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. CJ

    Hand Palin some cheese to have with her Whine!
    And she wants to run in 2012....she sure doesn't know how to win friends even in own party...
    Just quit covering Sarah and her qrips and lets be done with her!

    March 26, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Lance

    So Palin still hasn't figured out no one wanted to pray with her because she can't stop winking and saying "you betcha" when she prays?

    I hope one of her staffers tells her that a lot of her problems stem from her personality. If she truly were smart she would have stayed in Alaska.

    March 26, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  3. Giveusabreak

    CNN is this what you call news? Its so sad this is at the top of your list .
    Palin is water under the bridge and that bridge being the Palin bridge to nowhere.

    I hope Mike 4:58 while you are taking your deep breath you suck her in never to never be heard of again .
    That spells relief from the worst kind Moosejaw

    March 26, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  4. Art in Las Vegas

    Get a life!! Palin was ready to make a concession speech before John McCain did to bolster her own political image!!!! She is clearly narcissistic.The shopping sprees were not rumors they were documented. So the McCain staffers are democrats? What's next, Obama was the cause of 9/11 I know your already blame him for the global economic crisis!

    March 26, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Marl

    Please be patient with the GOP they are doiing thier best trying to figure out who they are. The GOP need a reality check. They want Obama to fail because they are scared that maybe just maybe he is on the correct track to bring the nation into the future. Maybe they are just out of touch with technology with all the praying but they need to forget the great defeat and move to just a bit to the left. Not to be a radical left wing nut but away from the promoters that say they have their backs. The commentary;s from the Limbaughs, Palins, etc... Just to have the party come together with the nation the way they did after 911. What a country.

    March 26, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  6. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    If she wanted to have people to pray with then she should have gone to church. Employees are not and should not be expected to pray with their employers.

    March 26, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  7. trying to be reasonable in WV

    Full disclosure first: I'm a committed Christian, so I have no objection to prayer . . . That said, who needs more evidence that Gov. Palin doesn't BEGIN to approach the stature of someone deserving a national profile, WHATEVER her place on the political spectrum? She has the intellectual depth of a paper plate, people!

    You may accuse me of being a snob, but it isn't snobby to ask since when has "mediocre at best" been qualification for high office? I want my president and vice president (and even my governor) to be SMARTER than most of us (and that includes me, of course). If I were basing my opinion of her on comments out of context or because of a single incident, then I might reasonably give her some slack. But virtually without exception, whenever this woman opens her mouth the quality of our national discourse plunges. Bless her heart, she should be more quiet until she learns a great deal more.

    March 26, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  8. Lola James

    Palin angers in general. She is all mouth and is not like Obama-studies before he answers and has knowledge of a subject. Now ask Palin about that Volcano and what kind of money she will need for that since she turned down the Stimulus. Can't you see her asking Obama for more money and help?

    March 26, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  9. minnie

    So ... just what exactly does she think the meanings of whining and complaining are???

    Keep printing her opinions and comments please; they only confirm any negative that has been written about her!

    March 26, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  10. Rob Johnson

    If Palin doesn't consider GOP campaign staffers to be "worthy" of praying with, then I've been wrong about her all along. By that, I mean she is even MORE ignorant and arrogant than I thought.

    Palin is the greatest gift to the Democratic Party since Watergate.

    March 26, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  11. David in Dallas

    I don't get Republican strategy. They put Palin on the ticket to appeal to the extremists in their party because McCain was too centrist, and it worked–she energized the base and alienated the middle.

    You can't win without the middle. That's why Obama, formerly one of the most liberal Senators in America, struck centrist themes in his campaign–because like it or not, he's a winner.

    So sure, put Palin on the '12 ticket. Einstein called doing the same thing over and expecting different results "insanity", but what did he know? 😉

    March 26, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  12. Colin

    Pitbull with lipstick? No, just a whiny little girl with a victim complex.

    March 26, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  13. Chuck

    Please, Sarah Palin, keep your politics and speeches more secular and your faith more private and to yourself. Thank you!

    March 26, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  14. Marie

    Does this woman have no friend who will pull her aside and tell her that she is wearing "no clothes?" (Not that SHE is an empress, or anything!) What has John McCain and the GOP unleashed upon us? Enough already!!!

    March 26, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  15. BooStinky

    Maria, California you said it right. Palin said on the campaign trail that God will choose the next POTUS.

    God didn't chose McCain so obviously God didn't choose her. Is she now mad at God or Obama/Dems or does she believe God made a mistake.

    Care to answer that one Sarah? (wink wink)

    March 26, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  16. Branden

    Is this woman ever going to go away? Reading her quotes online can only be described as being like trying to piece a puzzle together. She can barely form a proper sentence. Lets face it, she's flat-out dumb and it has nothing to do with her gender or the "liberal media".

    She's just like Bush in that every time she opens her mouth it's nothing more than an exercise in language mangling. No wonder the Republicans love her so much.

    March 26, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  17. Sam

    Gosh, I didn't know real Christians were so picky about whom they prayed with. Thanks, Caribou Barbie, for reinforcing the idea that you're a prejudiced nitwit!

    March 26, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  18. Jackie in Dallas

    It isn't the religious that are intolerant, it is the bigoted minority who use their so-called religion as a bludgeon that are the problem here.

    Someone truly grounded in their faith sould have no problem sitting down with anyone of faith and praying for guidance, strength, and wisdom - which is what she probably should have been praying for. Obviously, these were not topics that were a part of her prayers.

    Mary, while I can understand that you want to be supportive of Governor Palin, the staffers who worked with her daily during the campaign have been remarkably loyal and closed-mouthed about her - unfortunately, she has not paid them the same respect. The political staffers she had working with her should not be blamed for the problems Sarah caused for herself. They have only stood up and commented when she has insulted them, once again. Unfortunately, Governor Palin seems to be incapable of seeing that any of the responsibility for the failed campaign can be attributed to her. The rest of the world, however, can.

    March 26, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Mike - Missouri

    I guess, John McCain is kicking himself now! I said it over and over again...he made a huge mistake by picking her and sure enough it became very Obvious when she opened her mouth! They knew she was not on top of the game and they where using her for her looks! What a shame she keeps blaming others for her short comings....

    March 26, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  20. The Flaccid Rushpublicans Can't Get A Boehner & Keep It Up

    I'm an agnostic and pray everyday for this woman to continue to fail ... Not that you can plumb the depths any lower.

    March 26, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  21. There is one God, but there are many paths

    I'm begining to believe more and more that the last real Christian died on the cross.

    I've yet to encounter anyone calling themselves a Christian that embodies or exemplifies the path of Christ and that includes Ms. Palin.

    March 26, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  22. ge


    March 26, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  23. Peter

    Im offended by her, she makes me realize why the french hate America..

    March 26, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  24. Gloria

    I pray every day and I don't need an audience to hear me. God and I do just fine on our own, thank you.

    March 26, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  25. BS

    I can't help but feel one of the "anonymous" writers is MEGAN MCCAIN...

    She can sure spit at Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham; but chooses not to speak her opinion about Sarah Palin when asked.

    Why doesn't MEGAN come to her defense, beings she is such a know-it-all?

    Bet papa JOHN MCCAIN advises her not to go after the "RISING STAR" of the GOP...

    March 26, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
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