November 5th, 2008
09:15 PM ET
3 years 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. Liberal Texan

    People, come on, get a reality check. Palin is wackier than an outhouse rat. She will self-destruct her political career long before 2012. And if she is on the garbage heap of history by they she will go no where with the GOP because the Republican party is going to have to move more to the middle if it is going to have any hope of viability in the next four years. The right-fringe wingnut element - which includes Palin - will have to be exorcised from the party if it hopes to expand its tent enough to bring in the sort of support that will be required to regain the White House. I really think that the bulk of the American electorate has absolutely had it with the hate and misinformation mongering that cost the GOP the election this year. I firmly believe that the Republican party will have to change strategy to broaden its appeal or settle for a minimum of 16 years in national exile.

    November 6, 2008 12:57 am at 12:57 am |
  2. Jeff

    Palin didn't even know Africa was a continent to hear McCain staffers tell it. Nor did she know what countries were in North America.

    November 6, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  3. Thomas

    oh! Another Gettysburg, with nukes

    November 6, 2008 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  4. getagrip

    All the result of McCain himself making a foolish choice; he failed a critical test because he put winning before "country"–of course she was going to be the source of strife within their campaign. Can you imagine what discord she would have engendered as v.p. !

    November 6, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  5. Gina

    Thanks, Jennifer. I couldn't have said it better myself. I think McCain's speech last night was GREAT. I looked to my fellow Obama supporters and said, "Had he stuck to those words and tone throughout the campaign, we would be looking at a different President Elect right now." John McCain is an extraordinary man that got caught up in a bad system. I do and always will respect him for the man he is. For now, however, we have a new vision and new hope that we can come together to do what's right for the people of this great country and for the rest of the world. I believe he can. I believe we can. I know we must. Good Speed President Obama! Thank you for putting the "proud" back in my American spirit.

    November 6, 2008 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  6. Rhia

    If the Republicans want to clean up their mess, they have to weed out the hate and fear mongerers among their ranks.

    November 6, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  7. vahe

    whoever digs the hole they end up in hat hole

    November 6, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  8. American Patriot

    Randy Scheunemann was Donald Rumsfeld's top deputy. That this man had ANY job in the McCain campaign is a stunningly sad commentary on John McCain and his campaign. Randy Scheunemann should never work in government again.

    November 6, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  9. vahe

    i see a lot of Obama haters here

    November 6, 2008 01:10 am at 1:10 am |
  10. ChandraSF

    I love how conservatives "know" what Obama is going to do – with the miserable track record of predicting how the Iraq war would pan out, the economy, trickle down economics, effects of deregulation, etc, one would think they'd want to be a little humble right now. They got their clocks cleaned yesterday. If they are so clairvoyant, then how come they have this impressive losing streak, while Obama has steadily out guessed and out performed them, almost single handedly?

    November 6, 2008 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  11. WE.WANNA.SEND.A.CLEAR.MESSAGE.TO.THE.WORLD.WE.BACK

    republicans know now who his barack obama

    November 6, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  12. Jeff

    It's a shame that the McCain whom I saw giving his concession speech got lost during the campaign. He regained some of my respect even though I did not vote for him. I wish he had won the nomination 8 years ago. I'm convinced that had anyone other than the handful of neo-cons that took power been elected we would not be in Iraq today. It's time to unite, move forward, and try to fix the mess the current Administration has left us with.

    November 6, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  13. Joey

    This is what happens when you let angry Democrats and know-nothing Independents pick your candidate.

    How pathetic Obama didn't win this one in a Reagan-like landslide.

    Shows what a poor candidate he was, and what a poor President he will be.

    November 6, 2008 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  14. sue

    Sad when you see Republicans here hoping for problems so they can possibly win in 2012. Is that putting Country First?

    November 6, 2008 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  15. Yve

    And the finger pointing starts-move on Republicans-you LOST-the people have spoken-at least McCain salvaged his reputation with a gracious good bye speech-as for Palin, go back to Alaska where you can continue shooting and skinning animals, banning books and sex education and generally making a total fool of yourself–and continue to do so so that there is absolutely NO CHANCE of you re-surfacing any time in the future-you are NOT respresentative of women around the world my dear-the only women who allign themselves with your medieval ideas are religious, conservative zealots who have no place in a modern, tolerant and progressive world!
    Finally I am beginning to view America and Americans in a more positive light–it has been a horrible 8 year fiasco.

