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. Tom

    Someone else's fault, you betcha.

    July 3, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. SUZAN

    "I have taken the slings and arrows with that unpopular move to veto because I know being right is better than being popular."

    This is the only smart thing that Sarah has ever done.

    Finally we can get rid of this douche bag.

    July 3, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. Tanya Kujath

    Once again it is someone other than herself at fault. The only other entity than herself to blame would be the republican party for thinking that any women could win over Hillary supporters in the 2008 elections. The fact is this woman's reputation was destroyed by her own party.

    July 3, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  4. Mitchell from MS

    Now who are you going to target CNN... the liberals have no one to try and attack to divert attention to the failed policies of BO!!!!!!

    July 3, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Jimmy

    She will not be missed. It is long overdue. For the sake of America she should disappear into obscurity.

    July 3, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. John from California

    I wonder if it has anything to do with the Attorney General not being a Republican?

    Can we say "investigation for corruption" ?

    Hmmmm, time to move on or time to cut and run?

    July 3, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  7. Susan

    Hmm, so how is she going to support her growing household? Oh wait, this gives her time to write her book! Somehow this is all Obama's fault, I'm sure. He'll probably get a whole chapter.

    July 3, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  8. cspurgeon

    Nothing to say but Goodbye, although I know you won't get out of the limelight. Just wishful thinking.

    July 3, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  9. Dee Dee Lynn

    So when her resonsbilities get in the way of her ambitions, she quits? When things get a little hostile, or she faces opposition she quits? And then she is going to make the case that she is cut out for the toughest job in the world? I know her "base" will swallow that, but I have to hope that (even) most Republicans aren't that dumb.

    July 3, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. Ancientrivr

    Politics is no place for the paranoid and thin-skinned and even worse for a paranoid, thin skinned woman. John McCain should never have done this to her.

    July 3, 2009 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  11. LAW

    oh waaah. "when the going gets tough -" well Sarah gets going , going, gone. after burbling her way through what some call a speech, others call a disjointed rambling mess. Don't LET that door hitcha on the way out.

    July 3, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  12. LN

    To those who has been trasing Pakin: you are happy now ? What's a new America !

    July 3, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  13. Joan Rose

    I would like to see her disappear completely from the news. I
    would never vote for her period.

    July 3, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  14. Mark

    She will be the republican nominee in 2012, Mark my words!

    July 3, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  15. Vincent Petrosino

    How stupid does Sarah Palin think we are? If I were an Alaskan, I would be angry that the governor of my state chose to resign only 2 1/2 years into her first administration, leaving before finishing the job she was elected to perform. There are only two things that would cause this abrupt resignation – money and scandal. We have yet to await for the other shoe to drop. And it will drop with a resounding thud. If you cannot handle the heat in the Governor's office, how can you handle the presidency of the United States? AS to pressure from family, whose fault is that? When you parade your family before the public with all its foibles, who can you blame but yourself?

    July 3, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  16. Dave

    Palin's got a lot to answer for, and apparently a story about how her new house "just happened" to be built at the same time and from the same material as the overly-expensive Wassila Sports Complex is about to surface. She's ducking early.

    July 3, 2009 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  17. Patty

    That has to be the lamest excuse I have ever heard from an elected leader who wants out. There has to be something else. Unless she is really that weak.

    July 3, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  18. Alex

    Well Mabye If Sarah Palin hadn't been such a Controversial Figure on Stuff that She has Done..LIke Shooting Moose from a Helicopter, Going on thousands of Dollars Shopping Sprees, and not able to answer questions in interviews..She wouldn't have problems.

    She Did all this to herself!

    God help us if she ever becomes a Senator or Worse, becomes President!

    July 3, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  19. Anny

    After the 2008 campaign the whole country including ALASKA saw what this woman was made of, they saw how inexperienced she was, they found out how she had used the States money's to let her children fly around the country with her, they found out how her husband Todd was as much a fixture in her office as she was, they saw her for what she really is a whinner and complainer and they didn't like what they saw, and neither do we the majority of this country.....she does every thing at the spare of the moment without giving in thought to what she is saying or doing and this will come back to bite in the the rear end......

    July 3, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  20. Steve

    The dingbat who would be president

    July 3, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  21. AC55

    It is about time she woke up and did the right thing by resigning. John McCain should be kicked for making her a household name. I feel she has conducted business to suit her wants without regards to the people who live in Alaska. I hope she does not plan to run for President. I don't want to hear that squeaky, high-pitched voice any more.

    July 3, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  22. atwood

    The Mooseburger
    1 lg Sesame seed bun
    1 Lettuce leaf
    1 Thick tomato slice
    1 Thick onion slice
    1/4 sl Dill pickle
    6 Ounces of ground moose made into patty
    2 Ounces of ground pork

    Mix moose meat with 2 oz of ground pork. Broil patty to taste. Place on 1/2 of toasted sesame seed bun. Add onion, pickle, tomato, and lettuce, and top with favorite sauce. Serves 1.

    Mix with onion soup mix (1 packet per pound of meat) for more flavor

    July 3, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  23. R. Chris Hurst

    I think it's great that Palin resigned – she was never in Alaska doing here job any way. I just hope she gets out of politics altogether. The only good thing about Sarah Palin & politics is Tina Fey's impersonation. I am sure Sarah is a nice enough person, maybe she should just retire from politics and spend sometime at home with her family – and leave the rest of America alone.

    July 3, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  24. Gentwelve

    I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin, just the way it goes. We have become such a vicious society and it is personified by our politicians. Anyone that believes politicians are for the people is crazy. Looks like we need social meltdown to get our act together. This is sad.............

    July 3, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  25. Dave C - NJ

    So she can't handle frivolous ethics complaints, but she could handle the vice presidency?

    She's a tabloid freak show at this point. She is a target, but only because she's so utterly unqualified that people pursue her out of sense of disgust that she holds any elected position above county dog catcher. (Actually, she's not even fit for that as that post requires humane treatment of animals.)

    The woman has always been in over her head, not as much for her beliefs but for her lack of skill at, well, anything other than politics.

    July 3, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
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