October 2nd, 2009
10:38 PM ET
5 years ago

McCain manager predicts Palin could prove 'catastrophic'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The man who ran John McCain's presidential campaign warned Friday that Sarah Palin could lead to a 'catastrophic' election result for the GOP in 2012 if the former Alaska governor captures the party's presidential nomination.

"I think that she has talents," Steve Schmidt, the former campaign manager of McCain's failed presidential bid, told CNN's John King. "But my honest view is that she would not be a winning candidate for the Republican Party in 2012, and in fact, were she the nominee, we could have a catastrophic election result."

The comments came during The Atlantic Magazine's First Draft of History Conferece, held at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

"I don't think it's inconceivable that she could be the Republican nominee for President of the United States," added Schmidt - who, among others in the McCain campaign, butted heads behind the scenes with Palin in the weeks leading up to Election Day. "I do think it's fairly inconceivable that she could be elected President of the United States."

Looking ahead to Palin's upcoming book - entitled "Going Rogue" - Schmidt predicted he would be portrayed as "anti-rogue in the running of the campaign."


Filed under: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. bj

    Of course Sarah will blame him for the campaign loss. She has yet to admit that she was a liability. She blamed Charlie and Katie and anyone else who tried to find out just what Sarah was all about.

    What did we find out? She doesn't read anything, she doesn't know what the VP duties are, and she can see Russia from her house! And she blames everything on the media. When her book bombs, is she going to blame the media again?

    October 2, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  2. Nolanmar

    as a moderate Dem, I can only hope!

    October 2, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    Schmidt is so right! Good thing the extreme far right of the GOP will ignore his warnings. They are under the delusion that a majority of Americans share their political views. Palin will not only lose but drag down other GOP candidates.

    October 2, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  4. Annie

    Bring her on – let her run – and secure Obama's second term with utmost certainty!

    October 2, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  5. Kat

    This isn't "blasting" Palin. I believe it would be bad if she won the nominatin too, but simply because the media would be relentless on her just like in the past election. And yes, this would not result in a win for the GOP which is why it would be catastrophic, especially if Obama won again. She would definitely make a better president than our current one.

    October 2, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  6. ThinkAgain

    Well, then, in that case – Go, Sarah, Go! *wink*

    October 2, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  7. Carl Justus

    If Sarah Palin is the best that the republicans can elect in a primary election, then the republicans will become like the whigs, in the past.

    The republicans must have someone that knows more than tax cuts, borrow and spend and their name.

    October 2, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  8. Jack in Florida

    Finally...........a smart and articulate Republican, in touch with everyone else's reality!!

    October 2, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  9. Edgar

    What a loser! He should just shut up.

    October 2, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  10. andrew st louis

    amen be careful u right wing nuts. you might get mher niminated because she ius crazy but u will lose badly. actually go ahead and get the joke nominated. maybe once she is beat again she will go back underr the igloo that she belongs

    October 2, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. Tim

    She's not going to be the candidate, but she will sure whip up the base.

    Thanks for helping her sell some more books.

    October 2, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  12. Charles

    He thinks 2012 would be "catastrophic"? What the hell does he think happened in 2008 when Mr. Schmidt was the brain running the show. Why in the world would anyone car about what his "honest view" is on a winning presidential candidate? Having this guy pontificate about what constitiutes a winner campaign is like the Detroit Lions lecturing the Steelers or Patriots on how to win a Super Bowl!

    October 2, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. Jann in Denver

    Palin is catastrostrophically stupid along with the rest of the GOP. It's not going to matter who runs in 2012, there is no way a Republican can win.

    October 2, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  14. Ken from missouri

    Thank You very much it's about time someone stood up to the republicans and told them the truth this woman will bring down the republican party a party that I been with all my life.

    October 2, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. john caselli

    After he did such a great job of getting McCain elected, he is the one I want advise from!!

    October 2, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  16. brian

    I know die hard conservatives that voted for Obama because of Sarah Palin.

    October 2, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  17. Brandon

    Can CNN get away from talking about Sarah Palin for one day? You guys are obsessed!

    October 2, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  18. Kathleen

    He's right.

    October 2, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Expat American

    I hope that the GOP nominates Palin to be their presidential nominee in 2012. Given her lack of global perspective and intelligence herein lies a golden opportunity to kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

    1.) To defeat the 1950s-era GOP Party of obstruction and racial purity
    2.) Offer the world another look into the real isolationist, bigoted and racist face of Conservatism in America

    So let Palin sell some books to the dollar store trailer crowd, and hand out a few free t-shirts and hotdogs at her Klan rallies; I hope she runs for President in 2012.

    October 2, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. Dee, 1 Vote

    Steve, are you mad that she did beat you and McCain in "08"? My vote is Obama in 2012!

    October 2, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  21. Michael in Houston

    sarah palin is already "catastrophic" which is exactly why she will be the republican nominee. She personifies anger, ignorance, and zero political skills all of which plays to the base. The republican party under Reagan and Bush Senior would find her laughable like the rest of us but thats not who the republican party is now. The republican party of little Bush, Rush, Coulter, Hannity etc loves her

    October 2, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Phil

    To "pick on" Palin's gross ignorance, grammactical problems and lack of over all intellectual "chutzpah" has become an easy proposition to discuss and exploit. The fact that she "appeals" to a small but sizable "class" of Americans bodes poorly not only for the Republican party but for the nation in general at a time that other economic powers, both friend and potential foe, are running circles around us both in terms of academic excellence and industrial ingenuity.

    October 2, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. Carl Justus

    If Sarah Palin is the best that the republicans can elect in a primary election, then the republicans will become like the whigs, in the past.

    The republicans must have someone that knows more than tax cuts, borrow and spend and their name.

    The last three republicans presidents have increased the national debt by 9,5 TRILLION DOLLARS. The republicans would rather let the sons and daughters of the middle class Americans have to deal with the bread lines that are sure to come and the begging for a job to make a few cents an hour to try to buy a loaf of bread so they do not starve to death, which is not out of the question if we do not increase taxes to pay as we go instead of leaving massive debt for the future.

    October 2, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. I can see Canada from my house!

    Catastrophic? You betcha!

    October 2, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. SMP

    Unlike John McCain, someone finally has the cojones to tell the truth, and give an honest opinion about her.

    October 2, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
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