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. George

    Sarah is constantly shooting from the hip because she hasn't a clue about anything approaching reality. She probably doesn't know what a conservative is.

    May 6, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  2. Hannah

    I can see this. They are two like minded women. Carly ran HP into the ground and let with a huge bonus and then speaks out against workers rights to jobs. And Palin is a two time loser, quit as governor to make make more money . Neither of them are relevant in any way. And they will both soon fade into the background.

    May 6, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Rebecca

    Sarah Palin is the biggest Joke ....we D love her...

    May 6, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. What Goes Around

    The fact that Sarah Palin has a "base" at all tells you all you need to know about the current political climate. Yawn.

    May 6, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  5. Indy Jim

    I also heard that Sarah has endorsed Power Ade over Gatorade, and the Tigers over the Yankees next weekend, and that like 4 out of 5 dentists who chew gum she recommends Trident.

    WHO CARES. I am on the conservative side, but with all due respect the best way to give the Dem's 4 more years in the White House would be to nominate Sarah.

    May 6, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. Erik

    She's SUCH a joke! I couldn't imagine her support beneficial for any candidate! lol

    May 6, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. johnnyhouse

    Must be a looker if the women are upset.I can imagine those daggers now.

    May 6, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Brian

    I realize that this is slightly off topic. However, the moves that Fiorena made at HP are largely responsible for that company's success today. Yes it was a tough time, marked by some tough capitalization issues. But her initiatives changed what was a somewhat outdated model, and paved the way for the soon to be released Slate and the newly acquired Palm platform. So saying that she killed HP is not correct.

    Also, if you want to talk about US companies outsourcing overseas, then you ought to leave Fiorena alone, and look at Big Oil. It would seem that Americans have no inalienable right to employment in the energy industry, as well. It is just that the Republican Machine and the Bush family do everything they can to protect that industry.

    That said, she did bug the boardroom, and spied on her employees and board members. So she is not exactly a person of pristine reputation. I do not think I would want her as a political leader. But it is important for Californians to make a decision based on the facts, not merely the off base rhetoric that seems to be floating around this forum.

    May 6, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Tim

    Why would it matter who Palin endorses? Like she matters.

    May 6, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. cardog

    Listen up people. Sarah Palin is not dumb, no she is not dumb if she can make the millions she has over these past few months. Remember, she co-wrote a book, made speeches, attended Tea Party functions during the same time frame that our President got the Stimulis package passed in Congress, got Nat'l Health Care made into law, and is now trying to get a handle on Wall Street.
    NO, she's not dumb, but you betcha, she's dangerous. I say that she's dangerous because she represents to all the hill billy red necks out there in the country, what is and has been wrong with this country for a long time. The rest I'll let you figure it out for yourselves....
    Bottom line is this. Sarah Palin has made millions doing absolutely NOTHING, while our President, you know that socialist/communist/radical has been working his behind off for the American People.

    May 6, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. bailoutsos

    Why is she doing it? Because Palin does not need knucklehead supporters any longer. She knows to go were the money is.

    May 6, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. conoclast

    Since it's obvious now that Palin is in it solely for the money one has to suspect she's been paid for her "support". But my, she looks good doesn't she!

    May 6, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  13. tom

    A quitter endorses a failure. Perfect. Yawn.

    May 6, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Lora

    Sarah doesn't live in California...why do people care what she thinks about California politics? Stick with quitting on your own state, Sarah..they deserve you.

    May 6, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. Dairywoman

    Sarah is way off on this one. Chuck DeVore is the only true conservative in this race. DeVore did not support the bailouts, Carly did. DeVore wants to repeal California's job killer AB32, Carly does not. DeVore supports AZ immigration law, Carly does not. DeVore opposed the nomination of Sotomayor, Carly supported. Do you see the pattern here? November's election is too important to continue electing big government candidates.

    May 6, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  16. Phil Muse

    Speaking of Sarah Palin, I had a horrible thought yesterday. If the last three Presidential elections had turned out differently, Joe Liebermann, John Edwards, and Palin would all have been Vice-Presidents of the United States, only the proverbial "heartbeat" away from the Oval Office and real power! Aaargh! No matter what your political views are, doesn't that give you pause to stop and question how both parties select their running mates?

    May 6, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  17. Mike Larry

    Thanks Sarah Palin, now we know the moron you really are. please go back home to Alaska and do some fishing.

    May 6, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  18. johnnyhouse

    Money is what everything seems to be about. It does cross part lines.

    May 6, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. ToughLove

    Interesting how sexist liberals can be when it comes to a woman who doesn't fit their mold. Palin is intelligent, well-spoken, charismatic and successful–regardless of some gaffes that pale in comparison to those of our VP. Yet, many comments here show a blind hate that belies ignorance and hypocrisy.

    May 6, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Michael in Houston

    oh no you dont!! Your not going to distance yourselves from her that easily. If you were one, that woke up one day and said to yourself...."self, you know, I really like that Sarah Palin"...then you bought her lock stock and barrel. And your stuck with her. SHE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO HAVE ALREADY PICKED HER OR SUPPORTED HER and your not going to pawn her off on the rest of us.

    Keep her...she is yours. And you deserve her.

    May 6, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  21. Jim

    Palin prays to the almighty.......dollar, that is!! lol you betcha! How's that tea party thing working out for ya Sarah?

    May 6, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  22. Missy M.

    Oh for goodness sake! Palin's "followers" are not in lock-step with her. Most don't agree with her issue-for-issue or candidate-for-candidate. Does anyone have a candidate that they agree with issue-for-issue. Palin supporters are like supporters of any other public figure. They simply like that overall, she represents their values and is a dedicated public servant and an all-around nice person. That said, I actually think that California needs a good, solid business person to lead its state out of record debt. It's time California voters elected someone who has experience signing paychecks after the money has actually been earned.

    May 6, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. pepper

    palin only cares about the money and herself good for youn tea bagers, now you see that she doesn't care about you guys,!!!! toooo bad. her husban wanted to pull a way from the US and she was all for this. you get what you pay for a mess. palin writes good books go buy one, she needs the money to fly private jets!!!!

    May 6, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Moderate

    You supporters are so funny. You actually bought her lies to you hook line and sinker. What a bunch of moroons. Face it, the sad and sinking sarah played you like a harp and you paid her millions for the privilage. I sure hope you figured this out by now. If you haven't, you're still in for a wild ride. It goes nowhere but I guess you'll have fun hateing all the way.

    Good luck with that no hopey, want no changey thing too. By the way. The unemployement numbers at the end of Bill Clinton's administration was 3.4%, the lowest in US history. Thanks george, you almost had someone in there dumber than you. That would have helped you throw the glare off a bit.

    To bad huh!

    May 6, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. COL

    I am no Palin fan (the opposite, in fact), but I find it both funny and frightening that her "base" would warn her about this. It means that this group is more concerned with *their* ideology than allowing any variance for alternative thinking, even from their chief wonk. And that, my conservative friends, is a recipe for disaster.

    May 6, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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