November 5th, 2008
09:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Sources: McCain aide fired for 'trashing' staff

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Scheunemann bonded with Palin during the Alaska governor's debate prep, above."](CNN) - Randy Scheunemann, a senior foreign policy adviser to John McCain, was fired from the Arizona senator's campaign last week for what one aide called "trashing" the campaign staff, three senior McCain advisers tell CNN.

One of the aides tells CNN that campaign manager Rick Davis fired Scheunemann after determining that he had been in direct contact with journalists spreading "disinformation" about campaign aides, including Nicolle Wallace and other officials. (Update: Davis denies the claim.)

Update: Scheunemann disputes campaign sources, says he was not fired

"He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCain's campaign message," said one of the aides.

Senior campaign officials blame Schuenemann specifically for stories about the way Wallace and chief campaign strategist Steve Schmidt mishandled Palin's rollout - stories that the campaign says threw them off message in the critical final weeks of the campaign.

Another aide said McCain personally was "very disappointed by Randy," who worked for McCain for many years in the Senate.

Scheunemann became close with Palin during her debate prep process.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (514 Responses)
  1. weneedstrongleadership

    Well McCain, I guess you will go back to the senate and Pal around with a terrorist, ha!!!

    November 5, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  2. Cleveland

    1,462 days until we can correct yesterday's huge mistake.

    Lets hope the democrats don't total destroy our country.

    November 5, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  3. Roberto

    There's obviously factions of the GOP that learned nothing last night. The Dems. won because Americans are sick & tired of the lying slanderous fear mongering tactics of GOP politics. They are tired of the GOP trying to beat everyone into submission with the bible. They are tired of the hypocritical rhetoric of the GOP that preaches personal responsibility, then practices the blame game. They are tired of the government letting business rule itself then listening to the GOP say they could not have anticipated the disaster.

    If anyone listened to the right's bloviators today, Rush, Ingram, etc., they're stillat it; preaching hate, hate, hate.

    Let's hope they keep it up. It will be 20 years before the GOP wins again.

    November 5, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  4. Gonzo

    What campaign message?

    I'm a maverick and I cross the aisle to lick the backsides of the people who are sticking it to the American people?


    John McCain lost the election with his ERRATIC behavior with the whole "suspend the debate" nonsense. He lost it by missing the fact that the economy was tanking even as he gave the "good fundamentals" quote hoping to get back to Iraq.

    "Maverick" is not a vision for America. At least "change" points in a particular direction - away from the guys we've got.

    Palin didn't win this and she didn't lose it. McCain did that.

    November 5, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  5. PJ

    I am so glad this election is over. For a party who is preaching that we must all come together in unity and Kumbaya, I cannot understand the hate and pettiness that I am reading on this blog. All of you wonder why the non-KingBO supporters won't just join hands and support King BO. Your arrogance is why. We all remember the hateful names you called President Bush over the last 8 years, and the cries of "Liar Liar". Well, guess what, when King BO does not keep his campaign promises, we can now call out "Liar Liar" too! We can come up with vulgar and nasty names for him. We can put the bumper stickers on our car that claim "I didn't vote for him, what's your excuse". We can proudly say we did not vote for him when all his policies take this country in the wrong direction. When something goes wrong, we can say "He's not MY president." So, when you're all scratching your heads in another year wondering why oh why can't we all just come together, look back a few years, do a little soul searching, and you'll have your answer. The responses on this most current blog just reconfirm my feelings. Even when your guy won, you still belittle and ridicule and then spout off "Now we must all come together for the good of our country." Pure BS.

    November 5, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  6. Eric

    You lay down with dogs...we know the rest.

    November 5, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  7. theGateKeeper

    Lucy from California!
    You are my kind of woman. You said it ALL perfectly.THATS the Republican party I know!

    November 5, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  8. Joel Parkes

    He, uh, bonded with her? What does Todd think about all of this?

    November 5, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  9. Steve

    I can't believe you Democraps. Your guy won and you still have the gall to bash Sarah. Your party is so afraid of a Strong Woman and did anything and everything to denouce her and trash her to no extent. Everything she said or did was spun to make her look bad.

    Even though I don't like her or anything she stands for, you did it to Hilary too. However, it was 10 times worse for Sarah because she was a Strong Republican Woman. That just tore your hearts out to see a woman in such a position of power.

    I can guarantee you, you won't be hearing the last from her. She will be back, stronger then before and you will hate her even more. Stop talking about unity cause all of you haters know nothing about it. You never were or will be for unity when you say the stuff you have.

