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. Time for Term Limits

    Blaming McCain's staffers is the lamest of all excuses. I'm bored out of my wits with Palin's rambling speeches. Time to focus 100% of our attention on the real issues facing America instead of looking back at 2008!

    March 26, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Unshrub

    Here is a prayer I would like to say to her, "Dear God, please keep that nut from every becoming President."

    March 26, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  3. help us please please


    March 26, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. justobserve

    McCain would be secretly regretting for the rest of his life that he had brought out the genie that he interviewed only once. She, once tasted the limelight in the wider world, refused to go back in.

    March 26, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Sharon - NC

    Clearly, Sarah Palin writes as well as she speaks – which is why she is not a journalist in any media. Sounds like a bad case of narcissism, or professional jealousy to me.

    March 26, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. Moderate Democrat

    Mary, I'm sure you and Palin are good buds. You both sound like whiners. Blaming everyone, even your own kind, for all of the worlds problems.

    That's the problem with people like you and Palin. You know all the problems, but never have a solution.

    March 26, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Jim

    Of course anonymous; apparently they have not the courage to speak openly; or CNN is inventing this story.

    March 26, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Bxgrrl

    I'm not surprised no one wants to pray with her – they want to pray for her!

    March 26, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. NoMcSame

    Just think this nut case could have been one step away from the White House. God blinded her eyes to protect us from her. What a great God we have. God did not answer her prayer but he sure did answer mine and he is in the White Houese right now.

    March 26, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. Skipperdog

    I pray that Palin will go back to Alaska and spend at least some of her time trying to govern and care for her disfunctional family.

    March 26, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  11. Rose

    I am sure Palin could find someone amongst McCAINS staff to "pray" with. And do we need to be reminded by this woman that she is this Golden Christian every second? Frankly, she makes me sick.

    March 26, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. alvino


    You are in denial. The anonymus staffers are a figment of Palin's imagination, and I really doubt that she would ever pal around with democrats.

    March 26, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. R Wolf

    Please, no more stories about this crazy, inconsequential, airhead woman. Please!!!!!!

    March 26, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Chief Embezzlement Officer

    Democrats started the rumors about her shopping habits? Democrats made a mess of HER campaign? I thought it was John McCain's campaign. I don't wish Sarah Palin any ill will, but she created her own problems. Someone has said that Palin's media crticism appeared to be more severe than anyone else's because she was a late entry in the race. In other words, all of that negativity and scrutinty was concentrated in a few weeks. Let's recall some of the rumors that were openly encouraged by Republicans: Obama pals around with terrorists; Obama is a terrorist; Obama isn't a natural-born U.S. citizen; Obama is a muslim; Obama is a socialist. I'm sure if we think about it, we can remember a few more rumors that no one has apologized for spreading. The same kind of nonsense happened to Hillary, Biden, and Gore. What's more, some of the same nasty people did it to McCain in 2000 and tried again in 2008. In fact, they're doing it even now. You want to complain about rumors? Start with yourself.

    March 26, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. jim love

    I'll pray with Governor Palin if she lets me select the prayer: Dear God in Heaven, we beseech you to save us from self-promoting, know-nothing rubes who would presume to the vice-presidency and ruin what little we have left. Amen.

    March 26, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. BethS

    Governor Palin seems to be extremely judgemental. Isher relationship with so perfect that he tells her most people aren't "good enough" for her to pray with. Watch out Governor-Judge not lest ye be judged-thus sasith the Lord! (Whom you've said you have a personal relationship with).

    March 26, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. WhoCares?

    Ain't she just the best "LEADER" ever!!

    March 26, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Keep talkin Palin, in whatever language you speak and maybe one day you will learn what language we speak when we say "America deplores ignorance". We are trying to educate our children to speak English as the first language.

    March 26, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. LJ

    No one tells Sarah what to say or how to say it here in Alaska (that's real apparent). The words that come from her mouth represent her own level of stupidity, nothing more. What former McCain staffers are seeing now is Sarah "unplugged" and thrashing around in her own little delusional world. As an example, Palin thought she was being blindsided by Juneau politicians recently who asked her to share some of her thoughts and goals for Alaska with them, her words to them were; "you guys are always trying to put me on the spot". What her response tells me is that this woman has no cohesive thoughts of her own, she takes the ideas of others and uses them to govern Alaska, these people consist of a large "posse" that follows her around Alaska and elsewhere.

    March 26, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. Chief Embezzlement Officer

    Excuse me. I didn't mean Gore. I meant Kerry.

    March 26, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. maria, california

    the only thing palin is good for is to arouse the men that think with their little heads.

    March 26, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. MC

    Uhhh, who the hell cares? My God, can't she just go away? Can't she do her own "Into the Wild" so people can stop wasting their time hearing about this woman?

    March 26, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. Ameria in Georgia

    It seems that the GOP has decided to take a page from Palin's book on how not to win an election. Palin wants to blame any and everyone for the loss they suffered in the election. Blame, blame, blame.
    Palin came from nowhere to run for Vice President and some people found her to be "Breath of fresh air." Thank goodness the majority of the people in the US knew she was a "Gulp of polluted air" that would have polarized this country to no end,

    March 26, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  24. jennifer

    If she needed the extra help she could have prayed on her own, in silence, and God would have heard. But then that wouldn't have been attention getting and Sarah does love an audience.

    I pray she goes away.

    March 26, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. tigerakabj

    McCain opened Pandora's box with her. With her, Limbaugh, and Steele leading the Republicans, it is a race off the cliff to oblivion.

    March 26, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
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