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. jim-in-pa

    If she feels so little about some people that she doesn't even want to pary with them, how can she represent them as an elected official?

    Her ego and feeling like some people are beneath her "He's not like us" are the reasons why the GOP lost my vote in 2008.

    But I'm sure none of this is Palins fault as she feels nothing is her fault.

    March 27, 2009 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  2. Debbie

    "Who is the one making the decision that she needs to be out there saying these things?,"

    Are they serious?? Are they saying that the politician running has no say in how to run the campaign? They can't say anything without "someone" telling them WHAT to say? From that statement it seems as if they make the public politician into a figurehead with no power.

    March 27, 2009 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  3. Michigander

    The Democrats are not afraid of this woman. We feel sorry for her, actually. She is woefully ignorant of the impression she leaves on the majority of Americans. She really should get her own house in order, stay away from the microphone, and govern her state to the best of her ability. We do not comment because she scares us. We comment because watching her is like driving past an don't want to look, but you can't help yourself from being curious. I really think she is making a lot of republicans uneasy too, because she is now alienating the very people who brought her McCain's attention. If only they had kept looking!

    March 27, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  4. Tony

    I worked on the McCain campaign, and I can tell you that none of us were worthy of Sarah Palin. We were not good enough to be in her presence, because our cloth were not as nice, our prayers were not loud enough, and our love of Jesus was not strong enough.
    She is the only worthy Christian in the campaign around us hethans that didn't fear her love of God and Jesus. That is why God is angry with us and gave us Barack Hussein Obama.

    Give it a rest lady. If God was with you then who could be against you. I think God loves us too much to give us Sarah Palin as VP. I think she forgot to read the part of the bible that "No one shall give false witness"
    She is actiing like the pharossies.

    My only hope is to have Palin/Bachman 2012 and Joe the Plumber as their campaign manager that can be horny all day long.

    March 27, 2009 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  5. KYgirl

    Just when the media seems to be backing off of Palin, she fires away to bring the spotlight back. It's like an immature child slapping their little brother or sister just to get more attention from Mom or Dad.

    March 27, 2009 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  6. AFAM

    I just cant never imagine this woman being president.Being called.President Sarah Palin.Never will happen unless america changes like North Korea or iran.She will never will be president.Sarah palin voters please dont waste ur votes.You might as well vote for romney or huckabee because jindal or sarah palin will never be president.thats just a fact.

    March 27, 2009 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  7. hildutus

    She should spend more time studying and working on problems than praying about them.

    March 27, 2009 08:30 am at 8:30 am |
  8. Terry

    With all due respect to the people of Alaska, first, I recommend that each voter, sit down with a friend, and just pray. Second, I recommend that you have the water supply for the Palin Residence checked. It is possible that someone has tainted the water supply with "stupid juice". Finally, the voters of Alaska should consider a Recall Vote.

    March 27, 2009 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  9. Frank

    Wow, does this woman ever quit whining?

    You lost because most Americans just didn't like you or trust you. Deal with it and move on. Go back to Alaska and continue ripping off your state and whatever else it is you do up there. Maybe you could spend some quality time with your daughter.

    And, what's with this junk about her needing someone to pray with? If you need to pray, you pray (if you TRULY believe). Sounds to me like she was just trying to create a photo-op.

    March 27, 2009 08:35 am at 8:35 am |
  10. Mary TN

    Why won't this woman go away? I can only imagine the state this country would be in right now had this woman been in the VP seat. Sarah, no one cares what you have to say!

    March 27, 2009 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Maybe she couldn't find someone to pray with because they were all doing their jobs to elect someone to the highest office in the land. I am sure the Divine is understanding when we humans are trying to do our own mundane things down here.

    She was unwilling to pray on her own? That does concern me... Doesn't she know how to pray on her own, or does she just move her lips the way other people do. Prayer is a self reflective (and at time community building) experience. If she needed help knowing what to ask for, she needs to go back to school and learn. Kids are always praying in school... For a good grade on a test or quiz!

