September 2nd, 2008
03:30 PM ET
12 years ago

Top Republicans defend Palin and vetting process

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) - Three top Republicans — including two who reportedly held top spots on John McCain’s V.P. shortlist - expressed confidence Tuesday in the McCain campaign’s vetting of Sarah Palin, and said that her daughter’s pregnancy is a private matter that will have a negligible impact on the presidential race.

Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney each spoke to a handful of reporters in Minneapolis after a pair of convention-related events.

Pawlenty and Romney, both passed over by McCain in favor of Palin, said the matter of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy should be off the table in the campaign.

“The personal life of her juvenile 17-year-old daughter is not fair game, so I’m disappointed that that’s even an issue that would come up,” Pawlenty said after an education forum here, adding that he had read in the papers that she had been vetted “thoroughly.”

Romney, who attended a Republican luncheon on Israel, said he thought Palin was “vetted effectively” and that McCain “was aware of her daughter’s challenges.”

“But you know I sort of take the same approach as Barack Obama does to this,” Romney told CNN. “This matter is private. Ought to be kept out of politics.”

Gingrich, who hosted the education forum at which Pawlenty spoke, said the heightened focus on Palin was only natural, comparing her circumstances to his own rise from relative obscurity to becoming Speaker of the House in 1994.

“There’s a sudden explosion into the stratosphere that’s going to disorienting,” he said. “She’s going to have some mistakes. People need to understand that.”

But nothing uncovered by the news media in recent days, he said, will have much bearing on the opinions of voters.

“I don’t know of anything we have learned right now that has any significant relevance to her being an effective candidate and an effective vice president,” he said.

Filed under: John McCain • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Sarah Palin • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Obama is steering away from the pregnant daughter because making it an issue trivializes it.

    Palin is her mother; see how she handled it?

    She didn't, she's allowing the fire-eyed, Christian right to do it and substantiate it!

    Imagine if Obama's daughters were older and this happened to one of them, the evangelicals would be having a field day with it, to be sure!!!

    This woman could be a heartbeat away from the Presidency if McCain wins. Think about that very carefully, very carefully! When it comes to that, Biden has her smoked!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 2, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. john

    We are talking about a potential leader to the free world.
    Palin has baggage period. We know next to nothing about her and the MCcain camp is spinning instead of campaigning.
    Did MCcain feel that someone under investigation for abuse of power ( troopergate ) was a good choice ? Does MCcain indorse having children at sixteen ? What makes Palin qualified to be the leader of the free world. It's seems like another oil ticket , the GOP wants oil in Alaska. Pick an unqualified Governor to get it ? Come on . Even the ignorant republicans are not that stupid.

    MCcain/Palin = Oil/Oil

    Obama/Biden = path to energy independence

    September 2, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Daryl from Seattle

    What a joke! Newt is blowing smoke. Her absolute inexperience is what comes to mind when thinking of issues with her VP Candidacy. I could care less about her underage alcohol consuming, knocked up out of wedlock teenager. That doesn't effect me, but if this woman falls into the oval office because of McCain's gimmicky campaign choice, America is going to Hades in a hand basket!

    September 2, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  4. Denise

    This woman was NOT properly vetted. She is more qualified than Bailey-utchinson? Lieberman? Ridge? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!

    September 2, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  5. Tyrone Brown

    Would they think it was a "private matter" if it was Biden, Clinton or Obama's daughter? The Republican party would attack so quickly and relentless on the "family value" issue that it would make your head spend.

    There is a reason why this is becoming less of an issue and not the firestorm it would be if the tables were turned.

    And the reason?

    Barcak Obama. He said to back off and leave the Palin family alone. That's the reason. Common sense leadership from the next President of the United States.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 2, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  6. Jim

    Pawlenty and Romney had better toe the party line and defend McCain's poor judgment in picking Gov. Palin!

    There's a decent chance Palin soon may be forced to resign due to the mounting crisis over her lack of qualifications. In that case, McCain might likely pick Pawlenty or Romney to save his campaign.

    September 2, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. PrinceDLW

    Get ready everyone! They are going for the gusto this time. Let's see what type of Rovean voo-doo they can conjure up to spin this one.

    September 2, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  8. Happy in Oregon

    Every Republican is saying the same speech in the same words in the same way – Palin is experienced, she has more than Barack...blah, blah, blah.

    We know McCain didn't send out the email telling everyone what to say. Oh yeah, he's just the Rep. puppet – his team did that!

    So pathetic!

    September 2, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
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