July 4th, 2009
10:28 AM ET
9 years ago

Palin aide: ‘People are focused on bringing her down’

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A spokeswoman for Sarah Palin blamed the swarm of ethics complaints that have dogged the Alaska governor for Friday's surprise announcement that she would be leaving office by the end of the month.

When the former Republican vice presidential candidate returned to Alaska after the campaign and pressed her agenda, "she found...resistance, and she found as she looked up more and more that state time and resources were being just wasted with just frivolous ethics complaints coming in, and FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests and lawsuits - but to an extraordinary extent, and from literally those doing opposition research," spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux on The Situation Room Friday. "And so she said really, is this good for Alaska? Is this what a governor is supposed to do, sit and watch money going down the drain?"

Palin's return to her home state has been a rocky one. Beyond a flood of ethics complaints - most of which have been dismissed - the governor was forced to backtrack on her decision to reject federal stimulus funds, her pick for attorney general was rejected by an increasingly hostile legislature, and her personal life has continued to grab headlines.

Stapleton denied that Palin was leaving office because she'd decided her lightning rod status was a liability to the state - but conceded that the governor felt personally targeted. "I know you want to put that sort of negative word in there, but it's not a 'liability' - it's that she has a vision for the state...the best way and the best place to effect change at this point is outside her role as governor, because as governor people are just focused on bringing her down rather than building up the state, and that's not who she is."

Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell told CNN the governor told him of her decision to resign Wednesday night, the day after the release of a tough Vanity Fair profile that featured a fresh round of criticism from former McCain-Palin campaign staffers.

"You know, I was surprised at first, and didn't understand, because i think the traditional political thing to do is to stay in a position like that, and then, you know, leverage it into something greater. But that's not Sarah Palin," he said, praising her "independent streak." "She is a real person with real dreams for real people, and when she believes she can effect better change for others through other means, she's just going to do that."

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Friday Palin might be able to make a difference this year, as the party focuses on gubernatorial races in two key swing states. "I plan on talking to Governor Palin very soon,” he said in a statement. “She is an important and galvanizing voice in the Republican Party. I believe she will be very helpful to the Party this year as we wage critical campaigns in Virginia and New Jersey. I am certain this has been a difficult decision for her to step down as Alaska's governor. She has been a good governor for her state and I wish her and the Palin family the best during this transition."

Mitt Romney - who stepped down as Massachusetts governor before launching his 2008 presidential bid — had a pithier reaction. "I wish Sarah Palin and her family well, and I know that she will continue to be a strong voice in the Republican Party," he said, in a statement released by his Free and Strong America PAC.

Romney, Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were essentially locked in a three-way tie as frontrunners among potential Republican primary voters in the most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll of 2012 presidential preferences.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. kas

    Anything at this point would be preferable to the disaster called Obama.

    July 3, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  2. ThinkAboutIt

    Soooooo, when the going gets rough, Sarah Palin ... QUITS! Yeah, right, she's presidential material ...

    July 3, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  3. Rosalyn Casson

    She's weak. And if she tries to run against Obama in 2012...she'll be crucifed.

    July 3, 2009 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  4. Carole

    You play with the big dawgs, you get bitten by the big dawgs.

    So 'PALIN AROUND WITH TERRORISTS' was a nice thing to say about someone? She needs to look within for once. I would maybe respect her. I think Pawlenty and Romney are taking her down Republicans are dirty.

    July 3, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  5. everthing old is newt again

    as a confirmed atheist, all i can say is THANK GOD!!!!

    July 3, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  6. malabar

    CA-CHING!!! time to make that money Mrs. Palin without having to deal with the b.s..... nice move and congrats to anyone that takes over the press in this death of MJ time.... you are officially a rock star, time to start padding your bank account like one! As for the naysayers- didn't they also think they'd be done with you on the morning of Nov. 5, 2008? hahahahahahaha...........

