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. a smart independent

    it is sad to see so many people brainwashed by Obama. None of you took off the blinders and really looked at your candidate. There were too many unanswered questions during the campaign and they are still unanswered. All of our enemys are rejoicing, doesn't that scare you? I hope that we don't live to regret this mistake you all made in electing him.

    November 5, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. Bill

    If McCain's campaign was so poorly managed, would he have been able to manage the White House any better if he'd been elected?

    November 5, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. Cindy

    I see... so Scheunemann was the "rouge" leak. So Palin herself, was not? Why would he do that? Why would he suddenly switch loyalties to Palin? Was she like... more impressive... superior with foreign affairs than McCain?

    None of this smells right.

    November 5, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  4. DSW

    How shocking that Palin would use her "wiles" to divide and conquer.
    It's totally her M.O.
    She is dangerous and we haven't heard the last from her!!!
    Thankfully most women saw through her and voted against her "family values" & "Christian" BS!!!
    I have nothing against Christians, except when they are so hypocritical – how can you be pro-life, but pro-gun and prowar!?

    November 5, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. Megan

    ah, young love. Another Palin admirer. Suckers!

    November 5, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  6. Ken Pittsburgh

    I have hear it yet but here it goes
    Happy days are here again
    The skies above are clear again
    Lets us sing a song of cheer again
    Happy dys are again.

    November 5, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  7. Simmy

    Pallin, as we all know, was a BIG MiSTAKE; not only for McCain, but for the country! We all had to endure her gaffes, lies, and winking! She was only a Sideshow – now let's shut up about her and let her ride off into the sunset with her evil and divisive self!


    November 5, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  8. E

    Reups need to get together and figure out how to get control again!!!
    We will when all else fails. a non-ending cycle

    November 5, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  9. Evan

    To "a well educated woman": your grammar shows you to be a liar.

    November 5, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. White Christian Mother for Obama

    Doesnt that show that if he is helping Palin and on her side there was a rift between the two and since Mccain is in charge of the campaign he fired him? LOL

    November 5, 2008 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. Sally

    McCain did not run a dirty campaign..................the truth just hurts doesnt it....come back in 4 years and tell me how you liked it....the tax increases and false promises...Ill be waiting!

    November 5, 2008 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  12. Barbie

    Well McCain wanted a "maverick" (repeat 20 more times, as he did over and over on the campaign trail) and boy, did he get one! What did he expect? He used her, hoping he'd win; and when she sensed it was going South, she used the position to garner support for her 2012 run.

    You people really deserve each other, and all the blame is your own to claim, for using so many phony issues (Palling with Terrorists! Obama's a Socialist!), it makes most Americans sick

    Good riddance to McCain, Palin and Joe the Plumber. What a bunch of bozos, and we had to see their snide campaign over and over ad naseum. Please take up gardening or some other mindless activity that will keep you out of our living rooms for at least a decent interval.

    November 5, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  13. Diane

    Eeuw. She's so slimy. Obviously she 'charmed' him away from McCain. Who saw the item in Newsweek about her prancing around in only a towel in front of men from the campaign? (I forget who. Look at Newsweek, they have it.) She will do just about anything to get ahead, won't she?

    November 5, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  14. Linda from Minnesota

    For 2012, a republican ticket that cannot lose.

    Sarah Palin for President
    Michelle Bachman for vice president and best of all....................Joe the Plumber for secretary of state.


    November 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  15. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    HOW CLOSE did Scheunemann come to Sarah Palin????

    November 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  16. Oskar in SD

    When your campaign runs on empty and has nothing to offer but Rovian tactics on your opponent, then the consequences will come home to roost. Republican operatives have failed to see that their tactics of the past 8 years are finally exposed and seen through. Davis was a disciple of Karl Rove, the master of sleaze politics. Let's hope they all retire for a long time.
    Home is what Obama has brought. After 41 years of voting I have finally voted FOR a candidate.

    November 5, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  17. Lorie cheek

    Who cares if Obama, puts a black man in the U.S Senate , all the others was WHITE. I don't understand what this comment means. UNITY is the goal. This is another reason i voted OBAMA/PALIN 08"

    November 5, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  18. Peter (CA)

    And the right wingers are already telling us how Sarah is going to save the world in 2012.

    In the meantime, Scheunemann can go back to work taking millions of dollars from Georgia in exchange for promises that the US will take care of them.

    November 5, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  19. grant

    you republicans lost, get over it.

    November 5, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  20. E

    Everyone needs to leave Sarah Palin alone and look at themselves. She is a stropng woman who helpped the campaign in so many ways.!!!!

    November 5, 2008 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  21. san

    Guess who is humble and refrained from calling his fellow Americans Socialists, Communists, Terrorists, and all hatred nyms!:
    'THAT ONE'.

    God Bless America, including John.

    November 5, 2008 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  22. Stu-Florida

    I'd like to know, once and for all what McCain really, really thinks about his choice and the end results. I wonder just how many holes are in the walls of the "Straight Talk" Express. If he truly does believe Palin was good for the campaign I, for one, am really, really glad he (they) lost. They're totally STUPID!
    It seems the real truth doesn't matter with that team. They deserve what they'll be getting.
    Please CNN get on this excess clothing "donation" story and find the secret illegal donor. Oh yea... "ethics" and "against the law" doesn't matter much with the GOP... my bad.

    November 5, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  23. Non Believer

    I have been following the comments on this site for some. I voted for John McCain. I know that the comments posted here are anonymous, but there seems to be a great deal of vitriolic comments on both sides. It is difficult to imagine having any type of a civil discussion about how to solve the problems we are facing with people who refer to Republicans as 'non believers' or that because we disagree with the President-elect's policies that somehow we 'could benefit from some therapy.'

    November 5, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  24. Christine

    It seems that Sarah Palin has had a hugh Ego-Attack.
    Hopefully she'll wake up and discover that Wasilla is where
    she belongs. I'm sure Sen. McCain wishes he could go back
    to the day he made his VP pick because that was the campaign-
    killer. I am really glad this campaign is over and I hope the American
    people will have the patience to let President-elect Obama create
    the Change we are all looking forward to. This is one of the
    happiest days of my life. God Bless Barack Obama

    November 5, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  25. Keith A Sillsbury

    You are so right Mccain people. this Randy person betrade you and John. You should file charges against him, then make a deal with him to testify against palin and get her impeached as governor. I mean you can't trust her , right . who knows what she'll do next. lets go ahead and defend johns honor and get her thrown out on her butt. you can do it, you can teach her a lesson not to betray her party like that. how low can one person get, I mean really. go a head ....shaming her is the ultimate revenge for Big John.

    November 5, 2008 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
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