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. Andrew

    I'm going to miss Sarah Palin after she fails in 2012. This kind of free humor brightens my day. I, for one, hope she gives speeches or interviews every week from now until then.

    Keep it up Sarah!!!

    March 26, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  2. Rochelle

    Sarah Palin should never been included in this election. I want to know whose idea it was...if it was John McCain's idea he is no longer the McCain I knew as a Senator in Arizona. This woman is an albatross around the neck of the Republican Party. Many people, Democrats and Independants as well as Republicans might have voted differently had Palin not been on the Ticket.

    March 26, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  3. Greg

    So these staffers are surprised at what they are hearing... perhaps they ARE not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Palin is an opportunist, whose rhetoric changes with wind direction

    March 26, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  4. Just a mom

    Let's face it she isn't like a spoiled child, she is a spoiled child. She uses her so called "Faith" to get favor with the right. A person who has to say that she is a Christian as much as she does, isn't.

    March 26, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. Texas Annie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    If this woman has any thoughts whatsoever of running for national office ever again, the best thing she could do for herself right now is to shut up. Every time she opens her mouth, she shows again what an empty headed idiot she really is. Does she honestly think the Republican party would ever support her again? She is delusional. She is under the impression that the few loud mouthed far right nutcases who vocally support her actually represent the entire GOP. Somebody needs to clue her in. The Republican Party big whigs need to sit her down and explain to her that she is her own worst enemy.

    March 26, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  6. Charlie in Maine

    OUCH. I did not vote for McCain but I never found him to be Godless. That is quite an insult to his staff and to him.

    March 26, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  7. john

    I am am not surprised by Sarah's comments. When she says as she looks around looking for support that there was "...nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray" it is a statement about her and not those around her. She never identified with the campaign staffers that enthusiastically supported her campaign and she probably is uncomfortable with her faith around others who may not have the same beliefs as she does or are outside her close friends and family.

    John from Arlington

    March 26, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  8. Steve

    With a wink and a smile, she keeps throwing people under the bus.

    You betcha!

    March 26, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  9. Palin supporter

    Notice how the aides didn't deny what Gov. Palin said.

    March 26, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  10. Mark

    Let her speak – it just exposes her pure and utter ignorance and lack of rational thinking. Keep Palin speaking – it demonstrates the far right and utter extremism of the Republican party.

    March 26, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  11. MD

    Sarah Palin just can't admit that she lost because of who she is and the policies and beliefs that she represents. The American electorate said NO loud and clear. Maybe some of the people in McCain's team were not Christian (OMG!), and even Christians can decide when and if they want to pray – it's called religious freedom – something that a religious zealot like Sarah knows nothing about.

    March 26, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  12. slp

    Just what is it about this woman that scares democrats so much? Could she be hitting a nerve? If all of you are so secure in your beliefs and in the way you live your life, then stop getting all riled up everytime you read an article about her. Personally, I admire her ability to continue to stand up for her beliefs even though she is always ridiculed.

    March 26, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  13. Patriot Guy

    I don't blame her. Anyone who would work for John "knife-in-the-back" McCain would have to have some ethical issues. They did not deserve to have her on their ticket. GO SARAH, 2012!!

    March 26, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. john

    a true christian prays with who are there, not who they wish were there. This is nothing but religous snobbery.....which leads to being part of a sect.... which leads to exclusion, which leads to religous persecution, which leads to a path that we do not want to go down....Palin and her kind are scary..

    March 26, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  15. Michigander

    But gee, she isn't whining. She said so over and over. What a pitiful excuse for a decent human being...and she thinks any Republicans will actually support her desire run again? If they do, they are crazier than she is!

    March 26, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  16. Michigander

    "a breath of fresh air," is she? No, she is a liar, a whiner, and totally unfit for any national office. I'm still wondering how she fooled enough of Alaska to get her office there!

    March 26, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  17. Mickey7

    North of Forty,

    We sure are. Hard not to from the constant stream of laugh-out-loud ridiculous comments coming from your chosen leader. Nothing less appealing than a person who bites the hand that fed her. Which fruitage of the spirit is that, exactly? She's not a very nice person and not a "Christian" as many would define the term. She is a walking hypocritical farce, so keep pushing her on public weary of mean-spirited hypocrisy and we'll keep rejecting her and that small portion of the right still inexplicably attached to Rush and Ann and Sarah.

    March 26, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  18. NotNowMooky

    A real leader would not have been "handled" by anyone. Just the fact that Palin complains about the way she was handled shows she was an amateur at best. The good Lord protected us by keeping this ignoramous in Wasilla. Romans 13:1

    March 26, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  19. Robyn Harris

    "Pride goeth before a fall,", and apparently in Ms Palin's case, comes after it as well.

    As she continues her breathtaking spiral down to oblivion, she appears to be dedicated to taking all of her supporters with her. And to blaming anyone in the world for her failings, except herself. Her staff, John McCain's staff, Tina Fey, the press, SNL, the Alaskan legislature, the Republican party, the "liberal elites", the RNC, the terrorists, the socialists.

    Apparently, all of them were conspiring to make it appear that she was nothing more than a small time, small town, corrupt and inept politician who got in WAY over her head.

    When you are in a deep hole, perhaps "drill, baby, drill" is not the way out.

    Sarah Palin may be able to see Russia from her house, but she sure can't see reality.

    March 26, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  20. Ken Bernstein


    What an idiot you truly are. You have turned yourself into an absolute joke by refusing to keep your mouith shut. No one will ever take you seriously.

    Now deary , try praying in private like everyone else and quit blaming everyone else for all your problems


    March 26, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  21. BWG

    I see Gov. Palin still hasn't learned to speak the English language! Nothing new there. I am constantly amazed that this woman's name appears in the same sentence with "president of the United States." I don't know about anyone else, but where I work, when someone proves herself absurdly unqualified at one level, no one asks if she'd be interested in applying for a job at the next higher level! I'll be interested to see how she fares in the next gubernatorial election. Hopefully the people of Alaska have seen their governor for what she is and will make a more informed choice next time!

    March 26, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  22. Eau Claire, WI

    This woman is pathetic. Does she EVER think before she opens her mouth. How she ever got elected as governor, I'll never know. Useless.

    March 26, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  23. ob123

    I don't get what they're angry about. Did they want to pray and she didn't realize it. Did they not want to pray and didn't want anyone to know?

    March 26, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  24. Bonnie43

    She said it all! You couldn't find someone she WANTED to pray with. Hmmm....that was a christian thing to say.

    March 26, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  25. Daryl from Seattle

    I thought religion was supposed to be endearing, welcoming, and unbiased in who is welcome to join in rituals such as prayer and worship. I didn't realize that it's like deciding who you want to sit with during lunch in high school. How immature and childish of Governor Palin. Also, how is what she said not disrespectful? The staffers should feel very insulted.

    March 26, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
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