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. Rebecca

    Oh, NO. Does this mean she'll be back in VA? Say it isn't so.

    July 3, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  2. Tom

    What did she say about Obama during the Election: "I guess if you can't handle the heat, then get out of the kitchen".

    Or, whatever happened to the Pit Bull that she referenced.

    As if Obama hasn't and doesn't take shots on an hourly basis about everything under the sun.

    Sometimes, you have to let them go, as Steve Schmidt recommended to her. How would Palin handle Putin or NoKo or Iran?

    July 3, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  3. Steve L.

    Oh, that book deal will keep her busy –$7 million they say. But, I am not sure how many of her fans can actually read. However, I really do hope the republicans nominate her as their candidate for president for 2012. She really does represent those gosh darn conservative views so well. She can do for America what she did for Alaska, or maybe what she could have done if the bad old liberal media didn't force her to resign. Better hurry Ms Sarah, cute and stupid seems to be more powerful than old and stupid-just ask that old maverick. I just love those incoherent off the cuff speeches of hers–I get a thrill up my leg! Palin/Letterman 2012!

    July 3, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  4. Never Repub again

    Ha ha I hope she gets jail time for paling around with terrorists.

    July 3, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  5. JOY

    No tears to shed for Sarah. She needs to tone down, she replies to every little comment, makes her look cheap and petty. It is time for her to study the intricacies of Government /Politics / Foreign Affairs etc. and come back h forcefully . She is to also cut out that silly gotcha and squint eye habit, get serious and act lady like . I wish her luck in her new found endeavour

    July 3, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  6. Mick

    What a self-absorbed, lying cry baby. If the good governor can't handle the pressures of running a tiny state like Alaska there is no way on God's green earth she can handle the pressures of national office.

    Still, I'm sad to see her go. I will miss her dim-witted failures of logic, the constant malaprops, her spectacularly grandiose narcissism and endless stream of melodrama battling her in-laws, her daughter's baby-daddy and the evil forces of late night comedy and Katy Couric.

    Palin in 2012.....at 11:30 PM on your local Fox News Station.

    "Romney, Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were essentially locked in a three-way tie as frontrunners among potential Republican primary voters".

    Enjoy that continued slide into irrelevance Pubbies. You've got three proven losers, rejected by the voters, leading your ticket. By 2012 that current 21% who identify themselves as Republican will be down to the single digits and be nothing but a wistful dream of glory days now long past.

    July 3, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  7. Ken Dardick

    Mitt Romney did not "step(ped) down as Massachusetts governor". He was elected in 2002 and served one term, leaving office at the end of his term in 2007.

    July 3, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  8. Ann Weigler

    God Bless Sarah Palin. The world certainly needs more like her, who REALLY do love America and democracy. These are so many who only pull for their own agenda, that we all see as America flounders under the narcissistic rule in powers that be now.

    July 3, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  9. Gordon Miller

    Poor Sara Pallin. Why can't people understand how great she really is and how she has never done anything wrong and how much she deserves to be President, and how much people would admire her if only the awful press would quit pointing out her problems which really are everyone else's fault, and how silly it is for people to want to know what she knows about anything other than fighting abortion and ??? After all, she can see Russia from Alaska and she loves Alaska and all those awful John McCain aides were making her look bad and no one should ever criticize her or try to tell her better ways to do things. It's just terrible the way everyone mistreats her. Someday everyone will understand how wrong we are to ask her about anything she does not want to talk about, or to wonder what she means by her incoherent ramblings when she does open her mouth. I betcha we'll all love her eventually if only everyone will realize how wrong we have been about her.

    July 3, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  10. DFT

    If you cant stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

    July 3, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  11. fralene

    Sarah Palin relished her role as McCain's "attack dog". I guess it's just not as much fun when the big dog is surrounded by a bunch of other barking dogs. Sarah's heart might be in the right place, but she is a polarizing figure and never had what it takes to appeal to a majority of national voters. Lots of show, little substance. Good-bye Sarah. Thanks for the entertainment.

    July 3, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  12. Mark

    I can't wait to find out what's really going on!