    November 6, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  16. Karl

    HE stands before me
    HE speaks with eloquence
    HE inspires me
    HEshows me a way forwards
    HE gives me hope
    HE inspires a nation
    HE offers reconcilliation
    HE gives me confidence
    HE lights the fire within me, with his eyes
    HEsymbolises unity
    HE is intelligent
    HE is young
    HE is a family man
    HE is humble
    HE is smart
    HE is half black, half white
    HE is the next President of the USA
    HE is Barrack Obama

    November 6, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  17. Average_JO

    First, I read she showed up at the hotel door in towel to greet the two guys helping her run the campaign and now this?? she 'got close' to him. ha.

    Those kinky conservatives... hiding behind their "values."

    November 6, 2008 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  18. Gil Travis

    WEll...now we have someone new going into the White House.
    He does not want to know as an american..but an African American .
    So be it.
    Remember it is still the "White House".
    And this is not the first African American to be employed there.
    Butlers,maids,gardeners,cooks.
    So if the President elect fails in his primary role he can still seek to stay on in one of the other capacities.

    November 6, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  19. sunshine

    The Left decided in the early seventies that morality and manners did not matter any longer.

    Check out Phililpa Foote.

    November 6, 2008 01:52 am at 1:52 am |
  20. cheersdk

    I wouldn't mind being in several different positions with Palin!

    November 6, 2008 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  21. observer

    2012 is quite hard for Sarah if Obama does well and based on his smart ways of winning the votes and trust, he is likely to make a breakthrough.

    May be 2016. Sarah might be wiser and stronger. Perhaps she may run against Hilary Clinton....

    November 6, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  22. Sandy

    Wow!! McCain's staff was as faithful to him as he was to his first wife.

    November 6, 2008 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  23. Juri

    All the angry McCain voters here would do well to look at their candidate and follow his example.
    He took his defeat respectfully and with dignity and during his speech I finally got to see the McCain so many people have said he was; a man that despite the differences between Obama and himself didn't resort to moping after his loss but extended his hand to his opponent and offered his experience and knowledge to help guide America back on the right path.

    Follow your leader. Show some respect.

    November 6, 2008 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  24. susie renae

    I JUST WANT TO CONGRATULATE AMERICA ON ELECTING OUR VERY FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN PRESIDENT. PEOPLE NEED TO REALIZE THAT OBAMA WILL BRING CHANGE. WHY IS IT SUCH A BIG DEAL? WE HAVE HAD WHITE PRESIDENTS FOR YEARS.
    MCCAIN MAY HAVE HAD A BETTER CHANCE HAD HE NOT CHOSEN PALIN!
    HOCKEY MOM–DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HER AND PITBULL IS LIPSTICK! WOULD YOU REALLY WANT A HOCKEY MOM TO RUN THIS COUNTRY!
    ALL OF YOU PALIN LOVERS, SHE STATED OBAMA WAS A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER, WHICH IS TRUE, BUT PALIN LOVERS GUESS WHAT-PRESIDENT OF UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!!
    I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS–OBAMA ISN'T SELFISH–HE IS LOOKING OUT FOR ALL AS LONG AS YOUR INCOME DOESN'T EXCEED 250,000.00. REPUBLICANS SHOULD STOP BEING GREEDY! IF WE GO INTO A RECESSION, THEY AREN'T GOING TO KNOW HOW TO HANDLE IT!! SO SAD–YOU HAVE TO HAD BEEN THRU THINGS TO KNOW WHAT WE ARE FEELING RIGHT NOW!!

    November 6, 2008 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  25. Carl from MI

    Sarah Palin is the next Susan Harris!! Her political career is over!!

    Randy will go back to lobbying for Georgia. He got his...

    It's over... McCain lost. Palin lost. Randy got some...

    Thank God for Obama... Thank God our nation voted smart, not senile!

    November 6, 2008 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
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