November 6th, 2008
12:30 PM ET
14 years ago

McCain aide disputes sources, denies firing

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Scheunemann (above, with Cindy McCain and Sarah Palin) denies he was dismissed from the campaign."](CNN) - McCain’s presidential bid has ended, but the fireworks from inside his former campaign continue to make news: evidence is mounting that senior adviser Randy Scheunemann wasn’t fired, as several internal sources had suggested, but the target of a deliberate whispering campaign.

Top McCain adviser Mark Salter told CNN Thursday that Scheunemann, the campaign’s senior foreign policy adviser, was not fired.

Campaign manager Rick Davis denied a report he had fired Scheunemann after determining that he had been in direct contact with journalists spreading "disinformation" about campaign aides, including Nicolle Wallace and other officials.

"My impression is there is some silly score settling being done," Davis told CNN. "Randy was not fired."

Scheunemann himself said sources who said he had been dismissed were lying.

"I was not fired,” he said Thursday. “Anybody who says so is either lying or delusional and is certainly a whack job."

Earlier, Scheunemann told CNN he was "not fired and never [have] been fired."

Some senior campaign officials blame Scheunemann 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.

"He was positioning himself with Palin at the expense of John McCain's campaign message," said a McCain aide, one of three senior aides who told CNN that Scheunemann had been fired from the campaign.

Scheunemann, who was widely viewed as a supporter of former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, admitted people were trying to push him out of the campaign. But he said that Goldfarb, his ally, was incorrect when he told CNN that Scheunemann’s blackberry had been taken away — although he does admit that his e-mail account had been “temporarily” cut off.

Earlier: Sources: McCain aide fired for trashing staff

Michael Goldfarb, a McCain press aide and Scheunemann ally, said that senior McCain aides were mad at Scheunemann - and wanted to fire him - but he insisted they stopped short of that, and instead simply turned off his campaign communication.

Goldfarb said Scheunemann was in the office on Saturday. He was, however, noticeably missing on election night when top aides to John McCain and Sarah Palin gathered in Phoenix, Arizona.

(Updated with additional information 11:45 a.m.)

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (224 Responses)
  1. searp

    Stuff like this shows me that I made the right decision. Everyone likes to talk about Obama, but he didn't cause the problem that we are facing today. Look at who is in office. The McCain camp has issues and it has been enlightened throughout the campaign. I'm excited to see what happens now. Anything is better then what we have experienced for the past 8 years. Everyone needs to be more open minded and stop making judgments before Obama takes office.

    America voted and it looks like they made the right decision.

    November 6, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. Sharon from Dumfries Virginia

    Bob, you are already talking about impeaching Obama and he isn't even in the White House until 1/20/09. Why haven't you talk more about impeaching your boys Bush /Cheney they cause the problems we are having, then call for a $700B bailout. I guess you will blame Obama for that too. Just can't help yourself can you BOBBY boy. I guess if it where anyone else other than Obama it would be okay right Bobby? What a joke you are.

    Well, guess what most of America will support Barack Obama and he will do just fine working that get us out of the mess your boys "Bush/Cheney" created.

    November 6, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  3. Arlene, Illinois

    Who cares!

    November 6, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  4. Jeff

    I really get the feeling that McCain was prevented from running "his" campaign. His campaign was sloppy, and it never stuck to a specific topic that could be driven home. He didn't want to do a mudslinging campaign, but that is what happened. When you listen to his acceptance speech for the Republican ticket, and to his concession speech, it doesn't seem to be the same as the campaign that was run. You can say that if he couldn't run his campaign how can he run the country all you want, but you are naive to think he could.

    Congrats to Obama and his campaign for running a great race, and sticking to his plan. I voted for McCain but I really do hope that Obama does a great job. We are Americans first and foremost, time to unite to bring this country back to greatness.

    Posters, please stop with the name-calling. It shows ignorance, and ignorance is what keeps things like racisim and sexisim prevelent in todays society.

