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. Caryn

    She's a quitter.

    July 3, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Ricardo

    Bye-Bye Birdie.

    July 3, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  3. Johnny Z.

    Quitters never win. Winners never quit. This idiot will also try to run for president? Give us all a break and vanish into the Alaskan wilderness in an old oil drum.

    July 3, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  4. What, Me Worry?

    How do we know the complaints are frivolous?

    July 3, 2009 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  5. Indie GD Pendent

    My reaction to this news is the same of the 400,000 people who watched Bush's helicopter: na na hey hey kiss her goodbye.

    We need genuine leaders not those who rely on gimmickry.

    July 3, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  6. tonybama

    Cashing in for her own show on FOX- she's really not stupid enough to believe she could ever get elected or handle the job if she were.

    July 3, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  7. A Rogers

    Blame everyone else.. typical.

    July 3, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  8. Pier Giacalone

    "‘People are focused on bringing her down’

    And thank God they are succeeding.

    July 3, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  9. Jack in Florida

    Oh well. I guess you should have politely declined the offer to be VP to John McCain. You knew you were not qualified and obviously you can't handle the pressure. Had you said no in the beginning, the world what not know that your daughter had an illegitimate baby; nor that Todd belonged to a group that wants to secede from the US. Hindsight is 20/20 but I knew from the start that you should have just said no.

    July 3, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. And so it goes

    So goes Bush/Cheney, Ensign, then Sanford,

    So goes Palin, So goes the GOP.

    (there's no one left guys)

    July 3, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  11. Amy King

    Hey CNN I dare you to report a story founded in facts rather than fallacious assertions and assumptions. I simply can't believe how out of context you took the Governor's comments! You guys are SO irresponsible. I dare you to give this a try – write down a story then take a highlighter and highlight all of the actual FACTS. Are at least 50% of the words highlighted? No...then try again! Cut the fluff and do your job would you? Our founding fathers betrothed upon you a very grave responsibility. It is your job to keep our politicians on track. You're failing! Fix it.

    July 3, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  12. Teri

    This is the best thing Sarah Palin could do for Alaska....step down! Now if she would just go away and quit ending up on the news every few weeks. I hope she does for America what she is doing for Alaska...step down...we are so tired of hearing from her!

    July 3, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  13. Tracy

    No one should be surprised – its done all the time when state elected officials seek to land in greener pastures like DC. This gives her enough lead time to start rolling in the money (via TV show (on Fox), book deals, speaking engagement, etc) in prep for running against Romney and Huckabee ... can't wait for the show to begin.

    July 3, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  14. Karol

    People are NOT focused on bringing her down. What people see in Sarah Palin is someone who is absolutely unqualified to hold the office of either vice president or president of the United States. Her latest irresponsible action of stepping down from the governorship of Alaska just reinforces her unsuitability for high responsibility,

    I find her lack of commitment appalling, and more juvenile than anything else. You don't quit just because things are going to be tough. If Palin wasn't willing to stick it out for at least one term, she shouldn't have run in the first place. You don't just quit! And she talks about her executive experience – she acts like a kid!

    July 3, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  15. Perusing-through

    1) – Palin is quitting so she can spend more time completing her salacious tabloid book. Book sales is expected to gross $3-million the first year and help pay off her legal defense bills.
    2) – Next Palin will shop her book around FOX News and other Conservative venues for as much face time as possible.
    3) – Finally, Palin will take a position with FOX News or some other Cable News channel as a prelude to hitting the campaign trail.

    July 3, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  16. Bill in Arizona

    Strange. Well, I have to agree. By stepping down, there is no question that she is doing what is in the best interests of the citizens of Alaska.

    July 3, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  17. People's Voice

    Funny how she could throw the slop out but when her head was forced into the same trough, she couldn't stand the taste.

    Thin-skinned-big-mouth-good-for-nothing anyway. Don't you just wish you had been ethical in the performance of your job?

    July 3, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  18. RichardSRussell

    How refreshing. She didn't go with the tired old "I want to spend more time with my family" excuse.

    July 3, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  19. James

    Now if it would come out that Palin and Romney had an afair we would be done with two biggots at once!

    July 3, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  20. Jackie

    Good riddance to bad rubbish. Maybe she can stop pointing fingers at others and get her own family life in order.

    July 3, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  21. Roberta

    Hmm, if you quit on Alaska just because things are tough, what would you do if running the US of A got tough?

    July 3, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  22. s

    Love you, Sarah Palin!!!!!!

    July 3, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  23. chascates

    Oh, boo-hoo! Why won't the mean people let Sarah be Sarah?

    Actually, guess they did.

    July 3, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  24. TT

    Whatever! I love Sarah Palin and will vote for her if she ever decides to run for office again. She is the best thing that ever happend to the republican party since Ronald Regan. I just find it so sad that so many people are so full of hate for her, but they will be judged, the end is near, and Sarah is a chosen one. God bless Sarah and God bless the U.S.A.

    July 3, 2009 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  25. Mary Kay

    Does she think the media will be any easier on her if she runs for president? She will have to answer questions – first hand – rather than saying "As vp nominee, I support the presidential nominee's stance."
    Her first job as an unemployed person will be deciding on which newspapers/magazines to read...and remembering their names for the "tough" Katie Couric interview.

    July 3, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
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