    March 27, 2009 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  12. ckerst

    I not a believer but, doesn't the bible say prater should be done in private? Something about shutting ones self away to do it and making a public spectacle. I guess we only need the bits that are relevant to what we want at the moment.

    March 27, 2009 08:42 am at 8:42 am |

    I pray by myself every day and night. No one holds my hand when I pray. It's just me and God. That should ahve been all she needed. Does this mean that this is the reason she had such a bad interview? No. She was not qualified and she knew it. Shame on her for these statements.

    March 27, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  14. t..

    a note to the campaign staff......if the shoe fits....wear it!!!!!

    March 27, 2009 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  15. Jessica

    And this is who the Republican Party thought would make a good VP. Give me a break. Palin is a whining, spoiled, religious nut case. She wears her feelings on her sleeve and can't handle even the least bit of criticism. My message to Sarah, "shut up and govern Alaska as your were elected to do". You'll never be elected to serve in the mainland.

    March 27, 2009 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  16. Amanda

    Another sad example of the lack of leadership qualities that Ms. Palin exhibits. Blame everyone but the person in the mirror. I can see her appeal to the many who find it much easier to blame others for their failures rather than taking responsiblity for their own actions.

    March 27, 2009 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  17. Shhh

    If she reveals everything now there won't be any riveting details left for her book. Please Gov, please say no more. I can't wait for the book deal and watching the can't miss book tour when Katie and you reunite. Oh the ratings possibilities.

    March 27, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |

    What a wonderful political development Sarah has become! When you need help performing a simple act like praying you probably would not last long in Washington political in-fighting! America is being entertained by Gov. Palin! Be grateful she's not praying today as our VP!

    March 27, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  19. Bess Teeler

    I feel that Palin's campaign staffers are taking her comment too seriously. It is clear that it was meant as a joke and she was not trying to throw anybody under the bus, especially because she clarified that she meant no direspect. If her staffers are so annoyed that she's not "loyal" then they should quit. However, i do agree with one of the last quotes thats says "'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" because the campiagn was over a long time ago and you cannot keep revisiting and focusing on the past; you have to move on to the future especially if you are a politician.

    March 27, 2009 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  20. Debra

    Another example of the Republican comedy fest. Palin can't pray on her own and then blames others for this; a RNC chair who says his gaffes are 'planned' and have a purpose; Republican leadership that unveils a budget plan that has no numbers nor any specifics as to how to bring down the deficit which they see as the ONLY economic problem we're facing. Frankly, these comedians need to find another job. They are neither funny nor enlightening. Their theater is a failure and the American people should stop listening until they either provide leadership of ideas to help this country or at least provide a joke that is funny.

    March 27, 2009 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  21. john

    Gee, I was always taught that religion and prayer were personal, and that my prayers are between God and me. Why the insistence on praying in public? If I have a difficult time coming up, I pray, in private, for strength and courage. This public prayer is all about show and marketing, and *nothing* about being a good Christian. It's like she's checking off a line item of things to do "Pray in public to show what a good Christian I am" check, next item...

    March 27, 2009 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  22. Angela

    My she is a drama queen. If things do not go her way, someone else is always at fault. But the drama involved is tedious.

    Can you imagine the people she would appoint? Just think, she would not be able to appoint anyone she could not pray with? The most qualified would of course be overlooked.

    She become more ludicrous by the hour.

    March 27, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  23. Ernesto

    America is soooo OVER Palin. The GOP is wishing they were ruling back in the good old Bush days! Here she is preaching conservative principles while implimenting socialist doctrine in Alaska.

    March 27, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  24. Doug

    Hiw many feet does Sarah Palin have....and how many can she fit into her mouth?

    Every time she speaks, she alienates someone or a group of someones.

    Best political advise: Shut up. Help people forget you. Then when the smoke clears and you have done your studying of the issues that we have to actually deal with (because you can't turn it all over to God), then make your comeback.

    If that doesn't work....then you'll know where you stand.

    March 27, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  25. TyWebb

    Thank you, John McCain for bringing Sarah Palin and Joe The Plumber into my life!

    March 27, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
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