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. Guy, Toronto

    Please let it go!

    November 5, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  2. Oblio

    Sarah Palin is the Republican party's Geraldine Ferraro. You can safely forget about her.

    November 5, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  3. Chad

    How close?

    November 5, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  4. tommy

    What do you expect? Now we have "republican on republican" crime.

    Guess what? WHO CARES NOW?

    November 5, 2008 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  5. Steven

    You know it never looks good when your own side is trashing you. Another republican gets thrown under the bus.

    November 5, 2008 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  6. FreeNLovIt

    So sorry to hear about this story. Unfortunately, campaigns are a lot of stress. It taks a lot of Judgment, vision and patience.

    November 5, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  7. St. Paulie Girl

    Does anyone else believe that Palin will put herself into Ted Steven's seat when he gets kicked out of the Senate. It keeps her on the national scene, and gives her some much needed knowledge and experience.

    What has she got to lose?

    November 5, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. California Gold

    No wonder the McCain campaign was erratic and jumped from pillar to post every 24 hours: it was rotting from within. That's pathetic and intolerable when a campaign has this sort of divisive conduct at senior staff level. Even worse the McCain aide had worked for the Senator for many years. On a personal level that would be very disappointing. You would expect more.

    November 5, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  9. FreeNLovIt

    Well, the past is the past. You have to move on. We cant change the past, but we CERTAINLY can change fhe future.

    November 5, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  10. Carrie

    The "blame game" is not going to change the fact that McCain ran a nasty and terrible campaign. He has no one to blame but himself.

    November 5, 2008 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Mark

    The Republican Party really needs to re-group. I am not a supporter, but it was/is hard to figure out what message they are trying to send with McCain's campaign.

    November 5, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. Dawn

    Looks as if it was a shambles and maybe that is why McCain had lost the election. He may not have been giving the right information, they were in such turmoil from the start. He picked Sarah Palin and she began to go on her own..They kept her from speaking to the media?

    VP-elect Joe Biden was on several, Meet the Press is one and was on Jay Leno and so forth, The ones she was on solo, she shown the American People that she was definately not ready for the second highest office in the Nation and a heartbeat away from actually being President of The United States.

    Last night when John McCain gave his concession speech, I actually felt sorry for the man, it was from his heart. If he did not run such a dirty campaign and would not had made a mockery of the American People and saying Pro -America and Patriotic America, and that Joe the Plummer. If he would have told the American People what he would do differently from Barack Obama. Instead it was Terrorist, Socialist, communism..No wonder Rep. John Lewis was getting bad vibes and told John McCain to stop, until two skinheads were arrested.

    Maybe things can work for John McCain and maybe he and Barack Obama can mend any differency...

    Good Luck to America

    November 5, 2008 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  13. KEITH

    I hope this is the ned of the short lived political limelight for Palin. Never was so much made over someone who knew so little and barked so loud. She was nothing but Karl Rove in high heels. Good Riddance!!!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  14. cityboy

    Et tu Randy? No more lobbying mileage out if McCain?

    November 5, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  15. Ryan

    It's easy to blame on someone, but I think it's wise for them to learn from their mistakes... ITS TIME TO MOVE ON!

    November 5, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  16. JACKED-UP-POLITICS, FLORIDA

    I must say that I am appalled at the fact that CPAC did not have McCain on the invite list. When will the GOP get it. McCain did not lose this election alone. Americans are becoming more educated as to what is going on and we are smarter.

    The GOP party lacks diversity, therefore many Americans realize that the GOP is not dealing with issues that impact all Americans just a select few Americans and they have been doing this for years. I declare when I look at the GOP party, is is like Racism with a cover w/ few hired plants (minorities) to sell the idea that they are diverse.

    DID ANYONE LOOK AT BOTH CROWDS LAST NIGHT!!! WHICH ONE WOULD YOU HAVE RATHERED BEEN IN. DIVERSITY DIVERSITY DIVERSITY

    November 5, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  17. Ronni

    WOW ,You guy's are still stalking this women.
    Pathetic, Get a life, And pray B.O take's us in the right direction.
    And stop attacking the one you accuse of the same it sounds really ignorant.

    November 5, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  18. Frank

    Palin is a savvy politician, no question. She is already lining herself for future opportunities. Randy Scheunemann and Sarah Palin new privately (along with McCain) that they were going to lose the election.

    She may not have a law degree from Harvard, but she is certainly smart.

    November 5, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  19. Mike

    I AM SO SO GLAD THAT NIT WIT SARAH PALIN IS GONE... AND TO THINK THAT SOME CONSERATIVES THOUGHT THAT SHE WAS THE BEST THING GOING..BEST TO BE VP... FOR WHAT PALIN KNEW, MCCAIN COULD HAVE PICKED A THIRD GRADER AS HIS RUNNING MATE, HE WOULD HAVE FAIRED BETTER

    SARAH PALIN, WILL ALWAYS BE RMEMBERED AS THE DUMBEST POLITICIAN IN AMERICA...DUMB AS A STUMP...

    November 5, 2008 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  20. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    This is too funny, whose trashing who is what I'd like to know because McCain's whole campaign was run on dirty filty lies and cheap gossip.

    November 5, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. big daddy

    WHAT MORE CAN BE SAID ?

    November 5, 2008 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  22. Give me the high road

    There are sore losers and there are sore winners. I voted for McCain and am grateful for his efforts. I am glad to see bad people tossed and am not surprised McCain did this – he has also called for Steven to step down immediately –

    I am proud Obama is our new President. It says alot about the success of democracy and it says alot about our country. I am worried about his lack of experience just like I was worried about Palins qualifications. But he is our leader now and we will defend him at all costs because to do otherwise would undermine the very foundation of this great nation.

    I hope the minority of his supporters that have continued name calling and lashing out, can hold it down and get some help somewhere. Remember, the contest involved two men in the small picture. But in the large picture is was only about the good of our country.

    Let it go now, and God Bless President-elect Obama and God Bless the UNITED States of America.

    November 5, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  23. Sue in MI

    I kind of feel sorry for McCain, although he was supposed to be in charge. But I think if all the facts were known, he did NOT choose Palin, someone he didn't even know. They never looked comfortable together, and although I believe she respected him, she seemed to be in this for herself and her husband. I wonder how much Davis really knew of her management style, her issues in Alaska, and even her personality. She certainly played her role well, but I doubt that attacking Obama incessantly was his choice of the way to win. He seems like a really nice man. It was Palin who lost this for them.
    And Texas Teacher, I think you meant "no holds barred."

    November 5, 2008 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. bananabanana

    McCain lost for 3 simple reasons
    #1 – He's a Republican
    #2 – Americans are afraid of PitBulls
    #3 – Americans feel that the plumber is always ripping them off

    November 5, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  25. Gilbert

    How close?

    November 5, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
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