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. joseph scalmato

    I don't know why some people just don't understand that all Sarah Palin,Rush Limbaugh,& Dick Cheney do is plant the seeds of hate towards people who all they want to do is try to get this country going in the right direction after the last administration was decietful about their actions.

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

    Go baby, go. You are awesome, you are a find lady, have great principles, and I hope to vote for you for President.

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

    She should have resigned a long time ago. Hope she doesn't come back into politics and embarrass herself (and us) further trying to be a senator or the president!!

    July 3, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  4. Theresa

    Things get rough, really rough and so she quits. Thank God she"s not VP nor serving in the military... I wouldn"t want aquitter to have my back. Would you?

    July 3, 2009 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  5. Denine

    See ya', Loser! But, something tells me she will still be in the media spotlight. Blah!

    July 3, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. sean

    Really? Why does anyone care about Sarah Palin? She is a joke. If this is what politics has come to in America then we're near the end. She is a complete moron. It's was horrible watching the dope son of the George Bush in office but even hearing her name as a candidate makes me sick. Hopefully she will just leave quietly in Alaska. Just go away.

    July 3, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  7. Ren from Baltimore

    So she wants to take care of her family, Todd needs the help, and everyone wants them to get out of the limelight.

    Let's jus wish her well and let it go at that.

    July 3, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  8. $LAVE

    The Republican Party is a dying breed...Palin embodies the eroding "values" of the so called conservatives of this country, good riddance. We The People are better off without them.

    July 3, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  9. David

    If Palin thinks that the rest of American feels any different about here than the people of Alaska, she is mistaken. Her right wing extremist ideology, hypocrisy, lies and deceit is that America and the world rejects about Sarah Palin. She used her children for political gain and it backfired on them all.

    Choosing to quit instead of dealing with her issues in Alaska is another primary example why she does not need to be in politics, especially anywhere near the white house. But I really don't blame her for being in over her head....I blame John McCain.

    He set her up for massive failure, all for his selfish political wet dream. Now the country is left to deal with the backlash from his campaign of hate and division.

    Another one bites the dust. GOP-RIP

    July 3, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  10. Keith in Austin

    Alaskan citizens received a tax rebate this year! Obama will be taxing us into oblivion. Any questions you Liberal socialists? Wake up America!

    July 3, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  11. Michigander

    So she won't have even a full term as governor on her resume in 2011. But I bet she has a book that sells well, maybe 100,000 copies to people who still believe she's a Christian by the time it's published. And I can just hear it now, a book about how the media brought her down. How Democrats and anonymous bloggers were the ruination of her life. But nada about the affairs, the failure of her son to graduate from high school, the early pregnancy of her daughter, the use of her children as props during the campaign...bet none of THAT is any of her doing either. Sarah lives in her own little bubble....I wish her well, but not on the national stage again.

    July 3, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  12. Mike in Montana

    Talk about being between a rock and hard place. Almost, sounds like Governor Sara Palin didn't want to fight her adversaries or Alaska's problems. Or maybe, the whole Republican Party problems. I wish Governor Sara Palin would have stayed the Governor of Alaska and a wait and see what happens around the corner.., including her next election for Governor of Alaska and 2012. Mike in Montana P.S.: Sara, I wish you had stuck it out.

    July 3, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  13. KellyS

    She thrust her personal life into the headlines, this hasn't been done TO Sarah Palin.

    The woman was and continues to be woefully unprepared for the stpotlight she so avidly pursued. That her incompetence and lack of sophistication were so prominently displayed is as likely the reason for the backlash as any claim of people simply being against her.

    Here's hoping this really is her swan song.

    July 3, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  14. Larry Kraus

    Obama is a brutal opponent he is picking off his opponents for the 2012 presidential campaign. Who is left and how long will they be a viable candidate?

    July 3, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  15. debra

    Why don't you read what Sarah Palin said about why she is stepping down instead of making your own reason..... it has NOTHING NOTHING TO DO WITH BASELESS ETHICS COMPLAINTS. The media has shown their true colors that truth has nothing to do with what they report.... they say and attack because they have the power to.

    July 3, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  16. David

    One day little Sarah Palin will grow up and being to take responsibility for her own actions. Blaming everyone else for not making her q

    July 3, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  17. gnomepark

    Wouldn't she had made a lovely president????

    July 3, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  18. GAK

    IF she can't handle the heat as Gov. Why in Gods name would ANYONE want her as a president??? Does she think the scrutiny would be less if she was President?? All she has done is prove that she was the wrong choice for VP and wrong for Alaska.. I wonder if she can see Buenos Aires from her back porch,like she can see Russia from her front porch??

    July 3, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  19. Sarah will run and win in 2012......

    Obama is failing miserably on the economy, unemployment, and home foreclosures.......he WILL be gone in 2012-–

    Plus Obama is failing miserably in foreign affairs as he is mocked by
    N. Korea and told by Iran to "butt out."...he WILL be gone in 2012....

    Tomorrow Colin Powell will be on CNN explaining why Obama is failing.....tune in.

    July 3, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  20. Peter (CA)

    And the right wingers will continue to spin. Here we have an ethically challenged, intellectually challenged ideologue who only cares about her own aspirations. Yet, the clueless will continue to say the left is scared of her. Frankly, the only thing that scares us is that there are some people (and it is a small number) so ideological and so ingrained to destroy anything that is not like them, that they would support this candidate who is unable to govern Alaska, let alone a country.

    With any luck, the truth about her sordid dealings will come out soon and we will be spared dealing with her anymore.

    July 3, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |

    You are a FINE lady and a future President of the United States.

    July 3, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  22. BOB

    Does she want some cheese with that whine? If she had ethics, she wouldn't have complaints.

    July 3, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  23. Lynn

    Hey, if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen, Sarah. Politics is no girly game.

    July 3, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  24. Cecelia

    Good Riddance.

    July 3, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  25. democrat no mas

    She's a beautiful, inspirational person who has endured more scrutiny and pain than any politician in recent memory. I Feel badly for the way our "impartial" press treated her. However, she was not and will probably never be my choice for President. Sorry, but now is as good a time to step down as any.

    July 3, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
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