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. Bill B. Nancy,KY

    At least there is one honest Republican in the world. My hat is off to you Steve Schmidt.

    October 2, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Tim in Minnesota

    With all of the goofy things that she has said and done since she came on the Republican stage, I believe that we'd see Hugo Chavez riding on a Brahma bull naked down Broadway before she'd become President,

    October 2, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  3. Larry

    If there are people in the Republican party that would actually consider Sarah Palin as a presidential candidate, then the Republican party is in even sadder shape than I thought

    But these days the Republicans are so twisted up in their own underwear, I don't think they have a real clue as to whats really going on out here in the country

    Also if they were to actually try to "use her again" as a GOP pawn, it would simple prove once again just how little they respect the intelligence of the American people

    We are on to you boy's, no more hiding behind your lies and twisted truths

    THE PARTY OF NO ... sense, or morals, or concern for anything but themselves

    October 2, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  4. fellow from chicago

    Agreed, I adore this woman but if she ran I'm afraid there would be Bob Dole like results or even worse; McGovern like stats from the '72 election. Sarah, stay in the party, work for the party, but please don't run as the GOP Presidential candidate!

    October 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  5. russell

    This is one of the best and most truthful articles that CNN has done , at least someone out there in the republican party is being honest with themselves and their party , there's no way Palin could win the ofiice of POTUS in 2012 , and I know for a fact that you have a lot of white Americans' actually think that she would be good for our country , if you think Bush was bad for the country , what do you think this quitter is , need I remind a lot of folks that this woman is a quitter pure and simple , when the tough gets going Palin gets the hell out of the way, she can handle politics at a national level , so people of America if you want our country to continue to go in the right direction , your best bet is not to BET on this loser .

    October 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. GP

    Palin would not just be catastrophic for the GOP, she would be catastrophic for the US.

    "Now see, there goes Iran again, tellin' lies about their nuculear ambitions. You know the difference between a hockey mom and president of the USA? President has the doomsday code."

    Honestly though, how can a former member of the AIP, and as governor endorsed their movement, even be considered a viable candidate for ANY federally elected position? She was a proponent of Alaska seceding from the union.

    How she reconciles this conflict of interest would require a slight of hand that she has thus far demonstrated to be beyond her ability.

    But for the 20 percenters, she is just what they want.

    October 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  7. Kim

    The country just needs to forget about Palin – Ignore her constant incoherent yak yak yak. If the republicans nominate her to run for the presidency in 2012, that will just prove they've all lost their minds. The Republican party needs to turn the lights off and go home – PERIOD

    October 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  8. Emma

    This guy should know about catastrophic elections...he ran one of the worst campaigns in recent history and his candidate was run over in the election. I wouldn't really consider his opinion to be worth much of anything.

    October 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. Carmela, Longwood, Florida

    The woman is a joke, a bad one at that, and she will go down by the same book that will make her rich.

    October 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. johnrj08

    Catastrophic? Surely there's a more appropriate word, such as hilarious, or absurd. The idea that a person with Sarah Palin's intellectual capacity might be the GOP nominee for president in 2012 trivializes that office and would spell the end of the Republican Party as a meaningful movement in American politics.

    Sadly, the are enough anti-intellectual, religious fundamentalists to give a Palin a real shot. We wonder why people like Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez get any votes in their countries, when all we have to do is look at our own state of political affairs to see why. A large percentage of humanity hasn't evolved beyond Neanderthal and, if it wasn't for a few smart ones, we would still be trying to discover fire.

    October 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  11. jon c. sprowl

    sarah for president

    October 2, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  12. Eddie

    Man! The Liberal Left (along with the Liberal Right) are horrified at the thought of Palin becoming President.....I wonder why??? Could it be the end to Socialism and Communism as they all hope it???

    October 2, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  13. Georgette

    Bring on the airhead ex-governor in 2012! Nothing like an old-fashioned landslide!!!

    October 2, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  14. SarahPalin'sDeathPanel

    He's part of the "politics-as-usual" crowd that's tryin to keep Sarah down. Just shows that we all need to send her more money.

    October 2, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  15. sue

    Just because he (Steve) didn't like her, doesn't mean she would not make a good presedential candidate. I would vote for her, but I hope she doesn't run because she again be trashed by the media.

    October 2, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  16. A.J.

    Oh please let her run....the gift the right wing Republicans keep giving!!!

    October 2, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  17. susanj

    She has talents! What talents, lying, being hateful? She's good at that. Let's not forget the death panels she created in her own mind – if she has a mind – which i doubt. She is a complete idiot.

    October 2, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  18. Scott

    I agree; I think she has talents, too. It is just that none of those talents involve intelligence, expertise or thought.

    October 2, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  19. Purple Alaska

    It is truly inconceivable that she has thus escaped indictment as of yet ....but I am told that the wheels of justice turn slowly by surely. Not to mention that ever-present principle of "reaping and sowing". The XGino has sown far to much hatred, animus and discord (not to mention the many lies) to get away unscathed...


    October 2, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  20. J

    She is a dolt and you created this monster, Steve...

    October 2, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. bruce amann

    Steve Schmidt had to run the absolute worst Presidential campaign in history. I'd be shocked if he manages another campaign again.

    October 2, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  22. arapikos

    It is a free country–let's not forget that after all is said and done. If she thinks she has a chance to become the leader of our great nation, then so be it. Everyone deserves the chance to become the President of the United States. Sarah is not exception to that right.

    October 2, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. Mariann Pepitone

    I believe he is wrong about Palin. She is a very smart woman and accomplished her goals at an early age not like most woman or young man who graduate from college and cannot never get as far as she did. Plus there is a lot of jealousy within this generation of today over Palin. This man apparently fears that Palin would win over who he has in mind as the main candidate for the republican presidential election. Her book will have a sell out and she has time to learn more about foreign policy. After all, Obama had to learn from Clinton's administration that's why he chose them. She would do better with world leaders than Obama and I believe she would end the war. He is keeping the war goling and now started with Afgan.

    October 2, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. joe

    I can only deduce that Sarah Palin represents the kind of simplistic, aggressive, talentless savior often picked by the desperate, angry, fearful, uneducated, racist portion of the population that can't accept responsibility for their problems nor foresee a future in which they themselves will have to do the work of shedding their ignorance and helplessness.

    October 2, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. Against Idiot Republicans

    Never go against the family in public Steve – Cardinal rule #1 in politics. This is why the GOP will never win the White House – they cannot keep from barking at each other all year long. Mr Schmidt ought to be taken to the woodshed by Steele and told to shut up.

    October 2, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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