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. DJR

    As comments about Sarah swirl again the Democratic seething poors out. Media headlines continue to admit that the media was bought and paid for. Thats where Obama spent his money which guarantees a future of politics where the media will be paid half a billion dollars for a $300,000 a year job.Democrats remind me over and over of little drooling demons. Demos with all their hoopla are scared to death of Palin. Guess she's the real deal.

    November 5, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  2. Obama'12

    I am loving the sour grapes from the Obama haters. McCain lost because he refused to stick to a simple message, he mis-managed his campaign from the start, and he never had a chance because he never had a strategy. He falsely hoped that Americans especially those white Americans would vote for him out of misplaced fear for an Obama presidency....he played to the ugliness, and he lost. Obama stayed on message.....he did not go after Palin and her husband for their separatist views, nor did he hit McCain with the racist and anti-Semitic pastors in his closet....he did not bring up G. Gordon Liddy or Keating scandal....and guess what Obama's the better man for it....or should I say the better president.

    November 5, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  3. Gene

    Have you guys read any of the posts from Fox News today? Those forums are full of the worst bigotry and hatred I've ever seen. I'm surprised that Fox is considered a major or mainstream news channel with the type of people who support it. And they call Obama a radical? I thought I stumbled onto a KKK forum.

    November 5, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  4. frank Honolulu HI

    You could tell that bad joo joo was coming from the McCain camp. They were mean spirited and hateful. Sure glad we didn't get them to run the country.

    November 5, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  5. Sally

    Sarah is a smart woman and will be a major player in the Republican party.

    November 5, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  6. Observation

    The sexist comments on this board about Palin and her wiles, cattiness, and lack of intelligence make me realize there is one "ism" people still are not over in this country,

    November 5, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  7. JB Cal

    Obama racist on Day 1, why are you still spewing the same old crap? Find a new angle, it didn't work for McCain/Palin.

    November 5, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  8. mary bentlry

    Why are they revealing the votes as they came in as black,white,latino,green,blue,or orange? We are one all of our votes counted. we are one nation. The ones that aren't need to pull the skin off their heads.

    November 5, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  9. little one


    November 5, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Greg

    I feel most sorry for the bear used as a covering on her couch... that was the real loser (not to mention various other wildlife unlucky enough to end up in her sight).

    November 5, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. Mara

    If anone reads the back story of this campaign, it is clear that McCain and his closest advisors tried for a clean campaign – and were sabatoged by Paliin every step of the way. The man who gave that speech last night was JOhn McCain – and I was surpised to see him back so soon. He said no Ayer, no Wright, no families. I wonder when his staff is going to tell him the truth about what Sarah Palin tried to do to this election – or if they ever will.

    And by the way – I am and have been a rabid Obama supporter. It's time to try to get this country back together again – and this isn't the way to do it. Y'all sound like a liberal version of a Palin rally.

    November 5, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  12. little one


    November 5, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. Kev

    Scheunemann became close with Palin during her debate prep process.

    What does this mean?

    November 5, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. Suzanne

    end of story...for all of them.

    November 5, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  15. J Williamson

    Every campaign sees a winner and a loser – put the long-knives away and take a deep breath. P.S. CNN, any polls yet regarding 2012?

    November 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  16. Frank

    "Sally November 5th, 2008 7:52 pm ET
    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!"

    Polishing up your finger already to start pointing? Wow, she wants the President Elect to fail so she can gloat. Very Un-American.

    Try the high road, Sally.

    November 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  17. etta

    Unit y is the word for the day. The Republicans should unite with the Democrats and clean up the Economy, that way we have a win win.

    I fell Sorry for Sarah, she got used and exploited, now they blame her, what a crock, McCain is to blame.

    He forgot that the United States is made up of people of all colors, instead he chose to only acknowledge a small percentage of the country, and played the rest cheap, like we did not count.

    Oh well,

    November 5, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  18. JacklynD

    Perhaps I am missing something here but since McCain was clearly losing the election last week wouldn't his job be gone this week anyway?

    November 5, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  19. edmond dantes

    its funny that Paliin blames the loss on the economy. Voters blame the economy on the republicans. She was right on the money

    November 5, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  20. Anita Alexander

    While it is certainly within Rick Davis' judgment to fire whoever he wants, he should take a moment and reflect the multiple ways the campaign fell apart if he ever wants to work in that role again. If he doesn't care and thinks its everybody else but him, then republicans better keep him out of managing anyone's campaign in the future. The challenge for the republican party is to demonstrate that they represent a majority of America, and not just their base.

    November 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  21. Setys

    Please, all President Obama's supporters let us all work together with the republicans by praying and fasting for God to touch their hearts, so that they will all work and join us to pray for the success of President Obama and Vice President Biden.

    We should all be patient with McCain supporters, and give due respect to Senator McCain.

    If President Obama's supporters indulge in insults against Senator McCain's supporters, how are we going to have pure heart to pray and fast to God for the success of our new President?

    We have to pray and fast seriously for President Obama, and we see the difference in this nation and around the world in the next year. If we all carry out this mission, the economy will be fix, several opportunities will fall in place, there will be peace around the world, the war will be over.

    Nations in this world will seek peace with each other, there will be peace in this world. We need to pray and fast for the new elect president for God's guidance, in order for this country to be better again.

    There is power in prayer and fasting.

    November 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. Tiff of lithia springs

    Dear goodness,

    The campaign was a mess from the get go!!!

    November 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  23. Laura

    He turned on McCain after knowing Palin one week? That doesn't make any sense to me. This story makes no sense.

    November 5, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  24. Democrats No Matter What!!

    CNN, please start actually moderating your blog. A lot of the flames get fanned on these out of control blogs. It's not cool for a professional organization to just let this stuff sit and fester. It's not healthy for our country. Can we get back to some civility now? You can either be part of the problem, or part of the solution.

    November 5, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  25. tretex

    Are you kidding me. Sarah Palin is inept and thank God that America woke up. No more of this entertainment stuff. We are in a crisis and Sarah jumps on Saturday Night live trying to restore an image. Oh my, what an idiot.

    November 5, 2008 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
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