March 27th, 2009
08:10 AM ET
10 years ago

Palin's prayer remark angers former staffers

Palin's speech last week has some former aides grumbling.

Palin's speech last week has some former aides grumbling.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Some of Sarah Palin's former campaign aides are frustrated with the Alaska governor for remarking in a lengthy, freewheeling speech that she had refused to pray with them before last October's vice presidential debate.

Palin told the story in a speech to a GOP dinner in Alaska last Friday.

"So I'm looking around for somebody to pray with, I just need maybe a little help, maybe a little extra," she said of the moments before the debate. "And the McCain campaign, love 'em, you know, they're a lot of people around me, but nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray."

As the audience laughed, Palin noted that she meant no disrespect to the McCain campaign and that ended up saying a prayer with her daughter Piper.

A handful of the McCain campaign staffers who traveled with the former vice presidential nominee nearly every day for two months caught wind of Palin's remarks on Thursday morning - and they aren't thrilled with her quip.

"We all talked this A.M.," said one former Palin aide in an e-mail. "This set off a nerve for sure with a lot of people."

"It's yet another example of the few staff still loyal to Palin questioning their loyalty and ardent defense of her over the several months since the campaign," said the aide, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about campaign colleagues.

Since election day, Palin has publicly griped about the way she was handled by the McCain team and pushed back against some of the campaign advisers who attacked her anonymously in the press.

But another former staffer said that in doing so, Palin is failing to distinguish between the strategists at McCain headquarters and the people who were at her side every day from late August through election day.

"It's about us people who were on the plane, who showed extreme loyalty to Palin, continually getting thrown under the bus or slapped in the face by her comments, whether she means it or not," the staffer said, adding that Palin's remarks "cause you to question not only your loyalty but her judgment as a leader."

The former aides said they place part of the blame for Palin's post-campaign candor on the governor's staff in Alaska. Several have reached out individually to offer advice or assistance to the governor, but "have gotten only pleasantries in response," said one aide.

"Who is the one making the decision that she needs to be out there saying these things?," the second staffer asked. "Someone needs to be telling her, 'Listen, let's not talk the campaign any more.' We need to talk about what's relevant and thinking about her influence as a voice in the Republican Party."

"The people that she has, either working at her PAC or advisers in Alaska, aren't exactly making the best decisions for her," the staffer said.

Palin's office in Alaska did not respond to a request for comment.


Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (450 Responses)
  1. Paul

    It was God's will that she lost.

    March 26, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  2. Clark, Minnesota

    First, I'm completely disgusted with myself for even reading about Gov. Palin. What confuses/concerns me is this group of Republicans who think she's the future. They almost seem to be working toward a "do over" election any day now. They openly refuse and discourage support for our president (imagine a Democrat spouting such heresy during Bush's nearly apocolyptic reign). Do people really cast votes for representation that refuses to work with, or for, our Commander in Chief? I don't care if they don't like the policies...make them better!

    Also, instead of getting down to the (very important) business at hand, they're focus seems to be on grooming a Palin/Limbaugh ticket. Now, I realize that it will take nearly 3 1/2 years to teach either of them to speak intelajabully, but we just finished with an election that was 2 years long! Aren't they tired? It would seem like fixing the country and all but ruined international relations would be a breath of fresh air.

    Don't get me wrong, a Palin/Limbaugh ticket would be the best collective laugh the world has ever had. And the world could use a good laugh. In fact, I may pray for that laugh. Without needing a hand to hold.

    March 26, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. dumbocrat alert

    i agree with you sarah, the only prayer McCain had is if you had been the top ticket.

    March 26, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Renata Nicole

    I say how about Palin/Steele 2012. Palin is dumb and Steele is dumber!

    March 26, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Steve

    Why didn't she just pray with the witch doctor from her church?

    March 26, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. Mike in PA

    Whaaaaaa Ricky!!!!

    March 26, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. Sarie Paylin

    Hillary 2016!!!!

    March 26, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Roger Sikma

    Honerable Sara Palin
    I'd be proud to pray with you and I' always pray for you.
    The only thing that can and will save America is God.
    Roger Sikm
    Allendale Mi 49401

    March 26, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  9. Obama 2012

    She will self-destruct real soon. I feel sorry for her because she doesn't have enough sense to know what is happening to herself.

