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. Mike Mundy, Houston, TX

    March 26th, 2009 4:45 pm ET

    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!

    No it is not!! Now with Megan McCain shooting off her mouth, makes you wonder who the McCain staffers were concerned with more..Megan or Sarah?

    Bring it!
    Palin 2012!

    March 26, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  2. katiec

    She such a phoney.
    We are sick of it and your support of her.

    March 26, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. dennisk

    I am so weary, CNN... I didn't even read this latest "news" about Caribou Barbie, and I freely admit it. Her fifteen minutes were up five months ago. Please stop!

    March 26, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. ASB

    You mean all of the anonymous McCain staffers, who have spread lies and disinformation about Governor Palin, are now upset that she didn't find them supportive in the campaign?

    Maybe if they had the guts to identify themselves this wouldn't be an issue, but otherwise this is probably another lie like the "she didn't know Africa was a continent" claim that was later debunked.

    March 26, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. RMG

    I find it no surprise that she maligns staffers. She is a victim and an ego maniac. Most days I just feel bad for her but when I think of the populice that finds it attractive that she be a voice in politics...well then, I am fearful. It would be awful if Gov Palin were to enter the world stage.

    March 26, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  6. Kermit

    Why are we still talking about Sarah Palin and the election? Is there nothing more important going on in the world today? It makes me wonder... If she had won, would she still be talking about her victory instead of trying to fix the problems at hand? It makes me very happy to know that all she has are her rambling speaches to fill her time.

    March 26, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. Mike

    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.

    March 26, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Wayne from Fullerton, CA

    Why do you insist on Palin Stories everyday? She is definately not what's going on right now except to you.

    March 26, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Tricia

    It's a pretty sad that there was no one on the McCain staff that she wanted to pray with. But it's obvious from the actions of Nicole Wallace and others after the campaign ended that they didn't surround Palin with the best people.

    March 26, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  10. mj, Texas

    The CNN writer states "...that she had refused to pray with them..." but in the content of Palin's remarks it sounds the other way around–that the staffers refused to hold hands and pray with her. Why does the media have such a hard time keeping the facts straight when they report on Sarah Palin? Stick to the facts.

    March 26, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  11. FreeNLovIt

    God Bless You Palin,,,

    PLease move forward and dont look back. Love and forgiveness will carry us far. Please move on. Learn and grow and I hope to see you in the future on TV again, although, I'm not an Elephant.

    March 26, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  12. Shawn

    Sarah Palin blames the meeeeedia, bloggers, sexism, elitism, regionalism, the McCain campaign, the RNC...and so on for her EPIC FAIL national rollout.

    How about a little self-reflection, Sarah? Maybe you could earn a little respect from the voters. Until then, just keep whining and being a national joke.

    March 26, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. The Broker.

    Pray for what? To who? Some people???

    March 26, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. A little sad

    Mary March 26th, 2009 4:09 pm ET

    These anonymous staffers, again! Probably the same ones who started the rumors about her being a shopaholic

    The words stating that she couldn't find anyone around her (where her staff was) to pray with came from Pailin's mouth.

    Not a rumor, she's proud of running her staffers down.

    March 26, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Chalisa

    Rush Limbaugh and the Republicans deserve Sarah Palin, her whining, her ineptitude, her her persistent lack of responsibility to accept responsibility for her own words and actions during the 2008 campaign.

    Governor Palin, our country is in the midst of a serious economic crisis–grow up and please spare us from your childish drones .

    March 26, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. FreeNLovIt


    You got to stop talking about the past. Please look to future and start growing now. It was a great experience. It was wonderful to see how STRONG of a family foundation you had. It was great to see your support for your daughter, but please grow. Ask, "what can I do better"... keep dreaming... dont stop..

    March 26, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Barbara Campbell

    Open mouth, out comes stupidity. Palin blames everyone but herself for her poor campaign performance.

    March 26, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Kiki

    Why are all these "anonymous staffers" so upset about her remark. Did they not read it? All Sarah said is that she couldn't find anyone to pray with at the time she needed someone to pray with her. I don't hear any of them saying they offered to pray with her and were turned down. Count me as one who would have gladly held hands with her and prayed. As a matter of fact, I still pray for her, her family and all the conservatives that stand for the moral values she represents. All the others' opinions don't matter a zip to me! I'll take this "bumbling hick", as one of you put it, before I take the tax cheaters BO has put in his cabinet and Dodd and Barney who helped write the stimulus bill which included the AIG bonuses and then had the gall to be shocked that these executives had received all this money. And then BO also let us know that he sure didn't read the bill before he signed it either!! Wow, and you liberals are proud of these nitwits???

    March 26, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. ross berg- Buffalo, NY

    Based on the extensive exit polling of the swing voters there's zero question that a majority of them voted Democratic based on their nervousness of Palin being a heartbeat from the Presidency and/or her strident pro-life position.

    Seems to me that if she can get herself up to speed on world issues and avoid any further Kateie Couric type disasters she's probably got a national future in the Republican party???

    She's certainly a pleasure to observe!!!

    March 26, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  20. zak

    sara, can you go to h–l. enough is enough. get LOST

    March 26, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Kim- GA

    I'll say it again. She sucks!

    March 26, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  22. greg

    Another group of nameless staffers complaining about Palin, what a surprise. How many are in this group of loyal staffers? Did any one of them speak out against those supposed staffers who were knifing her in the back even before the election, if they did I never heard about it. Palin is right on this, as she is with most things, the McCain staff was terrible, and worse than useless in most cases.

    Palin 2012

    March 26, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  23. Ambrose Smith, Borrego Springs, California

    The story says that the "audience laughed."

    It's more like: The audience "COURTESY LAUGHED".

    Like most GOP do. (They have no sense of humor.)

    March 26, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  24. matt

    Palin can't do any worse then what obama is doing

    March 26, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Dave

    This is absolutely typical of Palin: she always turns on the people who helped her get where she is, the second they're no longer useful. She has a long history of backstabbing her friends. The more you examine this woman's patterns, the sooner you'll see how sociopathic they are.

    March 26, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
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