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. Lauren

    If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    July 3, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  2. al in san diego

    she will be the poster child for the fringe right....there should be concern as to what violence might come once Limbaugh's army has it's own political martyr....

    July 3, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  3. kaz

    A bad day for democrats and good day for republicans.

    July 3, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  4. Bridget

    I no longer take spokeswoman Megan Stapleton seriously ever since she used the word "desecrate" regarding a photo manipulation of Sarah Palin and her kid. She obviously worships Governor Palin a little too much and expects others to do the same.

    July 3, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  5. SaintGenesius

    Is it me, or do Republicans just look nuttier and nuttier every day?


    July 3, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  6. Mike

    This is Sarah Palin's standard method of operation. She was appointed to a high paying job by corrupt politicians who saw in her a perfect dupe , and she gladly accepted the job. ..She then turned on the crooks who appointed her. She claimed the post had no meaning and she was overpaid.. Brilliant! but...really stupid to try it twice in public view. If you look back over her career...PTA member etc..you see a pattern of the same backstabbing modus operandi. What a piece of work. Unfortunatly for her..and very lucky for us!..she comes off as unstable to most any discerning voter..DOA!

    July 3, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  7. marilyn

    She is; and will always will be: under-educated and under-qualified to hold any public office.

    July 3, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  8. sparky

    The scandal will break within the week!

    July 3, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  9. tom

    she is such a kook. the sooner she is out of the publics eye and away from any posistion of power the better for alaska and america. what a wierdo she is..

    July 3, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  10. Kayce

    It's obvious that she doesn't have what it takes to be a politician in today's era. She thought she could shmooze everyone with her 'folksy" ways and false personna. Not!! She is a phony and has been one since McCain made the error in naming her his running mate. She did not leave halfway through her first term for nothing...There is some blockbuster news concerning her just around the corner.

    She wanted to be vice-president; a heartbeat from the oval office?? She doesn't have the knowledge, skill, or ability to occupy the white house in washington or the white igloo in alaska!!

    July 3, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  11. xavier

    Seems to me as if she is doing a fine job bringing herself down.

    July 3, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. jaye

    Her own ignorance brought her down.

    July 3, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. Capt. SNarKy

    Well, it looks as though the Deceptacons' use of Chicago-style gutter politics have worked their magic. Dear Leader must be proud.

    I'm utterly amazed she held up as long as she did. Especially since the media, with it's head up Obama's rear, fought her nearly as viciously as the Deceptacons did.

    July 3, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  14. Ann

    what can you expect from the Obama team? The guy cannot stand any celebrity, and Palin, good or bad, was becoming one.

    July 3, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  15. Tammy

    Incoherent, ungrammatical, incomprehensible. And she wants to lead the free world?

    July 3, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  16. james

    Maybe she should release all prisoners before she leaves and let the democrats make them their NEW members!

    July 3, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  17. Martin

    Sarah Palin has 5 kids so when she said she was in favor of more "drilling" I believe her

    July 3, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  18. Phil

    When the going gets tough....the tough quit...uh huh....and she wants to be President?....Gimme a break. Look up the word "flake" in the dictionary...you'll see her picture

    July 3, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  19. Craig Simpson

    Palin is a disgrace. The ethics are a major problem and show how corrupt she has been. I want these ethics questions to be investigated and I want Palin charged.

    Palin is an idiot and was completely unqualified to hold any office....dog catcher, school trustee, mayor or governor.

    Hopefully Alaska will now have a leader who will help make it a truly great state.

    Palin has become the poster child for the GOP....an incompetent leader.

    Gee...she fits right in with G.W and the rest of the republican idiots.

    July 3, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  20. Michael Melinchok (Silver Spring MD)

    If all the GOP has for 2012 is Romney, Palin, and Huckabee, we are toast!

    July 3, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  21. jrmt

    Awww... she resigned purely for the good of the great state of Alaska with no ulterior motive in sight. What a woman! No, more than a woman – a saint. Definitely. Saint Sarah.

    July 3, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  22. hdrider69

    Perhaps her LACK of ethics and their coming to light is why she has chosen to resign. It's probably a God send for the residents of Alaska and another reminder to the rest of us just how much the "family/values oriented Republican party really is..South Carolina ring a bell? I guess Palin's dirty laundry is about to become exposed/come to light. Ya gotta love those family oriented Republicans!

    July 3, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  23. Chris

    Ms. Stapleton, you are right. The governor isn't supposed to sit and watch the money get wasted. However, quitting her job, which is to oversee that spending, doesn't begin to solve those problems.

    July 3, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  24. Sari

    I believe the words "Neener Neener Neener" are appropriate here.

    July 3, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |

    so long, go find joe the plummer.

    July 3, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
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