    March 26, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    Mary,
    Who runs the show? the staffers or the leader of the staff. The lady is clearly a vacuous bobblehead.

    March 26, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  11. chuck

    SARAH PALIN IS THE BIGGEST IDIOT IN ALASKA. I CALL ON ALL ALASKANS TO THROW HER OUT IN 2010. ALASKA COULD BE BETTER OFF WITH ANYONE ELSE THAN THIS BIMBO.

    March 26, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  12. guy mallarino

    Palin......What a Bozo......

    March 26, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  13. Keith

    Why? Why? Do we even care? Go kill a few wolf pups...

    March 26, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  14. Stubanas

    Just another female George Bush (W). STOP covering her every action. She is not qualified to be, and this is the distinction, to be the leader of the free world.

    March 26, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Nelson

    Oh, I guess Obama's quip about the Special Olympics was a thought filled slow response, right? All of these fowl mouthed remarks about Palin and Republicans and or Conservatives smacks of a conceited lot of so called Americans who are becoming the most intolerant group in American history.

    As a Christian, I can somewhat understand what Gov. Palin was feeling before the debate. She was surrounded by strangers, political operatives who were only interested in the "show must go on" and to ask them to stop and bow their heads in prayer with her, probably at that particular time, would have received a silent response and made her more tense. Piper was the best choice. At least she was being honest, something the left has a problem with , right... Sec. of the Treasury?

    March 26, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. Pete Collins

    Palin speaks the language of the LOSER, always the whining victim of imaginary conspiracies. In this case, she even calls herself a "better" Christian than others, even though she didn't manage to impart to her high-school (or did she drop out?) unwed daughter not to have sex before marriage.

    March 26, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. Stubanas

    Hey, B, ILLIONOIS, get a life!

    March 26, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  18. Green Collar Voter

    As a centrist independent who generally ends up voting Dem, SP is the answer to my prayers: Popular enough with the GOP base to possibly get the Republican nomination in '12, but otherwise completely unelectable.

    Go, Sarah!

    March 26, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  19. republicans hate america

    Thats because the rush limbaugh party only uses religion to get votes out of the inbreeds that practice it. They dont actually believe that garbage remember they are all phonies.

    March 26, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    Do we really have to read and watch stories and commentsabout useless and often hatefull sore loser such a Gov. Sarah Palin.
    It's totally uninteresting and will never help our great country to go back up. It just brings a bad feeling.
    Monique de Warren

    March 26, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  21. Chuck

    I mean, really, do Palin's unfocused and off-the-cuff comments surprise anyone. She has been this shallow since day one of her vice-presidential campaign. She reminds of George W. Bush in that she is unable (or maybe unwilling since she refuses to read) to think on her feet... well worse than Bush.

    March 26, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. David, Beaufort, SC

    Let's see – where to begin.

    Let's talk turkey. This is a politician who thought it would be smart to pardon a turkey in front of a turkey killing machine.

    This is a politician who thought she could lie about her position on the "Bridge to Nowhere" and no one would find out.

    This is a politician who actually thought she could be Vice President or President of the United States, having been a small town mayor for 8 years and a one year governor of a welfare state.

    This is a politician who can't take rejection, who continues to give people reason to reject her.

    This is a politician whose mouth works much faster than her brain.

    Thanks but no thanks, indeed.

    March 26, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  23. patriot

    Bet these GOPers are kicking themselves for letting this genie out of the bottle. Sure, the "base" loves her, but the base is just a small, angry, insignificant little band of goofballs. Press, keep covering her and report everything she says (verbatim!). Let the rest of the country know what the GOP tried to foist on us as leadership. We'll not soon forget.

    March 26, 2009 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  24. janette

    There is simply nothing I can possibly add to the comments above, they have said it all.

    March 26, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  25. Another One She Wouldn't Pray With

    So, the 'former staffer' says that Palin's remarks "cause you to question not only your loyalty but her judgment as a leader." I couldn't help it, I really did LOL reading that. All I could think was, "When did you finally start paying attention to what she's saying?!?" I'm not even a Christian and I know it's pretty darned un-Christian to look at people with whom you're working for a (supposedly) shared cause and think, "Uh, nah. I don't wanna pray with them."

    March 26, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
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