July 4th, 2009
10:28 AM ET
5 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. Joyce Becker

    X-Governor Palin just couldn't take the heat and it is good that she quit, I doubt if she ever would have any chance at a higher office seeing she quit one already.

    July 3, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  2. peewee

    It's about time!

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

    now maybe she can convince mark sanford

    July 3, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  4. BillH

    For anyone to claim that they are qualified to be President of the U.S. requires a considerable amount of chutzpah. For Sarah Palin to make that claim requires something more. This isn't a beauty contest and most of us in the "lower 48" have better sense than to vote for her. Of course, I can't speak for my conservative friends.

    July 3, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. frank

    See ya!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 3, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  6. Mike Wagner

    No.. people are focused on her going away.. and that we hopefully will no longer be subjected to the meaningless stories about this incompetent and uneducated woman. Surely Alaskans are embarrassed by the pathetic display that has gnawed at all of us since McCain picked her. 'Course.. she was elected governor with a whopping 17% voter turnout.

    July 3, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. Thomasr

    What comes around goes around as they say. This is the most polarizing politician since G.W. Bush. She has no chance of bringing this country together. As a far right winger if you are not accepted in Alaska then where?

    July 3, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. D.Tin

    I hope her net move would be to run for the the post as the Senator from Alaska. There she would have a lifelong career, but if she has hopes to run for president in 2012 on the republican ticket, then she and her advisors are surely not grounded in reality. Except for fox viewers and other conservative radio listeners, intelligent conservatives are looking for candidate on our level. Not all conservatives are swooned by simple rhetoric. Evangelical preacher like, simple condemning speeches usually turn us off.

    July 3, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  9. dave

    Sarah Palin is awesome. Once again, she proves she cares, and doesn't want to be a leach on taxpayers. She isn't quitting 'under fire,' and the more you liberals say that, it only shows you're scared to death of her running against Obama in 2012. She can win, and I believe she will be the next U.S. president.

    July 3, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. Garofulaar

    If she quits when the going gets a bit tough in Alaska, how can even the most die-hard republican believe she's capable of being president?

    How long would she have lasted in the current situation – the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, N. Korea? A week maybe?

    July 3, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  11. How you like me now

    she quit because she is a quitter PERIOD
    if it quacks its a duck

    July 3, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  12. Ryan

    Good for you, Sara. This will give you more time to protect all of us by sitting on your front porch and keeping an eye on Russia. If you see them doing something fishy be sure to give us a call.

    July 3, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. Bill Royer

    I'm sorry that CNN is the moderator of this situatin because I don't trust them to be honest.

    July 3, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. E.C.Coleman

    Governor Palin doesn't need this turmoil in her term as Governor.

    She has been a great Governor for Alaska and deserves more from her term as Governor.
    If it's the Democrats and the State Controlled Media of obama creating the havoc and ethics complaints, then they, as a party, should be ashamed.

    Governor Palin has a lot to offer, not only to Alaska, but to the United States. She has a natural gift for the political arena and should not waste her time or money trying to defend herself for frivolous issues.
    As she stated, she and Todd have a huge bill for her defense facing them, and this cannot continue.

    What a sham is the Politics of America, we all pay a HUGE price for the Freedoms we enjoy.
    Lately, the State Controlled Media, who is in favor of only obama and his liberal agenda, have created unjust and unethical treatment of our good politicians.
    It is past time for the State Conttrolled Media to STOP.
    Otherwise, the American People will see to it that YOU STOP.

    July 3, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. Emma

    The woman cannot handle disagreement and pressure. Definitely not good signs for an aspiring politician. I am wondering if she thinks there is an easy way to become known as someone who has the capacity to lead a nation.

    July 3, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. George

    Palin's decision to step down is something that should be explored without rumor or speculation. CNN has lately gotten into the habit of combating other news agencies and reporting first on speculation.

    As for Palin visiting New Jersey: Mr. Steele, trust that very few people in New Jersey are impressed with Palin. If you want to help the Republican party, avoid sending her. She's an absolute joke and a laughing-stock in most of Jersey.

    July 3, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. Danielle

    Oh great! Now she's gonna run for president that is just pathetic! I sure hope she doesn't! I'm so burnt out on stories about her,her daughter Bristol and all their trash talking about the her grandbabys daddy. It blows my mind people are so interested in her,she sounds so ignorant and confused.

    July 3, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. Robin

    Here come the hate filled liberals with their torches and pitch forks now.

    Liberal ideology, "live free unless you disagree with us. Then we line you up and shoot you at sunrise."

    July 3, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. John Y Des Plaines, IL

    Bye Bye Sarah, Don't let the door hit ya where God split ya. There are good reasons why there are ethical inquiries into your behavior and actions. It appears you don't have any also too.

    July 3, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. greg thiebaud

    My dream ticket would be Romney Palin in 12.

    July 3, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  21. liz

    Democrats: The party of hateful, vindictive people. Intolerant and uncivil to anyone who does not agree with them.

    July 3, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  22. Get Real

    It's always good when a politician decides they can't take the pressure and so they just quit in the middle of their term rather than knuckling down and effectively countering the opposition.

    What does it say for her presidential aspirations if she can't even take the heat that being the governor of Alaska brings?

    Unless she knew that those ethics probes were going to get her into big hot water if she stayed in office....

    July 3, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. Vocal Majority

    I just can't wait to see Tina Fey do the "I quit" press conference on SNL!

    July 3, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  24. republicanturneddemocrat

    Okay, so this lady resigns under a little pressure and she plans on running for President?!!!

    Definately not a smart move at all. She has opened her self up to being a quitter who can't take the heat and just quits when the "going gets tough".

    She will lose the GOP primaries and will be left with nothing more than being remembered as a governor who quit on the people.

    Not a smart move at all, Palin. Not a smart move at all.

    July 3, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  25. Patrick

    Awwww.... is she going to go and cry now? No one is focused on bringing yourself down more than you Sarah.

    July 3, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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