June 12th, 2009
06:26 PM ET
12 years ago

Palin calls foul on Letterman's 'weak' excuse

(CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said Friday it was a "weak, convenient excuse" for talk show host David Lettermen to claim his controversial joke made earlier this week targeted Palin's older daughter, and not 14-year-old Willow.

"My 14-year-old was there with me at the game. She was the only one there with me," Palin said Friday in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Letterman joked Tuesday that Palin's "daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez" at a recent Yankees game. He admitted the following night that the joke was in "poor taste," but he insisted the line was in reference to 18-year-old Bristol, who gave birth to a boy in December.

"We were, as we often do, making jokes about people in the news and we made some jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter [Bristol]... and now they're upset with me," Letterman said.

"These are not jokes made about her 14-year-old daughter. I would never, never make jokes about raping or having sex of any description with a 14-year-old girl," he said.

"Am I guilty of poor taste? Yes. Did I suggest that it was okay for her 14-year-old daughter to be having promiscuous sex? No."

Palin was unimpressed with Letterman's explanation. "Regardless of which daughter it was - inappropriate," she said Friday.

The former Republican vice presidential nominee said she will "always forgive whomever is asking for forgiveness," but noted that what she's upset about goes beyond Letterman's "sexist, perverted joke."

"This insinuation that it's ok, that it's acceptable to talk like that and then that it's acceptable for the media to not provide the American public, the listeners, the readers the full context of that joke," she said, adding that it's also a "sad commentary on what Americans are fed in terms of full news."

Watch Palin's full interview with Wolf Blitzer this afternoon at 4 and 6 p.m. ET on The Situation Room.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. rob

    does this woman need a ticket to get back to Alaska ? She belongs there , but seems unable to get back home

    June 12, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. windfall

    so Palin just says something and it becomes true? C'mon, how can people believe this. He was making a joke about her daughter getting knocked up because SHE DID get knocked up.

    To distort this into something about someone else is just a sad attempt at publicity.

    Go away Palin family.

    June 12, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  3. dominican mama 4 Obama

    ...and the she said that he said that I said, when what was really said.... LET IT GO ALREADY!! Good grief! Best way to let something like this fade is to stop addressing it. Oh, but wait, we're dealing with Sarah aren't we?!

    June 12, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. Dean

    Yeah Yeah while Lettermans joke was in poor taste this woman is milking this for all the airtime she can get. I'm sick of seeing her and hearing her whine. Sarah just go back to Alaska we don't like you here in the lower 48.

    June 12, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. Michele Westminster, CO

    If Palin wants to be taken seriously then she needs to learn how to deal with this kind of press and jokes. It was a joke...get over it!!

    I personally would never support this woman for any political position!!

    Thank god for Hillary......here is a real female politician!!!!

    June 12, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  6. Shawn

    Palin is milking this for everything its worth. Why would any responsible mother want to keep dragging their children out and using them for publicity like this? Is creating more headlines really the way to protect your kids? I think she is worse than Letterman in this.

    June 12, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  7. Al

    She's right on this one.

    June 12, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  8. gngpp

    "... what Americans are fed in terms of full news " She must be talking about Faux News.

    June 12, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  9. "weak excuse" for a V.P. Canidate

    wow, getting after Letterman over this, he is out of line, but Palin has found her issue

    now she will stay in the head lines with out effort for weeks, maybe months

    the reoccuring victim that she is would have had a better leg to stand on if she hadn't been playing the victim since she was introduced to us by McCain

    June 12, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. leilani

    I see she still hasn't grasped basic grammar.

    June 12, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  11. Cromwell

    I'm not a Sarah Palin supporter, but I think Letterman's comments were inexcusable. Letterman's jokes were crude and offensive.

    When you're wrong, you should apologize and drop it.
    Letterman was wrong.

    June 12, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  12. Bob in Pa

    Poke fun at her politics or her personal habits, family should be off limits. Ask Jimmy Carter how he feels about this one.

    June 12, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Chris ~ Albany, NY

    And people wonder why we don't like Sarah Palin? She's picking a fight with a comedian!

    June 12, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  14. Sam Sixpack

    Are the hypocrites who line up and try to justify Letterman's inexcusable mistake and, subsequent, cover-up lie the backbone of this country? God help us.

    June 12, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  15. Dorothy

    Granted, David Letterman's joke was in poor taste and he apologized for it. For anyone else, that would be the end but with Sarah Palin, she will do or say anything to stay in the press. I guess we are going to have to go thru another " life and times of Sarah Palin campaign". You would think she is the most important person in the world the way her every living breath is publicized.

    One more thing , the saddest commentary on what Americans are fed in terms of full news is YOU Sarah .... we don't care what you do. You have taken advantage of the poor choice McCain made for VP and are trying to cash in. If you had knowledge and sense, I wouldn't blame you. But you are putting your own agenda ahead of our country because you are no more qualified to be President than my dog was...God rest her soul.

    June 12, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth

    OH Please SARAH.. yes.. squeeze as much political juice out of this as you can.. squeeze, sarah, squeeze.. In fact, you need all the help you can get. Start by learning how to construct sentences that aren't redundant. Maybe then, we can get a peek into that self absorbed brain you have!!

    June 12, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  17. florida indep

    Letterman's non-joke was about as funny as Palin's place on the Republican ticket last year. I guess if Palin gets on the ticket in 2012 Levi and Bristol will be getting married after all so all will be right with the extreme rightwing. Don't watch Letterman or politicians. It's hard to find humor in things these days.

    June 12, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  18. Ryan Wing

    With all going on in the world, I find myself wondering why people are so concerned about the feud between Letterman and Palin. The feud helps both (with ratings) and does absolutely nothing to make the rest of us better in any way. Lets move on to something relevant.

    June 12, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. April

    That's so true! David Letterman and those so-called "Hollywood stars" are the reasons I switched my votes to Republican Party. I lost all my respects to these political ignorant one-side small-minded celebrities like them!

    June 12, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  20. JT

    Palin is seeking out interviews to prolong her family's 'agony' about a joke about her adult daughter who works in the public eye? Come on! Look at Palin's demeanor in the interviews.

    Palin is loving every bit of that sick lime light at the expense of her family.

    June 12, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Rubyredman - now here

    Wasn't Palin just complaining about "political correctness"???

    And wasn't David's joke in bad taste, or said another way – not politically correct.

    As far as her saying people are naive, for accepting David's apology – me thinks she doth protest too much.

    And naive is thinking you have foreign policy experience because you can "see Russia from Alaska"

    June 12, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Jim

    She'll just keep riding this until they stop putting her face on TV for it. Poor Sarah, always the pitbull unless she's playing the victim. Graciously CNN has left off how in her statements about this she also manages to refer to a possible 2012 Whitehouse bid.

    June 12, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  23. Caroline

    Was her trip paid for by the taxpayers of Alaska?

    Palin needs to get some thick skin if she has any intention of running in 2012. 90% of the people who now know about the joke found out because she responded and turned a mole hill into a mountain!

    June 12, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  24. Del in D.C.

    Unreal...it is SO sad that the Palin's continuing to use their children as political tools and to stay in the press. I agree that Letterman went a tad too far, but he's a friggin' COMEDIAN. He and other comedians have said and done far worse, so why should she feel she should be put up on a pedestal? I'm an independent, and it's things like this that prevent me from respecting her as a public servant.

    June 12, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  25. lrnarug

    Please, no more Palin news stories. Is it her that's keeping her name in the news, or is it the media? Either way, she has become a freak show.

    June 12, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
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