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. Rick L.

    I found it fitting that John McCain played the musical score from the movie, "Crismon Tide" as he left the stage at the Biltmore. He was the old cold war hero who was proven wrong by the young man with the fresh outlook and plan and in recognition of such, as Gene Hackman did in the movie with Denzel Washington, McCain told his supporters that President elect Barack Obama should be given his next command as soon as possible. Both men had their differences but both had nothing but respect for the other at the end of this.

    That was a fitting musical score for McCain to bow out to and given the movie that it was taken from, I think it personified and summed everything that McCain is about and has stood for for over 50 years of service to this country. That was life almost imitating art right there.

    November 5, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  2. nolaf

    I find it disgusting that the Republicans, or even some of the public and the press, have not held Palin accountable one bit for any of her actions or words. The right has blamed everyone and everything under the sun for the position (hole?) that she has actually created for herself.

    November 5, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  3. David

    Now that the election is over, will the messiah open his books and let us know the people who gave under $200 to his campaign? If he wants all Americans to support him, he has to be honest with us; otherwise, we'll fight him tooth and nail just as he did Bush.

    November 5, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. Mike

    "He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCain's campaign message," said one of the aides. Also, "Scheunemann became close with Palin during her debate prep process." Same Randy Scheunemann who whispered evil into McCain's ears when Russia and Georgia had their war in August, while ON THE PAYROLL for the Georgian gov't. He encouraged McCain to push the Bush administration into a confrontation (i.e. war) with Russia. He is getting cozy with Sarah nowbecause he knows that Sarah is a lot like George W. Bush ....malleable and can be used as a puppet to push evil agendas. Cheney did it with Bush to conquer Iraq's oil, Randy wants to do it with Sarah if she were to become president someday. Satan never sleeps...

    November 5, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  5. dittohead with forty names

    Now, lets enact the "fairness doctrine" for my close friend,Rush Limbaugh.He wants a competitive viewpoint on his show.

    November 5, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  6. Bill Charlotte,NC

    Who cares? Just another validation of why this crowd should not have won and didn't.

    November 5, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  7. ba-Rock says

    wow. she really did go rogue.

    November 5, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  8. Ryan

    Gasp! a news outlet reported something that's of public interest! What *is* this world coming to when you get facts instead of commentary, I say. it's a darned shame. How dare they do their jobs and report on things.

    PS, saying you're against Obama is un-American. After all, for the past 8 yeats Republicans told people that saying one was against Bush was un-American. Therefore the same pseudo-logic standard applies.

    November 5, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  9. mmc

    "Has there ever been a losing VP candidate who later on went on to obtain his/her party's nomination for President?"

    Dole–Ford/Dole in 1976, Dole/Kemp in 1996.

    Also depends on how you define "losing" Mondale lost in 1984 after being Carter's VP and losing in 1980. Technically he's 1 for 2

    November 5, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  10. Independent

    Let the Republicans infight. Their party is in the toilet and will be that way for another 8 years, at least.. LOL

    As for Palin...good riddance to bad rubbish....dumber than a weed ...McCain was dumber in picking her as his running mate....He would have been better off picking Disney's Goofy.

    November 5, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  11. katie

    I think we can blame that low life Rove for picking Palin. He is such a low life and I think he will do any thing to help the Rep. win. I cannot believe he has been hired by the Fox News channel. I love to watch some of the commentaters but he is right there with Sean Hannity on my "do not watch List". I believe the McCain team kept it a secret that Rove was helping them because of what a low life he is. He should be kicked out of the Rep. Party.

    November 5, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  12. ck

    Let's all go do something constructive and move toward the future.
    This election doens't need Wednesday Afternoon quarterbacking. It's over. Both candidates gave it everything they had –and even they put down their own swords last night and promised to work TOGETHER. Move forward people. YES, We can.

    November 5, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  13. Bird

    They have no one to blame but themselves. They chose to spread hateful evil lies about Obama and they lost the election. John McCain chose to bow down to the base and choose an evangelical, Sarah Palin, even though he knew she was unqualified.

    I hope Obama gets back at her by cutting pork going to Alaska. I'm tired of their welfare state having us pay for the mating habits of sea crabs. They get $300-$800 per person in pork money while places like Illinois get only $20. It's time they support themselves.

    November 5, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  14. Faye

    Who would have thunk it? I think we all did!

    November 5, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  15. marcus gray

    those of you who are my fellow white americans that are insecure within yourself just sit back and take a breather; your president elect is barack obama whether you like it or not. there was a time when we idiots would blurt out to blacks if they did not care for the country or the president that they should pack up and go back to africa. well, my, my, my. how the tables have now turned. so which continent do we escape to excluding africa? get a life. the man is our president and i know you want him to fail so in hindsight you hate your country. digest it, barack obama, president of these united states of america. good nite now. oh, and he was the best candidate.

    November 5, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  16. Independent

    One other thing: I hope all you McCain voters enjoyed your breakfast: eggs with a side order of "crow".

    November 5, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  17. mike

    Netwrk aparently your memory isn't too good. Bush was critized before he was in office. As for Obama he has changed himself during the campagin so i'll have to wait and see what he does.

    November 5, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  18. Rob

    It is not that Democrats or anyone else fears Gov. Palin, what they fear is the hatred that she spews. I am a Repubican who voted for Obama based largely on the message of fear and hatred that Gov. Palin helped spin. I do believe that she is a very strong woman, who with some teaching could be a formidable force in 2012. But the Republican Party needs to return to the center and denounce the far right "So Called Christian" wing. The reason that President Elect Barack Obama is in the position he is in now is because he speaks to all Americans... whites, blacks, men, women, asians, latinos, young and old... he talks to all of them. Watching and listening to him reminds me of the days of Ronald Reagan, a man who wasn't the most experienced but surrounded himself with intelligent people and Reagan looked to ALL people for their input because as Obama said... "We are not red states and blue states, we are the United States of America!" To all of my brothers and sisters in the GOP, if you truly want to take back the white house then you need to re-read the speeches of Reagan and Obama and learn what it is to truly lead all Americans.

    November 5, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  19. Kris K in CA

    Palin is done. Toast. Old news. Her disloyalty and stupidity ended her GOP career. She did not truly understand her role or position. She is a silly and somewhat dangerous person to have around. Alaska is a good place for her. McCain made a tragic mistake with her.

    November 5, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  20. Blue Virginian

    I'm still waiting for the McCain supporters to leave America.
    good riddance

    November 5, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  21. spanky

    it is amazing to see how the obama supporters are mouthing of to the mccain voters of being haters and everything although their the ones doing the bashing. this country is going to have a hard time coming together this way. i see some of you putting palin down, well how about you look up the facts. if the gop machine would of let palin be palin obama wouldn't of had a chance. but do she was told what to do and not to do, what to say and not to say. as for all those that voted for obama... if he runs the country from center alls good, but if he doesn't then just remember, YOU ALL put him there.

    November 5, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  22. Pleased as Punch

    It's too bad McCain supporters are so negative: You can bet they won't be giving Obama any credit when he proves to be an exceptionally good president.

    In fact, don't be surprised when they start trying to sabotage his Presidency by stirring up trouble.

    Sad, very sad. Sore losers, all of them!

    November 5, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  23. independent thinker

    Denise please go back to elementary english!! The ware in Iraq???? United States of Americans??? Condon??? You been taking oxycontin with Limbaugh?

    November 5, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  24. Roy - IL

    Luke,,er Randy.... resist the Dark side.........there was just a great disturbance in the Force!

    November 5, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  25. Mark

    What a shame, he was obviously so good at his job.

    November 5, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
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