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. JDB

    "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?"
    -

    Bull.

    Her "speech" was nothing but a steaming pile of rambling incoherency.

    July 3, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  2. RB

    The TRUTH has yet to SPOKEN? The FIRE before the STORM!

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

    And this is what the so-called conservatives wanted for a vice president?

    July 3, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  4. Mave in ca

    go away sarah, and don't come back!!!!

    July 3, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  5. Chas

    All the ethics complaints that have been investigated have been dismissed. This is harassment by the left fringe of the Democratic party.

    July 3, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  6. Anthony McMahon

    Incredible. The sad part is, is that she really believes this will help position her for a run in 2012. Read the article in Vanity Fair. This current antic fits right in with that description. And some people wanted her as McCain's number "2"? Nice, real nice. What a nut.

    July 3, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  7. carrol freedman

    As I listened to Sarah Palin speak it seemed to me at least that she is leading up to becoming a lobbyist for the oil/energy concerns. Does anyone out there agree with me. And what is Aces? Is it an oiil company. If she does become a lobbyist she will make big bucks.

    July 3, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  8. Jon

    The Democrats are scared to death of her. She is the most charasmatic politician the Republicans have and as such is the anti-Obama. She is going to run again in 2012, probably as VP again on a true conservative ticket and Joe Biden doesn't quite stack up to her.

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

    Brilliant move on the part of her handlers. Getting her out of the spotlight ASAP is the only way she'll have even a whiff of a chance at getting the GOP nomination in 2012. The more the public (and especially her own constituents) actually see her, the less they like her. Hiding out will give the public a chance to forget how dumb she really is.

    July 3, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  10. MADinAZ

    So, the woman who basically accused Barak Obama of being a terrorist is quitting because people are picking on her.

    July 3, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  11. Pat in IL

    Her excuses and justifications are just plain ridiculous. If she were a true leader, she would listen to her constituents and stay in the job, all the while trying to make it better. She obviously can't take the heat, so I can't imagine why she would even try to stay in the political arena. President? Forget it.

    July 3, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  12. Larry

    Good Riddance!

    July 3, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  13. Peter

    What a self-centered loser. Nice Republican Base. What a leader you have? And you seriously thought this self-rightgeous wind-bag nut-job was qualified to be POTUS?

    Please. Go back to getting your heads caught in the pickle jar.

    My GOD!! She just bailed on her State for money and fame. She is Satin incarnate.

    What a disgrace!

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

    Now, if only she'd just go away completely...

    July 3, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  15. Aide is a rat

    I am quite certain that Governor Palin did not authorize this person to make this statement. She is probably getting paid by Democrats or by Newt Gingrich and Mitt roomey to try to unercut the Governor

    July 3, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  16. Renee

    Yeah right. This woman doesn't fool anyone. Something crooked is about to be exposed and unlike Sanford, she is attempting to get her rotten, self-righteous, better than them behind out of the way... but it won't work.

    July 3, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  17. JOE

    If i was struggling with an all time low rating,
    if i was fast becoming the most unpopular rep leader
    if i didnt know that Africa was a continent,
    if im constantly out than in my state
    if im more beauty n less brain

    I'll Definitely resign.

    July 3, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  18. Jeff from Jersey

    The GOP has been simmering over her since the election and it came to nuclear war within the party a couple days ago.
    If she thinks she's got a shot at a 2012 presidential run she's just proven that she doesn't have what it takes by abandoning her responsibilities in Alaska.

    Don't let the door hit you Sarah!

    July 3, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  19. beth

    I pray she is not resigning to pursue a presidential bid for 2012...GO HOME AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR FAMILY!!!! I know I am speaking on behalf of many Americans as I would not be disappointed if I NEVER heard her voice again.

    July 3, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  20. GOPBslapper

    Nobody likes a Quitter! Let alone one whose husband thinks Alaska should succeed from the United States.

    July 3, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  21. Wizard 1

    Too bad about Gov Palin. Is there any chance that she crossed the line with her new soul mate Gov Mark Sanford at the recent Republican Governors Conference? Since they're both into family values, they must have hit it off. Thank goodness the media is going to go crazy looking for the real reason for Palin's resignation. Good, bad, or indifferent, the American media plays the key role in keeping our politicos on their toes. Many thanks.

    July 3, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  22. Kim

    God Bless America that the McCain/Palin ticket failed. If Palin wants to continue to air her family's laundry in the media then she will selfishly attempt a run at 2012 – of which she will fail. But, if nothing else, it will give her an opportunity to put a teenage daughter and her newborn on the cover of People magazine. That's something Reuplicans must really love about her- those family values and all.

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

    Sure, governors should be allowed to just ignore all those "frivolous ethics complaints." Geez. Bottom line: she had a responsibility to fulfill her duties to the people of Alaska, and she quit. She threw in the towel. Whether the cause is an inability to deal with stress, as Ms. Stapleton clearly is saying, or that all those rumors of an upcoming criminal indictment are true, her political career as an elected official should be over.

    She gave up.

    July 3, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  24. David S. Robins

    There's a famous old saying; "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." America is a better place now that our trailer trash pinup girl as decided to leave. There must be dancing streets, gravel roads and outside the igloos and tents in Alaska tonight. What a wonderful gift to the state and the country. Wasn't there a song that used to say; "goodbye, goodbye, and don't come back?"

    July 3, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  25. Chris Temple

    CNN... so "glass is half empty".

    She's not leaving, she's moving up, and I for one am looking forward to her conservatism being spread. She can and will energize the Republican party, and in ways no liberal will like. But that's why I like her.

    July 3, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
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