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. Necie

    How does Todd feel about this?

    November 5, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |

    It is sad to see in some of the other boards that the GOP and their goons are already trying to come up with ways to sabbotage any of the things that Obama will try to put forth but.......

    IT IS YOU ALL'S CORONATION because American's will be watching. Obama will be a transparent and sincere president just like he was a candidate and you better believe that the media will be covering him as often as they can; therefore any screw up from the Republicans camp will only cost them more seats in Congress and the House. Please keep in mind that in another 2 years, there will be other general and local elections for some of these very seats. Therefore I would urge all of you trouble makers to think Twice!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  3. GOP Lost

    Mc Cain will still say she was the best thing that happened to his campaign 60% of the voters said it was a big mistake.. This group is all history now.

    November 5, 2008 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  4. Paula

    Now I am starting to feel sorry for McCain-was he "had" by Palin?
    Did she use him to push her in to the Political Limelight? Interesting.

    November 5, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  5. Florida Frank

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

    Yeah, helped it to lose.

    November 5, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. Max


    November 5, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. bananabanana

    Helped THEM?? She apologized for losing voters for McCain. How is that helping? Even she knows that she was a liability to his campaign.

    Leave her alone?? Yeah, I'll leave her alone alright. I hope she goes back to being the nothing that she was before all of this.

    November 5, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. Don

    The bacon is being thrown to the Piranhas. It will be fun to watch the McCain campaign "kill their mate and eat their young."

    November 5, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  9. Voted for OBAMA in Louisiana

    The campaign is over. They should all be fired and go work in the oil fields. They pay better. Yea Obama. I had no doubts! America has spoken!

    November 5, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  10. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    I am impressed by how well this country is coming together. Even on this forum, the mojority of Republicans are gracious in defeat, and willing to come together and offer their support to work together for a common purpose. There will always be the fringe element like 'truth hurts' who try to tear us down, but I urge everyone to simply ignore the negativity, embrace each otehr & look ahead.

    Dems, please be equally gracious winners, and recognize the positives of everyone, & refrain from flaming the divide.

    November 5, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  11. Voted for OBAMA in Louisiana

    The campaign is over. They should all be fired and go work in Alaska with Palin for 2012. Yea Obama. I had no doubts! America has spoken!

    November 5, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  12. john

    Sarah Palin could very well be the major reason why the Republicans lost this election.
    Two thirds of undecideds, those whose swing vote chose the president, thought that she was a terrible pick.
    Second, my 10 year old cousin could do a better job as VP than this woman.
    Third, she is pro-life, even in the case of rape and incest!!! Oh my God.
    When asked by Katie Couric, she said she would counsel a girl who was impregnated by he father, to keep the baby.
    God was looking down last night..
    The voice of the people is the voice of God.

    November 5, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  13. Liam McKenzie

    Ummm..... Texas Teacher-

    "No Holds Barred" is a wrestling term borrowed by popular culture to mean "anything goes."

    "No holes barred" is a tongue in cheek joke referencing the wrestling term, generally used in hardcore pornography to imply that every hole in the female star will be penetrated.

    I'm not trying to be vulgar, but I thought as a teacher, you might want to know why your students are snickering every time you say "no holes barred."

    November 5, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. David Newport, OR

    Who cares? Bottom line...this campaign was the poorest run campaign ever. Only one person can take blame for that...John McCain. Thank God he was not elected. That is all we need...a president incapable of leading.

    November 5, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  15. Obama 2008

    To "Sally" your way of thinking is the reason why the republicans lost the election. And, you just keep right on will be waiting for nothing & forever.

    November 5, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  16. Colin

    Sue- haha give me a break McCain's campaign was full of flat out lies and it has been proven by numerous unbiased organizations keep living in your hole. You come back to us in 4 years and apologize for being so ignorant.

    Never in my life have I seen so many people being such sore losers. GET OVER IT and rally behind Obama because whether you like him or not he is your President. EVERYONE must work together in order for our country to get out of this hole the Republicans have dug for us.

    November 5, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. Teah

    by the way I am not American, but I love America some good things. for American to elect a black person it will restores america's credibilty

    November 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |

    Get over it repub's you lost.

    November 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  19. Joyce

    Well, it's not surprising that Palin was trying to do an end run around McCain. It just shows her true character (or rather, lack thereof). So I wonder, is she really going to give back all those clothes? What, does she think the stores will take them back now that she's shed her crocodile tears all over them? Considering the comment from the Sun Times reader above, I heard Palin spent even more money on clothes, so two can spread rumors as well as one , "Obama racist".
    How fitting that people are talking about Palin in 2012. That's when the Mayan long count and the Bible code say the world's going to end. Hey, maybe she's the antichrist! She's definitely not a Christian.

    November 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  20. aware

    McCain ran a poor campaign, and he had a tough battle to begin with period! It is over!

    Palin was and is the only authentic breath of fresh air in the whole election cycle!

    I am a former democrat and Hillary supporter turned Independent. And, I would vote for Palin over McCain, Obama, Biden or Hillary any day! Four more years! 🙂

    Obama, the stealth candidate, won via money, media and Alinsky community organizer strategies! I have heard far too many charismatic and/or influential speakers to be impressed by his rhetoric! 🙁

    Now, let us see if he can keep his promises!

    November 5, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  21. Mike

    For the first time in many years Eorope where i'm from cheered and was proud of the U.S.
    You voted for the best candidate, you voted for the future, you voted for hope and change witch is needed so bad after 8 years of Bush.

    Im proud of you and I pray you'll find together as ONE country and not seperated in blue and red states, winners and looser...a president is a president for the whole nation, rich and poor, conservative or democrate. I pray oh I pray.

    Obarma is the best that could happen to the world regarding the U.S and europe relationship...regarding the climate and reducing the polution, regarding the war in iraq, regarding the U.S to take care of its citizens and provide a tomorrow, where healthcare and education is available and in the long run it will strenghten the U.S in the world.

    Thank you so much for voting Obarma... for the first time in 8 years I can say,... Im proud of you "over there".

    Mike. Denmark.

    November 5, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  22. Where are the clothes?

    Where are the clothes that Sarah promised to the homeless ladies?

    November 5, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  23. Ashley

    It takes two to tango. Mr. Schuenemann would not have to spread the division between Palin and McCain, if Mrs. Palin didn't contribute to the discussion. It seems Palin was using McCain's run to build her own 2012 dream.

    November 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. Sallie

    "Scheunemann became close with Palin during her debate prep process." I love the innuendo. Lol.

    I'm just glad the American people saw through this complete farce and sent Sarah packing. Hopefully, she will fade into the annals of history and not rear her ugly head again in 2012.

    November 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  25. Steven

    The day when the Republicans candidates learn to treat their opponents with a bit of respect instead so much trashing and being so arrogants, that will be day the people will turn the vote to them. How do feel to be at the bottom of the trash can? well deserve it!

    November 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
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