    July 3, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  7. Tom - LA

    Please! She brought herself down... Who wrote that speech... Priceless! She is a fool and definitely a drama queen.

    Here we go – I said it before she didn't like MJ was taking away the spotlight this week. Whinning as usually..... She is tooooooo much of a drama queen "screw political correctness" Yabetcha!

    July 3, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Hate to tell those paranoid people, but sara brought herself down. She needs to go away for a few years and study the english language and sentence structure. She's an IDIOT.

    July 3, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. karkri

    Yes, sweetie, people are the ultimate bosses in a democracy and yes, they see right thru Palin's cluelessness and so they are determined to bring her down.

    July 3, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  10. JR

    Well, as the saying goes, "When the going gets tough, the tough get going". When the going for Sarah started getting tough, she got going, out of her responsibilities and out of the only thing that gave her credibility. Way to duck out on the people that were fool enough to vote for you and way to prove all the critics right about your lack of character.

    July 3, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  11. MartiM, Plano

    Where there is smoke, there's fire....?

    July 3, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  12. JR

    From a CBS piece:
    "her conservative base will continue to support her no matter what she does"

    Just like they did for the last fruitcake that ran for president, Ross Perot. Let's hope the only thing she accomplishes is that she splits the GOP and guarantees that Obama will win re-election in 2012.

    July 3, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |

    The real truth will come out, just watch. Alaska is way better off without her. What a dipstick she is.

    July 3, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  14. Anny

    There is more to this story than has been told by Palin and in the weeks and months it will leak out.......there is a scandal that she is wanting to run away from and doesn't want to be in office when it hits the media.......for someone that doesn't like the media to talk bad about her she is sure to sink her own ship........

    July 3, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  15. Carol

    Something else is going on here.
    How is it that she decides to step down the day after the Vanity Fair article came out? No backbone.
    Her words do not ring true to me.

    July 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. cate k.

    How would she have ever handled V.P. position if under fire she resigns as governor.

    Being in public office is a highly compensated position and with it comes perks and pain. But to step down from her position leaves me feeling very comfortable in my own personal position that she was NOT a reasonable candidate for the second highest position in this country. Had she come under fire would she have stepped down from the presidency or vice presidency? I wish her well, but feel she is a very weak link and should reconsider publilc life entirely.
    cate N.J.

    July 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. dale from indiana

    Funny thing.. the media hammered Hillary the worse I've ever seen and she didn't quit. The old saying winners never quit and quitters never win...

    July 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. Andrew

    LOL...Palin haters did not expect this. What will they do now? Find a job?

    July 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  19. Dave

    What's left for a human heart? Beheading and Jihadee is right fot their point

    July 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  20. Kate

    Buh bye, Sarah! Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!

    July 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  21. mab91c

    Good for her.

    July 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. dinah

    She shouldn't be in the position. She has the talent to impress but not the ability to follow throughand is doing the right thing for herself and for Alaska. Amazing confidence with little substance. Good luck to her in private life.

    July 3, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  23. Big Ed

    Let's see – Gov. Palin, always on the road aggitating people. Gov. Palin, can punch, but cannot take a punch. Never seems to be taking care of Alaska's business. Won't be completing her first term as Governor because she is getting picked on and she is a front runner for the Republican nomination in the next presidential election? And the Republicans wonder why they are in trouble?

    If you can't run with the big dogs, STAY ON THE PORCH!

    July 3, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  24. PA Independent

    Palin quitting is actually a very good thing for the GOP long term. If they had run her in 2012, it would have meant another generation in the political wilderness. Question is, who will replace her in the pack? Another ideological neoconservative religious-nationalist hack who mangles the English language, or a thoughtful classic conservative pragmatist who is capable of leadership? Time will tell, but I have to say I'm not optimistic.

    July 3, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. Richard Crow

    Apparently she can't take the heat and is finally getting out of the kitchen.


    July 3, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
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