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. JN

    Please just go away. You lost the election. You're delusional if you think you actually matter and belong on the world stage.

    October 23, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  2. Rob Johnson

    Republicans, if you want to know what Sarah Palin has done and will continue to do to your party, look no further.

    The idea that Hoffman could get elected in New York, or accomplish anything other than ensuring the Democrat gets elected, is laughable.

    The GOP is in the process of being overtaken by narrow-minded zealots who are more interested in being holier-than-thou than they are in actually governing the country.

    October 23, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  3. Michael in Houston

    OK people...keep moving along...nothing to see here

    October 23, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Patrick Farren

    I can not understand why anyone takes this woman seriously. It is well past prime time for her.

    October 23, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  5. Skee

    Reading articles with Sarah Palin as the subject matter is similar to being "Water Boarded".....

    You just feel tortured in some way, I don't know why CNN has to do this to most of us normal clear thinking people...

    Please CNN, stop torturing us with this woman......!

    October 23, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  6. Thomas

    Well, talk about putting a dagger in someones political hopes!

    October 23, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  7. Steve in WI

    Palin may act like she is pulling a mavericky move here by endorsing a third-party candidate over a Republican, but all she is really doing is kicking moderates out of the GOP by piling on Scozzafava.

    Like Pawlenty, I'm not really sure what is going on in this race either, but it seems that Scozzafava is not in lock-step with the right-wingers on abortion and union issues, so "grassroots" types a la Malkin are sliming her. With the GOP so bent on hating itself, and no clear leader behind a new party, I don't see how these internecine attacks are going to help the conservative cause win elections either this year or the next.

    October 23, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  8. J.L. Ross

    If I were Doug Huffman I would be crying that dim wit Palin was endorsing me. Why does the media keep giving this very unintelligent woman press? The Republicans have such a long way to go to be a legitimate intelligent party again, and she just keeps on knocking them into the moron range. God, will someone please shut this woman up!

    October 23, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  9. susiesez

    Way to split the party, Bible Spice. Looks like the Dems will pick up a Republican held seat.....Great Job. Way to go rogue!

    October 23, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  10. Roy

    If Republicans want SMALLER government, then why did they let Bush and Cheney make the government into a giant monster that interferes in every aspect of our lives and disobeys the Constitution? Do these people even have a clue what they're talking about or how stupid they sound?

    And a commitment to individual liberty? Right.... let's forget things like warrentless wiretapping and holding suspects indefinitely without charging them even here in the US. The word "Liberty" to them is NOT what "Liberty" means to the rest of the world or to the intelligent people.

    All they have are speaking points with no substance, lies wrapped up by an American flag. These are the people who have sold liberty and freedom down the river, and they themselves will be stuck in the deepest circle of hell where betrayers are kept.

    October 23, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  11. Jay T.

    You have to respect that. If Liberals voted on principle and not party, we'd vote for Ralph Nader.

    October 23, 2009 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  12. rice, bryan

    yawn, gag, who cares?

    October 23, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  13. LADYMARY

    Thanks Palin..you have just stuck us with Dede!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 23, 2009 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. Who put the twit in twitter? Sarah!

    Who really cares what this ding-bat has to say ?

    October 23, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  15. Rob from MO

    "Individual liberty" Yeah, right!!! This is the politician who wants the government to force women to continue unwanted pregnancies against their will and who wants the government to prevent someone from marrying the person he/she loves. "Smaller government" Yeah, right!!!" This is the small town mayor who fed at the federal trough, gobbling up many millions of dollars of pork. HYPOCRICY reigns.

    October 23, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. WHAAA??

    Oh my goodness!! Let me send some money since the Diva says to.

    October 23, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  17. Anonymous

    "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."

    In other words, exactly the opposite of what she campaigned for and supported. Such a hypocrite.

    October 23, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  18. ran

    Don't care don't care just don't care what this person has to say or do. Stop reporting on her. Give the time to our military instead. Please.

    October 23, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  19. Tom

    "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."

    In other words, exactly the opposite of what she campaigned for and supported. Such a hypocrite.

    October 23, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  20. b

    I think the votes of this district are intelligent enough to make our own decisions without the endorsement of ANY outside opinions. As a registered voter with no party affiliation I have been assaulted by daily telephone calls from the various activiists....my opinion...GO AWAY. I am not impressed with any of the candidates running in this district.

    October 23, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  21. luan issuffi

    Who realy cares whom this stupid moosehunter endorses ?

    October 23, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  22. Big John

    Getting an endorsement from a quitter who's as dumb as a box of rocks is positive??? Sounds more like doom and gloom to me.

    October 23, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  23. Jobless Recovery

    Refreshing to hear of a person who isn't a party hack, isn't it!!?? Good Job Palin!
    This while Obama campaigns for that crook Chris Dodd. When will you libs wake up and realize Obama is a fraud and bad for this country.

    October 23, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  24. Lynda

    Who cares who this bimbo supports........as for Oprah Show, I have always been a follower of Oprah but NO more, will not watch the show with Palin on it or any more of Oprahs Shows.......people that give this woman any air time in only helping her spread her Hate, and ingnorance..........

    October 23, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  25. jbrownski

    Yep. Republicans stand for smaller gov't, less taxes, etc. All nice sounding goals. Problem is, they do the opposite. (from Regan which preached one thing and do the opposite to the Bushes). It is better to work towards (not just stand for or talk about) a gov't that is efficient, effective and less corrupt. Then, the size of the gov't and the amount of taxes will be the "right" amount. It seems the Republicans are only good for attractive sound bites which a good proportion of the population will fall prey to. That, they know too well and is taking advantage of. Unfortunately, it is not good for the country in the long run and ironically, not good for these same people following blindly the promise of manna from heaven. Thus we need better education and better analytically thinking citizens.

    October 23, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
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