September 3rd, 2008
09:00 PM ET
14 years ago

Hot mic catches GOP strategists trashing Palin pick

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain greeted Palin Wednesday."](CNN) - Prominent Republican analysts Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy became the latest victims of an open microphone Wednesday, caught after a segment on MSNBC trashing John McCain's pick of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Noonan, a Wall Street Journal columnist and former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan, and Murphy, a campaign strategist and onetime aide to John McCain, can both be heard expressing disbelief with the pick of Palin after they apparently thought they were in a commercial break.

“I come out of the blue swing-state governor world, Engler, Whitman, Thompson, Mitt Romney,” Murphy said during the mishap which has since been posted on YouTube. Murphy later flatly says of the pick, "It's not going to work."

Noonan is heard going even further, saying of the presidential race, "It's over."

"I think they went for this - excuse me– political bulls–t about narratives," Noonan also said. "Every time the Republicans do that, because that's not where they live and it's not what they're good at, they blow it."

Murphy, who was a senior adviser to John McCain's 2000 presidential bid, also adds, "You know what's really the worst thing about it? The greatness of McCain is no cynicism, and this is cynical."

UPDATE: Writing on the Wall Street Journal Web site, Noonan apologizes for using profanity and says she was not claiming McCain's campaign was "over."

"In our off-air conversation, I got on the subject of the leaders of the Republican party assuming, now, that whatever the base of the Republican party thinks is what America thinks. I made the case that this is no longer true, that party leaders seem to me stuck in the assumptions of 1988 and 1994, the assumptions that reigned when they were young and coming up," she writes.  "The first lesson they learned is the one they remember," I said to [MSNBC's Chuck] Todd - and I'm pretty certain that is a direct quote. But, I argued, that's over, those assumptions are yesterday, the party can no longer assume that its base is utterly in line with the thinking of the American people. And when I said, "It's over!" - and I said it more than once - that is what I was referring to."

soundoff (192 Responses)
  1. Peter from Lansing MI

    I really have the time of my life this week; this is better than the clowns I remember from my childhood days.
    GO OBAMA/BIDEN 2008!

    September 3, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  2. Obamacan

    Obama is a big headache for Mccain. President Bush's family wants Obama win this election so that they could prepare Bush's brother in 2016. some games are going out there guys. Mccain made a blunder. How do you compare Palin and Joe Biden? Obama's choice is smart.

    September 3, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  3. Fed Up

    Wow, same old Karl Rove maneuvers. Glad to see McCain-Palin are all about REFORM. I don't care about her daughter; what offends me is that McCain's campaign doesn't have the decency to respect the American public enough to include the news of her pregnancy at the same time they announced Palin as a running mate. Once again, GOP tries to manipulate the truth and dole it out as they see fit. Haven't we had enough of that during the past seven years???

    September 3, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. Dexter

    Will our tax dollars have to pay for nannies at the Observatory? She'll have her hands full.

    Obama/ Biden 08

    September 3, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. Talia

    instead of just calling Palin the VP candidate, America needs to think of her as potentially being the president herself. Then I think we'd all realize just how ridiculous her selection is.

    September 3, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. Navy-STG1(Surface Warfare)

    She can't manage her own can we trust her to manage our nation...blast away media!!!

    September 3, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. Tina


    Knowing the penchant for scandalous news in this country, why would a mother expose her child to the type of scrutiny this poor 17 year old is facing?

    The need for power is fascinating, isn't it?

    September 3, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  8. Dave Lemoine

    There was a time not that long ago when CNN was a respected news source that for the most report reported in an objective manner. What a contrast we see today when we mistakenly select CNN to watch coverage of the RNC. There they are a biased pack of liberal / socialist reporters and talking heads attempting to look objective in discussing Senator McCain and Governor Palin's qualification to lead the country. If they only knew how outwardly biased they appear to the majority of Americans! You should change your news channel from CNN to CNN Entertainment Tonight for Liberals and Socialists!

    September 3, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  9. Mike

    I didn't know republicans are capable of telling the truth, even in private!

    September 3, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  10. Dyan, MN

    There is nothing worse in politics than to be caught telling the truth.

    September 3, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. Concerned American

    They just got caught saying what everyone is saying, both Democrats and Republicans: That the Palin pick is a joke, if she were male she would NEVER have been given the slightest consideration as VP, and that McCain showed shockingly poor judgement and a lack of respect for women.

    Because I really did like him, I'm sad McCain turned out this way...And, as someone with a parent who suffers from early stage alzheimer's, it worries me to see what appear to be similar lapses in thought clarity.

    September 3, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. George

    Pandering extraordinaire is what Palin is.......
    The American people are tired of republican scare tactics – since they know that – the pandering comes out..... it's laughable because it is so desperate

    September 3, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  13. Obama's The One

    Wow... I love it when truth is spoken. So many lies go on in politics and in the media... pundits and politicians are just full of fibs, lying, shading the truth, spinning, etc etc etc. Let's ALL just be REAL... NOBODY is comfortable with this woman becoming President of the US and leader of the Free World if John McCain's 72-yr old self croaks around the nomrla life expectancy for white men in America! I mean...really... who wants Sarah Palin to be negotiating with North Korean or Iran?? She would be such a puppet that Pinnochio would grow jealous!

    It's over. Obama/Biden wins. "Finish him!" "Flawless Victory"

    September 3, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  14. Jean

    The real issue is how McCain makes his decissions.

    Talking points are repeated over and over. It is refreshing to hear that someone have different thoughts.

    September 3, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Steve

    Palin is not an insider politico. Expect more nasty digs and jabs from the "establishment", on both sides of the aisle.

    I used to think Obama was fairly independent of the polical machine, but Biden only reveals that he's still being controlled by the party. McCain, on the other hand, seems to show more and more that he has independence from the bloated, power hungry behemoths that represent the political party bosses today.

    September 3, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  16. Grant

    Here's what I find disturbing. I get the impression Chuck Todd knew all along that they were completely full of crap and lying their backsides off on the air, and as soon as the cameras were off he just naturally and very comfortably slipped into this "so, what's the truth?" conversation with both of them like this happens every day. Which basically tells me the state of political reporting in this country. The media know we're being fed a line of bullcrap from these pundits and they just let them do it to us, putting them on the air night after night after night to get their works of fiction out to the nation.

    If you know they're lying to us, STOP BROADCASTING THEM. You're supposed to be journalists for god's sake, how about trying to inform the public instead? Is that really too much to ask of our news media?

    September 3, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  17. Muz


    September 3, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
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