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. Ken

    The news media would be well-served to cease all coverage of this politician. She distorts reality, leads many Christians into believing that their faith, and not policy or global economic evolution, will dictate who should win and who shouldn't. The more isolated this woman is in Alaska, and the sooner she is voted out of office, the more the state of Alaska and news readers will all benefit. Thank you

    March 27, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. Su

    Aren't Palin's fifteen minutes of fame up YET? I am so sick of her blaming everyone for her trials and tribulations. Just when you think you've heard the last blast from her, she opens up her big mouth and creates....guess what.....more publicity for herself! She is nothing more than a media hound who loves the spotlight. Everytime she thinks the spotlight is dimming, she says something stupid, controversial, or both and causes an uproar. And, of course, the media is eating out of her hand. How 'bout if we ignore her–maybe she'll go away for good.

    March 27, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  3. GWB2012

    You go girl! It is crystal clear to us Republicans now that Sarah was the only Republican on our ticket. As much as I like John McCain, it has become more obvious over time that he really is a moderate democrat. His daughter needs to shut the pie hole and stop being a closet democrat, too. I mean, girl, really – you're not a Republican – accept it and move on.

    March 27, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  4. Texas

    My first reaction to her comment, why didn't you go to a church. That is a good place to pray and find folks that will pray with you. On the other hand she could have just bowed her head and said a prayer. How did this happen to the Republican party. This puritan concept all mixed together with government. Isn't that 1 reason why we left the "ol" country? To get away from church governing state. I just don't get it and I will never will.

    I am a dem but nevertheless I would like to know we have 2 strong party's. As long as the religious right has control of the party, need I say more.....

    March 27, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. Bebop

    Well, I agree with Palin on one thing...she needs all the prayers she can get. And even that's not enough.

    March 27, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  6. Linda

    I'm a believer and if I felt the need to pray with someone, I wouldn't be thinking are any of these people "worthy" to pray with...I would be thinking I need the power of everyone together. Now if she knew they weren't believers that's a different thing. I don't know what she's trying to get at here. If she didn't feel they were "worthy", then the fault lies with her, it's not our job to judge people's worthiness of God.

    March 27, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  7. EDDIE

    I hope she is the repub nominee.Can you imagine the hate and finger pointing that will be spewed during that campaign?Let's stay tuned to SPTV and lets see what's next.

    March 27, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  8. jack

    By now she must have set the record for whinning. Somebody please contact Guiness. She's a little spoiled kid still throwing a temper tantrum. Can we please call for a four year time out?

    March 27, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. Tim

    Are these the same staffers who publicly released their frustrations about Palin to the media during the end of the election campaign? It's pretty simple.....some staffers didn't like her and publicly talk about it while she puts alot of public blame on the staffers for not running a good campaign and using her properly. I have a thought.....who cares!

    March 27, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  10. Reader

    I guess she didn't pray hard enough. Since the GOP ticket lost the election and all. Or maybe God DOES answer prayers after all! Because the GOP ticket lost the election, and all.

    March 27, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  11. warren

    And with all the "wishing for good things to happen"...oh, excuse me..."praying", her deity was still unable to give her the power to prevail over the perceived evil of the democratic party. I'm stunned! Must be the forces of darkness at work again. Wish harder, Sarah...wish harder...Did you remember to tap the heels of your ruby slippers together while you were wishing? No? Then that's what you get, no VP spot.

    March 27, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  12. Oski

    Honestly, why do they always speak on condition of anonymity? Palin staffers should be signing book deals and interviewing across the country right now. For them, they'd get attention and money. For us, we'd know that there's some legitimacy to all this with people willing to attach their names, and specifics, to their comments rather than just cowardly insults.

    I'm very anti-Palin myself, but I do think it's a bit irritating that she's constantly being attacked by people who won't even disclose their own identities.

    March 27, 2009 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  13. meh

    Hmmm I didn't realize Christians were supposed to be so...Elistist!

