November 19th, 2009
06:28 PM ET
9 years ago

Christie, McDonnell explain Palin's absence from campaign trail

Palin wasn't exactly a welcome presence in Virginia and New Jersey during both governor's races.

Palin wasn't exactly a welcome presence in Virginia and New Jersey during both governor's races.

CEDAR CREEK, Texas (CNN) - Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell, the soon-to-be-governors of New Jersey and Virginia, both deflected questions Wednesday about why Sarah Palin did not appear with the two Republicans during their respective campaigns.

Christie said he only had three GOP heavyweights visit New Jersey during his campaign - Rudy Giuliani, Tim Pawlenty and Mitt Romney - and each came for a specific reason.

“I had a long standing relationship with Mayor Giuliani,” Christie explained. “Gov. Pawlenty and Gov. Romney both faced the same type of crises financially in their state when they took over that we did.”

McDonnell said his campaign had reached out to Palin nearly a year ago to campaign in Virginia, but said she was overwhelmed with requests at the time. When she stepped down as governor of Alaska in July, McDonnell said, their visitor lineup had already been set - a full four months before election day in Virginia.

“We thought she was a good leader for the party as the governor of Alaska and had some good reforms in the state, but she was in such incredible demand frankly for the longest time we were not able to work out anything for her to come in,” he said. “And then after she decided to leave office we had pretty much already arranged all of the folks that we had for the home stretch for fundraisers, including several current and former governors, and so we pretty much had our strategy set at that point.”

Christie and McDonnell made the comments at a news conference held during the Republican Governors Association's annual meeting near Austin.

Filed under: Bob McDonnell • Sarah Palin
soundoff (165 Responses)
  1. Robin

    Another Sarah Palin picture to drive the liberals nuts.

    Now lets see, Gov. Christie had 3 GOPers come to our state to campaigne for him. 3 GOPers that the libs hate with a passion. NJ also is a very liberal state.

    Barack Obama campaigned for Corzine THREE TIMES himself.

    Corzine still lost. Lost by a landslide.

    Welcome Gov. Christie. I'm glad I voted for you!

    November 19, 2009 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  2. SkiDoc

    Hey, Dems (especially you wimmins libbers) – she is a little more savvy than you think. Her endorsement was enough. She didn't NEED to be there (unlike Mr. "O" who felt that he could deliver NJ by a constant presence). This Palin obsession by the left is delicious! Just wait to see what is in store for you in 2010. Go Sarah – you betcha!!!

    November 19, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  3. Stephan Srock,

    In a polite and political way, Christie and McDonnell said Palin was not wanted (nor needed). Can you blame them? I have to back them up on their decision(s) as it could have hurt them in the long run having the "wannabe" there.

    November 19, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  4. Tayo, NY

    What an explanation!

    Her impact would have been negative anyway, considering the outcome of NY-23 congregassional race!!

    November 19, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  5. Johnny Five

    Why does the media keep pushing Palin on the citizens? Not many people care about her. Just let us know if the power brokers already decided she is the next candidate for president.

    And quit playing these mind games making citizens believe she is the republicans choice, because she is not.

    It is the media, not Palin and the republicans, that push her forward.

    We're not foolish.

    November 19, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  6. Tom B

    Because they wanted to win.... Next story.

    November 19, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  7. Chris - Denver

    CNN! Breaking news! I heard that Palin just sneezed! Don't miss it!

    November 19, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. Jackie in Dallas

    It is probably why they won. Palin is a divisive force in the GOP, and has not just no appeal, but negative appeal to moderates. Both of these guys needed that moderate vote to win their elections.

    November 19, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  9. Marsha - Va

    This woman is a complete IDIOT – I wonder if she even knows the definition of ROGUE - a dishonest, knavish person; scoundrel. Who titles their book this? Only someone as dumb as Sarah Palin !!

    November 19, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  10. Jason

    wow, so even when these guys win, they still have to pass a purity test. I'd say unbelievable, but it's all too believable. Have they pre-apologized to rush limbaugh too?

    November 19, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  11. Hoke Murray

    In order to win in VA and NJ, you have to appeal to the mainstream voters and not the lunatic fringe. Keep in mind that Palin thinks the mainstream voters are not 'true' Americans, so of course she won't be asked to campaign for someone who WANTS to be elected.

    November 19, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  12. ETM

    I can explain her absence. McDonnell and Christie wanted to win their respective elections, not indulge the whims of a narcissistic twit.

    November 19, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  13. grey fox

    As long as you keep asking the question, Palin will still be a 'national' figure. It isn't her that is real, it is the news story, so called, that creates Palin as a national figure. Who cares what she thinks? Yet an op-ed piece in another network savaged the media for being hard on her though the book mattered or the opinions were unjustified. Even with negative-speak, provoking an argument or debate merely serves to continue keeping her placed in the public eye as something viable and bone fide. Her complaints and accusations in the book reveal a petty and shallow personality, ideologically driven, and intellectually isolated in an early fiftie's Leave it to Beaver/Robert Welch mind-set. And the GOP take her seriously? But they do. Doesn't anyone see that the emperor wears no clothes?

    November 19, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. Lamar in Dallas, TX

    Uh duh! For the same reason that Republicans running for office last year did not want to be seen with President Bush! She's a polarizing figure!

    Both of these guys were smart enough to know that the only person Sarah Palin is really interested in right now is Sarah Palin!

    p.s. I still think she is grossly unqualified to be vice-president, much less president, but what the heck do I know. She's laughing all the way to the bank right now!

    November 19, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  15. AJ

    It would be great if Palin would come up missing altogether. The less we see of that ignorant, brainless, white trash, twit the better!!

    November 19, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. WBN

    Oh, you mainline media outlets! Always the misleading headlines. She wasn't "missing" after all. You just suspect something "negative" about Sarah Palin anytime you can. Pity you; she's doing okay.

    November 19, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. ttbala

    Oh Mr McDonnell, your lies are so transparent, now that you have the Governership you can say what you want to say, Sarah would have cost you the election and you know it, otherwise she would have been there campaigning for you.

    November 19, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. James

    They were smart enough to distance themselves. Hopefully the thinkers in the party will too. She can be the darling of the right wing nutcases who are ruining the party with their teabag nonsense instead of coming up with solutions to our problems.

    November 19, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  19. Gale

    Wow! All you Sarah Palin bashers must hate it when they show the HUGE crowds waiting in line to see her and have their books signed.

    November 19, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. Lori in St Pete

    She wasn't there because Christie & McDonnell wanted to win. It's no secret in rethug circles that Braindead Barbie is the political kiss of death.

    November 19, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Liz

    The fact that this woman has any credibility with anyone is a sad commentary on the level of intelligence of a significant portion of the American people. republicans are glorifying stupidity and incompetence and demonizing intellect and a firm grasp on reality. this does not bode well for the future of this country if these people are allowed to continue to affect the decision-making process.

    November 19, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  22. Bart Brown, Clinton, CT

    Nobody wants to hug a leper.

    November 19, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. PNWjim

    always preception over substance LIE AND SPIN LIE AND SPIN

    November 19, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. George Welch

    I am a conservative and very concerned with the direction our country is going. However, Sarah Palin is little more than a publicity seeking distraction garnering way too much attention and detracting from the process of finding a credible candidate with the skills she so obviously lacks to turn us around in 2012. Hopefully she will gather up her loot and disappear.

    November 19, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  25. joan

    Isn't she getting a little vague on her Republican status. She and Hannity perfer being called right wing conservatives, do they not.

    November 19, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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