November 14th, 2009
04:26 PM ET
11 years ago

McCain campaign adviser pushes back on Palin book

(CNN) -A former top adviser and spokeswoman to John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign is pushing back against comments reportedly made by Sarah Palin in her new book.

Nicolle Wallace tells CNN that Palin's account of an ill-fated interview with CBS's Katie Couric during the 2008 presidential campaign is not true.

In excerpts of her new book "Going Rogue: An American Life" that were obtained by other organizations, including the conservative Web site Drudge Report, the former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate discusses her interview with Couric.

"From the beginning, Nicolle [Wallace] pushed for Katie Couric and the CBS Evening News. The campaign's general strategy involved coming out with a network anchor, someone they felt had treated John well on the trail thus far," writes Palin, according to excerpts obtained before Tuesday's release date for the highly-anticipated book. "My suggestion was that we be consistent with that strategy and start talking to outlets like FOX and the Wall Street Journal. I really didn't have a say in which press I was going to talk to, but for some reason Nicolle seemed compelled to get me on the Katie bandwagon."

Related video: Palin book blitz begins

The Drudge Report says it obtained a portion of the book in which Palin claims McCain campaign adviser Nicolle Wallace pushed for the now-famous Katie Couric interview because the CBS anchor needed a self-esteem "boost."

"'She just has such low self-esteem,' Nicolle said," continues Palin in the excerpt. "She added that Katie was going through a tough time, 'She just feels she can't trust anybody.' Nicolle had left her gig at CBS just a few months earlier to hook up with the McCain campaign."

Contacted by CNN, Wallace denied the gist and specifics of Palin's account of the Couric interview, which aired at the end of September 2008.

Palin and Wallace do agree that the Couric interview didn't go well.

"I knew it wasn't a good interview," Palin tells Oprah Winfrey, in excerpts of an interview that is scheduled to run Monday, one day before Palin's book is officially released.

In excerpts of the book, Palin also writes that she thought there was something peculiar about the way Wallace would talk about her days as White House communications director for President George W. Bush.

"I had to trust her experience, as she had dealt with national politics more than I had. But something always struck me as peculiar about the way she recalled her days in the White House, when she was speaking on behalf of President George W. Bush. She didn't have much to say that was positive about her former boss or the job in general. Whenever I wanted to give a shout-out to the White House's homeland security efforts after 9/11, we were told we couldn't do it. I didn't know if that was Nicolle's call," writes Palin, according to the excerpts.

Wallace said Palin's account is completely false.

"It's not even like it's slightly wrong. It's like I feel totally the opposite. I would never disparage the president. I adored him then and I adore him now."

Wallace seemed mystified by Palin's accounts, conceding that there were enough strategy miscalculations during the campaign that Palin "didn't have to make stuff up."

Filed under: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (314 Responses)
  1. Old Farmboy

    Have you noticed that CNN allows people to talk about Republican issues, and always welcome the Palin bashers? Have you noticed that when a democratic issue comes to play it's always either permalink, closed with 2 – 20 democratic statements, or only ones selected is a democratic bash saying let me blame it on Bush response... My only questions is why? News is supposed to be non-biased, but that's not the case on CNN. It seems that CNN has given up on the basics of reporting and given themselves to the messiah... uh, I mean President.

    I'm sure the candybutts at CNN won't let this fly, but that's the norm.

    November 14, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  2. brenda11

    I'm a republican and I don't get why it seems all republicans jumped on the Palin bandwagon. Why is it that we seem to want the dummest people to run the country. I don't think anyone of us would actually hire Plain to work in our place of business but we support her for the highest offices of the land. If I was sick I would want the smartest and best educated doctors but for leaders our test is if we could have tea or a beer with them. That to me says the most about our party and where we are today and even more why Obama was elected instead of a fellow republican.

    November 14, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  3. annie

    Can someone please tell me why Palin gets so much press coverage? I would much rather read about something pertinent!

    November 14, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  4. common_sense

    so who do we believe, Nicolle, a former CBS employee or Palin, elected governor of Alaska and somone with more managerial experience than 0bama ?

    hint, CBS is the network that used forged documents to try and discredit Bush during the 2004 election

    November 14, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  5. former Texas republican

    I'm relieved that Sarah Palin is a media diversion and consequently saves the State of Texas from becoming the focus of embarrasing attention considering the number clowns we have as elected officials in this once proud State.

    November 14, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. Joan B

    I believe NIcolet Wallace is lying. We heard during the campaign she was pushy and had bot the expensive clothes, etc.
    We have seen Wallace on shows and think she appears intellectually too young to be in the position she was w/McCain Campaign. How many States had she run? How many business' had she owned? I'm sure NONE. These staffers go from campaign to campaign and they they are the experts to the American Public....I think not !

    November 14, 2009 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  7. diane

    It's so funny to see this infighting of Republicans- keep up the good work!
    The McCain campaign created this monster, now it has turned on them.
    How hilarious!

