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. Cathy Reid

    Oh, boy, the idiot has spoken again!!!. Anyone who wants Palin the morons support has rocks in their head.
    She does not know her butt from a hole in the ground. Speaking of hole in the ground maybe she will crawl back into that hole and we will never never have to see her stupid face or hear her dirty mouth again.
    My dog has more brains than this idiot.
    Hey, Sarah can you see Russia from that hole in the ground ???
    How about telling about those Christian values you have, as you spread hate and fear.

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

    I'm sure Hoffman is thrilled to have the endorsement of this phony airhead.

    October 23, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  3. Margaret Lehmann

    I find it highly amusing that Mrs. Palin is trumpeting the Republican party's concern for "individual rights". Where was she during the Bush years--gazing out at Russia from her porch–I suppose.

    October 23, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. JR

    No big deal.... I've seen more significant endorsements on a box of Wheaties...

    October 23, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. Mike

    Why does anyone on earth care what Sarah Palin does or who she endorses? She was a flash-in-the-pan candidate who did more harm to the republican party than she could ever hope to outweigh. Why she still thinks that her opinion matters now or that it ever did is astounding to me.

    October 23, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    When the shining star of everything-that's-wrong-with-conservatives-today gives an endorsement, you know the candidate is doomed.

    October 23, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. Average Guy in Red State KS

    Sarah Palin? Who's she? Oh yeah, wait a minute. I remember. A failed vice presidential candidate.

    So, the next question is, "Who cares?"

    Sarah Palin is proof that not every ejaculation deserves a name.

    October 23, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. yes and she is such an authority

    ON EVERYTHING

    New York politics

    Healthcare

    etc., etc.

    how about you tend to your family... that could use your expertise more than a New York potical race

    incidently... how much impact does a former Alaskan govenor and one time VP canidate have on a race accross the country... I'm better next to none... who thought you would matter?

    October 23, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Brian

    Sarah Palin's endorsement fits the Pariah Endorsement in the endorsement hierarchy.

    October 23, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Zac, Atlanta

    Small government but ginormous military paid for by lower taxes. Makes sense, got it.

    October 23, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. Steve (the real one)

    Coming soon to a blog near you! A monsoon of hate from...you guessed it, THE TOLERANT ONES! Why do the liberals care which republican or conservative Palin supports, unless the liberals are running scared?

    October 23, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. Chase

    Sarah...You just need to go away and stop making waves that only are visible to you. 2012, for your information, is the year that moderates and independents vote out the wackos from both parties....thanks for saving us the effort in Alaska.

    October 23, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  13. Danman

    Split that conservative vote right in two... Dems are going to get this seat. I sure hope conservatives keep fighting with each other. It's hysterical.

    October 23, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  14. Jim in Albany

    Well, now I know who I'm NOT voting for. Her endorsement has to be the kiss of death for any candidate. And for Rick Santorum....a male version of Palin.

    October 23, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. rick

    Who care what this woman does? Go away all ready.

    October 23, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  16. I told you so

    Here we go again with Pailin at the top of the CNN ticker. CNN can you lay Sarah Pailin off for a loooong while?. What a pathetic news outlet you are.

    October 23, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  17. Lisa

    "The race has attracted national attention," AHHHH... now it makes sense why Palin wants to give her 2 cents, and be involved in it. She still wants part of that spotlight. freak.

    October 23, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Robert

    Why do we care what or whom this woman endorses?! Her family is involved in scandal after scandal (if I have to mention these details, you haven't been paying attention), she QUIT her job as the top-dog in Alaska, she has slandered EVERYONE she opposes (a typical Republican strategy, so I guess this isn't that heinous). I wouldn't vote for this woman for dog-catcher! Stop paying attention to her and hopefully, she will go away. She is only relevent to the Republican party, and we all know how in-touch with society THEY really are!!]

    October 23, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  19. sue

    Enough with Palin...

    October 23, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  20. Ron

    Palin is nothing more than a "dreamer", who thinks the lord told her to run for President, when she is probably as qualified as the person who picks up your trash. She cannot even answer questions in complete sentences, is a charismatic christian which means she believe in prophecies, speaking in tongues, and other beliefs not tied to solid Christian doctrine. I believe that the term "Conservative" shoudl rightly be used as a negative connotation, not liberal or even Republican, since Conservatives were responsible for our countries problems, just like they were in the 1920's under Conservatives like Harding, Hoover, and Coolidge. We should call them "Cons"!

    October 23, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  21. Mark

    Sarah, who is conservative enough for you? You scare me, I used to vote Conservative, but no more until your party stops pandering to the extreme.

    October 23, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  22. Minnesotan

    "Sarah Palin and Tim Pawlenty, two Republicans widely viewed as possible 2012 White House hopefuls...." are, in actuality, the most pathetic and least liked of the Republican candidates.

    October 23, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. Who put the twit in twitter? Sarah!

    This woman is so full of herself she actually believes that she would be running the show if she somehow did become president. ' They ' would never let that happen. She would have twice the number of behind the scenes handlers that GWB had. A figure head is the most she ever can be.

    October 23, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  24. Marco V

    Why does the media treat her like she is so important and worth listening to??? She brings nothing to the table.

    October 23, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  25. Paul

    Sarah Palin, Loser-Quitter. Why would anyone want to be endorsed by this two bit charlatan? Clearly Plain (I mean Palin) feels she is some sort of legend, a political powerhouse. A legend in her own mind...

    October 23, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
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