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. chuckles199

    deport mccain to mexico.
    he loves illegals, let him be one.

    November 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. jon

    as they say: "Scoreboard, biatch"

    November 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  3. Dan in Indiana

    Hey let's knock it off with the put downs and the cruel comments. Our new President-Elect has has asked us all to come together for our country. He ask that we aspire and take a higher road. Lets try to do as our new leader ask of us. Tough work lies ahead lets grow up and get to it...

    November 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. TerryB

    Gov.Palin is a very fine woman , leader,commander and chief of the alaska national guard, All you Obama people deserve just what you voted for, if you have any problems in life call your President he's still walking on water!

    November 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  5. Disappointed in TN

    For those of you who voted for Obama, prepare yourself to take responsibility of your actions. The election was "bought", plain and simple. Those on welfare will continue to get a free ride and those who continue to work hard will still end up paying for the lazy.

    November 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. FactCheck

    > Sarah is a smart woman and will be a major player in the Republican party.

    As far us Democrats are concerned, she is Christmas Eve and July 4 all wrapped into one. We can only hope that she becomes the face of the Republican party because she symbolizes the corrupt, nasty, divisive entity that they have become. Having her run in 2012 will ensure an even easier victory next time around.

    November 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. john

    The state of mind of a nation bogged down in two wars and mired in a struggling economy was not enhanced by a constant bombardment of angry, negative messages. People need to embrace hope in moments of despair and the Obama campaign offered just that, hope and inspiration. The Christian right wing, of all groups, should know that, after all that is what their faith is based on. The McCain campaign chose the wrong path, peddling fear of Obama instead of hope for the future. When I looked at Obama, I saw the future, when I looked at McCain I saw the past. Welcome to the new America my friends.

    November 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  8. Nana

    Sally, Sally, Sally
    exactly what planet do you live on?
    McCain ran a clean campaign and Sarah Palin is a smart woman??
    Gosh I wish I could be that naive (i am being kind with that word)

    November 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  9. tom

    are we now so glad we didnt elect that big messed up mccain campaign. can u imagine if mccain had won his staff insulting foriegn dignitaries telling france they hate england telling england they hate france...mccain had lost all control of his campaign and he would have had no control in the whitehouse.

    November 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  10. Mer

    Last night was the very first time that I was proud to be an American!! I am sure millions of Americans share my feeling. God bless America and her people.

    November 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  11. SamHouston, Clarendon, Texas

    With evidence on display last evening in Grant's Park in Chicago, the World came to light as never before. It was equal to Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon. Tears of joy running down the cheeks of well wishers to an American who happens to be Black. Senator Barack Obama, the next President elect of the United States of America. The moment will be set in stone for all time.
    Excitment rang true worldwide touching everyone. It was a true moment of peace and happiness for all ages.

    November 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  12. TEXAS For Obama

    To the Reagan Republicans from a true democrat. I just want to say thank you for your words and I agree at this point we must keep OUR president in Prayer not only that he will lead our country in the right diredtion and keep us safe but maily that he will keep Our President safe too....God knows listening to these comments...he will need it.

    November 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  13. mark

    I still have several issues with Obama. Until he releases his official birth certificate and his Harvard records, I still consider him a foreigner who is INELLIGIBLE to run for and accept the Presidency of the United States.

    His grandmother says he was born in KENYA....
    He went to school in Maylasia where you have to be a citizen to do so.
    There are some suspicions that he was accepted at Harvard as a foreign student.

    Is there a congressman, senator or even President Bush who has the balls to force this man to release this information? WHAT ARE YOU HIDING OBAMA?????????

    November 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  14. Richard A. Spomer

    I do believe anyone that has taken time too talk bad about another person is just trying to build his/her selves up, However it just diminishes light from a room!

    Randy Scheunemann has jeopardized his future opportunities or chances of working in another campaign, because of his mistrust and inability to work constructively.

    The biggest losers are with in the Republican Party, there is a bigger question if he really was not a plat from the Democratic Party. Not a statement or sermon just something to think about!

    November 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. anodyne777

    You go, Dawn. You have capsulized the McCain campaign into a microcosm of an explanation, and yet were able to express the heart of the matter. The American people want honesty. You can't plan a reasonably safe and prosperous future on lies. I have wanted Obama to be President since the 2004 keynote speech. I just feel he is an honest person. And that Michelle! What a great lady. I think if he runs the government as well as he did his campaign, a lot of good can be done. I hope we who supported him are right about him, but, even if we aren't, it is really the people who are in control, as was demonstrated yesterday evening.

    November 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  16. Frankie Machine

    "It is difficult to imagine having any type of a civil discussion about how to solve the problems we are facing with people who refer to Republicans as 'non believers' or that because we disagree with the President-elect's policies that somehow we 'could benefit from some therapy.'"

    Yeah. Payback sucks, doesn't it? Now you know how I've felt the past eight years.

    Republicans shouldn't be part of a discussion of the problems they caused. They shouldn't be allowed to touch anything government-related for the next three generations.

    November 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  17. Jon

    Folks can bash Palin all they want. She'll be back and she'll be back in force. There is significant support for her and the enthusiasm is genuine. More experience as Governor and more preparation for the national stage will yield great things. Laugh at your own risk....'12 or '16 (whichever she decides on) will be upon us soon enough.

    November 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  18. Drew Peacock

    Check it....... I heard that while he was prepping Palin for her debates, there was a little spark... I mean... she is cute. Well, once he got on the Palin groove...... McCain was a no go!

    But she was not even close to being a good pick for McCain.... and was the exact reason he performed so poorly. Any GOP member that thinks she should be the next candidate ought to have their head checked.

    November 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  19. weneedstrongleadership

    Well maybe he's to blame, maybe he's not. The fact is that John picked Sarah, John picked his staff. John was not in control of his campaign, oh my, how would he be in control of the Presidency.

    November 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  20. The Lady

    To Obama racist on Day 1, even if a black replaces Obama senate seat that means we now have 3 blacks in top positions instead of 2.

    November 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  21. george

    Sounds like he was thinking of dipping his pen in the company's ink. Years ago my first boss warned me never to do that.

    November 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. TerryB

    Hey, Terry b again . I forgot to mention, you have" old crazy Joe" to go along with obama to help you, if he can figure out where he's at, or you may have to check with hilliiary.

    November 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  23. Amanda Hall

    So what Goodwill Store will Mrs. Palin be dropping off her and her families campaign wardrobes? I

    November 5, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  24. ANONYMOUS

    Reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln

    As Lincoln, he came to this plane as a white man to free the black man.

    As Obama, he came to this plane as a black man to free the white man.

    November 5, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  25. USA

    I'm noticing a dangerous trend for republicans here.

    Before the election, when voters posted negative comments about Palin, rabid McCain supporters vigorously defended her, claiming that dems were "scared" of her. Ok, so now, she lost. It should be clear that Dems, Indys, whatever, DIDN'T FIND HER APPEALING. So don't put up the same candidate in 2012.

    Wake up guys and nominate a candidate with broad appeal. That's the first step in winning elections. McCain had broad appeal, but the base, rather than compromising on a few issues in order to win the election, made a ruckus in the party and insisted he swing harder right or he wouldn't get your vote.

    Please listen with an open mind to how voters view Palin, and please compromise and come together as republicans, or you will soon have no party.

    November 5, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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