    I've never heard Palin so tense and nervous. She sounded like she was on the verge of tears. There must be some really scary stuff going on behind teh curtains, to force her to quit like that.

    Either way her political career is over. Nobody wants to elect somebody who will randomly quit in the middle of her term.

    If she can't stand teh pressure of being Governor of Alaska, how can she stand the pressure of being President.

    Good riddance, if you ask me!

    July 3, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  13. Bethie in TX

    Palin's constant claims of being targeted by the media contradict the image of toughness she tries to portray. If she really wants to succeed on the national stage, she had better get some thicker skin. Playing the victim all the time is very unbecoming. We women voters don't appreciate it!!!

    July 3, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  14. joseph goodwin

    Sarah Palin's POTUS aspirations confirm that everyone – regardless of qualifications – is free to pursue their dream in America. What she will learn, however, is that if you can't run with the big dogs you should stay on the porch. Sarah's woefully inadequate formal education alone will hold her back. Add to that her alarming lack of knowledge about the world outside of her small sphere and what you have is a woman who over promises and under delivers.

    July 3, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  15. Grahame

    Ethics! you've got to be kidding me. This is the most self serving egotisical unethical woman in politics. It's only her who used her family as stage props. It's her who arranged for her brother in law to get fired. It's only her who arranged for he bridge to nowhere and a million other things. The wpam is a uneducated moron.
    Goodbye and good riddance to bad rubbish.

    July 3, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  16. John

    Yes, she certainly has the fortitude to be the POTUS. When someone in Iran complains about her daughter, will she complain about being attacked as a woman?

    No one is focused on Sarah Palin but Sarah Palin. Did the "liberal mainstream media" ask her if she could be Obama in a foot race?

    This woman is a loon, pure and simple. I cannot wait for her to finally appear on say, Meet the Press. What a trainwreck that will be.

    July 3, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  17. Joanna in PA

    She herself is focused on bring herself down. We just like watching the Sara Show. She fits with a child on the Trya show, Dave letterman, bloggers, ect. She has the intellectual maturity of a fifth grader.

    July 3, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  18. S M R

    When you are a government official , you are not allowed to use the saying " When the heats on, get out of the kitchen. This shows her lack of experience in any form of Government, let alone the Presidency of the U.S.A. What is her political team thinking? DUH

    July 3, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  19. John - Dallas, TX

    Thank God! Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, GOOD BYE!!!!

    July 3, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  20. Blue Dog

    Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Palin "is an important and galvanizing voice in the Republican Party."

    Oh yes! Palin will go over great in New Jersey, a state where people can actually read and think for themselves. Great plan! Palin may poll well down south with the inbred hillbillies but here in the Northeast she's a walking joke and completely irrelevant beyond a tiny lunatic fringe. Better to keep her with the hillbillies in Virginia whose 8th grade drop out education prevents them from believing anything besides what they hear on Faux News.

    July 3, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  21. Is it over

    Does this mean the end of her political career?

    July 3, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  22. caa2

    I had to notice this quote below
    Whether you have charisma or not, you're still trying to pull something off.

    However, CNN Republican strategist Mary Matalin said she thought the move was "really brilliant" on Palin's part, though she admitted she was surprised when she heard the news.

    "Her delivery was incredible. If you're a less charismatic person, you probably couldn't pull it off," Matalin said. "[Now] she will be freed up and liberated the way Mitt Romney is to raise money and get political chips by spending it and getting political capital. And she is still raising the kinds of crowds and money she always did."

    July 3, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  23. tired of palin

    Let me see if I understand this right. Quitting when the going gets tough (as opposed to individual responsibility) is now the message of today's republican party? This misses the mark of firm and steady leadership through difficult times.

    July 3, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  24. Kimberley in California

    Ms Palin is not the only governor to face opposition from others, including their own party. That she "blinked" tells a lot about her: if she does not have the temperament nor ability to finish the job she took an oath to do, she is surely unfit to be POTUS.

    July 3, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  25. Bob

    Please God – let her fade away into the Alaskan wilderness to raise her children and her grandchildren, never to be heard from again. Please. In His Name Amen

    July 3, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
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