    November 14, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  8. Jane JOnes

    McCain still supports Palin, thus that shows us who is the liar !
    It is the person trying to protect her butt from riding the backs of someone else in another campaign....these people frum from one campaign to another in their short sighted knowlege of the world.
    Jane J

    November 14, 2009 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. Jack J

    Palin is not lying, however the issue now is we have a Pres who is lying like a trooper......from the STimulus being nothing but waste to our lost 3 Million jobs to his attempt to take over the Private Business'. He is scary, but AMerican knows what he is up to.
    Jack J

    November 14, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  10. Linda

    Palin is a liar and a cheat and cares nothing for anything or anybody but herself. It is a joke to me that anyone think she could manage our great nation when she can't even manage her family. She is anti woman rights and a reactionary about every issue that deals with the environment. She would kill all the bears if it meant more money in her pockets. Who is raising her Downs Syndrome son? Not her although she uses him every chance she gets.

    I am sick of hearing seeing and reading about her. Just llike Rush Lumbaugh, she is a detriment to the United States of America

    November 14, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. Boston Guy

    Sarah is a bimbo and her husband is a loser. Just like the beauty queen who made everyone think she was such a great "Christian" who lied, got fake boobs, made a sex tape, got the "Church" behind her as if she was a martyr for Christ, the same is Sarah. If you Christians think that Sarah is a martyr for you then you are more stupid than her. Sarah is a liar!

    November 14, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  12. Thomas Johannssen

    Palin told the truth in Alaska...cleaned up Alaska and took care of her citizens....SO WE KNOW AND BELIEVER HER. It mattered not what party they were from they went to jail if they were a crook.
    Silly electorate gave up an honest person for a slick talking teleprompter reading liar who the world countries consider WEAK !
    Tom J

    November 14, 2009 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  13. GR

    The Oprah interview was all softballs. Oprah was going overboard with Palin so Sarah didn't come off looking like the total idiot that she is.

    November 14, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  14. Watchdog

    Boy.....CNN spends a lot of time talking to "former McCain advisers"

    November 14, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  15. W l Jones

    The Repub. conservative is in a mortal fight with an independant thinker an she is beating them hand down. We dem. know how to watch from the side line of a good fight.

    November 14, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  16. Mike

    What's with some of these comments from obvious idiots, ostensibly "glad" that Sara Palin gets "liberals" upset. So, your glad a failed politician is making money from "you" buying her drivel and her book. She may make "liberals" mad, but it's stupid wingnuts buying her book. So it looks like the last laugh is on you, wingnut.

    November 14, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  17. Watchdog

    Also...why do you allow 100+ posts with the same Huffpile talking points in?

    November 14, 2009 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  18. Fairplay

    This is the same woman, that can not put together a complete sentence. This is the same woman, that preached family values, and teen just say know insteadof teaching them how to be responsible. This is the same woman that would not answer questions in the debate the way we and the "liberal Media" would like but wanted to talk directly to the American People. This is the same woman that quit her job as Governor after only 2 years after running on a record of accomplishments as Governor. She has no credibility and anyone that listens to her has and deserves no credibility.

    November 14, 2009 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  19. M J

    I work 60 hour weeks at $10 an hour and Palin gets millions for lying. Yes, America certainly is the land of opportunity.

    November 14, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. cathy

    How can you tell Sarah Palin's lying? Her lips are moving.

    November 14, 2009 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  21. kathy

    Palin is a loud-mouth and a winning idiot why would anyone buy
    her book or read it for that matter unless they have the misfortune of
    being on her level. Pity those who do!!

    November 14, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  22. kathy

    Pardon me I mispelled whining!

    November 14, 2009 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  23. AnnoyedinIndiana

    I hate conspiracy theories, but I have to admit, I'm beginning to think Palin is one. I don't know why she is constantly forced on us by the media. I watch all the networks, although briefly, because it all becomes so repetitive after a while, and it just baffles me why this person is considered "newsworthy". I sort of understand Fox, the majority of their viewers actually seem to like her, so fair enough, but who cares about this story of who is lying or not? Evidently the mainstream media honestly believes that everyone in America is SO stupid, that we, the ignorant people of the United States, need to be reminded constantly that politicians lie. I mean, really? Politicians lie? Are we sure about this? Can we get some kind of facts to back this up (and yes for clarification purposes, that was sarcasm)? I give up, no wonder people don't watch the news anymore, you try to stay informed of things going on and you just get this crap, and this woman, who is not even a politician anymore, crammed down our throats.

    November 14, 2009 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  24. Elliott Carlin

    Ellamvaram November 14th, 2009 4:53 pm ET

    Can someone tell me, clearly, as to when we as a Nation would stop bringing up Sarah Palin as anything but a stupid woman, an unintelligent, creepy woman. When will the intelligentia of our Nation see through this woman who is nothing but a "blabber" of worst kind. PLEASE, PLEASE, will the media stop bringing her up. She just wants publicity, and we are feeding to her "hunger"!!!

    You libs can't stand an intelligent/attractive woman who is a conservative.
    Granted, I'm no big fan of hers, but if McCain is against her, that would be a reason to support her. He's a status quo elitist and needs to go with all the others.

    November 14, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  25. Tom in Santa Cruz

    So all the blame for that disastrous interview goes to the person who arranged it and not the person who actually participated in it? Hysterical. Couric really engaged in some low-down "gotcha" journalism with tough questions like "What newspapers and magazines do you read?" The fact that there are people in this country who still don't realize that Sarah Palin is nothing more than a punchline is mortifying. They will help line her pockets with their dollars and eventually come to realize (but never admit) that they were idolizing a simple-minded fool.

    November 14, 2009 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
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