October 23rd, 2009
12:02 PM ET
9 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. Ant

    GOP stands for "Get Obama Party." Republicans are so obsessed with ruining Obama's administration they don't care what kind of injury they cause the rest of us; obstruction is all these people are about.

    October 23, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. CZossima

    Who's watching the baby? Whos's raising the baby? I thought motherhood was a part of the GOP platform? Oh, I get it, but not for the 'elite'.

    October 23, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  3. SGt

    Palin is the best

    October 23, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. rob

    as a NYer I'll do my duty to vote for whoever Sarah is against

    October 23, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  5. TM

    Well, now we'll she if she is as much of a political liability off of the ticket as she is on it.

    October 23, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  6. Tim in NC

    Yes, please. Lets getteh trully psychotic right-wing people in office that way we can all see how cracked-out the Right really is!

    Ha! This guy is gonna crash & burn, either from not getting elected or after he gets into office. I love a good train wreck.

    October 23, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  7. Sarah is on it.......

    Obama is ONE and DONE.

    Sarah Palin/Liz Cheney 2012'

    October 23, 2009 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  8. ifyou'renotconcernedyou'renotpayingattention

    Way to go Sarah. As the quintessial 'annointed by a political party' candidate, I wish you the best of luck in demonstrating how absurdly far you and your colleagues have strayed from mainstream America. I pray that you run in 2012, to continue to ever-quickening slide of the Republican party into obsolescence.

    October 23, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. AEK

    The kiss o' death...

    Isn't this the same woman who quit her job as governor of Alaska? What a great credential for giving endorsements.

    October 23, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  10. JT

    Sarah Palin endorsed someone?? WHO CARES!! Ms. "I've never had a job I can't quit" is totally irrelevent to those of us in the real world that have to work for a living. If she is the new face (and mouth) of the Republican party, it will be great news for Democrats and Independents running for office. Sarah Palin, Rush, Coulture and their ilk do nothing to benefit society or humanity as a whole. The only thing they contribute is hot air to global warming (which of course is just another liberal myth)

    October 23, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  11. Darlene

    Yeah....that will work out for Hoffman....You Betcha.

    My god, it's amazing how they "eat their own".....if it were me, I would
    respectfully decline the endorsement.....but that would be the logical
    thing to do.

    October 23, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  12. yougottobekidding

    Someone wake me up when this is over.... ZZZzzzzzzz

    October 23, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  13. Jerry

    Another slow media day, you would think Obama has nothing on his plate with his poll numners in a death spiral.

    October 23, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  14. Sharon Northern Virginia

    The American People care about Sarah vote....I think not

    October 23, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  15. AtlantaRoger

    What a joke – what the reblican party stands for- ROFL
    – smaller government -how much more government power was added by the repulicans in the patriot act ,
    – lower taxes- how much was added to the national debt by the republicans – no new taxes but plenty of spending
    – strong national defense- has our military ever been left more depleted after the wars ineptly prosecuted by the repulicans?
    – commitment to individual liberty- unless of course you happen to be a woman who wants to choose issues affecting her health or body or a gay american who wants to serve openly in the military or have your relationship of 30 years recognized legally and morally

    October 23, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  16. Wake Up

    why do so many liberal hate Palin? She is independent. She is honest. She isn't a party hack. It's because she is a woman. It's shocking that all these liberals are so hateful to Palin because she is a woman. I thought the liberals were the ones that believed in equality?? Liberals don't. They believe in party loyalty and big wasteful government.

    October 23, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  17. larry

    The kiss of death...a declaration of support from the bimbo from Alaska

    October 23, 2009 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  18. Mike in Columbus

    Oddly proud of Palin atm. Man this feels weird... 'commitment to individual liberty'... something dying quickly in America, and being ignored by the press (among so many other issues).

    Tame enough for your ticker?

    October 23, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  19. Duck Fallas

    This woman is a God-send. Go Sarah go!!

    Palin/Bachman 2012

    October 23, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  20. Sgt. USMC

    whoop dee doo... how do people see her as a possibility for 2012? The repubs must really be desperate... yeah they are.

    October 23, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Good news for you Pawlenty, Palin doesn't know why or who she's endorsing she only annointed with money and cheap talk with no sustance.

    October 23, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  22. cspurgeon

    Does someone care what this showboat thinks......

    October 23, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  23. Joe Sith

    I'm sure this endorsement will endear her to the Powers-That-Be in the Republican Party.

    October 23, 2009 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  24. RTB

    Is this news?
    Who cares what Palin does. Poor Mr.Hoffman is stuck with a dead weight of an "endorsement". The Alaskan dumbshell doesn't know what the blabber means that comes out of her mouth.

    October 23, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  25. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    Tim Pawlenty is a credible candidate for the Republican party for president. Sarah Palin would hand the presidency to the Democratic party no matter who their candidate was. No intelligent, clear-thinking person could possibly want Sarah Palin, on anyone as unqualified, to occupy the White House. Run Palin and it will be the final death-rattle for the GOP.

    October 23, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
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