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. Anonymous

    I voted for McCain but i truly hope and pray that Obama becomes a great president. I was more impressed with his acceptance speech than I can say. Please consider his words on being a President for all America. The election is over. Obama is our President elect. Lets give him our support and judge him on his performance. He leads America for the next 4 years, hats too long for bitterness.

    Reagan Republican

    November 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  2. Pepou

    The Obama camp was disciplined, energetic, united and smart. Another difference with the ridiculous McCain clan.

    November 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  3. ratten

    Too bad that Sarah Palin lost. But at least she can go back to Alaska and protect us from the Russians. I will feel so safe!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  4. Marc

    Republicans alike are all proud of the history making moment last night and while we are all a little dissappointed, we realize that it was an uphill climb to begin with. The fact that we did as well as we did is a surprise to many of us. Realize folks that all campaigns are brutal and no one candidate in this race was any less "nice" than the other, that is how the political game is played. However, for those that would bash Palin, shame on you. Do you all personally attack people you don't know. She is just as bright as the rest of us and more so in many ways. You don't get elected Governor without having some sense of intelligence. We should begin to unite as a country and move on to bigger and better things and pray that our new leader uses his own intelligence to guide us through the next 4 years.

    November 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  5. Lucy from California!

    Wow – some people are really bitter. Just get over it already! I am a hispanic Republican and proud of it. I'm sorry that McCain didn't win. I liked Sarah Palin. Some of you are really way out of line in picking her apart. I don't think we've heard the last from her.
    Although I did not vote for Obama, I am happy for him. It is about time to have a black man become the president of the USA. I will continue to pray for the leadership of this country. Hey, I survived 8 years of Clinton, I'm pretty certain I can survive Obama. But, everyone, let's just put our differences aside and hope for the best. God Bless America and God help America!

    November 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  6. Eileen, Burbank, California

    Sarah Palin, a very, very ugly mind in a very, very pretty package.

    November 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  7. Tim

    The media has obviously done a number on Palin. I can't claim to know any more about her than anyone else, but you cant trust the info any more than you can trust the source. I personally think the major networks had too much at stake in this election to be entirely unbiased about both her qualifications, mentally and emotionally, and her motives.

    November 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. Bill , SC

    Trying to build your candidate up by tearing the other down usually backfires. I did not vote for Obama, but he is my president elect and when Jan 20th arrives President Obama will be very much in my thoughts and prayers. There will be enormous pressure on him from all quarters. Nothing but good will and congratulations from this slightly used up vietnam veteran.

    November 5, 2008 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. Obama/Biden 08!

    Aaaaah, the internal blood bath commences! How many of their own will they eat or throw to the wolves??? This just proves Palin was way too divisive and would have been a major disaster in the White House constantly undermining McCain's authority and pitting White House staff against each other and against McCain. I'm soooooo glad President Obama and VP Joe Biden got my vote!!

    November 5, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. a time for change, a time to change.

    the election is over. if you supported Obama before the election then it is your responcibility to help end partisan politics now as Obama has promised. we cannot all keep arguing with eachother based completely on our party affiliation. it is our country that will suffer if we continue what has gone on before us. let this historic time trully be a time for change. you may not see the world the way i do, but you are Americans and my brothers and sisters. if i cheer for your party to fail and you likewise, then we all lose. there are issues in the world and our country that are so much more important then what 'the croonies' are up to. i did not vote for Borack Obama, but he is now my President and i will pray for him everyday.

    November 5, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  11. Amazed

    I am amazed at how dumbed down America has become. They followed a smooth talking empty suit with a marxist idealogy.

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

    I voted for McCain but i truly hope and pray that Obama becomes a great president. I was more impressed with his acceptance speech than I can say. Please consider his words on being a President for all America. The election is over. Obama is our President elect. Lets give him our support and judge him on his performance. Four years is just not that long.

    November 5, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  13. Aidan Vieira

    You know, not all Dems have been fooled. Some of us know exactly what we just signed on for.

    I am well within the top one percent of earners and I am fully aware that President (elect) Obama's plans will cost me between 20 and 50 thousand in increased taxes each year. I would rather have plenty of money in a country of which I am proud than have a bit more in the bank but live in a country that makes me feel ashamed by abusing power and position.

    America- love it or change it! Just call me another rich white man who voted Obama!

    November 5, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. Phillip Bunn

    As for Sarah Palin: Back in your cave, bat.

    November 5, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  15. NJS

    I'm done arguing about them. We have our president now and either you're going stand by him or not. Give Obama a chance and see how you feel when he's finally in office. I'm happy he won and on the other hand, I think John McCain had a great speech. Too bad he didn't show that side of himself during the campaign.

    November 5, 2008 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  16. Happy

    If Obama wants a 'black' person picked as his replacement it would be because the African American community has had very few members in the US Senate. It's not all about racisim. It's about continuing to provide the Senate represenation which his constituents originally voted for.

    November 5, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  17. Sharon

    I see Palin found a kindred spirit in Randy. I wonder if she slept with him? She did cheat on Todd back in 1996 so anything is possible when you're trying to improve your lot.

    November 5, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  18. Nana

    You are so right on with your comment that Sarah Palin helped the campaign in so many ways-how about 186 electoral votes. Glad she out and going back to the tundra

    November 5, 2008 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. We Love You John McCain!!

    We love you McCain. Your speech last night was gracious and heartfelt. You epitomize what a TRUE American is! Thank you!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  20. S. Ammons

    Palin is an idiot and her selection was the beginning of the end for McCain. Who cares who her "buddies" are. She's a joke and it looks like most American agreed.

    November 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  21. Gene

    What a shock.... now that the elections are over.. we'll have lots of stories like this.

    Palin refused to introduce McCain at the concession speech... and didn't even want to be there at all.

    Campaign aids are aligning themselves with their candidates instead of working together as a team

    It's only a matter of time.. and I guarantee you Palin will be out there trashing McCain and his campaign staff in public.

    McCain's campaign has been a disaster. McCain is a good man.. but elections bring out the worst in republicans... and he fell into the republican trap of running a sleezy campaign.. just like they do every other election. And choosing Palin was the biggest mistake, the worst lapse of judgment, in this entire campaign.. and he'll be paying for it soon when she's out there making a spectacle of herself.

    November 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  22. Anita Alexander

    Its unfortunate to see the republican party fall apart. But maybe this was necessary to abandon what the republican party had become and chart a new republican that is actually in touch with the people it wants to represent and not just elite rich people or the social religious conservatives because if they don't realize that america has changed and the mainstream americans are no longer the religious right.

    November 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  23. Truman

    You can put lipstick on a pib, but at the end of the day–it's still a pig!

    November 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  24. Andy - Atlanta, GA

    C'mon reps. You were dealt an impossible hand. Stop pointing fingers & move on. Let's come together now.

    November 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  25. New Day

    Ooooooooooooh!!!!! Randy and Sarah did the dirty!!!! I'm telling Todd the Husband!!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
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