Hillary, but have now decided to vote for McCain, are SEXIST, because they are voting for the "female gender" and not party substance. This is the real sexist issue at hand. To vote for a women, simply because she is a woman is sexist. The two parties are diametrically opposed to one another and Hillary voters would go to vote for the horrors of the Republican part just to vote for a woman. That is sexist.

    September 3, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  11. Pat

    Women of America:

    You can not in good conscience vote for anybody who will take away your "right to choose".

    Granted, the number of abortions need to decrease; but then, abstinence is not an option as its not widely practiced; and women will continue to have unplanned pregnancies. Imagine those that will abort anyway, in backrooms, illegally! Right to life is not just for Babies; it is for Mothers and would be Mothers also! It is for the health of women in this regard!

    As cruel as it may sound, not all women are willing to carry all conceptions to term; whether they be unhealthy (for mother or child) or unplanned by the mother!

    So if abortion becomes illegal (under all circumstances) and abstiinence is not practiced; does birth control or population control become "spaying" of females and "neutering" of males?

    Women of America do not give up your "right to choose" because the other side of the coin is your right to reproduce....and how many times you can reproduce!!!!

    September 3, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. Johnson in St. Louis

    wow didn't the Fox reporter try to wink or cue her and let her know she wasn't suppose to say something like that? She is probably getting a good (blank) chewing in the back right now from the GOP.

    September 3, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. Michele, Pittsburgh, PA

    Whether we we like the media vetting or not, it does an equal opportunity hatchet job on those running for the highest or second highest office in the land and their families.

    I wonder if Fiorina was complaining about sexism when the dirt on Geraldine Ferrarro's husband was dug up. If you can't stand the scrutiny, simply say you have no interest in the job.

    September 3, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  14. Marie

    Could it be? Truth and openness from a McCain surrogate? How refreshing!!

    September 3, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. Ron

    This was the design of the VP pick cloud real issues with allegatons of sexism.
    The real divded party CNN will not cover

    September 3, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  16. no joke, boston

    meg whitman is not too shy to show her discontent with GOP ol boys snubbing real intelligent women.

    true, whitman is no bombshell.

    that says all about the quality, or lack thereof , of GOP.

    September 3, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  17. bobby

    In her former post has head of HP, Carly Fiorina would not in a millions years have considered Sarah Palin to be her number two.
    And you better believe that she would've considered everything fair game when vetting her #2.


    Ms. Fiorina would probably not even consider a candidate with 5 kids to become her secretary much less.

    September 3, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  18. Carl Justus

    Why does anyone think that investigating a candidate running for the presidency or vice presidency is being unfair.

    I did not here any of these now grumbling about the questioning of Palin's ability say a word when Geraldine Feraro was runnig for vice president, they were on her like scent on skunk and not one republican said ot layoff, is that what they call the double standard.

    September 3, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  19. Jean

    Does he think that he is above answering questions?????????

    September 3, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  20. Repugs are Whining? how ironic

    boo hoo...the media is questioning palin's hoo...the democrats are being hoo...

    this is malarky! The media is doing it's job and there have been no sexist remarks from the Obama campaign.

    No repugs were complaining when all of the baseless lies were started online about Obama. Let's not forget that those same lies are still active and strong. McCain even said that Obama's camp should get a sense of humor about it all, referring to the new trash from Corsi's pen. RIDICULOUS!

    The media is allowed to vet the candidates and if the McCain team can't take the drama of the ridiculous spectacle that is the election process then they need to step down.

    Jo'Bama '08

    September 3, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  21. David A. White

    This lady is not even qualified, to run a community college, hold an adminstrative position in a public high school, or to teach on the college level. How can we expect her to run the country.

    September 3, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  22. Dori in AZ


    Would you put Sarah Palin, with her ACTUAL experience (not the Republican trumped up version) and her bachelor's degree in journalism, in the position of "mayor" in charge of New York City? Chicago? Miami? Los Angeles? San Francisco? Detroit? Milwaukee? How about "governor" of a diverse and heavily populated state like California or New York?

    Do you think any of those big cities' large television stations would entrust her with their reputations by making her their Sports Director with all her equally unimpressive experience as a sports reporter?

    No, I didn't think so. But, you'd make her VP and one heartbeat, stroke, melanoma, or death by natural causes from the presidency????

    September 3, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  23. Peter (CA)

    The clear difference here is that Meg Whitman did not drink the Kool-Aid that the hack, Carly Fiorina, did. She is a liar and, given her record at HP, a thief.

    She is obviously angling for some cabinet position. God help us if this sleaze who doesn't give a %^&* about average people gets into someone's administration.

    September 3, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  24. Peter (CA)


    Who else rambles? Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy who called this choice a disaster?

    The insult is that Republicans can believe that they can try to parade this candidate out and say she is just as good as Hillary (better actually because she is a good Christian) and then tell the media and the public that trying to find out what she is about is "sexist".

    What about her support of Ted Steven's bridge, what about her request for millions in earmarks for her tiny town, what about her trying to fire the town librarian for not banning certain books, what about the firing of the Public Safety chief?

    What about her denial that global warming is man made? What about her desire to restrict reproductive rights? What about her desire to prohibit sexual education (that has worked out well, hasn't it?)?

    This is NOT about sexism, this is plainly about the issues.
    She fails to understand and connect with mainstream America.

    September 3, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  25. Grace

    John McCain Needs an agenda. not just follow his friend George Bush. He needs to be his own man. Being a POW does not qualify his for the office of the president. Lets hesr what he really thinks. Not pike up ideas from the DEMS and try to make it his own.

    September 3, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
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