October 23rd, 2009
12:02 PM ET
5 years ago

Palin endorses in New York race, while Pawlenty holds back

Sarah Palin endorsed Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman in the upstate New York special election.
Sarah Palin endorsed Conservative party candidate Doug Hoffman in the upstate New York special election.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, two Republicans widely viewed as possible 2012 White House hopefuls, weighed in Thursday night on the closely-watched special election in New York's 23rd congressional district. They chose very different approaches - but neither endorsed the GOP candidate.

Calling it a matter of principle, Palin - the 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate - bucked her party and enthusiastically endorsed Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman over Republican Dede Scozzafava. The race has attracted national attention, especially from grassroots activists who accuse Scozzafava of not being conservative enough to run under the Republican party mantle.

"Doug Hoffman stands for the principles that all Republicans should share: smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense, and a commitment to individual liberty," the former Alaska governor wrote on her Facebook page. "Political parties must stand for something."

Palin then urged her supporters to donate to Hoffman, who she said "has not been anointed by any political machine."

Just minutes before she made the announcement, Pawlenty happened to be speaking to reporters in Washington after a fundraiser for his new political action committee. The Minnesota governor refused to make an endorsement when asked about the race.

"You know I haven't been following that, I haven't studied the race at all," he said. "It's not that I would or wouldn't, I just don't know anything about it. I haven't taken the time to study their positions, their records, so I haven't taken a position on it."

The Minnesota governor did venture to make a prediction in two other high-profile campaigns, the Virginia and New Jersey governor's races. Pawlenty predicted victory for Republicans, but quickly hedged on New Jersey.

"I think we're going to win them both," he said. "In New Jersey, I don't want to get ahead of ourselves. But it sure looks like Republicans are going to win in Virginia. New Jersey's going to be a closer call, but that's also a tougher state for Republicans. But if the election were held today I think we'd win them both."

Scozzafava and Hoffman are on the ballot along with Democrat Bill Owens. Election Day is November 3.

UPDATE: Another conservative who may have an interest in running for the GOP presidential nomination is weighing in on the race.

Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, said he supports Hoffman. Filling in as guest host Friday morning on Bill Bennett's "Morning in America" national radio program, Santorum said "the Republican candidate has been in the process of disqualifying herself."

"You're not throwing your vote away on [Hoffman]," added Santorum.

"This is a race that we need to win," said Santorum, who added that even though he's never endorsed a third party candidate before, he thinks Hoffman is the best chance to win.

Santorum last month acknowledged his interest in a possible 2012 bid for the White House. His September trip to Iowa also raised eyebrows. While Santorum lost his 2006 re-election bid, he's still well regarded in Republican circles, especially among social conservatives.


Filed under: Dede Scozzafava • Doug Hoffman • NY-23 • Sarah Palin • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. ladonna

    I love Sarah! Don't care what the liberals think about her. In fact, I find it rather humorous to see all the comments they leave whenever there is story about her! I always imagine them sitting there foaming at the mouths like a rapid animals, typing hate and venom remarks against her! It's hilarous!

    October 23, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  2. Monrob

    Thanks but no thanks, Sarah. If you want to endorse, endorse in Alaska.

    I hardly think anyone wants your endorsement.

    October 23, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  3. Carla Martin-Wood

    Well, now they know who NOT to vote for. Anyone that idiotic Palin recommends is a sure loser.

    October 23, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  4. Tania

    And I would want to support anyone she thinks is qualified?!?!?!

    October 23, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  5. Gerry

    And this is important, why??

    October 23, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  6. ~~ July ~~ ( Working HARD to make TX Blue )

    ooooooooh how sad for Doug Hoffman ... he got the kiss of death.

    October 23, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Janet Carter

    Kiss of death for the Repubs. ha. Thanks Scarah !

    October 23, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. chris24

    the more "conservative" the republicans are,
    the less chance they will ever win nationally
    again.

    October 23, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Tom C in NY

    Caribou Barbie and her fellow wingnuts want to kill the Republican Party by driving out all the moderate voices and I, for one, couldn't be happier. Go Caribou Barbie, go!

