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. Alicia

    Anyone who paid any kind of attention to the campaign can see for their own eyes that Sarah Palin was screwed over by the campaign. They wouldn't let her talk and did not treat her with any respect. Now, we have Obama. The campaign advisors can look in the mirror to see why. If her own party treated her like a 2nd class citizen, the country would certainly do so as well. Equality for women! I wish to goodness that people would not condescend to women.

    November 14, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  2. AJ

    Palin's interview with Couric went badly because the Palin is dumb as a post. She and the Tea Party idiots are gifts to the democratic party that keep on giving.

    November 14, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  3. John

    Palin lives in the land of Make-Believe. Maybe she thinks she is Lady Elaine Fairchilde, "The antagonist when a storyline calls for one, but her neighbors are quick to forgive her because they understand her so well. One of her prized possessions is her Boomerang-Toomerang-Zoomerang, with which she sometimes makes mischief; but usually, when she is caught, she uses the same, to put things back to normal. It is discerned during the series that she has low self-esteem and is extremely self-conscious, and because of this, her neighbors are extremely patient with her until she finally learns her lesson." (Wikipedia).

    It certainly does describe the weather girl.

    November 14, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Debbie

    I can imagine these kinds of strategy discussions being held behind the scenes that would humiliate people if they ever got out. Leave it to Palin to be the rat to try to save herself. She's very short-sighted.

    November 14, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. beth

    Why would anyone think that an interview with her would boost anyone's self esteem? If anything it may make you suicidal trying to figure out what the hell her problem is.

    November 14, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Susan in NC

    Silly Sarah Palin lying? You betcha!

    November 14, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. snowflake

    Sara Palin, Michelle Bachman, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Steele, the GOP!!! ALL A BUNCH OF LIARS!!!

    November 14, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Randy

    My My here we go again talking about this nitwit. She has not a dog gone thing to talk about that I would want to here much less to see her mug on the T V she should be worried about what Levi is going to telli all the things he knows and the Palin clan.

    November 14, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  9. Pat

    Jim! U nailed it! It's amazing that Palin and many other nasty, hateful people call themselves "Christians"??!

    November 14, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. RO

    Wonder how Sarah Palin would do on a lie detector test... she doesn't know reality from fiction....really think she truly believes what comes out of her mouth.

    November 14, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. kevin

    Palin is a quitter and a ball face liar. I wonder what the Duke John Wayne would say of her childish behavior as well as being a money grubber to sell out anyone to get what she wants.

    November 14, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  12. Liz

    It amazes me that Palin could be so narcissistic as to write something that can be easily disputed by Ms. Wallace.

    November 14, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Midwest

    A one dimensional, vacuous, campaign killing mistake cashes in on her undeserved fame by bolting from her responsibilities as governor to make a seven figure payday on a book that lies about the campaign that pulled her from total obscurity into the national spotlight???

    GO Sarah!!! You're a class act.

    You're just one more good reason why I left the Republican Party after being a Reagan Republican since 1979.

    November 14, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Joe from Virginia

    You can be a Sarah Palin fan/supporter and still conclude that she did a lousy job in the Katie Couric interview. Just watch the interview–it's painful. You can argue that the "mainstream media" is biased and that still doesn't change the results of what's on camera. Those weren't biased or slanted questions, Gov. Palin's answers were mediocre at best. It diminishes her (Palin's) credibility to try and foist the blame/responsibility off on anyone else.

    Look at how Dan Quayle performed when initially put in front of the cameras–lots of mistakes, bad statements, dumb comments (like in the initial interview where he was introduced as a VP nominee, when asking about his Vietnam decision he said "well, if I'd know then that I'd been up on this stage now I'd probably have done things differently.") Regardless of what you think of Quayle or Palin's intelligence, one really big lesson from both cases is this: if you take someone who really hasn't been under lots of media pressure by having served in a high-spotlight job where 1 or 2 word mis-speak can create a real disaster (and no, Gov. of Alaska or Senator from Indiana don't qualify) than you're going to say really dumb things when you get in front of the camera. People really don't get how hard it is to really listen to yourself, to be mentally and verbally sharp, and avoid the kind of missteps and foot in mouth comments that often happen when you go from a forgiving stage to one with bright lights, focus on your every word and fact-checkers who go back to match what you said against what actually happened.

    November 14, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Vic of New York

    Like the Praying Mantis, the Republicans continue to eat their own...

    Nothing could be sweeter to watch!

    Like Caligula eating his own child, Republicans and that Fake Conservative Christian movement will eat their own children.

    Hey! If your so "Pro-Life" pass the Health Care bill. People are dying out there. Oh, excuse me – I forgot – you're just a pack of hippocrits!

    November 14, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  16. Camille (Dallas, TX)

    When is Sarah Palin NOT lying??

    November 14, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. JonDie

    We know, Ms. Wallace, that everything that comes out of Sarah Palin's mouth is a lie, a mispresentation, fiction or ignorant tripe. Not all of us are as clueless as you and John McCain.

    November 14, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. The Teester

    The only talent sarah Palin has is to Buffalo the Dopes. It is a shame that her fans are so ill-witted and short-sighted and it is a blessing that the rest of the country is aware that she is simply selling Snake Oil.

    November 14, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. kathy

    i agree with you edstack sr. during the election time young people vote and they havent seen the life in deep and havent experienced it. and they went for vote. public should watch TV but, also read newspaper and listen radio. only watching news on TV ,not going to give all the information. most of people does not know the facts when their is a conversation. john mccain was a wrong candidate of the campaign during the election time. and the chances for winning for obama was very high due to young people and because of race. well i hope it wont ever happen in history again.

    November 14, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. Steve from NH

    Going Rouge? She's becoming a Communist?
    Editor missed one, I think....

    November 14, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Aspen Professor

    Palin, Hannity, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Rove, Cheney, et al ... Do any of them know truth from fiction? Apparently not. Who gave the Repubs and Conservs those blantany lying, hypicrisy pills? Come on, fess up.

    November 14, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  22. LMC

    Palin was chosen by the McCain campaign because she is a woman and because they thought she would bring in the votes from the far right. The campaign hoped to pick up votes from women who were upset that Hilary Clinton had not gotten the nomination. As a woman, I was totally insulted that the McCain campaign thought they could dangle any woman in front of me and I would voted for McCain! Although I seldom agreed with McCain, I had a lot of respect for him prior to this last campaign. He was willing to do anything to get elected.

    I have no respect for Palin who has proven herself to be a divisive, untruthful person. I would rather have McCain for president than Palin! I will never feel that I can trust a word Palin says without fact checking it! I don't hate her, I just have no respect for her whatsoever!

    November 14, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  23. Comment

    I hope Sarah Palin is running for president...I really need the comedic relief...I had fun watching her during the last presidential campaign: She was the best clown ever in existence, I have a feeling she has her careers "a bit confused". Of course, the Republican party wants to use her as much as possible...she generates a lot of money for the party!!!

    November 14, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  24. dp in jersey

    Uh, jtsilver2th, McCain picked Pallin, not the other way around. From where did you get your info, Sarah's book?

    November 14, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  25. carol

    Yes, she lies. But what is distressing is that there are people out there who believe her. If they would just research things, they would find out the truth.

    November 14, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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