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. Ron

    It's unfortunate. I guess she will just become a star now that she has money. However, in America, we don't quit.

    July 3, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  2. Mark Andert

    While I'd like to think that this will be that last we hear from Sarah Palin, I really doubt that will be the case. I'd like to be make a glib comment and quote a line from the wizard of oz "Ding Dong the witch is dead. The wicked old witch is dead." politically speaking. Unfortunately This woman seems addicted to the spot light. Resigning her post in Alaska will give her the opportunity to seek out the national spotlight without on going Alaska issues getting in her way.

    July 3, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  3. mike,texas

    She got a better offer and its not politics.Money

    July 3, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  4. bill and marie whiteside

    We wish all the best to Gov. Palin and her family. May God always keep His hand on you and direct your' every move.

    God bless you,

    Bill and Marie Whiteside

    West Plains, Mo.

    July 3, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  5. Bill Sampson

    She is not up to the job since oil is less than $100 a barrel. The only thing she was competent enough to do was hand out windfall profit checks from the Alaskan Treasury. Plus, she has tens of thousands of gullible believers in the lower 48 states willing to pay her to "speak" to them. She is not about to pass up that gravy train.

    July 3, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  6. PK Smith

    resigning was the only way Sarah could think of to get back into the news since Michael Jackson's death seem to be the only news out there.
    she is relentless. perhpas she and octomom could team up

    July 3, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. FredG

    Great news. Hopefully, she doesn't seek the presidency in 2012.

    Actually, I take that back. I hope she does so she will make a fool of herself once again!

    Liberals didn't make her look bad, she just IS bad. Just listen to the way she speaks - it is an incoherent jumble of words.

    I wish you well, Sarah Palin.

    July 3, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. Deep South

    If you can't take the heat get out of the kitchen...or politics. And she thinks being president is going to be easier? Ask dubbahyuh.

    July 3, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  9. Tomas E

    Sarah Palin brought this on herself. She isn't the persecuted one and if you go into politics, you'd better be able to take it! It isn't for the faint of heart. Having a big mouth doesn't mean you can run a country either!

    July 3, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  10. Jim

    What ever happened to the phrase: When the going gets tough, the tough get going? It seems to me that Sarah couldn't handle the pressure of the job and bailed out.

    July 3, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  11. Perusing-through

    Good riddance to the "Wicked Witch of the Northwest".

    July 3, 2009 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  12. ShayHay

    Seriously I never hear about this woman until she puts herself out there. And I work in news.........

    Me thinks she likes playing the vicitm..

    July 3, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  13. Bye Bye Sarah

    I don't believe that Ms. Palin is stepping down because of too many controversies surrounding her. This is a woman who bulldozes her "agenda" without any regard to anyone or anything else. We can only speculate on the "real" reasons behind her departure from being Alaska's governor. However, if it is true that she is leaving because of "too much pressure" and negativity directed at her, then I say kudos to the intelligent thinking Americans who can see through her stubborn ignorance.

    Gobama in 2012

    July 3, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  14. John Kirchner

    wow, unbelivable. what a message she sends to her people. if and when you cant win, just quit. i cant wait to vote against her in the 2010 campaign. what a loser this lady is. she just lost a lot of votes by quitting, ill tell you that. if she cant take the heat of being governor of freaking ALASKA, then by no means is she capable of taking over this country. if she thinks shes facing criticism in that seat, imagine the criticism when you are the leader of the greatest country in the world. sorry sarah, another wanna be politician that just cant hack it. its been downhill for you ever since you lost the election for McCain.

    July 3, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  15. Tyler Derden

    What a shocker... the the braintrust/REPubLiKaN taiking head from Alaska makes another move for the spotlight... she should take her freakshow on the road with Glaboyavich and they can entertain the masses together... 2012 President? Dontcha hafta have sum branes ferst? YOU BETCHA!

    July 3, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  16. Parnell Meagre

    A heartbreaking loss for Alaska – just when she was starting to govern she's snatched away. I'm going to start immediately on my new book – Sarah Palin – the 1000 day Governor. It will feature fun anecdotes, witticisms from the governor and an inside look at the dynamic mind of this wonderful American.

    July 3, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  17. Sasha

    I can't wait for Fox news accusing president Obama for her resignation. Anyway, this is one big plus for republicans, because she was a one big joke on the US political scene.

    July 3, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  18. Tom in CA

    No...her YOU BETCHA comments will bring her down!

    She will self-implode! No one will help her do it to herself!

    July 3, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  19. Wow

    Sarah needs an education. There is no way she can run for President of the United State. The woman is sick and Alaskan did'nt know her; until she ran for office.

    Republican should tell her the truth the world is moving away from hateful talk and racism. This is a new world with new people.

    I hope she goes away and take a long, long, long, long, break i am sick of this woman and please tell her she did'nt need to try and steal Micheal attention today he goes on to Heaven.

    July 3, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  20. mk

    Palin's people are all as crazy as she is.

    I tell you, that is what I look for in a leader, when the times get tough I want my leader to QUIT. Just walk out and leave me hanging, yep, you betcha, that's what I want. Sorry bunch of QUITTERS, all of them. Even W stuck it thru his "lame duck " time without quitting and the whole Country hated him. Makes me respect him.....well, not really.

    July 3, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  21. u2canfail

    Great news GOP, run her in 2012, IF it doesn't work "her way" she will resign. She is galvanizing, one is either for her or thinks the GOP is just nutts! Will the Senators from OK and WS stand up?

    July 3, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. Jason L.

    Well Ladies and Gent's.

    We should be safe come 2012, from Sara. Not that she would win it. But god she was a waste of air time and time I'll never get back from watching it. I was a good laugh though!

    July 3, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  23. Excuse me?

    If John McCain would have spared us all – including Mrs. Palin – she would still be the Gov. of Alaska and hunting wolves from a helicopter. Shame on you, John. Shame.

    July 3, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  24. Darryl Schmitz

    Romney, Palin and Huckabee? Talk about handing Obama a second term on a silver platter! That will send the constitutionist/libertarian conservatives to the third parties.

    July 3, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  25. Celia Harrison

    Clearly she is either planning on running for president, something big is about to come out about her, or she is getting a job offer from Faux News(or somewhere). Whatever it is will be about her, not Alaska. I laughed until my back spasmed while listening to her speech. I had to take Ibuprofen. Oh God, here come another one. LOL. BTW I am an Alaskan.

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