July 10th, 2009
01:21 PM ET
12 years ago

Johnston: Palin wanted to take the money, 'forget everything else'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/04/11/kurtz.johnston/art.johnston.gi.jpg caption="Johnston is the ex-fiance of Bristol Palin, the Alaska governor's daughter."](CNN) - Sarah Palin wanted to take the money and "just run with it," the father of her grandchild said Thursday.

Levi Johnston told reporters the Alaska governor was stepping down early to take advantage of millions in potential earnings. According to the Anchorage Daily News, the 19-year-old said that late last year he heard Palin say "how nice it would be to take some of this money people have been offering us and just run with it, and saying forget everything else."

He pointed to talk show offers and other potentially lucrative deals.

Earlier this week, Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein told the Washington Post that the governor had received "hundreds of credible offers since the campaign," including Hollywood projects, but had not taken advantage of any except her book deal. Johnston said that even the Palin children had been fielding offers.

Johnston said he saw how stressful Palin's job was for her – "how she came home late at night and things like that" – but said he thought " the big deal was the book. That was millions of dollars."

Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton dismissed Johnston's take, referencing his own show business aspirations. "It is interesting to learn Levi is working on a piece of fiction while honing his acting skills," Stapleton told reporters.

Filed under: Levi Johnston • Sarah Palin
soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Jen B

    I"ve seen Levi on TV, and he is not a credible young man – of course he is only 18 and that is understandable to a degree.
    I say Palin is too nice for all the crooks in Political scheme we have today – most of them in Congress should be removed.
    Jen B

    July 10, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  2. Puff the Magic Dragon

    As much as I detest Sarah Palin, if what Levi Johnston says is true, I dont blame her. Lets be real, who wouldnt do that, with all that money being dangled in front of you? Its just too bad that the people of Alaska and the person who ran against her for Governor (who likely would have served the ENTIRE term as elected to do, and enjoyed it) are being screwed because of her incessant greed, and demand for attention, but looking at the big picture, I get it.

    I hope it gets her out of the spotlight once and for all. Just let her run off and get rich and get her out of our lives and off our computer screens.

    July 10, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  3. Susan

    There's probably more truth in that than people really care to admit!

    July 10, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  4. Fred the Moderate

    It pays to lie !

    Unfortunately she lied to the people who trusted her, work for her and voted for her. All the people who went door to door, worked phones and donated their time and pennies have been tossed for the love of cash.

    I feel sad for Alaskians, they didn't deserve this.

    But it shows you who Sarah really is now doesn't it ! She could have been within a heart attack of the White House. I'm glad a majority of Americans saw through her and voted Democratic

    July 10, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. Left Coaster

    Bristol was smart dumping this attention grabbing loser. Talk about trying to take advantage of a situation ...

    July 10, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Matt

    Not surprising really. She is a celebrity, whether for good or for ill. If true, it's actually kind of refreshing to see a politician who stops feeding at the public trough and just takes the money. She could have easily done all this stuff on the side while still taking in her Governor's pay and perks.

    Of course, I'm not saying she's a saint for doing this, but I guess it just sort of makes sense. As for her political future, well let's just say that I think if she runs in 2012 Obama doesn't have to worry about re-election.

    July 10, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. Steve in Denver

    As much as I like to see dirt on Palin, what would a 19 year old ex-boyfriend know about the motivation of his ex-girlfriend's mother? Why is this news? Anything to keep Palin in the news, huh CNN?

    July 10, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  8. NY Democrat

    This is so ridiculous, I can't believe CNN is reporting this and consider Levi as a "credible" source for Palin info. It's obvious Levi has his own motives and if you pay him enough he's going to say what you want him to. How much did CNN pay him? Johnston and Palin are not in American Politics PLEASE STOP POSTING STORIES ABOUT PALIN ON CNN "POLITIC TICKER" NOW!

    July 10, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. Lowell

    Who hasn't been thinking that since the rambling, word-salad filled resignation that made no sense in the first place? Of course she' s in it for the money. She doesn't have the qualifications to be in politics on any level, so what's left for a washed-up has-been who should never have left Wasilla?

    July 10, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. John

    YAWN....who cares?

    What a terrific news item .... this dude is punk...CNN needs to report news, not gossip.

    July 10, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. Russ

    Why is CNN taking the word of a 19 year old? Yes, I think Palin is a creep and she could very well be going for the money...but her never-to-be-ex-son in law is hardly a reputable source. Really , CNN.

    July 10, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. MC

    Go for it - only in America.

    July 10, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. Slaton

    At least Levi is finally pointing out the obvious that the rest of the "talkerati" missed

    July 10, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. Adan Jimenez

    Now it makes sense. Why a normal person did not think of this sensible rationale in the first place is almost beyond me. Of course, she would want to take advantage of her notoriety before it ends makes perfect sense, and the money doesn't hurt. No Sir. Thank you, Levi, for enlightening the rest of us who have been wondering why she decided to step down.

    July 10, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  15. Chris D.

    Geez.......she (Sarah Palin) might as well be Rodney Dangerfield....she gets no respect!!!!! LOL....some of it is her fault though.

    July 10, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  16. Carrie

    Thank goodness that this 19-year-old is speaking for Sarah Palin. I had no idea that he had landed this job as her official spokesperson! Seriously, this is the best news story that you have to offer us?

    July 10, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  17. PJP

    CNN, why are you even talking to this little jerk. All he wants is attention and what he needs to do is go get a wipe to wipe all the drool he has because he is getting it all over the cameras.

    July 10, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. Steve

    Palin's in some trouble here.......If she remains in the political spotlight, (kingmaking for the GOP in '10) in the hopes to make a Presidential run in 2012, she will continue to fail to protect her family from the media onslaught – which was one of her reasons for steppping down from her Governorship. If she chases the money by inking some lucrative deals, and then re-enters politics for a 2012 run, it will look like she left her job just to pad her pockets.....
    Either way, it doesn't look good if she goes for the nomination (at least for the next go-around)

    July 10, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  19. T Marshall

    Wow, the press has hit a new low, so a 19 year old who has a grudge against the Palin family is now an expert and insider of what Sarah Palin is doing. Maybe he can also be an expert on Global warming and how to solve it.

    July 10, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  20. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    If indeed she said that she is silly. You have to be a union member or a member of ACORN and a liberal democrat to get away with something like that.

    July 10, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  21. Meredith

    Of course this boy...cause he sure ain't a man acting like that...has an axe to grind. Who would be stupid enough to listen to anything he says and think it wasn't biased?

    July 10, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  22. Lolly, CO

    This is why being a Barracuda or Pitbull or Neocon America don't work. Right or wrong about this story, she bred Levi. Motivating your enemies to gun for you is so 1950s

    July 10, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. Matt

    This seems like the most logical explanation. Everyone is so focused on her trying to run for president. The media would love if she ran for president. Maybe she just wants to become a millionaire and not have the pressure and hassle of public office.

    July 10, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. A Free Thinking American

    Come on CNN...since when is this guy relevant to anything? Your brand of tabloid journalism is sickening. Anything to generate the desired response, right?

    CNN-Sarah Palin Story CNN Readers-Sarah Sucks, go away
    CNN-Obama does anything CNN Readers-Bush lied and is a criminal

    The only reason I look at CNN anymore is to read the sports and laugh at the almost robot-like responses from 99% of your readers.

    July 10, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  25. Jerry

    This is exactly what I've been saying to people. It's all about greed. She is no different from Maddox. It's such a shame that she let all the people in Alaska who voted for her and had faith in her down like that. This is the real Palin.

    July 10, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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