November 6th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain aide disputes sources, denies firing

Scheunemann (above, with Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin) denies he was dismissed from the campaign.
Scheunemann (above, with Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin) denies he was dismissed from the campaign.

(CNN) - McCain’s presidential bid has ended, but the fireworks from inside his former campaign continue to make news: evidence is mounting that senior adviser Randy Scheunemann wasn’t fired, as several internal sources had suggested, but the target of a deliberate whispering campaign.

Top McCain adviser Mark Salter told CNN Thursday that Scheunemann, the campaign’s senior foreign policy adviser, was not fired.

Campaign manager Rick Davis denied a report he had fired Scheunemann after determining that he had been in direct contact with journalists spreading "disinformation" about campaign aides, including Nicolle Wallace and other officials.

"My impression is there is some silly score settling being done," Davis told CNN. "Randy was not fired."

Scheunemann himself said sources who said he had been dismissed were lying.

"I was not fired,” he said Thursday. “Anybody who says so is either lying or delusional and is certainly a whack job."

Earlier, Scheunemann told CNN he was "not fired and never [have] been fired."

Some senior campaign officials blame Scheunemann 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.

"He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCain's campaign message," said a McCain aide, one of three senior aides who told CNN that Scheunemann had been fired from the campaign.

Scheunemann, who was widely viewed as a supporter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, admitted people were trying to push him out of the campaign. But he said that Goldfarb, his ally, was incorrect when he told CNN that Scheunemann’s blackberry had been taken away — although he does admit that his e-mail account had been “temporarily” cut off.

Earlier: Sources: McCain aide fired for trashing staff

Michael Goldfarb, a McCain press aide and Scheunemann ally, said that senior McCain aides were mad at Scheunemann - and wanted to fire him - but he insisted they stopped short of that, and instead simply turned off his campaign communication.

Goldfarb said Scheunemann was in the office on Saturday. He was, however, noticeably missing on election night when top aides to John McCain and Sarah Palin gathered in Phoenix, Arizona.

(Updated with additional information 11:45 a.m.)


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (224 Responses)
  1. brad

    sounds like fire to me.

    November 6, 2008 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  2. Diane Fields

    Curiously, I'm not sure that this really matters any longer.

    November 6, 2008 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  3. Jasmine in Germany

    They all seem to be undignified and immature.

    November 6, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  4. JFK

    It was clear for the start that McCain had a mismanaged campaign. It sadly became comical as it progressed to election day. This is a strong reason why I did not vote for him. Management skills will be needed as President and if you cant manage your campaign, thats a good indication you do not belong in the Oval Office.

    November 6, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  5. Gary

    They lost, who cares. The only Republican story I want to hear is Sarah goes back to Alaska and climbs into a hole.
    On the question of what Palin should be doing the next 4 years. She should be " Doing" 4 years.

    November 6, 2008 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  6. Carl from MI

    And these guys wanted to run our nation? It would have been George W. Bush part III!!! Enough already...

    Thank GOD for Obama!!

    It's a good thing McCain lost... our nation is better off without him being President. Time for him and Sarah Palin to write thier books...

    THANK YOU AMERICA FOR WAKING UP AND VOTING SMART!!!

    November 6, 2008 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  7. Dawn

    McCain's Campaign camp is such a diseray! Sarah Palin brought down this Presidencial bid. McCain and his Joe the Plummer tour? To me that sounds like a rock band tour, it was a total joke. Everyone holding signs up and saying, I am Jane the nurse, Rachel the Teacher, Frank the retail worker...come on this is something children would do.... it is probably hushed up and everything will be fadding into the sunset...

    Good luck to our Country, we will really need it...

    November 6, 2008 08:06 am at 8:06 am |
  8. Jon

    OK, we get it. McCain ran a bad campaign. Get over it; I have.

    November 6, 2008 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  9. John

    REPUGS doing what they do best LIE & blame others.

    November 6, 2008 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  10. mike

    CNN still cannot leave the McCain campaign alone. If Governor Palin had worn the dress michelle obama wore on stage election night, they would have laughed about her lack of taste in clothes. That black dress with red flames looked like she just came back from trick or treating with her kids and kept her haloween costume on.