    November 6, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  5. Dixie AZ

    Bob. Thanks for a good laugh. You've been listening to too many rep robo calls.

    November 6, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  6. michael

    the best part is we dont have to waste our time with palin anymore

    November 6, 2008 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  7. Happy Democrat!

    Hey Obama Supporters – please stop criticizing McCain's supporters and do what your Candidate told you to do: reach across the isle and work together

    Hey McCain Supporters – please stop hoping for Obama to fail or for the condition of our country to get worse, and do what your Candidate told you to do: put your country first.

    The Election is over but America's challenges haven't gone away. Time to start fighting with each other and put our country back together.

    November 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  8. Scott, West Chester, OH

    Who cares about this? The real news is that the market had its biggest drop for the day after an election in US history. The markets have no confidence in Obama's ability to manage the economy. Now that's something your readers would want to know.

    November 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  9. Donna

    who on earth thinks they know Obama's and Palin's I.Q.'s? And what is that based on? It's highly unlikely that either ever was tested and, if they were, the results would not be public.

    I supported Obama in this election. However, I listened to every side of the issues before making my decision. One thing that influenced me (but it was not close to the only reason) was the willingness of certain people/media to make this sort of unsubstantiated statement. The carrying on about Obama's birth certificate, the insistence that he is Muslim, the statements about how he had said he'd eliminate the Star Spangled Banner. Those of you who spread this junk–please know that you may have dissuaded some people from supporting Obama but you pushed others towards him.

    November 6, 2008 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  10. Repuges are sore loosers

    Whom evr is bl;aming President elect Obama for the stock market; your worng. President Bush is still in office not Barack so stop your blame game, it's enough of that going around in your own party. Don't try to drag our President elect in on the problems the Republicans have caused. Also, it took Bush 8 years to screw our country up unfortunatley it will take longer to fix our country!!!!!!


    November 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  11. Happy Democrat!

    Sorry – made a mistake in the last sentance of my previous comment -obviously what I meant to say was its time to STOP fighting with each other

    November 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  12. Joyce in Florida

    Yes, let's all move on. Senator Obama won and who cares what is happening in the McCain camp now? They lost because of the poor choice for V.P., their negativity, their lies, and fearmongering. You think they would have learned a lesson. Stupid is as stupid does. We didn't fall for it this time nor we will EVER again. I am ecstatic that the Democrats will be taking back the White House to clean up the mess (again) this current Administration made. As as far as impeachment, President Bush should have been impeached years ago!!!! Worst president EVER!!!

    November 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  13. Farhana from ATL

    Keep it coming...this is more fun to watch than reality tv!!

    November 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  14. Jeremiah

    Was Obama ex-communicated by Pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright?

    This is a trick question.

    November 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  15. Tired of unmoderated forums

    I hope that in the future, news sites realize that these seemingly unmoderated comments on articles degrades the value of the news. Unmoderated comments allow mob gossip and childish name calling to be perpetuated.

    November 6, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  16. Paul

    Time for change and move on to a better future. We all are at blame for this nation being what we made it. Greed, backbiting, slander, bigotery, racism, you name it and we all should shoulder the blame. So let's get on with the show of patriotism and commitment to making this a better nation, GOP and DEM, and show them we can do it!

    November 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  17. ST

    bob November 6th, 2008 9:28 am ET

    Palin has an IQ of 147, Obama has an IQ of 123. Obama was elected because of the money he received from IRAN. Obama is NOT qualified to be president and it will show soon enough. We will end up impeaching Obama you watch my words
    I don't normally call anyone names, but you're an idiot. There is no record of their IQ scores and you don't know where Obama received his funds.

    People, it's over. Move on. Get over it. McCain lost for good reason. He was not the right person for the job and the American people felt that. Period.

    November 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  18. Brandon from Ohio

    I also feel I need to respond to Jeff's ignorance.