    Mary> Right right...they just made up that she used campaign funds to buy her and her family expensive wardrobes (like silk boxer shorts for hubs!) that she took back w. her to Alaska. That's why there was a court order for her to return the items! Sure, it was all the staffers' fault.

    Mike> Ah yes. The "breath of fresh air" talking point. I never tire of seeing that one. Oh wait...yes, I do!

    North of Forty> Really? Not seeing that....wetting their pants...why?

    March 27, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. PJP

    Hey proud american, if you get a Bible, I'm not so sure you have one, it says in Matthew 18:19 & 20 where 2 or 3 or more come together in faith believing whatever you ask for will be done.

    I understand where she is coming from. She was probably looking around for someone that would really believe along with her. When God says to beleive, He means really believe for what you are askng for. Most people just throw something in the air and says, here God You do it without really beleiving He will. There is where America has failed. Blaming things on God when He has given us the very same authority that Jesus Christ had when He was here on earth. It's up to us to pray, beleive what we pray for, then ask God to give us the strength to go out and kick the devil's butt, in the NAME OF JESUS!

    This proably won't get published, but it's the truth anyway!

    March 27, 2009 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  15. Interested in MO

    She is a breathe of fresh air... and make me laugh whenever I hear or read something she says. When my son was a toddler, and he whined, I would say "I'm sorry sweetheart, but Mommy can't understand you when you whine. Use your regular voice, and I'll be able to understand you." It worked.
    Too bad no-one does that with poor little Sarah.

    March 27, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  16. Dee

    Amen to that, Proud American! If she's worried about who she's praying with, then it becomes all about self – not about the prayer.

    March 27, 2009 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  17. steve

    Why does thie woman continue to remind us what a bullet we dodged when we voted for Obama. better to be silent and let people think you a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt!

    March 27, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  18. Unemployed

    Why is it her staffers fault that SHE didn't feel comfortable praying with them? Did she ask them? What was the problem with praying alone? As a governor, why does she feel the need to publicly discuss her prayers instead of the economic crisis? According to Palin, everything is someone else's fault. If she really believes that, she should be praying for those people instead of criticizing them in public.

    March 27, 2009 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  19. tom edmister

    just a conservative that does not want to be governed by a religious ideologue that believes the earth is 10,000 yrs old, takes a literal interpretation of the bible. a person that takes the mention of god by the founding fathers as an endorsement of the christian religion rather than just the acknowledgment of a higher power.

    March 27, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  20. cant we all just get along

    The more she talks the better it gets for DEMS. I beg republicans to make this girl their nominee for 2012. I am begging republicans to make her the nominee. Please make my day and do it. I love watching this girl insert her foot into her mouth everytime she talks. Obama wins over 400 EV if he goes against Palin in 2012.

    Palin 2012 " for my own amusement."

    March 27, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  21. AEK

    You would think that even with Alaska's small population that there would be some things that she could be doing in relation to her job as governor and get out of the headlines. Let's see, I know there's a volcano erupting right now, there are several Native American groups dealing with some very devastating social issues, and of course the stimulus package political football. Maybe she should just pick one!

    March 27, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  22. Will Last

    ahhh . . . she didn't have a prayer. And whose fault is that, really?

    March 27, 2009 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  23. Big Ed

    It's always someone else's falult. She is a vicitm of this conpiracy, this plot, this group. She can never take responsibility for her failures or mistakes. The real problem is, each time she trots out in public, there are cameras there to record her goofy ramblings. What if she held a press conference and no one came?

    March 27, 2009 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  24. Paul

    Bridges definitely go nowhere when they're burned.

    March 27, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  25. Darlene

    More proof that Palin is a nut-case, more proof that she did not qualify to be VP, more proof that she is not what the Republican Party needs to clean house and rebuild our country!

    At no time have I hear of this lady taking any responsibility for ANYTHING. I am so hoping that her 15 mins. of fame are about up so that real focus can be placed on finding the "new" leaders of the party.

    March 27, 2009 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
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