    November 6, 2008 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  11. be happy

    this just sounds like their whole campaign sounded"DIRTY".

    November 6, 2008 08:13 am at 8:13 am |
  12. xcusme

    And the walls are tumbling down. With everything that is facing our new President I glad I voted against McCain. He would not have been able to handle what is in front of Pres-Elect Obama. He has too much going on within his own group/party.

    November 6, 2008 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  13. jeff

    You can blame anyone you want in the McCain camp for the loss but the republicans have 4 years to work on winning their next chance.
    I am a dem and would have voted for Hillary.
    The way to beat Obama next time is to hold him on the promises he made to win this election tand what he told the American public.
    1) If he is not out of Iraq in 16 months as promised give him 24 months and if he is not out call him a liar for going back on his promise

    2) Universal Health care if not every American has health care after his 1st 2 years. Again he will have broken his promise.

    3) If in 2009 He said 95 % of Americans as he promised who are making less than 250 grand will pay less taxes. If he does not meet this goal then that is another broken promise.

    4) If in his 1st year he is not bipaartisan then that will be another lie

    All the republicans have to do is focus on everything he promised the American people in the primaries and the general election and bring it up at every moment when he fails to live up to those promises. He must be outed in the strongets terms and called a liar if he failed.
    Do not accept answers like things have changed, or unexpected developments made me have to postpone parts of my promises. Hold him accountable.

    November 6, 2008 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  14. David

    Last I checked the election is over – yet CNN still wants to report negatively on John McCain. It's okay – he didn't win. You can move on now.

    November 6, 2008 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  15. Arizona Senior

    He'll write a tell-all book and get rich.

    November 6, 2008 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  16. BC

    I'm just glad that we're done with them. I hope they can all pull themselves together and have nice lives with their famlies, etc.. I just don't want them running our country.

    November 6, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  17. From the Caribbean,

    americans can see it now and the difference between the candidates,obama is movin on to lead and mc cain is dealin with the reefs that was there in his camp.thanks America for votin visely the world can feel the change and the fresh air the now circulates in it.please post cnn.

    November 6, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  18. Independent Voter

    no one cares!!

    November 6, 2008 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  19. Conservative business owner in NY

    Not only are the Democrats sore losers, they appear to be sore winners as well...

    November 6, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  20. Fearful

    Most of the comments on this blog have completely missed the point.
    Obama and the democrats were expert in misdirection. The Pelosi-Reid-Obama campaign has a stated and quotable goal of altering the nations perspective of government. Obama stated in a radio interview that the problem with the Constitution was that it was written to restrict the Federal government not say what the government "should" do. For example, bankrupt the coal industry. In the Presidential debate Obama stated that health care was a Right. Where in the constitution or the bill of Rights does it say anything about health care?
    The amount of vitriol over the last 8 years spewing from the Democrats has been unprecedented. The amount of partisanship from Pelosi and Reid making this the most divisive Congress in years is to be rewarded with a "bringing this nation together"?
    All individualists must protect this nation by never giving in to the Pro-collectivists who have fooled the electorate once again.

    November 6, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  21. there's light

    i still get cold chills when i think of how wonderful i felt when obama became our 44th president, he is truly an inspired leader.bless our nation.

    November 6, 2008 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  22. DANIELLE FROM VA

    What do you know...the whole campaign has actually been fired!

    November 6, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  23. DD in Rochester

    For Goodness' sake, let's put the election behind us and start to re-unite! Obama cannot do this all by himself; it starts with us. Rejoice or mourn, do it get over it. All this recrimination and muck-racking is going to continue to divide America.

    November 6, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  24. barbara

    Did anyone notice the way the "First Dude" was glaring during Senator
    McCain's concession speech. He looked more than disappointed. He looked very angry.

    November 6, 2008 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  25. New Day

    Fellow Obama supporters... you guys wanna go back to Obama's victory speech and listen to the part where he talks about unity? Our guy won, we should all be happy but, being a bad winner is pathetic. Show a lil maturity and restraint and focus on making all of us better, not just the ones that agree with us.

    CNN, I know its bad for business to promote unity but, please print this.

    November 6, 2008 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
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