May 6th, 2010
03:42 PM ET
4 years ago

Palin irks her supporters with California endorsement

Sarah Palin endorsed Carly Fiorina in the California Senate race on Thursday.
Sarah Palin endorsed Carly Fiorina in the California Senate race on Thursday.

Washington (CNN) – Sarah Palin broke ranks with the conservative movement on Thursday and endorsed former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in California's Republican Senate primary, prompting a flurry of criticism from many of her loyal supporters.

After Palin announced the endorsement on her Facebook page, a number of her followers questioned why she would side with Fiorina instead of the more conservative candidate in the race, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.

DeVore has the backing of several leading voices in the conservative movement, including Sen. Jim DeMint, RedState.com editor Erick Erickson and the Tea Party Express.

Though a handful of readers agreed with Palin's decision, most were upset.

"This is very, very disappointing," Rick Sheridan, one of her supporters, posted on Palin's page. "Sarah, you've got to be more careful. This woman does not represent conservative values. And the choice is so clear. Serious damage to your base here."

"Wow, Sarah...I'm saddened and shocked by your decision to endorse Carly Fiorina," commented another backer, Jennifer Goode. "Had you done your research, you would have found that Chuck DeVore is the ONLY true conservative in the California Senate race."

Also in the GOP race is former Rep. Tom Campbell, who has maintained a steady lead over his opponents in recent polls. The Republican nominee will take on Sen. Barbara Boxer in the general election.

The former Alaska governor explained her decision to wade into the primary by taking a shot at Campbell - but she made no mention of DeVore.

"I'm a huge proponent of contested primaries, so I'm glad to see the contest in California's GOP, but I support Carly as she fights through a tough primary against a liberal member of the GOP who seems to bear almost no difference to Boxer, one of the most leftwing members of the Senate," Palin wrote.

DeVore spokesman Joshua Trevino said the swift reaction from conservatives online speaks for itself.

"I think the best I can do is point you toward the responses from the conservative base on Palin's Facebook page, and on Twitter: there's a lot of them respectfully but firmly telling the former Governor that she's been misled here. And they're right," he said in an email.

Palin also irked some conservatives earlier this year when she endorsed Sen. John McCain, who elevated Palin to the national stage, in his Senate primary battle against former Rep. J.D. Hayworth.

Her loyalty to McCain may have been a factor in the California race, as well. Fiorina was one of McCain's economic advisers during the presidential campaign, and last year she told reporters: "I share Sarah Palin's values."

UPDATE: Fiorina's team disputed the notion that Palin's endorsement is inconsistent with the the Tea Party movement. Spokeswoman Julie Soderlund pointed to a recent Field Poll that found Tea Party supporters prefer Fiorina over Campbell and DeVore.

"Whether or not Chuck DeVore wants to admit it, Carly is a conservative and political outsider," Soderlund said.

Campbell's campaign, meanwhile, said the endorsement is nothing more than an "IOU from the 2008 election cycle."

"California voters are not buying that a failed CEO can be an effective U.S. Senator," a Campbell spokesman said. "Voters are looking for a Republican with a balance of experience, a real record fighting wasteful federal spending and the ability to defeat Barbara Boxer - and poll after poll says that Republican is Tom Campbell."

UPDATE 2: Palin updated her Facebook post after the uproar and listed Fiorina's conservative credentials, including her opposition to abortion rights, her support for gun rights and opposition to "Obamacare."

"And most importantly, Carly is the only conservative in the race who can beat Barbara Boxer," she wrote. "That’s no RINO. That’s a winner."


Filed under: 2010 • California • Carly Fiorina • Chuck DeVore • Extra • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin • Tom Campbell
soundoff (194 Responses)
  1. one voice

    Sarah will get a bigger payday from Carly, It's all about the money.

    May 6, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Edward

    With conservative political friends like Palin who needs enemies.

    May 6, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Larry

    Fiorina was fired by Hewlett-Packard.

    And Palin's still a moron.

    May 6, 2010 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  4. BADGER

    Who cares? Sarah is after the money and guess who has more? If Sarah Palin wants to endorse something maybe she can go clean up a beach somewhere. Drill Spill Baby Drill Spill and trust the oil companies to due the right thing.

    May 6, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Bob Pacific Grove, Ca

    "Serious damage done to Palin's base here".......Base??.......The only base she is loyal to is $$$$$$$..........

    May 6, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  6. Chas in Iowa

    Follow the money,......

