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. Rod

    Everybody is pointing fingers at someone for why McCain lost the election. Personally I feel Palin should have stayed in Alaska because she was out of her league. However one person deserves the blame for McCain losing the election "George W. Bush"

    What really gets me is that back in 2004 most of the world could see that Bush was a lame duck, so why couldn't Americans see that?

    Instead you vote him back in and he subsequently lets the economy fall apart, damages the worlds faith in America and, in the end, damages the standing of his own Republican Party.

    Are Americans suckers for punishment?

    I know that America is currently high on the Obama victory, but it is truly amazing how fast Americans can forget the past!

    Don't get me wrong, I think America is great, but somehow I doubt the Moderators will post this comment since it sounds too anti-American.

    November 5, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  2. Stacy

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
    Let's see... hmmm...
    1976 – 1980, another sweep for the donkeys.
    14% inflation
    18% mortgage rates
    The "birth" of terrorism against the US
    And our nut (job) farmer urging us to turn our thermostats down.

    November 5, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  3. SFC Drennan

    look people its over,, stop the games,,, move on with your life and maybe you repubs, will get some one in office in 2012, but until then, just hang you heads.... and for my fellow dems,, lets not play the games that the repubs like to play,,, keep it clean, and live the dream... dont do what the repubs do,, they just hate that people came together to do what we know is right, so just leave them alone and let them have the hate clubs, and what ever it is that they do... we have to be above all of that......

    congradulation America, we have made it

    November 5, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  4. mrut

    What a collection of weirdos the McCain campaign turned into! Full of deceit and double-crossing, and the guy at the top didn't have any control over what was going on. We dodged a bullet, America.

    November 5, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  5. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California


    In the wrong way!

    She was part of what DOOMED MAC! Fact!

    The economy, Bush, and the negative campaign the others.


    November 5, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  6. AmericanGirl

    I voted for Barack Obama but some of you are so disrespectful to John McCain. He made a poor choice in Sarah Palin and he did not run a great campaign. I have always got the impression that McCain isn't very comfortable campaigning. That does not mean he hasn't given his entire life to public service and he should be respected. He is not George W. Bush. He would have never done what Bush did to our country. So, please, show the man respect. Obama was victorious, now the fighting can stop and the healing can begin. Please don't spread hate.

    November 5, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. Average Voter

    1. Don't we have more important things to be discussing than this nonsense?

    2. Kudos to those who have won and lost graciously. Shame on those in BOTH parties that continue to jeer, taunt, and otherwise stir up trouble. Disagreeing is great. It's American. But threats and name calling accomplish nothing.

    3. Michael–Africa is, in fact, a continent. Just saying. : )

    November 5, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. Joe Green

    Wow, totally irrelevant at this point. Just like John & Sarah.

    November 5, 2008 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  9. Ron of Baltimore

    Let me get this straight. Randy fell in 'love' with Sarah, and when John found out from Rick who found out from Nicolle, then John asked Rick to sock Randy a good one. And so Ricky fired Randy. Right?

    November 5, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  10. Dems are Pathetic

    I knew you would block my comment, truth is not reported, only the inverted. Dems have 4 years, fine. Now you can't blame the Republicans when things go wrong. Amazing to see the come together talk. I see you all still fear Palin?

    November 5, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  11. cyrusk



    November 5, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  12. Lexington Green

    They should exile Mr. Scheunemann. To Alaska . . .

    November 5, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  13. mary,florida

    The republicans sure are poor sports.I love it.What come around goes around.

    November 5, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  14. RM

    PJ well said, they have what they wanted, a false profit. Just to be clear when I say they i speaking of the "media". Let's see how long they continue to cover up and handle him with kids gloves. BS says it all.

    November 5, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  15. Democrat for McCain/Palin

    It is a disgrace that McCain didn't win. I am saddened to think his own campaign team worked against him. America is in for a very tough time over the next four years and Obama's acceptance speech acknowledged the same. Why else did he ask in his acceptance speech that we should expect he can't deliver during his "FIRST TERM". Give me a break. The media orchestrated this. God help us.

    November 5, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  16. Angry Republican

    Close, close, how close ?
    Are they couple?
    What about Joe the plunger???

    November 5, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  17. MikefromWV

    An early on comment here remarked about all the Bush bashing that has gone on for the last eight years and how it was continuing on to Mrs. Palin - and how they would remember it when Obama takes office and would return the favor. That person seems to have forgotten how the GOP jumped all over the Clinton's from day one and hounded them, nonstop, for eight years. So now, just maybe, the chickens are coming home to roost for the holier than thou Republicans!!

    November 5, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  18. Charla in DeKalb, TX

    Well.......they gotta blame somebody I suppose.......sad thing is, nobody really cares.

    November 5, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  19. kdrr

    There are a lot of strong women in the world – we were hoping for a smart one

    November 5, 2008 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  20. NetPro

    McCain is not suited to be president you say?
    Well, I tell you what, Bush was president (and for 2 terms at that) so if he was, just about anybody can be.

    The standard is much lower now that it was before the American people elected him 8 years ago, that's for sure.

    November 5, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  21. We all need to move on

    McCain does have what it takes to be president. He just wasn't the right candidate at the right time.

    This may be in part a result of everyone who was surrounding him. It seems that his entire campaign became more of a Keystone Kop skit than a GOP quest for the presidency. There seemed to be no direction, no plan, bad choices (Palin. Strong woman? No. Fantastic actress? Yes.) and no mission except to attack the other side using hateful and fear-filled rhetoric.

    I don't know where the real John McCain was for the past two months, but it was wonderful to hear the real John McCain speak last night. Perhaps if the real John McCain had been in charge of his campaign, things would have turned out much differently.

    November 5, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  22. LM

    Republibrats. Shut up. You lost.

    November 5, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  23. Denise

    Hello People out there in America Land: are you listening or not?
    President Barrack Obama has mention to the people of the United States of Americans
    more than many times that we will have some strenuous challenges a head of us (Caucasian, Blacks, Asians Latino’s and the entire Group of humans) will have to work together for several long years to correct the errors that has been made by previous members of the United States staff, who had claimed to represent the America people for our common good) but did not. Than secondly, for those of you who Condon the last President's acclaimed actions on the ware in Iraq: you don't know if that war was started for protecting the borders of America or not you just believe what you hear and read. Wake up People of America. Seek the Creator and be Real Stop your prejudging ways.

    November 5, 2008 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  24. La Raza

    Although I hate to do it, I'm going to just say it anyway to all of you Obama haters who said he can't win......"I TOLD YOU SO!"

    November 5, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  25. Average Voter

    I think I may have misread Michael's statement. Palin didn't realize that Africa is a continent? Is that it?

    Well, hmm.

    If that's the case, my apologies to Michael.

    November 5, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
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