May 6th, 2010
03:42 PM ET
5 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. In Seattle

    We've seen this behavior from Palin before in her role as governor, and it's what scares us Blue Staters about her most: She rewards the people who show the most loyalty to her, not necessarily the people best qualified. She doesn't serve a national agenda – only her own.

    May 6, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Kimberly Harding

    LOVE IT! she picked a WOMAN over her loon followers wishes of the more nutty opponant, and now they are about to eat her alive! awesome!!! The lady she picked is a nut too! AWESOME! let the beatings begin!

    May 6, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. Lois

    I am absolutely no fan what so ever of Palin's. However, whatever her reasons, she has a right to endorse who she wants, just like the voting public has a right to ignore anyone telling us who they think we should vote for.

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

    Once again, who care what Palin says. Nobody cares. She has already shown that she is only out there to pull in as money as possible. I don't fault her for that but she is not or never will be a serious person in politics.

    May 6, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Typical, endores the loser from HP that hates American workers so much she shipped their jobs wholesale to India and China and bragged "American workers have no God given right to a job" as she did so. This woman is the kind of filth that put our country where it is today!

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

    If anyone in this country believes that this woman is anything but out for herself then they are totally and completely deluded....

    May 6, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Jane in WI

    Who takes her "endorsements" seriously anyways? She would probably endorse Pamela Anderson if she could.

    May 6, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  8. ken from missouri

    Who cares what she thinks she couldn't pick a good roll of toilet paper
    this woman is a disgrace to all women everywhere .

    May 6, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. whizzobutter

    Palin endorsing the woman who tanked HP? Who caused quite the scandal at HP? WHY do these weak-minded individuals think that Palin, who considers being asked what she reads "gotcha journalism," has anything to add to the discourse? Palin, who thought in an interview that Hamas was a democratically-elected friend of the USA? Who in another interview confused Iraq and Iran? Who in another interview completely misunderstood Pakistan?

    May 6, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. John

    >> a number of her followers questioned why she would side with Fiorina instead of the more conservative candidate in the race, Assemblyman Chuck DeVore.

    Why? Most probably because she doesn't KNOW who Chuck DeVore is, just like she didn't know what the Bush doctrine was.

    May 6, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Willie12345

    "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."

    Carly Fiorina ruined HP and couldn't run a worm farm. Palin is way off base on this endorsement.

    May 6, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Independant Jane in Nevada

    This is truly political hyporisy at its height!

    Fiorina is a highly educated corporate executive with certainly much wider global exposures than Palin.
    While I do not agree with Fiorina's politics, I hardly believe she "shares Sarah Palin's values"...
    And, no doubt, Sarah Palin doesn't know the first thing about Fiorina's world – her knowledge, values, perspectives, or experiences. Sarah Palin was so small time until the election. Even as governor of Alaska, she was never in the league of Fiorina.

    That Fiorina would associate herself with the likes of Palin is bizarre. She has such a strong foundation of knowledge & experience – why would she diminish that by pretending she's the same kind of animal as Palin?

    May 6, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. garc

    Her sheeple's base is the family values Do as I Say, Not as I Do crowd. Her own "base" is wherever the money is.

    May 6, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. Joe C from CT

    When will people realize that this woman (Palin) has no idea what she is doing and she is only going to do what serves her best. She is an opportunist with very strong ambitions. She left her post as governor to self promote her book and now she is after the money. Who can trust this bimbo?

    May 6, 2010 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Gil

    How could pathetic palin have any supporters unless they are more bimbo morons than she is?

    May 6, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Tori in Texas

    As usual, Sarah puts her own Profits Before People and her own self interests above the country. Drill, Baby, Drill Sarah – keep on drilling yourself into political oblivion. Better yet, grab a mop and come on down to the Gulf Coast to help us clean up this mess.

    May 6, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. derekdj

    It just goes to show Palin is out of her depth and is just chasing a pay day. Forina was responsible for wrecking the once great HP and implemented the outsourcing of valuable engineering jobs to India.

    May 6, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. j.verrette

    Who really cares whether Palin endorses anyone! We all know she wants to be in the public eye as often as possible.
    when will her time be up?

    May 6, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  19. geoff

    Not surprising at all. Idiots, like geese, tend to flock.

    May 6, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  20. NYC REPUB

    DuH.....Carly Fiorina workedon the McCain/Palin ticket as Sen. McCains finanacial advisor.........Favor for a favor.....or Quid pro quo.

    May 6, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. bobby

    this woman doesnt know which end is up what a ridiculous opportunist..get real folks this woman is just plain stupid!

    May 6, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. Mary

    I am not really sure her motives, but I love how the conservative base is acting like she is "required" to vote a certain way.....this is why they are losing lately, they don't seem to want candidates who actually think for themselves

    May 6, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. RCasson

    Stupid clown. Boxer will win anyway...it's all pointless.

    May 6, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. Mike

    Vintage Sarah Palin..................she pushed aside her beliefs to follow the money. Pathetic, but what would you expect from a shallow unintelligent Republican. The GOP needs to look in the mirror as they will NEVER regain control of Washington as long as Plain pretends to be one of them. I am an independant who would vote for the GOP, but not until they kick all the CRAZY CHRISTIANS out of their party. God, Gays and Guns will not get people employed and will not put food on the table. Once the GOP removes the wedge issues from their core belifes, they will again rise to power. Until then, we will have more Obama's or even worse, spineless Democrats running the show!!!

    May 6, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Chris

    I know it may sound immature but....who cares.

    May 6, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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