October 2nd, 2009
10:38 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain manager predicts Palin could prove 'catastrophic'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The man who ran John McCain's presidential campaign warned Friday that Sarah Palin could lead to a 'catastrophic' election result for the GOP in 2012 if the former Alaska governor captures the party's presidential nomination.

"I think that she has talents," Steve Schmidt, the former campaign manager of McCain's failed presidential bid, told CNN's John King. "But my honest view is that she would not be a winning candidate for the Republican Party in 2012, and in fact, were she the nominee, we could have a catastrophic election result."

The comments came during The Atlantic Magazine's First Draft of History Conferece, held at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

"I don't think it's inconceivable that she could be the Republican nominee for President of the United States," added Schmidt - who, among others in the McCain campaign, butted heads behind the scenes with Palin in the weeks leading up to Election Day. "I do think it's fairly inconceivable that she could be elected President of the United States."

Looking ahead to Palin's upcoming book - entitled "Going Rogue" - Schmidt predicted he would be portrayed as "anti-rogue in the running of the campaign."

Filed under: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. John Topper

    Sarah should listen to Steve Schmidt – he understands "catastrophic" and knows how to lose a campaign.

    October 2, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. Wise Latina

    The real story of today (not yet even listed on CNN's website; state-controlled media has to spin this one very carefully) is that the messiah, Obama, came in DEAD LAST in his vain Olympic effort.

    October 2, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  3. RJ

    If she is such a disaster to the McCain campaign (which he horribly ran anyway), then why, why, why, why did you let her get picked in the first place?!

    I guess its because she added more to the campaign than took away. More Republicans turned out this past election to vote because of HER rather than HIM.

    I don't think she should and she won't run for POTUS anytime. She's done her own damage anyway.

    Independent for Anyone but Obama 12

    October 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  4. REG

    hes like please please dont make my job harder than it alreay is.

    October 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  5. Karl

    Somebody shut this Schmidt guy up. Let the Sarah illusion live on. We want her to run and lose big because we need to keep the bigoted paranoid Republican party quiet.

    October 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  6. Palinforpres

    Please please please let Sarah be the nominee! This will further cement the downfall of the far far far right who have ruined the GOP.

    October 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  7. Tom in FL

    The chickens are really coming home to roost for the Republican party. After years of pandering to the most ignorant segment of the population, anyone who sounds reasonable and intelligent will be shouted down by their "base". Let's hope Schmidt is right about her not being electable.

    October 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. CH

    I'm a Republican, but I wouldn't vote for Sarah Palin to be our President. No way.

    October 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  9. Carrie

    A very smart Republican , but there are many out there that do not think when it comes to Palin ..... the extreme right thinks she is the answer because of her religious beliefs , not that she does not possess the capibilites be be a world leader.

    October 2, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. Bill

    This guy must be a real expert. He did such a great job with McCain's campaign.

    October 2, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  11. Ted

    And Schmidt proves that McCain's choice of Palin, after just a few minutes of horrible vetting for the VP position, was bad. The GOP gave this loser Palin the ability to go on the national stage and guess what – they are stuck with this moron. The party of NO needs to get her off the stage and get credible candidates.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 2, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Eric Cooper

    We're already enduring the results of a catastrophic election result compliments of you, Mr. Schmidt. If you're against Gov. Palin, then I'm for her. And you are apparently scared to death of what she's going to say about your in her #1 best-selling book! 🙂

    October 2, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Steve

    Palin is a complete idiot. If she becomes the Republic candidate for President, God help us and the United States. Palin, Jindal, Greer, and Steele, and I could go one, are all reasons I have switched from being a Republican to becoming an independent.

    The Republican party today has no leadership, their values have sunk to the bottom of the toilet and they have completely lost the confidence of the American public.

    October 2, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. MiMi

    Why has this guy has been doggin Sarah since she ran with McCain. He butted heads with her at every turn. As I recall, it was Sarah who drew the BIG crowds, not McCain; it was Sarah's speeches that inspired, not McCain's; and who shared our core values, yep Sarah, not McCain. Believe me, she couldn't do any worse and know any less than the current WH occupant.

    October 2, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. Jim Youngberg

    Like this should come as a suprise to any rational person?? Most of us Democratic- leaning types would love to see Caribou Barbie running in 2012, preferrably with Bachmann for a running mate. That would be a great election, allowing the country to sort out the tinfoil hat wearing crazies from the ratiional people and exposing the right-wing extremists for how far removed from the mainstream they really are!

    October 2, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  16. TM

    What ARE her skills, other than "fancy pageant walkin'", "international bionic vision" and "quitting"?

    October 2, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. My Two Cents

    Schmidt is as dumb as Palin. It fun to watch these wingers eat there own.

    October 2, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. Chris

    No more catastrophic that McCain was in Nov '08. That was one the sorriest moments for the GOP, surely there were 10,000 candidates better than McCain. I like McCain as senator from Arizona, and I think he's a good fellow, but not material for president of the US.

    October 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  19. Da Wasilla Imbecilla

    Finally, somebody in GOP land shook off the cobwebs and saw what a train wreck Palin would be. I'm sure she'll pooh-pooh, wink, and, "You betcha!" this obvious statement aside and continue on her delusional path.

    October 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  20. AmFem

    As a dedicated progressive, and as liberal as they come, I don't have a very positive opinion of the GOP.

    But, I do believe that the party, as a whole, has some common sense and isn't dumb enough to make this goofball their nominee. She may run, but she won't make it to the Presidential election.

    October 2, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Jim

    i agree with him. palin is NOT presidential material.

    October 2, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Mcshame

    Forget the Pailin running for office. In what way that she's going to be effective and steadfast? that she's a quitter. Is that how she's going to fight for the country? She's quitting on the small state of Alaska, imagine that of running the nation. Forget it....

    October 2, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  23. Jeff

    Oh great, yet another opportunity for the left wing blogosphere to exercise their visceral hatred of Sarah Plain, conservatives, anyone who doesn't bow before Obama and kiss his ring and Freedom of Speech in general – what FACIST lot they ALL are!

    As to Mr. Schmidt, however:

    Couldn't be much worse than the bore-me-to-tears, lack luster campaign he ran. What this boils down to is the conflict of too totally conflict styles. McCains people, highly polished moderates to the core who would bend over backwards to appease and attract liberals but happily throw those in their own party under the bus. And Palin, a raw but unabashed conservative who spoke from her heart and said what precisely what she thought. McCain could barely fill a small bedroom by himself while Palin attracted tens of thousands.

    Not only did Palin's style directly conflict with their own, they were also insanely jealous of her popularity and her connection to the base of the party which McCain had no clue on how to tap. She had charisma, he didn't.

    October 2, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. Sniffit

    I can say this without shame even though he's a GOPer: I agree with him 100%.

    October 2, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  25. Reality

    Seriously, does anyone, anywhere, regardless of political bent, believe she will ever get the nomination? Does anyone believe she will ever win another election? Take a step back, there is no way a majority of American will ever vote for her on any ticket. Best she can be is a spoiler, either splitting the rapture right vote so a more moderate, rational Republican would get the nod, or as a 3rd party candidate to pull the lunatic fringe vote from a legit GOP presidential candidate. She would probably pull maybe 8 to 10 percent as a 3rd party. Enough to sink the GOP for another 4 years. Now that she might be just dumb enough for.

    October 2, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
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