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. Seth in Jacksonville, FL

    Please America – let her be the nominee....PLEASE!

    October 2, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. alpha_nu_916

    intellectual republicans realize that gov. palin is woefully underqualified for the presidency – being president requires more than "executive branch" experierence, so enough with obama was a community organizer.
    it requires a fundamental understanding iof our constitution, international affairs & relations, and global economics; gov. palin displayed her lack of all three on a regular basis during the 08' campaign.
    but if the crusty, christian conservatives still nominate palin as the gop nominee, buyer beware . . .

    October 2, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Bob in Pa

    Obviously Steve Schmidt is another Sarah hater. Why is it these people always think that they are so enlitened that they think they know better that the people. We need a double dose of good ole common sense injected into American politics and we certainly aren't going to get that from our current pool of active politicians.

    October 2, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. former republican

    come on let her run...it would be great, she would single handedly ruin it for the extreme right wingers which is why most of us left the party in the first place. as an independent voter i would love to see her lose!

    October 2, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. EC

    Sarah Palin is CASTASTROPIC!!!!

    Her books are being bought by the RIGHT WING groups in bulk. They will be handed out FREELY at right wing events or at a BIG discounted price.

    Americans are not stupid enough to spend their HARD EARNED dollars on a book written by a woman who attended 5 colleges to get a marginalized journalist degree and still remains ignorant in the proper use of the English Language, written or spoken.

    October 2, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  6. TLDSR

    The Republican Party is a disgrace and abomination. There is something putrid about these guys and gails. The Republican parties of past decades did not make me want to shower after I hear or see them speak on issues. I think it started with the Newt Gingrich Crew.

    October 2, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Catastrophic?? That would be putting it mildly. Words like: tsunami-like effects, world-wide economic and socio-political disaster. And of course, the mere temerity of trying to shove her down our collective throats as a presidential nominee would result in mass hysteria, the laughing and clinical type!!

    October 2, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. Elana, Melbourne Florida

    Thank you for speaking the truth. i honestly do not understand how some highly educated, intellegent people think she has what it atkes to be a world leader. I'm not trying to be combative- i genuinely do not understand...

    October 2, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Monster Zero

    The GOP (Greedy Ol' People) will crumble, regardless of Palin's nomination.

    October 2, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Bubble of Sanity

    Actually, McCain and his staff were "catastrophic." They went in knowing they had lost. For the life of me, I still cannot understand why McCain even ran for president. He knew he was going to lose from the "git-go" and even conceded several key states, such as Michigan, where he didn't even try.

    Palin gave the McCain campaign the only bright and interesting moments to an otherwise boring, lackluster campaign of losers.

    October 2, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth

    RUN SARAH RUN!! please .. UNITE all the right wing-nuts, and haters, screwballs and anti americains passing themselves of as great patriots, fighting for a white America, even though the majority of Americains chose something else to lead them out of the mess your party created! RUN Sarah RUN!..

    October 2, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  12. yougottabekidding

    The GOP should elect Sarah Palin as their nominee. This would ensure another Obama landslide victory! The only people that would vote for her are the right wing extremist, that she loves to fire up with her poisonous rhetoric.

    October 2, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. Todd

    The librarian certainly does have talents. None of them relevant to governance. Or intellect. Or sanity. Or knowledge of world affairs. She won't get the nomination, but she will be funny to watch for a few weeks in 20012. . Until then, could she just go away?

    Of course, any of the folks who look like contenders today will be just as funny. But 2012 is a real long way off in political years. Maybe there is still a viable repiblicon hiding somewhere in the vast expanse of American political life. Of course if he/she is viable and sane he/she probably switched party affiliation a few years back.....

    October 2, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. beth

    As he said..."she has talents" ....like playing the flute and she does well in the swimsuit competition. Please don't let her run our country. I'm sure there are other attractive women who will say 'Lord, Lord' and actually mean it and are INTELLIGENT who would be better candidates.

    October 2, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Amir Goy

    You'd have thought such a conclusion would have been all too obvious before the LAST election!

    October 2, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. yougottabekidding

    The Dems should run a campaign to ensure that Sarah Palin becomes the GOP Nominee for 2012! They could feature her in back-to-school ads. for adults. This is what happens to you if you do not stay in school.

    October 2, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  17. Lisa in Shelton

    I think it would have been better to title her book "going rouge" after all that lipstick flap. Nothing would be better for the Dems than if she's on the 2012 ticket #1or #2 position. Let's see if the Faux news can get that ball rolling.

    October 2, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  18. too bad republicans only want failure

    I am wondering just what "talents" this looney tune has!

    October 2, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  19. Marie Dixon

    I have to agree with Schmidt. Although I like her personally, Gov Palin has been tainted by the media and cannot become president (or vice-president) - perhaps a senator from Alaska.

    October 2, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  20. yougottabekidding

    Anymore "CLOSED DOOR" speeches?

    October 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Tom Denver

    An honest guy who is truely interested in his parties fortunes. Rare bird.

    October 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  22. Joe E.

    The pragmatist speaks.

    Steve! Shhhh! We progressives really want Sara to be nominated, so that the current defacto Republican Party (i.e. the vitriolic,patently crazy zealots that populated the town hall meetings and the tea bag forums, and the evangelical "Christians" (NOT!), and the corporate robber-barons) can finally go extinct as an organized political unit. The moderate Republicans can then return under a different name, and sanity will then return! Yay!

    October 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  23. BG

    I don't know what this guy is complaining about. THEY chose Sarah Palin to be John's running mate. Don't hate because she is more popular than he was. And if that guy was such a good campaign manager, why did John McCain's campaign fail horribly? I am a democrat but I just had to make a comment. I don't want to see Sarah Palin as president but I have to give her some credit. You guys put her out front to help your cause. Little did you know she was going to steal the show. It wasn't going to be disasterous to you if she had won the vice presidency (who could potentially be the president one day) so why is it so bad if she wants to run for president now?

    October 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  24. mike

    I cannot seriously think she could make it into the Presidential race. Midway thru her presidency, she might quit. I do wish the media would quit acknowledging her presence. As for her book, she didn't even write it, so who cares.

    October 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Bob in Pa

    Maybe he is just resentful that people weren't even excited about McCain until Palin came on the scene. A lot of us conservative leaning independents fealt like we just had to vote for the lessor of two evils until she was introduced.

    After that it was his campaign to lose, which he did, and now he doesn't want to accept the blame.

    October 2, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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