November 5th, 2008
09:15 PM ET
1 year ago

Sources: McCain aide fired for 'trashing' staff

Scheunemann bonded with Palin during the Alaska governor's debate prep, above.
Scheunemann bonded with Palin during the Alaska governor's debate prep, above.

(CNN) - Randy Scheunemann, a senior foreign policy adviser to John McCain, was fired from the Arizona senator's campaign last week for what one aide called "trashing" the campaign staff, three senior McCain advisers tell CNN.

One of the aides tells CNN that campaign manager Rick Davis fired Scheunemann after determining that he had been in direct contact with journalists spreading "disinformation" about campaign aides, including Nicolle Wallace and other officials. (Update: Davis denies the claim.)

Update: Scheunemann disputes campaign sources, says he was not fired

"He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCain's campaign message," said one of the aides.

Senior campaign officials blame Schuenemann specifically for stories about the way Wallace and chief campaign strategist Steve Schmidt mishandled Palin's rollout - stories that the campaign says threw them off message in the critical final weeks of the campaign.

Another aide said McCain personally was "very disappointed by Randy," who worked for McCain for many years in the Senate.

Scheunemann became close with Palin during her debate prep process.


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (514 Responses)
  1. Linda

    Maybe he did not know how to spell. LOL.

    CNN check your title.

    November 5, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  2. Obama racist on Day 1

    The Chicago Sun Times (Sneed) reports that Obama is insisting that his replacement in the U.S. Senate be black.

    Is this the unity candidate?????

    November 5, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  3. Mike Dallas

    What's her name can hire him as a trooper in Alaska!

    November 5, 2008 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  4. Dan, Idaho Falls

    "positioning himself with Palin" should have been sufficient punishment.

    November 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. John for Obama

    who cares we all knew the GOP was infighting! ITS TIME TO REPAIR THE WORLD!! AND GET AMERICA WORKING AGAIN!

    November 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. hilaryb

    ........and the finger-pointing starts

    November 5, 2008 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  7. Tina, NC

    I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of campaign staff feeling the wheels of the straight talk express bus roll over them as McCain makes his way back to the senate.

    November 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  8. Cynthia - Arkansas

    I never dreamed I would see the Republican Party fall apart like it has. Bad karma coming home to roast! I think the American people spoke with a clear voice that the days of the campaign of fear and lies do not work anymore. I am so thankful that we do not have to hear Palin spew lies and hate, or McCain whine anymore!

    November 5, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  9. a well educated woman

    MRS.. PALIN HERSELF PROBABLY MOVED HIM OVER TO HER OWN SIDE. FOR THE LAST 2 WEEKS SHE HAS BEEN RUNNING HER OWN DOG AND PONY SHOW.
    A BEFITTING END TO THE ERA OF MCINSANE AND CARIBOU BARBIE. YOU BOTH THREW THE TOILET AT OBAMA AND WHERE DID IT GET YOU? YOUR VERY OWN BATHROOM FULL OF WHAT YOU SPEWED.
    I FOR ONE AM SO GLAD THIS IS OVER. FOR ALL YOU NON BELIEVERS I HOPE YOU CAN GET OVER YOUR LOSS. MOST OF YOU COULD BENEFIT FROM SOME THERAPY.

    November 5, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  10. Janine

    "He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCains campaign message," said one of the aides.

    This is so sad. If Republicans want to question why they lost, they really need to look at themselves. And for people that are still upset about Obama winning because they think he will do a horrible job, you really need to think twice. Do you really trust being on a ship where the captain and co-captain are fighting over which way to go?

    November 5, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  11. Donkey Party

    This is just another indication of the turmoil we avoided by not having a McCain administration.

    November 5, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  12. Mary Enyioko

    THERE IS SUCCESS IN FAILURE, STUDY AND LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKE AS IT IS TOO LATE TO CRY WHEN THE HEAD IS OFF.

    November 5, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  13. Justin in CA

    It must all be Scheunemanns fault Rick Davis doesn't know how to run a campaign. If Scheunemann never talked to that one journalist,McCain would have one. I hope you can live with yourself Scheunemann.

    November 5, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  14. johnrj08

    So Palin sweet-talked this guy and got him to turn on the campaign in order to make herself look better. Nice.

    November 5, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  15. Rich

    Looks like the Straight Talk Express is starting to run over it's own people.

    November 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  16. Kyle

    And so the finger pointing begins.

    November 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. Brendose, Oceanisde, CA

    Close eh?

    Wonder where Todd Palin was when they were "bonding"

    Just don't tell me she had a blue dress on......LOL

    November 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  18. Texas Teacher

    That is what happens when you run a no holes barred, lies, and attacking campaign. There is no honor among thieves!

    It was obvious that Palin was truly "going rogue" for a long time before the end of this campaign. I said so long before the media called it.... thank you very much!

    McCain ran a dirty campaign. Now he wants to say, "Let's put it all behind us.... I didn't really mean it... I just wanted to win at ANY cost!" Sad, but true! Now we have to put the past behind us, but many of us will NOT forget!

    November 5, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  19. Gail, IN

    It's over, they lost. Move on.

    November 5, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  20. I am pleasantly surprised

    Way to go !!!

    I am hearing more and more good things about the McCain people and with his speech last night and all the emails I have been getting from my conservative friends, i think we can make this happen.

    Obama has shown the way – no we must follow. Go Obama !!!

    November 5, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  21. Michael

    FOX News just reported that according to McCain campaign insiders, that Palin didn't know what countries were in NAFTA and, more shockingly, that Africa is a continent. What on earth!?

    November 5, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  22. Julie

    "Et tu, Brute?"

    McCain to Palin, November, 2008

    November 5, 2008 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  23. Terry B.

    "He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCains campaign message," said one of the aides.

    Can someone please point out exactly what McCain's campaign message was? Or was it simply lies, smears, insults, and fear? Whatever it was, McCain should have fired his entire staff then fired himself for incompetence considering that describe exactly the entire GOP campaign...

    November 5, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  24. sandee in Portland

    Doesn't suprise me since it seems so many of these so called christians are only for themselves and what they believe in, not for the betterment of our country. McCain really made a poor decision in surrounding himself with the conservative, far right wing evangelicals and especially the most radical one of all, Palin. Maybe he'll go back to being the person he was before this all began and, once again, be the human being he was in 2000, when I had respect for him.

    November 5, 2008 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  25. Alexa

    Indeed. Its over. Move on! No need to trash Palin or anybody else.

    November 5, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
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