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. Marie

    She just keep putting one foot after another in her mouth.Maybe someone should throw a shoe at her just to see if she have any reflexes and if you see no reflexes then it will be confirmed this woman actually have no brains at all.How in the world did this woman ever become a govenor and what spell does she have over those poor souls who put her in office...maybe it's that witch doctor that she has praying over her

    March 26, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  2. Ben

    She needed a heck of a lot more than a prayer.... she needed more knowledge and political expertise. Couldn't have been vetted very well. She performs for the cameras, says the things the right-wing ulra- conservative wing of the party loves to hear, but she was and is very niave, ill-prepared in international world affairs and intellectually unprepared to run for vice-president of the United States. The national news media just loved to get her in an unscripted news conference. She comes out looking like a "Goofy" everytime.

    March 26, 2009 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  3. Judy Zukoski, Barnesville, PA

    Only sad thing about Sarah Palin is that she is a governor and has people in her State depending on her. I, for one, would not want this person making decisions that influenced my life. The good people of Alaska could find someone better to REALLY look out for their interests. Hopefully they will figure that out before too long.

    March 26, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  4. indy voter

    Why is it that Ms. Palin talks without thinking about the hurt feelings or ramifications of what she says? I do not understand how a full state governor can ramble on in front of a political audience as if she is talking to her bridge club or hair dresser. You have responsibility to be astute and discerning. Words have power and to be loose lipped over and over again makes one wonder who she would have affronted by now on the world scene had she gotten into national office.... 🙂

    March 26, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  5. Virginia Fey

    My sense of Ms. Palin is that she glories in playing the beleaguered victim. Also– note that she did not say no one was willing to pray with her– just that she didn't want to pray with them. . . perhaps she didn't deem any of them worthy of praying with her. Hmm– I wonder if Jesus was so picky about whom he prayed with?

    March 26, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  6. Stubanas

    The female George Bush. In the multiple places she received her degreee in journalism, did they teach proper English?

    March 26, 2009 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. Sick of this crap

    Based on the way Palin was treated and discriminated against as a woman during the campaign, I wouldn't want to pray with any of McCain's cronies either.

    March 26, 2009 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  8. Eleanor

    Leave sarah palin stories and whines in Alaska , we don't want to hear them . The election was over November 2008 ,we now have a new president and staff with a whole TRAY of new problems and some LEFTOVER that we are trying to give our upmost attention to . WE THE PEOPLE MUST MOVE ON TO HIGHER THINKING AND ACTION, if sarah did not say what she wanted to say to the staffers "well too little too late", get over it my darling the world moves on not just around you and your complaints and whines , GROW UP.

    March 26, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  9. American Girl

    Oh Come the McCain camp is crying??? they bashed her after the election and trashed her days after the election and now they get mad about a comment like this? I don't blame her.....I wouldn't pray with those back stabbers either! Why do people feel so threatened by Palin? I figured the Liberals are "untouchable" right??

    March 26, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. Edward

    WOW!! I can't believe that she is still careless enough for these kinds of comments. Has she learned listen to me.... It's Palin...of course she hasnt.

    March 26, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. marcus2

    From what I have read, Sarah Palin has a history of throwing those loyal to her "under the bus." These McCain staffers who remained loyal to Palin have been betrayed by her, and it's natural that they are angry and upset – but it seems Sarah Palin has always been this way.

    March 26, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  12. Jeff W.

    This just reminds me of how thankful I am that we have an intellectual person in the White House and not someone who "prays" and bases their decisions on magic and superstition. Instead of praying, how about being responsible for your own destiny? Why would a god have a personal stake in who wins the White House? So silly.

    March 26, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  13. Barbara

    It is apparent to me that Palin is simply trying to keep her name in the news media. Her statements are just as stupid now as they were when she was campaigning. Don't dignify this stupidity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  14. RC

    OMG, this woman is such a nutcase. Do you realize how close we came to having her IN THE SECOND MOST POWERFUL OFFICE IN THE WORLD!????? Talk about dodging a bullet.

    March 26, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  15. Pat in IL

    She's running out of people to blame things on, so at some point, maybe she'll wake up and figure it out.......blame yourself! By the way, Christians work hard to be accountable in all things and at all times.

    March 26, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  16. Ron

    Kermit: The reason we're still talking about palin is that she's a hoot. Everyone could use a good laugh these days

    March 26, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  17. gloria

    Oh yeah, Palin's a breath of air alright...the air between her ears!

    March 26, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  18. Carl Justus

    Maybe Palin would be much better off politically if she would keep her mouth shut. The election is over, they lost, and that should be the end of it until the next election.

    If she was half as good as she thinks she is they would have won hands down, no question. They, McCain or her laid out not one think they wanted to accomplish as the presidential team it they won the election. They had no plan other than to attack and try to bring down Obama so they could rise, that kind never works regardless of what anyone says.

    March 26, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. Margaret, Canada

    Why can't she pray by herself? Why does anyone need other people to pray with them. I can't understand this need to have a circle of people holding hands and praying. Do they think that God listens more to them when they pray in numbers. Didn't do her much good, did it.
    Please, Sarah Get a Life! or better yet, get on with your life.

    March 26, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  20. Shannon in AZ

    I can't believe these two, McCain and Palin. I was on the fence between voting my pocketbook (what is left anyway) and voting for principals. When McCain announced his running mate, a female nobody, who was a brainless pretty face, I was offended. I would like to see more women in places of power, intelligent women with principals who can converse and hold they're own in a debate. Palin never showed those two qualities and it appeared to me that she was chosen for other reasons. She would have been better as a booth bunny at the convention. I lost my respect for McCain's decision making abilities for selecting her as a running mate, and therefore, voted for Obama. If he wanted a woman as a running mate to get the Hillary supporters, I am sure there where better qualified women than Palin. Sorry, I don't see the VP position as a beauty contest. My lack of confidence in his judgment cost him my vote, as many others I suspect. Now, both of them should bow out gracefully.

    March 26, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  21. Karen

    Ouch. She could find no one she wanted to pray with? I wish Sarah would think about the kind of damage that sort of statement makes to the people she's talking about - people who may be looking for evidence of God's movement in their lives. Remember, Jesus spent his time with the most desperate people in the community - the people who were the most hated, the most miserable, and seemingly the least worthy.

    I'm an Obama girl, but Palin staffers, it would be an honor to put all of our political differences aside to pray together. He is with us when two or more are gathered in his name.

    March 26, 2009 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  22. Kathy

    It's hilarious anyone would blame Palin's egocentric, nonsensical rambling on "anonymous staffers." Palin doesn't need anyone's help to make herself look bad, it's one thing she's very capable at.

    March 26, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  23. Donna

    Since when does anybody really need to have company while praying? Isnt prayer basically a personal conversation with whichever God you believe in? Sarah cant pray alone? I do it all the time. The last 9 minutes of my snooze alarm every day is devoted to daily prayer. Nobody holds my hand while I do that. Nobody NEEDS to. I say a rosary once a week. BY MYSELF. This, along with the daily little words I send up during the day as life comes my way and I see that it needs to be done....this is aside from formal weekly services...

    so whats her problem? I'm truly baffled.

    March 26, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  24. Rich

    Sarah.....should be praying for an alternative budget to be submitted by the Senator McCain, Senator McConnell and the GOP leadership!!

    March 26, 2009 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. Ted

    She does know how to talk... And talk, and talk, and talk. This speech of hers was ridiculous. It really was. Especially this part, and now that people have come out complaining its becoming more ridiculous. They need to keep to themselves as much as Palin does. It's not election season yet.

    March 26, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
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