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. Bea

    Keep whining Palin. You are digging your own grave faster than any 'gotcha media' ever could!

    March 26, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  2. Todd A

    Palin is offensive to anyone with a brain. I'll never understand what McCain was thinking when he plucked her from obscurity–thereby torpedoing his chance to become president and sending the GOP into a tailspin it still hasn't pulled out of.

    March 26, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  3. karen-Phoenix

    NO MORE PALIN!!!! She's a disgrace to all women of America!

    March 26, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  4. Jane

    you go girl
    Palin all the way in 2012!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 26, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. wendy

    Palin: modus operandi - Criticize and disrespect people and then say you mean no disrespect. Palin does not know the first thing about leadership, which is be responsible for your actions. If you fail (i.e. lose an election) you fail because you did not win. No one else caused that loss. Consider for instance how much negative media attention focused on Obama, much more in fact than Palin received, despite her whining post-election comments. Yet, Obama won the election.

    March 26, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  6. J S Ragman

    It has become very clear that Palin is too thin-skinned to ever hold a major office in government. This will enrage all you right-wing Palin lovers but being governor of Alaska is not a major office. I live in downtown Chicago and we have more people in a three mile radius than she has in her state.

    March 26, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  7. Heather

    She should just stop complaining...

    March 26, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  8. Teena in Denver

    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. Shame on her!

    March 26, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  9. Jeff from PDX

    Just imagine her as a VP or President....everyday would be like watching the Real World or another crappy reality show. Thank god this will never happen.....actually it might be kinda fun.

    Palin / Joe the Plumber 2012!

    March 26, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  10. David

    Who knew so much hot air could blow out of Alaska for so long?

    Is there ANYBODY Palin doesn't blame for her own shortcomings?

    March 26, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  11. barking dogs

    She should have taken her witchdoctor with her.

    March 26, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  12. Mike in Oahu

    She is truly a whacko!

    March 26, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  13. The Broker.

    If I was "twenty plus', years younger: She would be the only drug, I would need.

    March 26, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  14. sngeorgia

    Let Miss Trailer Park trash speak her mind. It's 'mush" and 'mindless'
    Keep speaking for the Republican Pary. Atta girl.

    March 26, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  15. Susan, Wyoming

    Keep talking, Sarah. We Dems *love* you – you'll keep us in power for years. God bless, sweetie!

    March 26, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  16. SharonC

    First of all, these remarks were from a Lincoln Day dinner in Anchorage–Palin said at the beginning that it felt good to be speaking in front of "family" there.....I seriously doubt she or anyone else there thought there would be a video (it's very poor quality, video and audio) spread all over the country of this local speech. In any event, there is really nothing derogatory about what she said re: McCain staffers. She prefaced her remars with "love 'em"...but...I'm guessing none of the staffers were outwardly religious and Palin meant she wouldn't feel comfortable asking them to hold hands and pray openly in a hallway with her.

    March 26, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. Mary, VA

    Mike, "Palin may be a breath of fresh air" for some.... but the majority of folks recognize that we need much more than a breath of fresh air... and Palin doesn't have anything more to offer.... not only is she lacking intellectually for the national scene, but she also lacks the leadership skills necessary when dealing with a diverse group of people and opinions.... She'll probably do ok in an environment where everybody thinks the way she does... but we live in America where few people think alike... God help us... Amen!!

    March 26, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. AP in Illinois

    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.

    Mike...stick with that thought and help us elect Obama to a second term. Make sure you tell all your friends.

    Sarah Palin...the gift that keeps on giving.

    March 26, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. JSS

    Oh again with the "anonymous staffer" comments . Put a name behind your comments or don't say them.

    You are as big of a coward as the McCain people who threw her under the bus. (Yes Nicole Wallace and Megan McCain, we know it was you)
    Are you kidding me?!

    What's your name? What was it you did to help the governor? What advice would you have now? You already did your dirty work for McCain.

    You guys are so disgusting.

    You want her to say nice complimentary things about you?
    Where have you been the last 5 months?

    Haven't heard from you this whole time until now.

    She sure doesn't need advice from you and definitely not from McCain's staffers.


    March 26, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. Angie

    i see she chose not to further her education.she is still just a dumb now as she was when mcsame picked her. still can't complete a sentence and can only talk about the media. well if you don't like what the media has to say keep your ignorant mouth shut and do what the people of alaska elected you to do.

    March 26, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    This woman needs to go away.

    March 26, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  22. Irony

    I think it's funny that so many people are outraged that CNN still reports on Sarah Palin. It's funny because these people are not only reading these articles. They're actually going so far as to COMMENT on them, too. I mean, let's face it. The woman is entertaining. She's no politician, but she is a fantastic train wreck. And who doesn't stop to stare at a train wreck?

    March 26, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  23. KansasGirl

    I sense fear of Govenor Palin in this group.

    March 26, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  24. colby

    Palin's refusal to pray with any staffers–or anyone in general–is a statement about her style of "Christianity." Perhaps instead of just thumping her Bible, she needs to open it and read.

    March 26, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. tiff of Lithia Springs


    Thank you for bringing our fellow citizens to their right mind and electing PRESIDENT Obama and VICE-President Biden!


    March 26, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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