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. bigTEXoil

    please stop reporting on this no nothing politician,,,,she is a quitter for heaven's sake and we don't want her meddling in TX political affairs...her endorsement doesn't validate anything....the economy is bruising her state and she is showboating making appearances, writing books....basically capitalizing on the GOP's poorest decision ever made which was making her a VP candidate.

    October 23, 2009 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Her opinion doesn't matter to majority of the country. Yet CNN continues to publicize this loser. Stop mentioning her as a potential 2012 candidate. She doesn't stand a chance of winning. Ask most republicans on why they did not vote for McCain and a overwhelmin majority will probably tell they didn't like her!

    October 23, 2009 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  3. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Palin is following an example of another Republican. I can't remember if it was Dick Army or Newt Gingrich who endorsed Doug Hoffman; the party nominated Dede Scozzafava got the nod from the other one. If Palin was the first to do something, then it should be news, but she wasn't the first and it isn't even her state. Why should she matter in this. Could the media just drop her and leave her to sign her coloring book... I mean the book that she wrote with help from someone else.

    Pawlenty was smart not to endorse anyone. He doesn't know them, and it isn't his state. It keeps him out of some level trouble.

    October 23, 2009 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  4. mike

    the republican party complains that the democrats are not willing to meet
    in the middle with them on issues but just look at what they do there not
    interest in a moderate but a strong conservative that just shows they
    will continue to be the party of NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO do we really need that in this country

    October 23, 2009 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  5. Mitch

    So it is official. There is now a Republican Party and a Conservative Ultra Right wing party. Or the normals vs. the nut jobs. Palin has made her choice, which is no surprise. If only Palin saw the world from her porch, not just Russia.

    October 23, 2009 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  6. David

    Good for you Sarah! A politician with courage. How unusual.

    October 23, 2009 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  7. STILL unemployed in Iowa

    BIG DEAL, Palin endorses someone. She is being as much of a JOKE as the rest of our elected officials. I put Palin in the same boat as Obama and Pelosi. All three are in cohoots to sink this economy and loose what jobs we have. If you can not make jobs then shut up till you can or listen to the people out there with a better idea.

    October 23, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  8. Rod

    This is where the Lib Dem nut jobs write in and spew their hate filled vitriol on Palin. That's why everything she does is featured on CNN. It gives the Lib Dems and the jealous women another chance to destroy her. GO Palin! Go Fox!

    October 23, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  9. John

    I would any candidate in their right mind want an endorsement from the likes of Palin. She is a fascist moron with truly evil intentions. She is what happens when our education system fails. We end up with ignorant quitters.

    October 23, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  10. jaywingfuller

    Doug Hoffman - pallin' around with Palin = pallin' around with wackos. With that endorsment, Doug, your candidacy is doomed.

    October 23, 2009 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  11. NVa Native

    Oh yea, please Sarah give all the repubs up for election a great big wet "lipstick on a pit-bull kiss" right on the lips. Just like Freddo got from Michael Corleone. You betcha!
    And bring out your crazy old uncle "Evil Dick" to snarl and gnash his teeth to terrorize the radical base and religious nut jobs. The rest of the US and the world are in awe – truly amazing.

    October 23, 2009 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  12. REPUBLICANS REJOICE WHEN AMERICANS LOSES ,OLYMPICS AND BOO WHEN AMERICA WINS ,NOBEL

    wow an endorsement from her is a dang good reason why you shouldn't vote for him LOL

    I think i would rather have the republican win over the other conseravitive now but my support goes to the DEMOCRAT

    PARTY FOR THE PEOPLE not the rich grumpy old white man club of greedy insurance and war industries party

    October 23, 2009 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  13. George

    Only a fool would want her endorsement. Loser backing a loser.

    October 23, 2009 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  14. Sue

    I think an endorsement from Sarah Palin is to a canidates determent...

    October 23, 2009 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  15. Death Panel Sarah

    Now here's two people you can really get behind. One can't even support her party's nominee, and the other always gets the wrong idea!

    October 23, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  16. emma zinkiewicz

    who cares who she endorsed. She is a quitter, She should just keep her mouth shut!!!!

    October 23, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  17. russell21212

    Definitely a shoein if either of these ditto heads run in 2012 ,...........................Obama wins in a landslide , don't forget one's a quitter and the other has done nothing for his state ......

    October 23, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  18. Matt

    Almost certainly this will boost the democratic candidate's donations. Where do I send a check?

    October 23, 2009 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  19. Al-NY,NY

    ...and the nonsense continues. "They're not REPUBLICAN enough." That party is going the way of Germany in the 1930's making sure only "pure" people belonged.

    October 23, 2009 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  20. las vegas

    Who is Palin to endorse anyone???

    October 23, 2009 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  21. OpenYourMindsAmerica

    Why is Palin still news?

    We she was the running mate for McCain Palin vowed to us that she was for the everyday Joe. Since the elections Palin has quit as governor of Alaska, went to China, and now is in New York to promote what? Herself! So much for the everyday Joe. Some may think that she is doing this to shore up her resume for a 2012 run, but I know that it is for financial reasons. It was personal finances that caused her to quit as governor. Palin said this herself during press conferences on quiting as the Alaskan governor. Remember!

    October 23, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  22. KingJack

    Why does CNN give so much attention to Sarah Palin? I think people have seen her limited capabilities, and knowledge and curiosity about issues that confront all of us.
    I seems, at times, that your organization is on a Palin promotional tour. She is no more qualified to be a major leader than most people. Are you playing it up just for the sensationalism?
    Do your readers and viewers a favor and start reporting NEWS, not what you are passing to us.

    October 23, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  23. EBC

    Republicans are so full of CRAP, they continue to eat their own within the party. I honestly don't think they KNOW what their own party stands for. They wave their conservative bible waving christian morales and YET they are they biggest SINNERS and HYPOCRITES within THEMSELVES!

    The mere fact that they idolize Sarah Palin and her backwards conservative ideology is clearly proof of how off the track the GOP Leadership truly is.

    GOD sees all and hears all. Republicans need to understand the biggest of their SINS is using the "Lord's name in vain".....

    October 23, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  24. Victory Gin

    Dumb endorsed by dumber.

    "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."

    This USED to be the core of Republican values. Now, if your not a bible waiving ninny, hell bent on judging everyone else's lifestyle and moral aptitude, then you're not worthy of your American Citizenship.

    The left needs to stop being so worried about who is offended and who isn't, just be thankful we are free to offend, and the right needs to stop trying to take away our 'individual liberty' if we don't fit their mold.

    October 23, 2009 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  25. Blaine in OH

    What difference does it make really? NY is pretty dang liberal isn't it?

    October 23, 2009 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
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