    November 5, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  10. Artful

    Amazed...You say this after eight years of Bush? Certainly you jest!

    November 5, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  11. Peter

    Disappointed in TN (or is it Hypocritical in TN) : "...prepare yourself to take responsibility for your actions." ???

    To whom should we look to model ourselves in taking responsibility – the Republicans, the party of personal responsibility and accountability that perpetually looks to blame others for their failings?

    November 5, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  12. Dems are Pathetic

    The Election is over and you lowlifes, are still afraid of Palin? Actually that is good to see. She will be back, FEAR! Your Fear is quite obvious. And Obama got in, based on the reality that Bush was Voted out, and CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC are the real winners. They made obama, they did the none reporting on obama, they told the USA how to vote and won. My Hat goes off to CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC very good tactic, lowlife, but well panned. Now you all have 4 years, and you can't do the blame Republicans game, it's all yours. Now we will see Palin for 8 years in office as you guys screw this next 4 up, check your history.

    November 5, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  13. Paul

    "Fear, uncertainty and doubt only works on the uninformed."

    I'm pretty sure those are the three reasons Obama won the election.

    Perhaps you forgot your point somewhere along the line.

    November 5, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  14. Wanderer

    It is over, save your breath for the year of 1012.

    November 5, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  15. Matt

    The rats were simply fleeing the sinking ship. Republicans should understand this–basically what happened is that McCain lost to Palin in the "marketplace of ideas" the Republicans are so fond of. No reason to stay on. Republicans turning on each other is not news, it's what happens with the jig is up.

    November 5, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  16. Carol, a born-again-liberal

    Anybody remember Katherine Harris? The bimbo Secy of State of Florida who presided over the hanging chad count in 2000. She was such a really good girl to those Republican boys.....who promised her a senate seat run in 2002 but backed out of the deal. Then those good ole Republican boys promised her a run at a senate seat in 2006 but, again, backed out of the deal.

    Katherine Harris had been discarded in the same way boys on a football team discards a really popular girl, if you get my drift.! This will be moose girls fate, too.

    Republican males like to use every way they can.....then they ditch them. You see, the women they use are never the ones they take home to meet mom.

    November 5, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  17. Happy American

    My name says it all. America has greatness on the horizon again.

    November 5, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  18. Ready for my free ride!

    hey Dan in Indiana, you're a Douche Bag!!

    November 5, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  19. Alex Harder

    I think its kinda sad how a good friend of john Mccain can do something bad enough to get himself fired from the whole thing, you wonder if he was even johns friend or was against him either way if i were john i would be pretty upset

    November 5, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  20. Obama is for UNITING of the PEOPLE

    Racist? What a big joke, when the BIGGEST joke is how her FOOLED most voter allowing them to think she has an 80% approval rating, when a majority of citizens in ALK who spoke with reporters and BEGGED not to use their names told the truth, how she would take revenge against you if you didn't agree with her stance on ALL issues and she only had best interest in mind when it came to family and friends.

    Tuesday, doesn’t stop anyone of non carz race from having to endure prejudice as they have from the past.

    November 5, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  21. Dave from Menifee

    You know it's all McCain fault she should have never got out of the great northwest. It was clear from the start she wasn't ready.

    November 5, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  22. mat-wes

    McCain aides held palin back and would not let palin be palin huh?
    well seems to me when Palin would be Palin we saw how unfit she was. Whats your foriegn policy expierience? i can see alaska from my back yard, and PRES PUTIN enters Alaska's air space. I don't think the aides told her to say that, if they did there just as stu-- well let me be nice. Any ways thats Palin- let her be herself -Obama would have won TN, AR, AZ, MS, AND GA

    November 5, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  23. LMC in Seattle

    I am an Obama supporter and had lost most of my respect for Senator McCain during the last few months of his campaign. He bought back some of that respect last night with his speech and I believe he was sincere. His campaign had turned mean and I don't know if we will ever know who or what caused it. If McCain had won last night, Obama supporters would have been expected to get over it, move on, and work together. Is it too much for all of us to get over the campaign and help this country get back on it's feet? I don't think so. Many of us are ecstatic today, but let's reach over to those who aren't and find out what we can do to help them and our country. It's past time to pull together. We are all Americans!

    November 5, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  24. Zee

    PJ...PJ, don't cry out loud. Keep it inside, learn how to hide your feelings.

    November 5, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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