July 4th, 2009
10:28 AM ET
13 years ago

Palin aide: ‘People are focused on bringing her down’

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A spokeswoman for Sarah Palin blamed the swarm of ethics complaints that have dogged the Alaska governor for Friday's surprise announcement that she would be leaving office by the end of the month.

When the former Republican vice presidential candidate returned to Alaska after the campaign and pressed her agenda, "she found...resistance, and she found as she looked up more and more that state time and resources were being just wasted with just frivolous ethics complaints coming in, and FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests and lawsuits - but to an extraordinary extent, and from literally those doing opposition research," spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton told CNN's Suzanne Malveaux on The Situation Room Friday. "And so she said really, is this good for Alaska? Is this what a governor is supposed to do, sit and watch money going down the drain?"

Palin's return to her home state has been a rocky one. Beyond a flood of ethics complaints - most of which have been dismissed - the governor was forced to backtrack on her decision to reject federal stimulus funds, her pick for attorney general was rejected by an increasingly hostile legislature, and her personal life has continued to grab headlines.

Stapleton denied that Palin was leaving office because she'd decided her lightning rod status was a liability to the state - but conceded that the governor felt personally targeted. "I know you want to put that sort of negative word in there, but it's not a 'liability' - it's that she has a vision for the state...the best way and the best place to effect change at this point is outside her role as governor, because as governor people are just focused on bringing her down rather than building up the state, and that's not who she is."

Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell told CNN the governor told him of her decision to resign Wednesday night, the day after the release of a tough Vanity Fair profile that featured a fresh round of criticism from former McCain-Palin campaign staffers.

"You know, I was surprised at first, and didn't understand, because i think the traditional political thing to do is to stay in a position like that, and then, you know, leverage it into something greater. But that's not Sarah Palin," he said, praising her "independent streak." "She is a real person with real dreams for real people, and when she believes she can effect better change for others through other means, she's just going to do that."

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said Friday Palin might be able to make a difference this year, as the party focuses on gubernatorial races in two key swing states. "I plan on talking to Governor Palin very soon,” he said in a statement. “She is an important and galvanizing voice in the Republican Party. I believe she will be very helpful to the Party this year as we wage critical campaigns in Virginia and New Jersey. I am certain this has been a difficult decision for her to step down as Alaska's governor. She has been a good governor for her state and I wish her and the Palin family the best during this transition."

Mitt Romney - who stepped down as Massachusetts governor before launching his 2008 presidential bid — had a pithier reaction. "I wish Sarah Palin and her family well, and I know that she will continue to be a strong voice in the Republican Party," he said, in a statement released by his Free and Strong America PAC.

Romney, Palin and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee were essentially locked in a three-way tie as frontrunners among potential Republican primary voters in the most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll of 2012 presidential preferences.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. Scott

    She has played fast and loose with ethics in Alaska, and her entire false image will be exposed. She ran away because she could not stand the heat.

    July 3, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  2. cat

    I am so glad that American did not vote for Mc Cain and Sarah palin.
    This cleary shows to the American what an irresponsible Sarah palin is. Governor is not an easy job as she once said, and now she just resigned anytime she wish? What a lady.
    So if she was elected to be the president, when she is not happy, she can just go ahead and resign?????

    July 3, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  3. Charles Chambers

    Such a misleading headline. Now wonder you guys are last in news.

    July 3, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  4. Linda

    I agree with Sarah Palin's aide–liberals are obsessed with her and will do anything to put her down, including being mean to her children. I don't know how she has put up with it this long. Adults should know better, but I don't think that many of them are adults and never will be. Sarah will be back!!!!! and everyone knows it. Whenever there is something about her on CNN–there will be more comments made about it than any other article. Some wil say they don't want to hear anymore about her, but at the same time they will read everything they can on her just so they can make their stupid comments. You liberals better be worried about who you put into office, and the lies that he has told you. LEAVE THE KOOL AID ALONG!!

    July 3, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  5. Charlie in Maine

    Just in case you missed that explanation she quit because the ethics accusations were baseless. You got that? And after all that talk of "fightin". Oh well. I expect her to be on Faux news by the end of the month. After all they gave Ollie North a job and whatever Palin cooked up can't be as illegal as his crap. Right? Right?

    July 3, 2009 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  6. JR

    Oh, I see, she can't take criticism of the things she's done, yeah, that a great reason to quit, sure hopes she gets to be president, NOT.

    July 3, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  7. SJB

    Oh! How inspiring! Yaaawwwnnnn..........

