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. Molly Weasley

    Gee, you think the tea party folk are beginning to catch on that half-term Gov. and full-time idiot Sarah Palin is nothing but a liar and a con artist? No doubt Carly Fiorina offered her something lucrative.

    Face it, buckos - Sarah Palin doesn't care about anyone but herself.

    May 6, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Steve-o

    Dontcha just love watching the right-wing eat its own?

    May 6, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. Demon Sheep Palin

    The know-nothing, do-nothing windbag of failure from Alaska shows support for the know-nothing, do-nothing windbag of failure from HP and people are somehow surprised?

    They both bring exactly the same thing to the table. They both have no qualifications and no substance, but the more they can get people to believe that each other are legitimate, they less they'll have to address their own glaring lack of competence.

    May 6, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  4. Truth

    Good job Governor.

    Women are the only ones that can bring this country back to greatness.

    May 6, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. PaulC

    You can always count on Sarah to do what she thinks is good for Sarah.
    Most political hacks follow the same philosophy but Sarah is the master. You will truly witness it first hand if she were ever elected president.

    May 6, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. Jimbo (The real one)

    Goodness this woman is so easy to ridicule. Sarah Palin, "a nice house but nobody's home!"

    May 6, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  7. Pragmatic

    Carly Fiorina... wasn’t she in charge of of Hewlett Packard while its debt increased and its sales declined? Republicans are always claiming government should be run more like a business. Does that include failure?

    K.Parker tossed out an interesting opinion for discussion. "What non-ideologues may see as cooperation, however, is viewed by true believers as weakness. Any attempt at compromise is viewed as surrendering principle. Under the new order, a Good Conservative wouldn't cross the aisle to perform a Heimlich maneuver."

    May 6, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  8. Sandra

    So, Sarah has shown that she is no one's "puppet". Get over it, folks! I applaud her for her loyalty – a virtue sadly lacking in our Country today, I think, and her willingness to speak her own mind and not just say and do whatever seems to be the most politically expedient thing.

    May 6, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  9. Dean

    Thank God her 15min of fame was over with long ago may she crash and burn

    May 6, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Laughing in Florida

    Don't these conservatives realize that by Palin endorsing Fiorina, or anyone, that candidate most likely loses. It's a reverse strategy!

    May 6, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  11. Paul

    well, if she shares sarah palin's values she sure ain't gettin my vote!

    May 6, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  12. Little Tommy

    Hey she's yours so don't complain...you're stuck with her now...enjoy! LOL

    May 6, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  13. doug corder

    Not only is Carly an idiot she nearly brought HP to is knees and put several other companies out of business before HP ruining countless lives in the working middle class. She has no place in politics and should never be allowed to handle the countrys future. But then Sarah has no business in politics either. She needs to go home and be quiet.

    May 6, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  14. SuperHiro

    LOLOL What a moron! Carly Fiorina? Really?!?! Demon sheep lady? Oh man even I didn't think you were that dumb Palin.

    May 6, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. joel palmer

    Mrs Palin's endorsement either A Dosn't matter or B is the kiss o death for Carly; The democrat will always win against someone like Fiorino and against Mrs Palin.

    Either way cArly and Mrs P are losers

    May 6, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. vet in tx

    so someone who rants and raves all over the country about conservative principles, endorses someone who does not but has alot of personal money, and have been following her all around the country.........sounds like some people have been played. Go to your nearest grocery store and get a cheap bottle of rubbing alcohol, it will help in removing that big blow pop stamp (sucker) on your foreheads. Take this opportunity and really re-evaluate your stance. The people who you've been following, reading, listening, and beliving in, have been laughing at you all the way to the bank.

    "They are what we thought they were" – Denny Green

    May 6, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  17. SARA PALIN: AMERICAN QUITTER

    She gave her support cause she was PAID to do so. This nitwit and her HAND PROMPTER will do anything for a buck.

    May 6, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  18. DennisK

    Gee, Sarah, don't you know by now that independent thinking isn't permitted in the Republican Party? Why don't they just change their symbol from an elephant to a sheep?

    May 6, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. Tony in LA

    Good Job, Palin!!!

    Carly is the best person to replace Boxer!

    May 6, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  20. Fenarkleman

    Ah, the Wild Alaskan Dingbat strikes again and, this time, she eats some of her own. Scary.

    May 6, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  21. Pam, Eugene, OR

    Oops, Sarah. No why would you go and do something dumb like that?
    Are you speaking before you are thinking again Sarah?

    May 6, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  22. E-dog

    When are the dump Palin supports going to realize this:

    SHE IS ONLY OUT TO MAKE MONEY!!!!!!

    SHE HAS NO PRINCIPLES!!!

    May 6, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  23. denny

    What did they expect from her? She went rogue!

    May 6, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  24. jayson1969

    I don't understand how anyone could support Fiorina. She's a poster child for what's wrong with greed and Wall Street. She ran HP into the ground as CEO and they had to force her out by paying her millions in a buy-out package. She was also once quoted as saying "Americans have no God-given rights to jobs" in response to criticism on outsourcing.

    So, bad mouth Americans, fail on your job...but walk away a multi-millionaire and then run for office! And somehow she's close in the polls and Palin endorses her??? I just don't get it.

    May 6, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. carolyn

    Isn't Fiorina the chick who got fired from Hewlett Packard for bugging her co workers offices.

    May 6, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
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