    October 23, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. Darren

    Its hilarious to see Republicans and their illogic. Smaller government yet less regulation for crooked financial institutions. Smaller governement yet strong national defense.You republicans love your weapons so much.Who is going to pay for this ? Do you think continuing to make enemies around the world yet having strong national defence is the answer ? You are even more dangerous with your self righteous beliefs and thinking your religion is the only way.

    October 23, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  11. andrew s. rostolder

    well doug, now there's the kiss of death.....i guess it will be back to the bakery for you.......lol

    October 23, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  12. JILLI

    Oh yeah, thanks CNN. I'm sure millions were wondering what the astute political mind of sarah palin was thinking on the NY race.

    October 23, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. Splat!~

    All a ploy to woo independents and intelligent republicans.~ Her environmental record still smells of dead fish and she's still a member of the American Taliban!~

    October 23, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  14. Thomas, AK

    Some one please explain to Sarah what "Rogue" means. We are on to her – she's setting herself up to join a third party and Silly Sarah thinks no one is noticing!

    October 23, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  15. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Sara Palin is a far righty so what is new. Of course she will endorse a far right person.

    October 23, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  16. Andy

    Did Sarah just quit the GOP? Now this is funny and predictable – splitting the vote....what will this crazy woman do next.........

    October 23, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  17. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but.....

    "Political parties must stand for something." she said. Just what do the republicans stand for these days? Not much except to stop any kind of change no matter the cost and regain their precious power. Oh, and more tax cuts that we can't afford. And war, they really like war. Oh and also something about this Jesus character whom they really don't seem to get. Have a nice day!

    October 23, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  18. Fool me once shame on u, fool me twice... err...

    "... all Republicans should share: smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense, and a commitment to individual liberty," the former Alaska governor wrote on her Facebook page. "Political parties must stand for something."

    After decoding this language, she's saying:

    smaller govt – only implement policies approved by lobbyists

    lower taxes- only cater to the rich

    strong national defense- start a few wars to keep our military industrial complex money machine going.

    individual liberty- make sure women keep pumping out those babies, and don't worry what happens to them once they're born

    October 23, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  19. TangledThorns

    I endorse Sarah Palin for President. She'll is a far better leader than the cowardly Ditherer In Chief that we currently have!

    October 23, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  20. Ann - MO

    Palin has never cared about her party. Sarah will stab anyone in the back to get ahead. This lady is dangerous and the description of "Rogue" truly describes her to a TEE!

    October 23, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  21. JS007

    Ha ha, Palin and the tea-baggers will be the death of the GOP! I would like to thank Sen. McCain, Rush, Bill-O, Hannity, Beck, etc.

    October 23, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Sarah PALIN's support is the kiss of death to the conservative candidate. Why has Tim Pawlenty not endorsed any candidate yet in the race?

    Sarah Palin 2012 DOWN the DRAIN!!!

    October 23, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  23. Doug, New Jersey

    Sarah Palin is an honest, independent, sincere, patriot who loves this nation and wants every American to have the rights and freedoms guarenteed to us by the constitution. She also stands for personal responsiblity, for Americans to have unlimited potential and for them to be able to better the lives of them and their families.

    Each and every liberal who foams at the mouth and turns purple when they hear or read the name Palin is 100% opposed to Sarah's principles and 100% supportive of socialist Chicago thugs who want to take away our freedoms, rights, and wealth. The Democrat stands for lies, hate, and immoral desires of punishing Americans for not sipping the Obama kool aide.

    October 23, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    The obligatory Palin article for liberals to foam at the mouth. Coupled with an article on Joe Wilson's wife and the Obama family portrait.

    Yet nothing on Broom Hilda Pelosi admitting she can't garner the necessary votes for her beloved public option?

    Yet another smokescreen on the CNN political ticker. You're nothing if not predictable.

    October 23, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  25. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Rick Santorum, Sara Palin, and Tim Pawlenty will not be able to beat President Obama with just their same all talking points small government and tax cuts that bankrupt this country.

    October 23, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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