    July 3, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  8. Bev

    I think it's wonderful that Sarah Palin has the intelligence to push aside the "politics as usual" crowd and walk her own path. The Democrats feel very threatened by her and that's because she does not play their game. They wanted to dog her down and drain her resources in Alaska but she outsmarted them. Now she is free to fight her way to Washington and hopefully she will get there. All the people who say they are for change all the while attending posh Washington Post "salons", paying their way into power....better watch out. Those are the people who need to go...we need Washington to work for the people...not the elite in Washington.

    July 3, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  9. David

    One day little Sarah Palin will grow up and being to take responsibility for her own actions. It's not everyone else's fault that she is a hypocrite in every since of the word. She was clearly not ready for prime time.

    Maybe it's time for Todd to become the man of the house for a change.

    July 3, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  10. Mark

    I don't care about Sarah Palin. I care about stupidity. Would people PLEASE stop using the term 'lightening rod' to refer to someone who attracts trouble. A lightening rod helps balance the electrical differences between earth and sky, thus it repels bad things from happening. Thus a person who was a lightening rod would be someone who is a good mediator, a peace-maker.

    July 3, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  11. Over it in California

    Let's all just hope and pray that finally, Sarah Palin will just go away, live her life, take care of her children and new grandchild, and just leave the rest of us alone. Her message of intolerance and hate is not what America needs. I wish her and her family nothing but happiness in obscurity - where they belong.

    July 3, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  12. pkw49

    Good for her!! I don't blame her one bit. I would not subject my family to that media circus and the liberal media has been merciless to her family issues. Good for her!!

    July 3, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  13. Jeff

    So basically her aide is saying that she's quitting because people are trying to "bring her down"? Wow. Thats pretty weak. If you can't handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. I guess thats what she's doing. Though honestly it's pretty pathetic.

    July 3, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  14. J.D. Long

    I think Palin needs to stay up there in Alaska with her husband so her and her Husbad can cause all the trouble they want up there and keep it out of the lower 48 she has proved nothing to me either has her Husband seems like he thinks he was elected to Office instead of Her he needs to remember the people didn't vote for him!

    July 3, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  15. perplexed

    Hmmnnn, How close was she to governor sanford, the I crossed the line with other ladies man???

    July 3, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  16. AG

    I was not that surprised. I did not know how she was able to get there in the first place. It is better for Alaska and the nation as a whole. Wish her the best for her and her family though.

    July 3, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  17. Thao

    Not only is she incompetent, but now she has proven that she is a quitter.

    July 3, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  18. TMAN

    for whatever the reason bye Sarah, you betcha.

    July 3, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  19. Dems dont get it....

    She isnt resigning under fire, she is getting ready to big and better things......Stop creating the news and start just reporting it CNN......

    July 3, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. Joe

    All the Libs are AFRAID of her! Terrified that she can take them down. They're all happy she's stepping down. That's ok…with Barry O-monster in the White House, we don't exactly need high intelligence to defeat the dems. Watch out libs, we're coming!

    July 3, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  21. elle

    Sarah Palin 2012!

    July 3, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  22. jnywest

    She's done. There is no way she can come before the Amercian people in 2012 , Republican or Democract, and say to us, "make me your president".
    Its a cheap cop out to say, "oh my, there are so many 'unfounded' ethics complaints and lawsuits against me, so I quit" I guess we are just supposed to believe that there are no legitimate concerns about the legality of her governership.
    Sarah Palin may have, someday, been a real, vaiable canidate for national office. But she really has no interest in such a challenge, it is easier for her to run and hid in the hills of Alaska than face the reality that her entire world view and belief system is misinformened and uneducated. It is easier for her to bunker down in the snow than face her own flaws as a poltican and as a leader and human. I feal nothing but pity for her, and am glad that she will be going away....until her book comes out and she gets her own show on Fox, right after Huckabee.

    July 3, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  23. K1201

    Many political observers in Alaska are fixated on rumors that federal investigators have been seizing paperwork from SBS in recent months, searching for evidence that Palin and her husband Todd steered lucrative contracts to the well-connected company in exchange for gifts like the construction of their home on pristine Lake Lucille in 2002. The home was built just two months before Palin began campaigning for governor, a job which would have provided her enhanced power to grant building contracts in the wide open state.

    July 3, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  24. Proud American

    Come on this lady has been associated with ethics violations since we first heard her name. Remember the ex brother in-law? Charging the state to stay in her own home, flying her idiot children all over the country at the tax payer expense. Watch in a week or so something else a lot worst will hit the news. This lady is a idiot and I"m sure the good people of Alaska all say "Thank God and Grayhound"

    July 3, 2009 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  25. Greg in Denver

    I think Palin has shown herself as someone who can sure dish it out, but has difficulty taking heat herself. If she can't handle this, then it's a darn good thing she's not our VP!

    We really dodged a bullet this past November.

    July 3, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
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