    May 6, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Rick Of PA

    The reason is quite simple: "Palin is a Phoney"

    May 6, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. A Guy

    I think the problem here is Palin made the endorsement BEFORE her handlers told her what she is supposed to think.

    May 6, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  9. Leigh

    Sarah Palin has values? Who knew.

    May 6, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  10. Sandra Broughton

    Sarah Palin's true colors are leaking. Sarah, show the world what you're working with. It's all about me, me, me....don't you people get it. It has never been about the country for SP, if it were she would not have accepted the vp spot knowing she don't know squat about running the country. Hell being gov. of Alaska is not much to do there and that's why she quit.

    May 6, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. Voice of Reason

    It makes total sense that Palin would endorse this train wreck – they are two peas in a pod:

    Fiona was so bad at her job as HPs CEO that the board asked for her resignation, but then she kept the $20 million bonus anyway.

    Pailn said she 'killed the Bridge to Nowhere' (even though she endorsed and lobbied for it till it became unpopular), then kept the $320 million anyway.

    These two fruitcakes are money-grubbing tumors with serious delusions of adequacy.

    May 6, 2010 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  12. Joe in Indy

    Sarah, what were you thinking...going off on your own like that? Do we need to put the ring back in your nose? Do we need to shackle the steel ball of senseless rhetoric to your ankles again?

    You don't think for yourself sweetheart...let the religious and money-hungry hard-hearted fanatics do that for you. Let them tell you who you are and what you should stand for. Isn't that how the Republican Party works? Or are you still in that party? Is it still a party or a glorified Country Club? Or has the party "remade" itself...AGAIN...to the point where you don't recognize it? LOL

    May 6, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. Alex in Wisconsin

    This is what happens when conservative becomes synonymous with crazy. shall we joke that Carly fiorina's web ads have seriously impressed Sarah Palin? shall we say that Sarah Palin probably thought she was saying that she support California, not Carly Fiorina? Shall we call Sarah palin sexist for supporting the woman over the man? Personally, I just think Carly Fiorina offered Sarah Palin more money for her support. Conservatives should respect that Sarah Palin put pocketbook first, Party second and Country last. Thats what all the other wannabe experts at Fox News are doing.

    May 6, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  14. ran

    Fiorina is a perfect Bush/Chaney substitute because she likes to illegally wire type anyone she doesn't like she did her board members at HP.

    A democrat is going to win that race anyway.

    May 6, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  15. Dano

    I'm sure she just got her names mixed up. All she looked for was the (R) after the first name she saw.

    May 6, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  16. maryd, iowa

    It was bound to end – that love the masses had for the figurehead of Palin. She was always an obvious money and attention hungry selfish woman. Now they will realize she is just as greedy as all the other politicians.

    May 6, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Momoffour

    Let's see....Fiorina is one of McCain's posse.....Palin does what she is told. She has no idea what she is doing. BTW...wasn't Fiorina fired for spying on her board members? Such a great group!

    May 6, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  18. Wally

    They are two peas in a pod...one quit and one got fired. Carlton Fiorina is not qualified to be our senator because she does not believe in equal rights for gays, women, and Hispanics.

    May 6, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. ja

    are the socalled endorsement weigh anything or are they just hot air

    May 6, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  20. once upon a horse

    perhaps Sarah's ardent supporters will start to find out that she is clueless about a LOT of things. She is in it for the money...it shows. If she were sincere I would think she would use some of her rewards to start a foundation to help children with Downe Syndrome like her son has. Even put put her name on it and drop a million in it herself. But I doubt if Ms. Palin would do something like that.

    May 6, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  21. valjon

    The kiss of death has fallen on Carly Fiorina..Palin is like the wicked witch west,she has no power to influence politics in Ca. at all..

    May 6, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. Wmscot

    Oh to bad so sad ! Now you know what she stands for ! Corporate America !

    May 6, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  23. Dave

    Sarah Palin has no knowledge of who the people she endorses are. She just endorses whoever pays her to show up. She doesn't know one of those candidates from the other, and has probably never heard of them before.

    When will her supporters wise up and see through the thin cardboard facade that is Sarah Palin? She's a scam artist and a grifter, nothing more, and they expect some sort of integrity from her?

    May 6, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. George Orwell

    "I share Sarah Palin's values."

    What? To make a quick buck?

    May 6, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. PalmReader

    So, Palin (I never said Drill, Baby, Drill – I said Drill Here, Drill Now) irks her supporters?

    Imagine that!

    May 6, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
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