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. Day 1--Obama Goes Racist

    The Chicago Sun Timees (Michael Sneed) reports that Obama insists his replacement in the Senate be black.

    Is this the "unity" President?????

    November 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  2. Oh, dear!

    Insisting? Sneed speculates ("translation") that Obama would like his replacement to be black. Read it again, and perhaps a little slower this time.

    November 5, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  3. Tariq

    Whether Palin was a very good pick or a very bad pick...she was obviously not compatible with McCain. If she was too good then the McCain camp handled her badly...if she was too bad then she did cost the campaign. Either way, McCain made a bad pick and he took all the blame in his speech last night.

    November 5, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  4. anonymouse

    Randy – Todd – Sarah: Can we spell "swingers"?

    November 5, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. John

    Well conrats all you liberals, you just voted in the most inexperienced president in the history of the United States Thanks

    November 5, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  6. Ben in Dallas

    Is this page still open for comment? My first comment disapeared.

    November 5, 2008 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. xavier

    Hopefully we can leave all the negativity that was brought out during the campaign. I was shocked at the blatant racism that came to the surface from some of McCain's supporters. Hopefully we can leave this behind and move on. Obama I have to say is able to inspire people in such a way that I had never seen before in my life.

    November 5, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  8. From a grateful election watcher/Brit in Japan

    Poor guy, he was probably only speaking the truth. Lol.

    November 5, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  9. Jon

    The comments on here crack me up. Guys, they fired someone who was acting wrongly. That's all there is to it. But, no, we have to make it another forum for partisan trash talking. Some people even trash talking in the same breath as they accuse of dirty campaigning. I think the people who need to "just let it go/get over it" are most of the commenters here.

    November 5, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. ***No longer lost in the fog***

    Thanks to everyone on here for the laughs these past few months. I pray the lost ones get the help they need. America is no longer going to have to put up with these lying, ignorant people. They need to re-evaluate their thoughts and actions and work past the negitives they spread. Oh, but, what the hay, not everyone can be happy being their true selves. May your God of choice comfort you and releaseyou of your inner hatreds... So Long!

    November 5, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. mesmer.

    "Scheunemann became close with Palin during her debate prep process."

    Maybe she walked in on him wearing only a towel too. Sounds like a successful ploy for her.

    November 5, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  12. Ben in Dallas

    Try a again.

    Let the Republicans look inside to heal themselves. They spent 30 years speaking in code to hide their true colors and now they must pay the piper.

    If John MaCain had spoken throughout the campaign as he did in his concession speach, it would have been a closer election. His honest shone in consession.

    November 5, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  13. Paul

    Not sure why people try to debate politics online:

    1. You can't argue anything online because all civility is lost.
    2. The under 30 demographic is (and always has been) greatly left.
    3. The under 30 demographic are the ones who post things online (majority).

    Politics cycles... 10 years from now everyone will be ushering in, "the fall of the Democratic Party"... people will be talking about how the Democrats screwed up the country and how we need "change"... that change will be the Republican Party.

    Anyone seeing a trend?

    Someone mentioned education being the biggest factor in the recent move to the left... except, we keep going back and forth between parties. Are people only smart when the Dems are in control and only stupid when they are out? Hope may spring eternal, but it seems that common sense has leaked out of the pool.

    November 5, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. Let's just get along....

    Look, who cares about ideals and who did what and to whom.
    This job is bigger than the people that inhabit it, the Republican Party had 8 years to get things done, I've voted Republican Bush in 00'
    (I was in the military) and Kerry in 04' and now Obama in 08', I have no party affiliation but let me tell you this,
    Palin on the ticket scared the crap out of me, she seems like a nice lady but that's not enough. She was very obviously not ready to be prez. She's dubya in drag and a heartbeat away, I liked McCain in 04 and had he won the REP nomination I would have voted for him, however I saw him get molded into what the Republican party wanted from him, and I don't vote for puppets. Next time put a canidate out there and let him decide his own coarse, that's what lost the election, good ol PPP P*** Poor Planning.

    November 5, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  15. bentley

    Sarah Palin would be a good candidate for beginners puppet shows. I don't even think she knows who Barrack Obama is.

    November 5, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  16. IndependentGA

    McCain made a few bad decisions which caused him this election. Starting with allowing Rick Davis to run the campaign. McCain should sue malpractice.

    Nevertheless, President Obama has my full support and I wish him well. It's time to come together now and get our country back on track.

    November 5, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  17. meka

    To Dissapointed in Tn:

    Get over it okay? America is moving forward, get it? Moving forward. President Elect Obama deserves a chance to govern the country. The America public is smart enough to deal with him accordingly if he blows it like Bush did.

    November 5, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  18. Kevin

    and some voters still wish these people had won?

    November 5, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  19. Timmy O'Tool

    McCain does not have the material to be the President. What was he thinking?

    His campign is as disfunctional as Palin's family!!!

    November 5, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  20. Navy Vet

    Why would he be positioning himself with Palin? Did this man think they would win after waging a smear and fear campaign? Did he think Palin held some magical power and would promote him to some lofty position if McCain had won the election? Next we will hear that those two, Randy and Sarah, had a short, torrid love affair while Todd First Dude was tending to the children. Now, who had the moose wool pulled over his eyes?

    November 5, 2008 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  21. Mike D.

    I always liked John McCain and still do. I would have voted for him in 2000 and always despised the way he was knocked out that primary.
    He was the right man then. I applaud his gracious concession speech.
    I just wish he would have told the Republican base that "Obama is not a Muslim". "Obama is not a terrorist". Because he is not.

    November 5, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  22. PK

    Republicans lost because they represented the narrower view. As people become more informed, they will not just follow blindly. The only way that Republicans can compete is to be inclusive. Fear, uncertainty and doubt only works on the uninformed.

    November 5, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  23. howRD

    they don't have to blame anybody. JOE THE PLUNGER is the reason why Mcain lost

    November 5, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  24. JR Salazar

    And thus the fallout from the McCain campaign begins...

    November 5, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  25. Ken

    It's over and now it is time to come together and to try to improve the dreadful situation that all countries in the world find themselves.

    November 5, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
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