March 27th, 2009
08:10 AM ET
11 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. Louis

    WE ALL SHOULD BE PRAYING–praying that voters wake up and reject nut-case leaders like Palin.

    March 26, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. No Palin

    Who cares. Shut up.

    March 26, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. dallas gal

    Sarah Palin – diving the country one statement at a time...

    she will NEVER be president.

    March 26, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  4. mary

    Palin can't handle 'Handlers". She thinks that she is always right, regardless of the topic. Her narcissism does her in everytime. I'm amazed that she has any followers at all. Even if she did have half a brain, her self-centeredness, greed and ego would do her in, alone.
    But keep on reporting on her, it keeps me amused!

    March 26, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  5. today

    Is this woman trying to use God, or blame God, either way she's patheic, republicans better remove her from their list.

    March 26, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. Me

    CNN's dropping ratings makes them cover anything and everything Palin 🙂

    March 26, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. brown eyes

    as with everything, i'm sure both sides have done things to aggravate the situation. i doubt the blame lies solely with palin or solely with the aides.

    March 26, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. No Brainer

    Now this is a nut job that never thinks before she speaks.Way to go Sarah one more foot in your mouth along with the other comments that never make sense

    March 26, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. Michael Furlong, Huntington NY

    Palin is right! We should all pray more, together, and those that don't, will reap a reckoning!

    March 26, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. dallas gal

    ""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.""

    ENOUGH SAID!

    March 26, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Alfred E. Neumann

    CNN, scouring the globe for negative reports on conservatives.

    You would think that with Joe Biden out there that there would be a fair amount of foot in mouth stories – none.

    Broken Obama promises stories – none.

    Legislative lack of transparency stories – none.

    Democratic pork stories – none.

    March 26, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  12. sandy

    Can't she just let it go already???
    You lost Palin.

    March 26, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  13. Christopher Winter, Huntington NY

    I love Palin...I feel bad for her people diss on her all time...we need to respect her because she's for saving the unborn childrens.

    March 26, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. Expat American

    You hear many say that Sarah Palin, even in defeat, energized the Conservative movement in America.

    Few would disagree that it was never Palin's intellect, nor her grasp of foreign policy, or a global perspective that was the cause for this new found rebirth of the Christian Right.

    Could it be that that a former bikini pageant queen with a pretty face and folksy slack jaw lingo was enough for the racial and religious bigots of the 'Christian' Right to feel energized?

    Look at all of the videos of Palin’s most bigoted supporters on the internet. It’s almost like they’re proud that they are so ignorant; proud that the entire world was laughing at them during the campaign.

    March 26, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. Zach

    A "McCain campaign aide" says something bad about Palin and source was anonymous – surprise, surprise. Why is it that all of these 'aides' that lash out against Palin always remain anonymous? Hmm...

    March 26, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Sarah Palin is a total idiot! If she's the best the GOP has to offer, then the dems have nothing to worry about........ever!

    March 26, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Maggie from Virginia

    The gift that keep on giving.

    March 26, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. karen

    Thank God she didn't make it to Washington, and let's make sure she never does!

    March 26, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  19. jake

    i would have loved to hear this prayer!
    "Dear Jesus, help me paint Obama as a terrorist to the American audience. Dear Jesus, help me get some good zingers on Biden. Dear Jesus, help me with my anti-gay, anti-abortion rhetoric."

    Dear Lord! hasn't this miserable woman alienated enough people?

    March 26, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  20. Brian Langley Deer Park NY

    Palin will be president in 2012 because she's a good christian woman with good family values! That's what America is, not this socialistic hedonistic route we on right now...she's gonna save us all from the russians!

    March 26, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. Greg Hodges

    Look; anybody with an I.Q. higher than that of a turnip knows this woman has no business being Gov. of Alaska; let alone V.P. of the United States. What is scary is; there seems to be millions of people in the U.S. who seem to fall into that category. VERY SCARY!!!!

    March 26, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. A Real Christian

    So...that's what Christianity is supposed to be about? Who is good enough to hold hands and pray with you? What would Jesus do Sarah?

    What a fraud she is.

    March 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. michael furlong cheats

    palin is good

    March 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. Janice Hough

    Oh, I should think the McCain staffers did plenty of praying in private after he chose Sarah Palin.

    March 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  25. Sammy

    I'm beginning to wonder if she has some long standing issues with self examination or self criticism. Seriously I cant imagine any of her staff would have said no, even if to just be polite and kneel with her. If so that would have to mean that maybe she didnt really ask any to pray with her and saying so now smacks of martyrdom.

    March 26, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
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