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. David

    What a shockingly revealing anecdote for her to share. She said there was "nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray." She really is terribly petty. And her lack of political savvy, always laying herself bare for all to see, exposing her pettiness, is just draw dropping. How anyone can support her to lead America and the free world is beyond my understanding. I predict she will not even be reelected to the Governorship of Alaska.

    March 26, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  2. Brett

    Please Sarah... NEVER stop talking. You don't need a filter or a PR person, just talk from your heart. I absolutely love to hear what you have to say. Please please please, DON'T STOP!

    March 26, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. Mary

    Who could expect anything different from this small-minded little diva? Though I'm no Hillary Clinton fan, this woman doesn't have the intelligence or common sense to have been placed in a position alongside Hillary, trailblazing the way for women in politics. As much as Hillary is self-serving, Sarah Palin doesn't have the shred of decency needed to keep her dumb mouth shut and to build up her own party intelligently. Talk about taking a wrecking ball to whatever shreds of self-respect the GOP might still have!

    March 26, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. Kristina, Seattle

    She thinks she's too good to PRAY with certain people? Who's the "elitist" now? What a useless joke of a politician.

    March 26, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  5. Sean O'Brien

    Hey, Lay off Sarah. Just because she couldn't find anyone she wanted to pray with! Jesus had the same problem...oh wait, Jesus prayed with everyone (even Democrats)

    March 26, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  6. OHDRK30

    And the winner is........Palin
    What a winner, She is a keeper. Just keep her in alaska

    March 26, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  7. Anne

    A previous comment said that Palin was "like a breathe of fresh air compared to all those politicians like Obama and the Washington crowd". You meant to say hot air didn't you? That would make sense

    March 26, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  8. CIC09

    You see, it's not just Democrats who are unhappy with Palin. She just can't seem to keep her mouth shut.

    March 26, 2009 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  9. cruiserGT

    It's interesting how prayer scares people that don't understand the process. Sharing in group prayer to hear and share on a spiritual level is a cleansing experience that many Christians enjoy on a regular basis.

    It's okay if you don't understand this or disagree with her beliefs. That's the greatness of our nation... we are free to express ourselves. At least for a bit longer. 🙂

    Hang in the Sarah.

    March 26, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  10. Kelly

    I cannot stomach another one of her painful doses of word salad.

    Not worthy to pray with her? What, is she royalty now? She's a better brand of Christian than others?

    Perhaps she should go pray with that witch hunter again.

    March 26, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  11. Texan for Progression

    How does that old saying go again... when you lay with dogs you get fleas. The Republican campaign committee used every dirty trick in the book to win in November. It's only expected that they would turn on each other once the fight against Obama was decided. Heck, the entire Republican Party has employed the most devious tactics, even while in power, dating back to before Bush 43 (GW that is). Now this isn't to say that Falin (ops...Palin) is an innocent victim because if anybody ever warranted criticism, she's the one. But I sympathize for her because she was such a gift to Obama. Psyche!!! I revel in her demise!!!

    March 26, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  12. Liberal Democrats Love God Too

    The bible says that where ever two are gathered in his name, God is present. So I guess I understand her desire to pray with someone but sometimes you go it alone.

    She can't even get along with other Republicans enough to find someone to kneel with her and pray. How could she ever get along with INDEPENDENTS AND DEMOCRATS in Congress as an elected leader?

    The final word here is that God blessed Team OBama, ... not McCain & Palin. All those neo-Conservatives and holier-than-thou right wing zealots will have to square that with their beliefs when they kneel tonight.

    They will likely say that God has a more complex plan and that's why Barack Obama [remember, the anti-christ] won this election. It's really much more simple than that. When you looked at both campaigns, one reflected the principles of Christ more than the other ... that's who won the election.

    March 26, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  13. Frank, Las Vegas

    She can't pray alone? Most people prayer alone every single day, yet she needs an audience to see her pray? I know I pray, alone. I pray that Palin will go away, never to be heard from again. Maybe I need an audience too, I mean also.

