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. Big Ed

    A very interesting opinion by someone who is in the know. I respect the fact that he is not going by the party talking points, but delivering an honest opinion absent of harsh tones and rhetoric.

    October 2, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  2. RTB

    Ya, Ya, Ya. Air head for President. What is with these no idea republicans.
    Don't be afraid Steve, whatever happens you will always be remembered as the driver of the trainwreck that brought us Sarah No Brain in the first place.

    October 2, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |

    Mccain campaign manager is one of the worst people in the campaign ever.Sarah was the only excitement.He ran a horrible campaign and nowthat Sarah coming with a book he scared as hell.

    October 2, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  4. Sean

    She is a great candidate! Please keep her... for the sake of the Democrats!

    October 2, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  5. Zoeysmom92081

    Excuse me, Mr Schmidt... but weren't you on board with her being one heartbeat away from the Presidency. We have no one but you to thank for this scary possibility.

    October 2, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  6. Carmelle

    This is very very very telling!! It goes to show how much they don't care about this country because they CHOSE HER FOR VP to a 72 yr old!!!!!

    Now, it's "inconceivable"???

    Repubs man, I swear!

    P.S. to all that say that we are afraid of SP.....keep thinking that and PLEASE make her run. PLEASE.

    October 2, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Grahame

    Oh and this is a surprise? Please Please nominate Queen Sarah for supreme head of the universe. Seriously folks please stop, my sides are hurting from laughing so much. On second thought though, please continue because this fool is the only source of humor in the Republican Party.

    October 2, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  8. mjm

    I'm sorry but McCain LOST that election. Not Palin.

    NOBODY wanted McCain. The only reason it was close was because of Palin.

    How do I know? Just look at how many negative posts there are about Palin. When the other side hates you it's because you’re good at what you do.

    October 2, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. Billy

    Whether you love Obama or hate him, everyone has to agree that the surest, easiest way to re-elect President Obama is by having Palin as the Republican nominee.

    I would LOVE to see Palin as the nominee! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE nominate her!

    October 2, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Al-NY,NY

    This guy has it down perfectly. She would guarantee a landslide victory for ANY Democrat. With that said...PLEASE RUN SARAH. PLEASE RUN AND WIN. GET THOSE SHEEP MOBILIZED.

    October 2, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Sheila Baker

    I agree with this. Palin might make a great cabinet member
    but she is a long way from Presidential material. McCain
    had a chance in 2008 with a running mate such as
    Romney, a team able to pull away the moderates from
    the Dems. If Romney makes it in 2012, he needs to seriously
    consider Palin's baggage.

    October 2, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. Leftie

    Oh, that would be such a rouge-y, maverick-y thing for her to do, wouldn't it??!! C'mon, Sarah . . . .run, run, run, run!!

    See neo-cons . . . we don't hate her and we're certainly not afraid of her. We WANT her to run so that the Republican party can be in total ruin . . . maybe forever!

    October 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. Diana

    Oh please let her run! I haven't had a good laugh since Nov.

    October 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  14. Brian

    This is one time when being anti-rogue is definitely the correct side of history.

    October 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Laura S.

    Anyone who honestly believes Palin would be a good candidate for president is EXACTLY the reason why our government is so screwed up. She couldn't even handle the pressure of being governor of Alaska and quit. Can you imagine her implosion if she ran for president? People in America are sick if they believe she is an acceptable option.

    October 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. Hannah

    The republican party has shifted so far to the right that mainstream, middle of the road people can't abide by their ideologies. And they repeatedly lie to the American people. When bush was running he said that he was not for nation building and war, that he didn't abide by big government and look what happened; two illegal wars, government grew 12% as cheney and bush spent through the Clinton surplus.I don't think it matters who is running, they can't win. I think most people have gotten smarter in the last decade.

    October 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. chubby

    Mccain's campaign was run by a total idiot and I was wondering who the stooge was and now we have a face to go with the name. He screwed up the campaign and now wants to blame Sarah Palin. I am sure the lily livered liberal bed wetters will love this article but it is to no avail. Just check out the book sales for Sarah and you might just get the point. Anyone would be better than the clown currently in the White House.

    October 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  18. Donald from PA

    What is his beef with Palin? He strikes me as someone who doesn't like women... probably bitter because as a bald guy he can't really pull any.

    October 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  19. Jim K.

    It's nice to see a Republican thinking clearly and making sense, for a change.

    October 2, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  20. Mike

    The woman is everything that is wrong with politics in this country. Someone who seeks advantage for the sake of profit. If she had devoted one half of the time to learning things a president has to know instead of getting jobs she is not qualified for, she would be an asset to the country. Unfortunately, she is the worst of the worst. I hope she gets elected, so we can learn first hand (through spokesmen) what she thinks because she will never give any interviews.

    October 2, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  21. James

    funny what strange things weirdly envious people will say about the extreemely qualified, isn't it ?

    October 2, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. GI Joe

    The Iquitarod Queen will get ONLY the far right-wing nutjobs' votes.

    Most Americans are too smart to be fooled by any person that runs on only one or two issus without even considering human beings of all sorts live and work in this country.

    Her brain (if she has one) isn't connected to anything but her ego.

    October 2, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Bubba

    "Going Rouge" is a GREAT title for a book about a pig in lipstick. But will anyone kiss this pig? Especially after she calls old grampaw McCain a bunch of names?

    October 2, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  24. John

    After the results of the last election I find it inconceivable that the republican party could consider Palin a viable candidate. I have no doubt she cost John McCain some votes, most decidedly mine. The moose hunting hockey mom pitt bull disguised with lipstick has not impressed on this independent voter that she has what it takes to run this nation. It takes more than folksy language? You betcha!

    October 2, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  25. FM

    Isn't it obvious to America that Palin is completely nuts! I don't and can't understand who in their right mind would want to follow this crazy lunatic!!!

    October 2, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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