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. canadian socer mom

    More than ever I am convinced this woman has some kind of paranoia problem. She is always going on about the darn media elite is against her or the McCain staffers or even those people who want to get her on ethical issues or conflict of interest. It must be terrible thinking everyone is against you.

    March 26, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  2. Anyone for Athiesm?

    Everyone has their own views on religion, and just because Palin thought the people around her had to share the same beliefs as her doesn't mean they do. I fully support the people who refused to pray with her, whether it was a choice based on religion, or by the choice that shes pretty much a joke when it comes to politics, and many other things as well. Religion is a choice, not a necessity, and she shouldn't expect her aides to want to pray with her. Oh, and KansasGirl, while you're making a big deal out of New Yorkers not being able to survive in the Midwest...try coming up to Vermont in winter, we'll see how long you last.

    March 26, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  3. Jason Means

    Open mouth – insert foot. Thank you once again Sarah Palin. Let us all now revel at the power of prayer and how well it benefited your campaign. If God be for you, who could be against you?

    March 26, 2009 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  4. Kevin

    The way Palin has been carrying on and portraying herself is all the more reason that we are SO LUCKY that this person never got near the White House. If she (and the McCain camp also) can't even get their act together amongst their own kind then how could we expect them to lead this country?

    March 26, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  5. Rubyredman

    Teena in Denver March 26th, 2009 5:29 pm ET

    As a Christian, it is our duty to pray with and for our fellow man. If she couldn't find anyone "worthy" of praying with, then maybe she should have been praying FOR them instead of maligning them. ..

    Great comment. And on that note I will pray for Palin.

    March 26, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. Grammy1

    This woman claims to be a Christian and yet she can't find someone that she is willing to hold hands and pray with? She needs a mute button.

    March 26, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  7. JAK in Alaska

    It is humorous to me that people still don't realize why "those advisors in Alaska aren't making better decisions for Palin?" Palin won't listen to ANYONE. She truly is a maverick, but predominantly with the negative connatations of the word. She just made an announcement a week ago to reject 45% of the stimulus funds for Alaska. She didn't consult with anyone – she made the decision based on her own thoughts. Then when 75 anger people confronted her the very next morning on the steps of the Capitol, she back-peddled and said it was still up for discussion. Her advisors knew better – but she doesn't care to ask them. It's not just you national folks, she doesn't care what us Alaskans thinks either!

    March 26, 2009 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  8. Out of work

    Palin has a interesting way of showing her appreciation for the hardworking political aides who were at her side every day from late August through election day. Or is she playing the self-pity/victim card? As a sitting governor with responsibilities, at some point Palin needs to quit whining about 2008 election and be a constructive voice for the changes that will help America get out of this economic disaster.

    March 26, 2009 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  9. LAW

    Palin is honest. Deal with it.

    March 26, 2009 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  10. John D.

    As a Mormon Christian it amazes me that this has even become a story. I agree with Sarah Palin, a little extra divine help certainly wouldn't hurt. However it appears some McCain staffers wouldn't want that image to hit the media circuit err circus. The republican conservative right needs to reclaim their image of patriotism, democracy and faith in God. The Godless left certainly won't.

    March 26, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  11. ben

    Poor, poor Sarah! I kinda like her as the republican standard bearer. They deserve someone of her stature and intelligence. The blame game seems to be the party mantra. Now, having said that, I will ignore all other palin articles. She's gotten too much press already. PLEASE!!! start covering something or someone worthwhile.

    March 26, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  12. Francheska

    I have prayed alone more times than I have prayed with someone. When you speak to God, you don't need anyone with you. This is just another sorry excuse for her name to be in the press.

    March 26, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  13. JSU-TIGER99

    When did a true believer in god need someone to hold his/her. Plain need to just stick to the story that was given to her when she is ask to be a speaker

    March 26, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  14. Voted for Obama, and still happy about it!

    Mike March 26th, 2009 4:58 pm ET

    Say what you want about Palin, but she's such a breath of fresh air compared to all these politicians like Obama his Washington kind.


    See my problem is that I'll stay up all night trying to come up with something stupid to say for Gov. Palin, and just when I've come up with something sweet to say she goes and says some stupid first. Dang!