    Look Clownshow, candidates have proposals they make to Congress of what they want to get done. Since this isn't a dictatorship, the President doesn't get to decide how a bill turns out, only if he approves of it in its final form. Congress will work it out, and hopefully they will be able to come up with something that Obama is agreeable to that he will sign into law. With additional Democrats in Congress now, it should be easier than it has been. Bottom line, all the President can do is say "I want to see legislation on my desk that "enacts universal healthcare" (etc, you fill in the blank). He doesn't get to just make law. Sounds like you need to go back in time and live in Germany about 70 years ago so you can see how a dictatorship works since that's apparently what you're advocating. The sad thing is I bet even after those of us here who understand how gov't works explain it to you, you still won't "get it". Don't post anymore without being able to at least translate your incoherent BS into a half-way coherent sentence.

    November 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  19. Tired

    As a Republican, I support Obama as President because I respect the office. However, it doesn't mean the whole country has to follow him blindly.

    November 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  20. Mike, Atlanta


    November 6, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  21. The Next President

    Has anyone written about Obama's journey and moments in history? It is amazing. I'll continue to research more. Some I've heard, others confirmed. I will check of and other sites:

    1. DNC acceptance speech on the same day as Dr. King's I Have a Dream Speech;
    2. 2009 is the same year as the 100th anniversary of the NAACP;
    3. From the same state from where the only other president from the state was elected;
    4. Timing of Obama's victory speech and the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation;

    There are others, still researching...

    November 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  22. Charles L. Shaw, Liverpool, NY

    Well, my fellow Americans I say lets give our new President Obama a chance here, this was a clear win, and in my 52 years, I have never voted for the winner, and this election is no different, but I have the faith in that no matter if it is a liberal or conservative approach we as America will prevail.
    What I'm most pleased about is the over all involvement that "We the People" had in this election. The large voter turnout, the high first time voter involvement and most of all the optimism that we will be ok.
    What was it that FDR said? All we have to fear is fear itself?
    I’m with John McCain here, this is my President and this is my country, my land, this is our land. This is where I’ll stand my ground, and pray for peace and prosperity for all of America. The challenges we face going forward will require all of us to help each other with love.
    Even though I did not vote for Barrack, I will not disrespect my President ever.

    November 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  23. Bob Miller

    Could it have been a rabid PIT BULL with LIPSTICK.

    Jogger runs mile with rabid fox locked on her arm.
    Authorities in Arizona say a jogger attacked by a rabid fox ran a mile with the animal's jaws clamped on her arm and then drove herself to a hospital. The Yavapai County sheriff's office said the woman told deputies she was on a trail near Prescott on Monday when the fox attacked and bit her foot.

    She said she grabbed the fox by the neck when it went for her leg but it bit her arm.

    The woman wanted the animal tested for rabies so she ran a mile to her car with the fox still biting her arm, then pried it off and tossed it in her trunk and drove to the Prescott hospital.

    The sheriff's office says the fox later bit an animal control officer. He and the woman are both receiving rabies vaccinations.

    November 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  24. Al, NY NY

    From New Day....Fellow Obama supporters… you guys wanna go back to Obama's victory speech and listen to the part where he talks about unity? Our guy won, we should all be happy but, being a bad winner is pathetic. Show a lil maturity and restraint and focus on making all of us better, not just the ones that agree with us."... I want to point out that at JMs concession speech a bunch of big mouthed yahoos booed when Obamas name was mentioned. Only then did JM actually try to calm them down. When he (and Lipstick Fido) were campaigning, all the name calling and hooting were NOT discouraged. So there are bad winners and sore losers. As for this guy, it goes to show how dysfunctional this whole campaign was. And to all the GOP'ers out there who are upset. TOO BAD!!! You had your 8 years of buffoonery and look where it got us. Time for some new blood in the WH.

    November 6, 2008 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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