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. taliban

    sorry, Obama's not my prez. I think this country is headed for a 2nd civil war or revolution within 20 years. Think an American style insurgency. There are just huge contradictions and unbridgeable ideas that the various races in the US hold. On top of all that you have millions of Americans that are ignorant beyond belief regarding history, economics, and politics.
    Obama can go ahead and spend until his hearts content but eventually this welfare state will collapse of its own contradiction similar to what happened with the USSR. You can only spend what you don't have for so long. Eventually, the party ends. Just ask the banking/insurance industry.
    CNN may decide to censor this post but I believe that's just one more thing wrong with this country. We cannot entertain many ideas because of political correctness. But trying to hold races or different religions together by artificial measures also only lasts so long. See Yugoslavia.

    November 5, 2008 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  2. Greg Hodges

    It would be very easy to gloat at the obvious disarray the Republicans are now in; but I just cannot. While the G.O.P. have NO ONE to blame but themselves for going to the "DARK SIDE"; it must be remembered that they do love their country also. One only hopes and prays they have truely learned their lesson in never poisoning the well again. I would just add one more warning. Scorpion asked the turtle to take him across the pond on his back. Turtle says "no way; you will sting me." Scorpion says ,"that is crazy, we would both die." Half way across the pond, the turtle feels burning pain. "Why?" asks the turtle. "I couldn`t help it: it`s my nature!"Beware the Scorpion...

    November 5, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  3. Chela

    As they used to say on "The West Wing":

    "What's next?"

    Let's get on with uniting behind our new President-Elect, solving the financial crisis, capturing Bin Laden, getting our troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq, leading the world in green technology and the myriad other real challenges we face.

    Palin and company will fade into the sunset ... I'm too busy celebrating this magnificent new chapter in American history to concern myself with her.

    November 5, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  4. paul

    You dems really are a pissed off lot. Figures, robinhood is in and now your bashing everything from bush to talk show radio host and an honest down to earth christian woman(Sarah Palin). Proverbs says that the fear of god is the beginning of wisdom, and I see none of that here on this forum. Woe to you America for electing the most liberal dem ever.

    November 5, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  5. Really?

    Oh my you people never fail to remind me of why I hate democrats. You people make me sick, I can't wait until this bad dream is over and the people that actually like this country get it back.

    November 5, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  6. Denise Groves

    Who cares?

    November 5, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  7. Kim

    Perhaps this explains Pailn's deer-in-the-headlight look during McCain's concession speech last night. She looked like she simply hadn't thought of the possibility of losing. It was not a gracious-loser look (and McCain's speech certainly was gracious and appropriate). And-McCain's rather half-hearted, dismissive handshake and lukewarm hug of her and First Dude was very, very telling.

    November 5, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  8. Mike Small Business

    America is fine. Everyone needs to relax. Only 10% of voters switched sides. Next election, 10% will sway back to a conservative. It's inevitable. With Pelosi and Reid yanking on Obama, he'll get pulled farther left than he already is. The next two years will have a lot of voters in FL, OH, PA, NM, NV, and CO scratching their heads, and wishing for 2012 to get here more quickly – for a "do over".

    November 5, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  9. Dennis D

    Sarah Palin is a great lady . She is a self made woman unlike Hillary who road into office on her husbands name and record. The bashing of Gov Palin was simply disgusting..

    November 5, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  10. Vedrana

    now palin has time to travel to other coastal regions of america and see other countries across the ocean to pad her foreign policy experience.

    November 5, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  11. True Patriotism

    Well Well Well, didn't this come a little to late.

    The Mac Is Back on the Rack!!!!!

    Come to think of it, they all kinda got fired when their guy didn't win the election. So it's time for them all to be looking for a job,

    November 5, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  12. kl

    Well, I am sure we will hear more of behind the scenes drama. He "sided" with Palin, and she calls for unity? She obviously is a divider who will do anything to get what she wants, betrayal seems to be her game. But, enough is enough! It's over (for now at least). We should all learn from the last weeks and stand up together! We have work to do! We have to undo the division, hate and racism spread by the McCain-Palin campaign. So, let's spread the love! No more hate! Time for this country to heal.

    November 5, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  13. Dennis D

    Obama hires his 1st Staff Member and makes his 1st HUGE MISTAKE with Rahm Emanuel.
    His father, the Jerusalem-born Benjamin M. Emanuel, is a pediatrician and was a member of the Irgun, a militant Zionist group active during the British Mandate of Palestine.

    This should go over well with the Palestinians and other Arabs.
    Obama gets an F on diplomacy.

    November 5, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  14. Sam

    He takes office in 3 months. He's the president-elect and already the opposition is starting with the crap.

    November 5, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  15. Travis

    Sarah Palin will never ever be on a GOP presidential ticket again. The Republican's stance in the culture war is out of date with the majority of the country and will continue to lose them elections far into the future if they stick with it. Most likely they'll shift to a more Libertarian, Barry Goldwater conservatism.

    Please be realistic, there will be no Palin in 2012, her political career outside of Alaska is over.

    November 5, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  16. Tim O'Neal

    Scheunemann is part of the group of people who favour the right of centre government that is guaranteed to be agressive towards iran and the mideast and have blind support of israel. palin is right of centre. imagine bush in drag.

    November 5, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  17. Dennis D

    8 years of hate and vile attacks on President Bush and suddenly the lefties want unity?? HELL NO. YOUR President will not get my support..

    November 5, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  18. Opa2

    It's a shame that McCain could not fire Palin. Basically it's his own fault for not vetting her enough before he offered her the slot.Just think what this thing could have been like had he picked Romney for the slot. With the financial market collapsing McCain would have been seen as a genius. Perhaps a lucky genius but a genius nevertheless. Instead he has to fire one of his senior men a few days before the election for (let's call it what it is) conspiring with Palin to undermine the campaign and set themselves up for 2012. Too bad, she turned out to be too self serving for the VP slot on a losing ticket. You need as much if not more loyalty on a losing ticket as you do on a winner. Believe me, I have been on both sides of that issue.

    November 5, 2008 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  19. Jann in Denver

    This is a symptom of a larger problem.

    November 5, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |

    It's always a shame to hear stories like this. It sounds like it was good to part ways in this case. I am not at all surprised that it took until after Election Day for this information to be formally released.

    November 5, 2008 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  21. Mike

    Just in response to most of the Republican Hating posters on here, please don't continue to stereotype our party and our beliefs. There are a wicked few that really don't represent true Christian Values and beliefs of true conservatism. After sitting on the sidelines for a great number of years, I decided to get active in my party and hopefully make a difference and a return to true conservative values of smaller governement, lower taxes and a sensible interpretation of the constitution. These principles should be inclusive to everyone and exclude no one. Most conservatives won't hate, care about their neighbors and give a great deal to their communities. Unfortunately our image has been tarnished and hijacked. Let our Grand Old Party return to the values of Lincoln and Reagan and truly be champions of the conservative movement for everyone. Congratulations to President Elect Obama, whether you are a Democrat or a Republican it makes me proud of our country to see that diversity is finally become a reality.

    November 5, 2008 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  22. Wanderer

    Don’t forget who we are ...

    We are all people of America ...

    November 5, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  23. Val

    Sarah Palin has the potential to be the Barack Obama of the Republican Party. If things dont go well for him the next four years, dont count her out.
    Ben- Keep on dreaming!

    November 5, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  24. Sarah

    "Do over"? Hardly.

    November 5, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  25. Bob

    After 8 catastrophic years following the failed presidency of that incompetent republican nitwit G W Bush, Obama will be a welcome relief.........

    November 5, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
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