    March 26, 2009 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  15. John from Texas

    Once again she shows her true feelings about the people she was campaigning with. Funny though, that after demonizing Obama as a terrorist and terrorist supporter, and inspiring hatred with her rallies, she couldn't find anyone "worthy" enough to pray with in her own camp. Just be grateful we dodged a bullet with this one, people, no thanks to Mccain.

    March 26, 2009 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  16. Alverant

    Why does Palin need help praying? If she wanted a little extra help before the debate, maybe she should look over the Constitution. She and Steele could do with reading it occasionally so they can get things right. Like what the first amendment says, both of them got it wrong.

    Palin is still governor of the largest state in the nation. She's still newsworthy even if the the Republics want her to go and hide until 2012. More importantly she wants to be in the news and she should be in the news to remind us how pathetic conservatives can be. Maybe if she actually took responsibility for her actions, she would be qualified for garbage collector. She's demonstrated the ability to collect garbage of other people and if she can't find any, she'll make some up.

    March 26, 2009 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  17. lysh

    If Sarah Palin doesn't want negative media publicity, she needs to shut her mouth.

    Her interview with Couric was unreal. Rarely have I seen anyone make such a buffoon of themself. Now all she does is re-surface every few months to complain about getting a bum rap. Why doesn't she do something productive? What a joke!

    March 26, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  18. Julie-Texas

    I don't blame Palin one bit for the way she feels. The media and especially this one seem to not give her any support. This is an Obama loving website and it is obvious to those of us who did not vote for President Obama. It is about time she got to spew. By the way, the way I took her not finding anyone to pray with made me think no one cared to do that. I think her family was treated terrible and I am sticking up for her. Those of you who voted for Obama and it doesn't go your way, too bad for you. You got what you deserve.

    March 26, 2009 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  19. Mike Cooper

    Anyone else catch the last quote:

    "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.

    Is there something wrong here when a leading contender for the Republican leadership requires advisors to "make the best decisions for her?"

    March 26, 2009 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  20. Don

    Anonymous staffers?! Need I say more. Their comments mean nothing if they can't say it on the record. These are the folks that cared more about throwing Sarah Palin under the bus than seeing their boss John McCaing win. If I were the governor, I wouldn't hold hands with them either.

    March 26, 2009 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  21. Marty

    Palin's time came and gone. It is her fault. No one to blame but herself.
    If she hasn't learned that, then, she would soon loose her next election as a governor.

    March 26, 2009 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  22. Stranger in a very strange land

    Considering the way she is treating the very folks that were working their butts off to get ger elected, I submit that they were just afraid they would get hands back with teeth marks in them.

    The woman is the closest thing I have ever seen to a human viper. And right now she is biting the hands that helped her as much as she would allow.

    If the Republican Party were insane enough to nominate her the next time they choose their scrificial candidate for President, she might do what the Democrats cannot. Finish off the Republican Party once and for all.

    March 27, 2009 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  23. Chris D.

    Well, it just such an ugly thing to think and then to say. She really could find NO ONE she wanted to pray with?? EVERY single person in the McCain campaign was that distasteful to her that she couldn't bare to ask them to pray with her? What a arrogant, snobby shrew! Heavens Gov. Palin, pray to God that he grant YOU some humility and basic Christian kindness.

    March 27, 2009 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  24. Arlene

    Ditto, Mary. Why don't these anonymous staffers come forward? Also, Governor Palin was not maligning anyone. She did not say they were not 'worthy" . She was simply saying she did not feel close enough to anyone to ask them to pray with her. This only refers to the personal relationship she had with the campaign staff . . . . not the professional relationship.

    Everything she says is under unfair scrutiny and she will never be able to say anything without the bias media and leftist bloggers "ripping her to shreds".

    Sarah Palin is an intelligent, straight-talking, capable patriot and I for one would be happy to see her run for President in the next election.

    Palin 2012!!!

    March 27, 2009 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  25. Rorschach

    Who can blame the McCain staffers for being upset? Not good enough to pray with? Palin – your arrogance and self-consumption knows no bounds. Take responsibility: you blew it all by yourself.

    March 27, 2009 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
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