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. larry fitzgerald

    He ought to know something about catastrophic election results.

    October 2, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Josh M, Albany, NY

    I have to agree that Palin for President in 2012 would be catastrophic...but only if she were to win.

    October 2, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. Dave C - NJ

    No way she will get the nomination. It will be Mitt or some newcomer. I WISH it would be Palin....easy win for Obama.

    October 2, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  4. Dick_NH

    Poor Sarah chose the wrong title....one letter too many...should be:

    "Going Rogue : An American Lie"

    October 2, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. Andrew

    Would losing the presidency, the House and a filibuster proof Senate to the Democrats be a "catastrophic election result"? Mr. Schmidt, you and your candidate achieved just that. Frankly, your judgment here shouldn't be news.

    October 2, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  6. steve olsen

    She would be a great candidate if she hadn't quit her job as Governor of Alaska. America doesn't want a quitter

    October 2, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Rob

    Seeing this clown say negatives about Palin is like seeing last year's Detroit Lions coach criticizing the Patriots. McLame's campaign was a joke, and had not Palin drawn 60,000 per appearance, he'd have lost by 15%. McLAME is the word.

    October 2, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. Anthony

    Why do we keep giving Palin TV and Web time? She was a nobody before and still is a nobody. Let's use the time to talk about important issues, unemployment, education and cures for diseases. Enough of this wasting of my bandwidth on junk.

    October 2, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. Jim

    Frankly I hope she runs and WINs the RNC nomination, that would insure another Democratic sweep!

    October 2, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  10. cbc

    I think his insights are completely accurate.

    October 2, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  11. me happy- at 4:20 each day

    He is right: Palin and her supporters are the sole reason why I no longer consider my self a republican-but rather independent now.

    October 2, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. katiec

    Hope she does run as it would be another diaster for the republicans,
    which they so fully deserve.
    Is there any decent, honorable, responsible republican politician out there?
    If so, why are they not speaking out??

    October 2, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  13. james Closser

    Sarah Palin would be a disaster for the GOP? And the results of the McCain campaign, which this man managed, were not??

    October 2, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. BM

    I agree that it would be catastrophic for the GOP. I hope she runs.

    October 2, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  15. Gobsmacked

    Ya think?! "Anti-rogue" portrayal? Anyone in his or her right mind would be. I just can't get over the fact that McCain and his handlers loosed this person on the lower 48. The sooner she rides off into the sunset for good, the better off we'll all be.

    October 2, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. LtDan

    The thought of a Idiot like Palin being president, sends shivers up my spine. It would be hard to find a dumber, less qualified person than that fool.

    The only people dumber that Palin, are the people fooled by her.

    October 2, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. more.....Falin' Palin

    My, my, my. Yet another of her own party members dissin' her!

    Well, she has made a target of herself hasn't she. I wonder if her husband has begged her to just stop.

    But, wait, my bad........this is getting her out the house. I get it Todd, you betcha! I bet he is a 'garage husband' you know who you are!

    Wink, wink.

    October 2, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Randy Indiana

    I can wait for her comic book to hit the book stores it has got to be a riot. And whoever would pay her for the rights to the book is one crazy person or persons.

    October 2, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. 2010 can't get here fast enough

    No huge fan of Palin at this address, but this guy will become the new star in the anti-Palin media culture and will be on every show, getting paid and hammering her as the campaign failed and they need a scapegoat and the only way this coward makes any money is too hammer her.

    Steve buddy, newsflash, THE CAMPAIGN WAS DEAD UNTIL she came aboard, the thing you should be looking at for the real truth is the mirror.

    YOU ran a lousy campaign (albeit with 90 percent of the media on the other losers team your hands were tied), but you still missed chance after chance to speak your vision and go after the community organizer at the same time.

    The newest darling of Chrissy and Keith, Steve Schmidt and Steve, please have NOTHING TO DO WITH ROMNEY, please sit 2012 out.

    October 2, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  20. Richard L

    Things may not be as bad as it sounds. He might have just pulled a Palin and made it up.

    October 2, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  21. Reagan was wrong

    Mr. Schmidt is EXACTLY right. Eventually someone is going to have to tell the GOP base that no, Sarah Palin cannot be the presidential nominee. I'd hate to be the poor sap that has to deliver this bit of news to the volatile GOP base.

    October 2, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  22. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Mr. schmidt hit the nal right on the head. Makes me wonder what the hel they were thinking last year.

    October 2, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  23. Bill Hewett

    For once a REPUBLICAN who sees the light at the end of the tunnell. Palin is a loser. However the GOP will see that she become a millionaire so the party can get some bid bucks from her because they will lead her to the watering hole but in the end they will not allow her to drink. She will be history-finally-good ridance.

    October 2, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. David H

    This would be hysterically funny, if it weren't so pathetic! This guy is totally clueless. He ran one of the worst Presidential campaigns in modern American history (Dukakis 1988 probably wins the prize), a moribund, awful, one foot in the grave, very painful plod, and now he has the chutzpah to say that Palin would be a catastrophe! McCain lost miserably, by almost 10 million votes, to a left wing, radical, neo-communist, Chicago thug and community organizer, and probably he still has no idea as to why! I dare say the overwhelming majority of the votes McCain actually did manage to get were because of Palin being on that ticket. One can only hope that Mr Mooney is currently one of the 9.8% of the American public without a job today.

    October 2, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. Kathy

    Catastropic for the GOP a dream come true for the Dems. The thought that she even has a chance to win the nomination just shows how out of touch the GOP continues to be.

    October 2, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
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