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 T. Anderson, Olean, NY

    No one should ever again take seriously the opinions of Steve Schmidt and the other bozos who ran the McCain campaign into the ground. Palin may have shortcomings, but I certainly won't take the word of any of them for it, and I'm a conservative Republican.

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

    Wow! Well said, Mr. Schmidt. I agree 100%. Thanks for having the courage to say it.

    October 2, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  3. J

    Let's also not forget that Nixon followed the same path that Palin is on.

    October 2, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  4. idesign

    A warning label has been issued to liberals reading her book:
    headache,n­ervousness­,hot flashes,mood swings,loss of
    appetite,t­rimmers,na­usea,vomit­ing,insomn­ia,depress­ion,and thoughts
    of suicide may occur.

    October 2, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  5. JOHN

    Ya think? You betcha....

    October 2, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  6. A Domestic Patriot

    Who cares what this dipstick says, because he ran such a great campaign for McCain! This guy is a Republican who is so far to the Left, that he can't even spell RINO! He needs to just shut up and go away. True conservatives are not going to vote for anyone who is associated with this globalist dipstick!
    A Domestic Patriot

    October 2, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  7. Myron

    Why did he pick her, then?

    October 2, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. Sam Sneed

    Finally, someone is telling the truth on the right.....

    October 2, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  9. Alan

    I'm praying daily that Palin never becomes President of the United States. That would be a catastrophe this country could not possibly withstand. She QUIT as governor for a "higher calling" and now we know what that "higer calling" was - huge profits from a book deal.

    Sorry, Charlie (and Sarah). We've had way too much of that the eight years preceding President Obama. The nation is awake now. Palin did wake them up because she's such a total cartoon of what the GOP has become.

    Let's just hope she's nominated, fails miserably again (just as she helped McCain's campaign fail miserably) and it's catastrophic for the GOP.

    IF she's nominated it will prove to me the GOP has NO new ideas and honestly believes if you keep doing the same things over and over and over again you will get a better result. The definition of INSANITY.

    October 2, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  10. Mariann Pepitone

    This man needs to get a grip. Instead if degrading her he should be uprising her. He is not helping the republican party but maybe in saying what he said against Palin will help her with the public. It certainly helped Obama win and he is not the best of decision makers. She couldn't do any worse than what he is doing to this country.

    October 2, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  11. Joel Miller

    Schmidt is right and the Republican leadership certainly knows this too, although they'll want to keep Palin's base in tact. In any case, it will take the Republicans at least 3 years to figure out what they're about unless of course the Obama Administration crashes and burns in some surprise crisis. Once the dust settles from his first year, though, I think Obama will ride tall in the saddle, the economy will recover and he'll likely be reelected despite the wetest of Republican dreams.

    October 2, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  12. William

    Unless I have missed something, it would seem to me that both John MCcains and Steve Schmidts leadership led to the same results in 2008 that he is saying Sarah Palins leadership will in 2012. What the Republican part doesn't get is the same, tired old stratagies no longer work, no matter who is leading!!! Wake up. Your message stinks.

    October 2, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  13. proud conservative

    The unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September as employers cut far more jobs than expected, evidence that the longest recession since the 1930s is still inflicting widespread pain.

    The official jobless rate stopped short of topping 10 percent only because the Labor Department doesn't count people who have given up looking for work or settled for part-time jobs.

    More than a half-million unemployed people gave up looking for work last month. If laid-off workers who have settled for part-time work or have given up looking for new jobs are included, the unemployment rate rose to 17 percent, the highest on records dating from 1994.

    October 2, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. Sara Shapiro

    Sarah Palin is a disgrace.

    October 2, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  15. Robin

    Libs everywhere are foaming at the mouth.

    October 2, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  16. NVa Native

    If she represents the true political identity of the Repubs (which most believe she does, excluding the Beck, O'Reilly, and Limballs) , then she should be the nominee.
    And I'm sure most Dems pray for this insanity of the Repub party to continue way past 2012.
    Canibalism replacing their fascism?

    October 2, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  17. kenn paul

    This from the guy who ran the most inept Republican presidential campaign in recent memory? Gimmie a break! Sarah Palin may have her negatives, but the people who ran John McCain's campaign – and the candidate himself – were an incompetent mess.

    October 2, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  18. Death Panel Sarah

    He is telling us what we already know...

    October 2, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  19. Geoman

    I totally agree with Schmidt. She has no chance. I can just see it now. And Palin's running mate for 2012 drum roll. It's Joe the Plumber. Vote for "PP" for 2012.

    October 2, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. Bryan

    Schmidt is a flunkie who has obviously always thought he is considerably more important than he really is. I don't think he actually ever got it that Palin was the candidate, and not the other way around.

    October 2, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  21. sv

    Stevie boy, Palin or not...2012 will be catastrophic for repubs anyway

    October 2, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  22. Minnesotan

    Palin / Pawlenty 2012! Two great failures that fail great together!

    October 2, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  23. Georgian


    We know the longer the woman is in the spotlight, the better it is for democrats in 2012. But don't tell republicans!!

    October 2, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  24. Georgia

    Sarah Palin does not have the qualification to lead a PTA, so why does she feels that she can lead the U.S. of America as president. We just suffered through one President with barely a C average in undergraduate school, now another one who barely graduated from college in 5 years wants to run the country.

    Sarah Palin is an excellent example of the reason why America's education is not up to par with many of the other countries. Let's see, it took her 5 years to complete an undergraduate degree, from a mediocre college. Her daughter completed her education by getting a GED. So we know that education is not a top priority for the Palin's family.

    Americans do not have to worry about foreign terrorist destroying this country, because ignorance will do the job for them.

    October 2, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. Jackie in Dallas

    OK, dude. Were you involved with her selection as a VP candidate? If not, then you have some room to talk. And what's more, you are spot on with your analysis.

    However, if you were one of the ones that picked her in the first place, you should admit your error before you start any other conversation.

    Ms Palin does have some talents. Do I think that they have anything to do with running a successful campaign, and being President? No. Just no. And Schmidt should know.

    Am I scared of her? Not at all. She does quite well enough on her own destroying her own credibility - she doesn't need any campaign against her. Just wind her up and let her go on her own.

    October 2, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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