    March 26, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  14. Tom

    I love it, LMAO this is great go ahead Sarah keep talking:)))

    March 26, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  15. Karen

    I feel sad every day that we don't have Sarah as Vice-President. She is a person of character and conviction; unlike so many who are in government. How much better to have an advocate for the disabled as Vice-President, instead our sorry excuse for a President making fun of them!!

    The Progressives don't like Sarah because she has traditional American values and she's beautiful to boot! I'm hoping that Sarah will stay front and center, and that she will be our first female President! Go Sarah!!

    God bless the USA

    March 26, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  16. Groucho

    Looking back now people isn't it obvious that she is just a foolish childish person who is not even a candidate for dog catcher. How can a Vice President hopeful who would be in line for the Presidency think that WINKING at a Vice President debate is acceptable...What the hell was that about, can anyone truly answer that?!
    I say bring her on in 2012 as the republican Presidential Candidate and watch President Obama send her packing once again back to Alaska to spew forth her real idiotic self. And anyone that supports her for sure is an IDIOT.

    March 26, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  17. Sumar

    Even the pictures of her makes her look like a WHINNER.....what is she saying here that there were no christrians amoung the Mc Cain campaign that would pray with one strong enough in their faith to pray with her,,,,,,,,, or is she saying she was the only Christrian amoung the McCain campaign....with all this whinning what does she want us to do get out our violins and play for her.......all I can say is those that are still following her after all this, they must be wacko's

    March 26, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Mary, ABS.. reread please.. it was her/Palin that mouthed off.. not the staffers.. they only responded to her mouthing off about them.

    March 26, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. Old Gray Tiger

    There are still some of you who support this woman?

    I loved the "less depth than a paper plate" comment.

    If she runs in the 2012 primaries, and is under close scrutiny for a long time, she will provide a lot of material for late night talk shows, and once a candidate is in that position, they are finished.

    Single issue politics which make people like Sarah Palin, or Jesse Jackson, to be balanced, are going to tear this country apart.

    The majority in the middle elect candidates, not the "base" to which both Democrats and Republicans pander.

    March 26, 2009 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  20. RA Crouch

    Palin doesn't belong in poltics. She belongs in soap operas.

    March 26, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  21. jim

    another example of palin throwin' people under the bus to cover for her own mistakes........and exploiting religion........ big surprise.....

    March 26, 2009 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. Jordan

    I didn't vote for McCain & Palin, but focusing on something as minor as this just seems ridiculous in my opinion. It is silly for the McCain campaign staffers to be put-off by such a simple remark. It matters not whether this woman prayed by herself or with several hundred people. When are we going to learn to live and let live? A persons religion is just as private as a persons sexual preference. These petty issues brought to light by both sides are getting not only out-of-hand, but tiring. I think we having bigger problems to worry about then who this woman prays with. We all have to live in this country together, so can't we ALL grow up just a little bit?

    March 26, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. Gail in Texas

    Palin, have you ever heard of "separation of church and state"???? Do yourself a BIG favor – read the U.S. Constitution (first learn to read and comprehend). Then do the rest of us a favor and retire to your life in Alaska. You have NO future on the national stage. Your ignorance is appalling!!!!

    March 26, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. PSKing

    I read the excerpt of Ms. Palin' s speech. It is laden with rambling, mumbling, repetitive nonsense. She sounds much like a person trying to justify their own existence through moral superiority. If she envisons herself on this moral high-ground, she obviously hasn't read much of the Bible. Judge not, Ms. Palin. You may have felt no one around you matched your spiritual perfection- but that did not make it so. Who were you to judge another's spirituality- and by what means did you judge others?

    March 26, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  25. karen

    Sarah Palin needs to get over herself, tend to her family and take care of the business of Alaska. She is going nowhere on the national scene! Enough already!!

    March 26, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
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