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. Chris in Memphis

    Just think.she would have been a heart beat away from the Presidency... That is scarier than Paranomal Activity....

    November 14, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  2. Evelyn in AL

    McCain's choice of Palin as his running mate is a classic example of very poor judgment. We should all be thankful that ignorant woman is not a heartbeat away from the Presidency. What a scary thought!!

    November 14, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  3. Johanna from Arizona

    I am a tried-and-true feminist, but feminism has nothing to do with the Palin fiasco during the campaign. She was ill-equipped, intellectually, to handle to campaign, much less the office of the Vice-President. Her "cutesy" manner and country-bumpkin expressions are a reflection of her thought process and her inability to communicate as an educated adult. As a dedicated Democrat, I am delighted that her book is a "success." One more nail in the coffin.

    November 14, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Evelyn in AL

    McCain's choice of Palin is a perfect example of his very poor judgment. It is terrifying to think that we could have had someone so ignorant as she a heartbeat away from the Presidency. She makes Dubya look well-read!!

    November 14, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Eric

    I love stories about Sarah Palin because I love watching the liberal lemmings foam at the mouth just to get a pot shot in. Most of you are educated by the media and are stupid, you know that right? You betcha!

    November 14, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  6. steelersfan

    a quitter,you betcha.....imagine if this basket case would became VP.

    November 14, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Bob

    It's funny, Republicans have a habit of arming and supporting ideological wingnuts and it tends to come back and haunt them. Al Quida and Palin are just two examples.

    November 14, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. worriedmom

    ha,ha, think the staffers didn't think they would be told on. If people remember in the campaign some of these staffers that are coming out were the same who were complaining about her. I think Sara turned the tables on them and the joke is on them.
    Liberals are having such a hard time with the mention of Sara Palin. Well now you Liberals know how we conseratives feel when we have to hear the Chosen One and his thugs. Back at ya, you betcha!!!

    November 14, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. Denise

    I didn't vote for McCain but I thought that the McCain camp did the best they could with what they had, a dumb an ignorant vice presidential candidate with a ton of personal baggage. As far as the she said, they said, I wouldn't believe any of them. It doesn't matter in the end because they lost, thank goodness!

    November 14, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  10. Runofthemill

    palin is too delusional to actually be "lying." she can't distinguish reality from fiction. she obviously is out of her mind if she thinks she can actually do any job.

    November 14, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  11. Paul

    I always enjoy a good joke where the punchline is "Sarah Palin."

    November 14, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  12. Scot

    Yep, that Couric interview was brutal. Real tough questions to handle like "What newspapers do you read?" Obviously a set-up.

    November 14, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  13. Mary in Colorado

    In looking at the number and length of responses, I see that Sarah has "gotch'ed" a bunch of you Libs again. Thank goodness I don't have anything to do with CNN, an unabashedly left leaning network. It doesn't matter who said what here. What is impofrtant is that Sarah Palin drives you Libs crazy. Keep up the good work, CUDA!

    November 14, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  14. Ellamvaram

    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"!!!

    November 14, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  15. Vince

    I guess Palin's interview with Oprah went well because she's not being criticized for that. A matter of fact, it must have went REAL WELL because no one is knocking it at all. MMmmmm, maybe there is something about how the pathetic McCain camp prepared her and controlled her,mmmmm just maybe.

    November 14, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  16. bob

    G.W.Bush may have been a bit slow, but he knew enough to keep his mouth shut and not put blatant lies in print in a book.

    November 14, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  17. Chris Desouza

    Palin may or may not be lying. But our President is NOT. All the promises he made will come true. It is just a matter of time. or is it?

    "Yes we can!" – Sure!

    November 14, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. Travis

    LOL, these scum bag McLame aides have been trashing Governor Palin so long, they believed it with impunity, now they are in a panic that millions will read what Palin has to say about their worthless arses.

    Steve Schmidt, the chit, and Wallace know that Palin is about to end their so called political careers and they are freaking out.

    Not to worry though, they ain't seen nothing yet. Palin the williwaw is about to be unleashed out of the northland like a force of nature upon the political world and, few in the lower 48 know anything about the overwhelming power of a williwaw. On a calm sunny day, out of nowhere, it can wreak destruction upon the unwary, demasting their ships in a thought to be safe harbor and heeling them over to sink into a watery grave.

    November 14, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. Bassman

    The day John McCain picked Sarah to be his running mate, the media was telling us She banned books from the Wasilla library, and Trig was not her baby. Both lies. Now, once again they are doing everything in their power to destroy a joyful day for those of us that suppore Gov. Palin. The media will never ALLOW

    November 14, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  20. priscilla

    This woman is increible...she has very little education, is not a good mother since she is never home, never sees her husband, was a huge mistake in the McCain campaign, rambles on saying absolutely nothing, had a ghost writer write her book as quickly as possible just in time for Christmas shopping, (though the only reason to buy the book would be for a joke), and contributes nothting to this world but bringing up blah blah blah about how terribly she was treated by the media and the McCain staff during her two little months of minimum fame. Why doesn't she just go back home, learn to take care of her family, get a decent job that she will stick to and let the rest of us go on with our lives. Rahashing some of the "good ole days" is getting very old.

    November 14, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  21. Independent

    I really, really, really want Sara Palin to go away. However I can't help but state that something is definitely wrong in US Politics when someone like Palin could come that close to being VP....It is quite scary

    November 14, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  22. Comment

    I don't think most Democrats are educated by the media...they are just educated, period, most of the Republlcans, though, are in need of some education...try educating yourselves, go to school, go to college, use your brains a bit, you will realize that it won't kill you.

    November 14, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  23. Kevin

    when are people gonna stop caring about Sarah Palin ( a complete nutbag) and start getting back to real issues?

    November 14, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Donald in CA

    With the money sarah makes on her book she can park her trailor on a ocean front lot. Maybe sarah can buy health care for the poor yahoos who made her famous.

    November 14, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Pragmatic

    Thank the media for keeping Sister Sarah in the spotlight: then rational people can remember (in case they forgot) what an albatross this woman is .... and why she should never hold elected office .... after all – she didn't even finish her last term ... never, ever Sarah ... repeated playing of the Couric interview could be used to torture prisoners ... except it would be filed under Cruel and Unusual punishment....

    November 14, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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