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. yadda

    good bye !! sorry to see ya go. go sit on your river bank and say hi to the russians.

    July 3, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  2. Patsy Hodges

    Now maybe you all can quit shoving her in our face every other
    day. She is wealthy, as so many incompetents are, so
    take her out of the agenda. I won't buy her book, I won't look at
    anything about her on television, and I am quite sure I am not
    alone. I pray she is not gearing up for the Presidency. My gentle
    side will turn to the dark side. Bye, bye, Sarah. Keep your eyes
    on Russia for us.

    July 3, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  3. Erik in Real Pennsylvania

    The other pump will drop soon. Palin spent too much time today claiming her "enemies" are trying to bring her down, clearly setting up deniability when another big accusation hits. I wonder if it's Palin herself or her husband who stepped in it big-time now .

    July 3, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  4. jaye

    She's a joke – and she certaintly can't handle pressure.
    I feel a scandal coming! Where's the National Enquirer? LOL

    July 3, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  5. Herk

    Well, blow me down Wimipy.

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

    Good. Let's hope she now spares the rest of America who has had more than enough of her....you betcha.

    July 3, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  7. InlandEmperor

    Apparently another scandal is about to surface. While Cheney and Bush continue their futile effort to steer the the spotlight away from what most consider their treasonous activities lesser neo-cons take the heat.

    July 3, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  8. VA Voter

    If she buckles under this sort of juvenile pressure, there is no way she could handle the pressure cooker that is Washington DC. Good thing McCain lost!

    July 3, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  9. sarah

    who cares. go away Sarah.

    July 3, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  10. Devin Shoecraft

    She resigned because she's about to get indicted by the DOJ for extortion. When Palin was still a mayor, she steered public funds to a contractor to build a massive "sport complex" in Wasilla. In exchange, the contractor built Palin the house she presently lives in. This is illegal.

    July 3, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  11. Jeff

    Bottom line: she couldn't take the heat.

    If she thinks this is actually going to help her win the presidency, then she is not getting very good political advice.

    She can spin this however she wants. She couldn't handle the attacks, so she quit. That's it. And that is an extraordinarily dangerous quality to have in a president, and the American people are not stupid enough to elect somebody with that sort of temperament.

    July 3, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  12. Dominic

    well atleast we know now that she cant handle pressure, she walks out when things are tough, and she is not liked in her own state anymore...hmmm, sounds like she is right on track with the rest of the gop losers. Glad to see she wont be wasting peoples money on her run for president. dang it, i wanted to the SNL stuff back

    July 3, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  13. Perusing-through

    No sympathy for Sarah Palin. With her attacks against the media as she broke out on national stage; to the lies accusing President Obama of "paling around with terrorist"; to her divisive speeches and attacks against "community organizers; PALIN HAS EARNED HER UNDIGNIFIED SEND-OFF.

    July 3, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  14. Rich

    Well, if she should ever want a new career after politics there is always the adult film industry. She's already sold her soul to be VP, what could be worse?!

    July 3, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  15. Don Christensen

    If politicians would just realize that they are elected to SERVE their constituents we would have less partisan strife, less grandstanding, less corruption and less self-serving ambition in our government.

    Sarah Palin's decision to abandon her obligation to the Alaskans that she was elected to serve under the guise of doing them a favor demonstrates her cynical self-serving ambition.

    July 3, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  16. Justin

    I don't see any way this could reflect positively on her. So Sanford is staying and Palin is leaving. Seems odd. Whether its fair or not, she is this generation's Dan Quayle. It just ain't gonna happen.

    July 3, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  17. Iana L

    Palin will be s great tv talk show hostess and make considerably more money having more fun-my guess as her future.

    July 3, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  18. C Thurston

    Quitting because she can't take the heat in Alaska sure isn't going to look very good on her resumé should she decide to run for president in 2012. Better to find out now though than in the middle of a crisis a few years from now.

    July 3, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  19. Don

    Dear Sarah,

    As you look into your new future ... can you spell potato??? 😉

    And one more comment, PLEASE do run for president in 2010.
    It will ABSOLUTELY be to MOST HILARIOUS idea that I could possibly think of for the entertainment of the country as a whole.

    Go get `em you down home Maverick you!

    July 3, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  20. Peggy

    maybe palin finally realizes that her husband and young children (including an infant with special needs) need her to govern HER HOME. Maybe she's realized that as a MOM, she needs to be there for her family first instead of travelling all around the country raising money for the party.

    July 3, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. Barry in Maryland

    Sarah Palin and Michael Steele. What a team.

    Better yet the strong Republican bench Cheney mentioned: Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.


    July 3, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  22. Billy

    Look for a federal indictment in the next 3 weeks involving the construction of her house.

    July 3, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  23. Trey

    It's her ultra-conservative views that bring her down. She's just mad because people don't kiss her ass. She wants to play with the big dogs of politics and this is what comes with it.

    July 3, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  24. alan

    next stop fox news big paychecks big contract on tv all the time with a backup crew of cheer leaders hannity coulter beck etc
    guest appearances on limbaughs comedy show and of course televangelist appearances galore.
    dark side of the moon pink floyd....money

    July 3, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  25. skeptic1

    a true leader? hahaha! rather, truly pathetic. palin, sanford, craig – ethics we can count on....

    July 3, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
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