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. gwen

    weak, she can't even do what she was elected to do??? AND she wants to be president!!!!??? Pathetic

    July 3, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  2. Stu-Florida

    This is what she wanted... the limelight!
    She now is getting what she deserves... the boot!

    I'm relieved the good people of Alaska finally saw her for what she was/is. They deserve better. Much better. Our country deserved better too and we finally got him... Obama!

    July 3, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  3. Jim, Enfield NH

    Incoherent statement, but peppered with buzz words.

    July 3, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  4. richard in montana

    Does she want some cheese to go with that whine?????? Good riddance!

    July 3, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  5. mark ferbet, kansas city, mo.

    Sarah Palin's choices, her own words and actions are her downfall. She chose to battle the media instead of using the media. a good politician understands that. Any attempt to run for National office will be laughable at this point. When the going gets tough, Palin quits....

    July 3, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  6. Perusing-through

    WHAT A HYPOCRITE! In Sarah Palin resignation she indicated that one of the reasons she is resigning is because she is tired of the political attacks. WHOA!!! It was Palin (during her national breakout speeches) who attacked the media at the 2008 RNC, and she also made infamous the lie that candidate Obama "pals around with terrorist".

    July 3, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  7. zago

    We need to remember that just a few days ago gov Palin had to payback money embezzled from the state of Alaska. I think we need to let this story unfold to know exactly what is going on. Except someone sicks on his/her mind would step down from his/her gubernatorial duties for a 2012 run. It is really suspicious. We need to know what kind of scrutiny she is receiving from lawmakers of Alaska. I may say, at least she has the decency not to let herself ousted like Rod Blogojvich

    July 3, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  8. Terry

    I really hope she isn't doing this to focus on a run for president in 2012. Very few will trust a politician who quits when the going gets rough and then blames everyone who doesn't subscribe to her/his narrow point of view.

    July 3, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  9. Pete

    So Sarah Palin decides to resign in the midst of rising unemployment and declining oil revenue... WOW now that is real leadership.. quit when it starts to get tough!!!

    July 3, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  10. TCM

    the ethics attacks are strategically planned attacks by the obama administration; keep Palin busy and she won't have time to tell the country what a socialistic threat the obama administration is....OBama and his cronies are visibly insecure when Palin's on the scene; so the best way to remedy that is with Chicago style thug politics; character assasination.....what's truly bad is when it comes to ethics, Obama is far below most in the public eye....

    July 3, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    I thought she stepped down because she was preparing to run for President. If that is the case then great. Bring it on. She would be the epitomy of double -speak Republicans. Her interview (pre handlers) with Katie was precious.

    July 3, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. SlowGun

    It will come out in a couple of days that she is one of Sanford's other women

    July 3, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  13. more to come

    Surely, there is more to come.

    July 3, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. Wendy

    Now I know the significance of a teleprompter. Palin was all over the place with that speech. It was scary. Is that how her mind works? What a scatter brain!

    July 3, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. yoyolite

    Now What?

    July 3, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  16. Angela

    When the going gets tough, you quit? All elected office holders at one time are a lame duck, but they still have a job to do. Even Bush stayed on and completed his term. I do believe there will be something coming......down the pike.

    July 3, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  17. Out of Delta

    If she left because she felt people were out to get her then what will she do if she decides to run for and wins the presidency. Everyday there will be someone or some challenge she will have to face. I hope she runs because it will be an easy victory for Dems. Palin 2012!!

    July 3, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  18. teddy

    So, the ethics complaints drove her out. Well, most people wanted her GONE. Power to the people!

    July 3, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  19. bco

    Now wait a minute- last fall, her unwed pregnant and Down's Syndrome children would not have distracted her from potentially being President of the United States...

    ...but now her children need her too much for her to complete the term that the voters of Alaska, however blindly, elected her to serve.

    And she expects that anyone will ever believe anything she manages to say?

    July 3, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  20. Colin in Montana

    YAY! Down with Caribou Barbie! May she never again hold any elected office.

    July 3, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  21. steve e.

    This is the idiot who said as McCain's running mate that she wanted to invade Georgia when they were at war with Russia. If this lunatic Palin were ever elected president, we'd have Armageddon within 24 hours. She's an end-timer, an Armageddonist who believes in The Rapture. She'll get nowhere near the nomination, let alone the presidency. In fact no Republican will be elected president until the Party comes out of the 19th century. They're not even in the 20th Century, much less the 21st Century.

    July 3, 2009 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  22. L. Song

    Yes, politicians are expected to do politics by the rules – yes we have ethics rules for a reason... And, in a democracy leaders have to hear from those who oppose them, it is called free speech. And Palin thinks she is fit to be president? Look at the max heat Obama takes – more than she does, and he is not packing up his bags and quitting. If you want to help run a democracy you must expect dissent and disagreement, you must expect to have your behavior scrutinized, you must agree to play by the rules – and you don't get to blame everybody else for your mistakes – you take responsibility for your actions and words. AND last but not least, you don't take your toys and run home when the going gets tough. Thank goodness she did not win the election for vice P., if she thinks being gov of a half-empty is too hard –

    July 3, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  23. Sandy

    Kitchen got too hot??!!

    You want to run the country but you won't stay on another year to continue to serve the people who elected you because things got tough? I 'm having a tough time reading this any other way.

    July 3, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  24. Nathan from Atlanta

    This proves she is not ready or strong enough. She is a quitter. We don't need quitters in office.

    July 3, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  25. Guy

    I find it rhetorical that she proclaims trying to build and not tear down, when in fact she has been using every chance to tear Obama down. This completely flushes her chances for any presidental bid. Who would want to elect someone who quits when the going gets tough?

    July 3, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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