March 27th, 2009
08:10 AM ET
11 years ago

Palin's prayer remark angers former staffers

Palin's speech last week has some former aides grumbling.

Palin's speech last week has some former aides grumbling.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Some of Sarah Palin's former campaign aides are frustrated with the Alaska governor for remarking in a lengthy, freewheeling speech that she had refused to pray with them before last October's vice presidential debate.

Palin told the story in a speech to a GOP dinner in Alaska last Friday.

"So I'm looking around for somebody to pray with, I just need maybe a little help, maybe a little extra," she said of the moments before the debate. "And the McCain campaign, love 'em, you know, they're a lot of people around me, but nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray."

As the audience laughed, Palin noted that she meant no disrespect to the McCain campaign and that ended up saying a prayer with her daughter Piper.

A handful of the McCain campaign staffers who traveled with the former vice presidential nominee nearly every day for two months caught wind of Palin's remarks on Thursday morning - and they aren't thrilled with her quip.

"We all talked this A.M.," said one former Palin aide in an e-mail. "This set off a nerve for sure with a lot of people."

"It's yet another example of the few staff still loyal to Palin questioning their loyalty and ardent defense of her over the several months since the campaign," said the aide, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about campaign colleagues.

Since election day, Palin has publicly griped about the way she was handled by the McCain team and pushed back against some of the campaign advisers who attacked her anonymously in the press.

But another former staffer said that in doing so, Palin is failing to distinguish between the strategists at McCain headquarters and the people who were at her side every day from late August through election day.

"It's about us people who were on the plane, who showed extreme loyalty to Palin, continually getting thrown under the bus or slapped in the face by her comments, whether she means it or not," the staffer said, adding that Palin's remarks "cause you to question not only your loyalty but her judgment as a leader."

The former aides said they place part of the blame for Palin's post-campaign candor on the governor's staff in Alaska. Several have reached out individually to offer advice or assistance to the governor, but "have gotten only pleasantries in response," said one aide.

"Who is the one making the decision that she needs to be out there saying these things?," the second staffer asked. "Someone needs to be telling her, 'Listen, let's not talk the campaign any more.' We need to talk about what's relevant and thinking about her influence as a voice in the Republican Party."

"The people that she has, either working at her PAC or advisers in Alaska, aren't exactly making the best decisions for her," the staffer said.

Palin's office in Alaska did not respond to a request for comment.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (450 Responses)
  1. Proud American

    Since when any true believer needs someone to pray with? Sounds to me like someone should be praying for her.

    March 26, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. B, Illinois

    I say, keep it up!

    Palin is the best thing that has happened to the progressive movement since...well....ever!

    March 26, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  3. Brian Crooks

    Hey, remember middle school? This reminds me a lot of some of the girls who had a "slam book" back then and ended up saying some really bad things about their friends because they thought their friends wouldn't find out. Oops.

    March 26, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. sally

    All the praying in the world would never have changed the outcome. Thank God.

    March 26, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. gl, Pittsburgh

    This is all McCain doing for bring this woman on stage and now she won't go away. She needs to PAC her things and stay in Alaska with her mouth closed. She is ticking the right and the left off with her nosence ba ba ba!

    March 26, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  6. Mary

    These anonymous staffers, again! Probably the same ones who started the rumors about her being a shopaholic. What cowards. No wonder she doesn't want their help. It was these same staffers that made a mess of things and they deserve the criticism Palin gave them. As a matter of fact, they sound like Democrats.

    March 26, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. David Jacobson, New York NY

    Keep Palin as the voice of the Republican party!

    If they want to make this bumbling hick who nobody even heard of 6 months ago their standard-bearer, by all means!

    March 26, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. dona

    Typical Palin! She always thinks of herself first. Maybe one day, the handlers will come out and tell us the truth we already know-this woman is a nut case!! Details please.

    March 26, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. Gina in Racine Wi

    Is anyone truly amazed? Sarah Palin isn't about America or the Republican Party.....Sarah Palin is about Sarah Palin.

    March 26, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. Carol

    As usual, it's all about her. She has tried to rewrite history since they lost the election, by "disremembering" the answers she gave to legitimate questions.

    March 26, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Pedro Goldstein

    Oh my ! I think we all need to listen to these people who worked under Palin day in and day out during the election. McCain/Palin would have made Bush/Cheney look like the Teddy Roosevelt administration.

    March 26, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  12. gerard pawling

    did any editor read this story? re-read the heading and content. who refused to pray with who?

    March 26, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. Dylan from Minneapolis

    Well, no matter what she does/says it's going to be the media's fault.

    March 26, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  14. S.M

    This is a poor example of an alleged "Conservative Christian" who is suppose to walk the path of righteousness, but we all know that many of them are nothing but self righteous hypocrites who love to judge others. Perhaps when she was thinking to herself that she needed a "little extra", the staff knew that they she was unteachable.

    How in the heck did she ever make it out of high school and college?

    March 26, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  15. Simmy

    Just as I waited for Steele to say he would entertain (and it was entertaining) running for president, I waited for the 'fallout' from Palin's 'prayer' remarks. She and other Republicans have become endangered species within their own party. Oh the saga of it all! Open her mouth, she's funny; Keep it shut, she's still funny........She's become a walking definition......

    March 26, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. Joy

    Sometimes the truth hurts.

    March 26, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  17. Patty

    In Palin lingo.....and also bite the hand that fed her. What a trail of enemies behind her

    March 26, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  18. Christie

    Since the Repubs have deemed themselves to be the protectors of morality and Christian principles, Sarah should have had any number of good choices for a "prayer-pal."

    March 26, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  19. Oh Boy!!!???

    Don't pray with this woman! Pray for her!!!!

    It's bad enough a whole state has to put up with her, why do we expect that we will come around to her way of thinking. That process is like well very um, extremely and yet, what have you.


    Thank you

    March 26, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. KR

    This woman has a habit in instilling anger in people. Today it is no longer about the campaign that you can not let go of for ego but about the situation we as the American people are in and the next four years with our current President (you can like it or not, but he is the President and he has the burden of the American people and our situation on his shoulders) GO ON IT IS NOT THE MEDIA AND IT IS NOT THE MCCAINS OR THEIR CAMPAIGN PARTY IT IS YOU AND YOUR CONSTANT WHINING. EVERYTHING SEEMS TO UPSET YOU. Obama is in the WH and he gets media attention good and bad and he does not whine about the media. I will never vote republican and your voice hasn't helped change my mind.

    March 26, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  21. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    What is wrong with this woman? Seriously! If I said half the stupid stuff she has, I would hauled away in a straight jacket. And rightly so!

    March 26, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. piquele

    Couldn't she pray without an audience?

    Since when communicating with God cannot be done in silence?

    I guess she wanted to send the message:
    "hey everybody !!, look at me!!, I'm gonna pray now, I'm a real christian!!, vote for me, wink, wink.

    March 26, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  23. Karen - Missouri

    Does this woman EVER stop WHINING???? And her remarks only prove she is only Christian when SHE WANTS to be. What a stupid remark for her to make. Don't ANYONE EVER trust that woman!!!

    March 26, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  24. John

    "...uhm....I'm looking for some help....'cause....uhm....I don't really have a clue what I'm doing up here....yup....I..uh...I'll just use up the blank pauses with generic filler...uhm...'cause, betcha....."

    Pray for all of us if she ever gets near the White House.

    March 26, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  25. Macushla

    Good grief - enough already!!

    March 26, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
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