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. Comment

    Obama, "YES, WE CAN!"

    Palin, 'YES, I LIE!"

    November 14, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. KansasGirl

    Nicole, you are my enemy.

    November 14, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. JR

    Did anyone think this "book:" would be anything more than whining and blame shifting?

    November 14, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. dina osullivan

    Lying, Sarah Palin lying... Oh no...this can't be!!!!!!!!!!!

    Did she lie when she was pregnant...Did she lie about why she quit being Governor ofAlaska Does she lie about how she Levi is loved in her family..Does she lie about calling her baby retarded....Does she lie about her marriage...Does she lie about her Couric interview...

    Sarah Palin is one big, big lie and God forbid if we even consider electing or runing her for President. This woman has so much ego to even imagine that she is qualified to be PresidentShe must be pretty stupid to think that and those around her must also be pretty stupid to think she can be President. I am so sick of her andhow the media follows her around. She is a TMZ knock down drag out celebrity with no reason to be a celebrity. Get rid of her ...Coulter,and all these other dim witted women who think they are Presidentialmaterial.

    November 14, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. Nancy G

    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!>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Then why are posting on the CNN site. Why is it when comments don't agree with you're point of view they're left leaning liberal. Don't flatter yourself, SP does not drive libs crazy. It's more of an amusement than craziness.

    November 14, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. B

    Why is McCain concerned, he created the monster......

    November 14, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. John Boy

    MCCain: Hear this! Quit trying to answer her or rebutt her. It is only going to hurt Republican chances! It helps neither side and does not matter one way or the other. I usually find the truth is somewhere in the middle of two feuding parties anyway. Oregon

    November 14, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. Sam of CA

    Considering Sarah got punished for ethics violations... and stealing from the government... I dont particularly trust what she says.

    November 14, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  9. Eric

    To all of you who right wingers who think Sarah Palin makes ANYone nervous – I will just tell you this as a democrat – I want more and more of her – I would like nothing more than for Obama to have a cake-walk in 2012 and Palin will give him that. Hell, I'll even work for her in her primary campaign. Go Sarah Go!! Sarah in 2012!!!

    November 14, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. 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. Once again they are telling us she is a liar. The media will never allow Americans to see a positive side of Sarah. If Sarah had been a Democratic candidate, they would herald her for telling us the truth for history's sake. Rather then call her "vindictive", she would be standing up for " setting the record straight"

    November 14, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  11. Just Me

    With all the accusations flying between the Palin and McCain camps, could you guys imagine what the White House would have been if they had won? With the country fighting two wars, and the economy nearing historic depresion levels, the last think America needed was waring parties between the White House and the Vice Presidential Office.

    I think America wisely voted for Obama-Biden. McCain was simply too old, and Palin just was not ready and still is not. She may think she is, but delusional people cannot see their delusions, so that's understandable.

    November 14, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. nate

    Hot cat fight!

    November 14, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. Buschbacher

    Sarah is a liar ,,,,,,hummmmm?????

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

    What a mess!

    I am sure if Obama has all ill stuff sarah Palin has from no family values to corruption in wasilla and his crazy husband who wanted Alaska to succede then Obama won't have been heard again on the media......
    I think it is good to be Sarah Palin...

    November 14, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. Someone who cares

    If I didn't know better, I would have thought Sarah was secretly working to get Obama elected. Can anyone be THIS dumb? I guess Sara could be.

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

    Sarah has the right to consider the Couric interview brutal because I'm sure that's how she felt and that's how she feels. So, yes it was brutal for her! It would be easier to get the right response from Ardipithecus ramidus than from dear Sarah.

    November 14, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. Katie`

    LOL, Nicole "adores" GWB? Man she and Palin are two pieces o'work!! Shocked, shocked I tell you that Palin's book seems to consist completely of self-agrandiizing lies. If that woman ever took repsonsibility or admitted to her own mistakes (like the fact that she SUCKED on the CBS interview!) I'd just about fall off my chair. She's always the victim. This is who the GOP wanted a heartbeat away (MCCAIN'S OLD HEARTBEAT!) from the Oval Office? Could their standards get any lower?

    November 14, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  18. Joe Schmoe USA

    If Palin's comments were really "fiction" as they say, they would be the first to sue for slander. Since that hasn't happened yet, and I doubt it ever will, we can only assume everything she is saying is true. It's not rocket science. But here's the rub- we have a bunch of politicians calling another politician a liar...who do we believe? Oh, the irony in that one...

    November 14, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  19. KLS

    It appears Sarah Palin is painting herself as a victim who was mistreated and abused by everyone in the McCain camp.

    She needs to own up to her responsibility instead of blaming everyone else. How hard was it to tell Katie, during the interview, want newspapers she read or about any Supreme Court case?

    I'm a Republican who had supported McCain till he added Palin to his ticket. Because of her being so unqualified for the first time in my voting life I voted for a Democrat. At still to this day I'm not sorry.

    November 14, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  20. Tim

    Listening to John S. Mccain talk and sarah Palin reminds me if the country elected them to lead us how dull and stuck in wars we would be....
    How nice that we didn't...

    November 14, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  21. cindyB

    "Intelligentia"???? NOT a word! Go back and learn to read and write and then make conversation...

    November 14, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  22. MARK

    Sounds to me that Nicolle Wallace is a bit jealous of Sarah Palin.

    November 14, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  23. once upon a horse

    this is what gets me when conservatives and the Limbaugh bunch always say it's the "evil left wing media" that is always slamming Sarah Palin and that the left is scared to death of her. Well lately it seems to me that it's her OWN PEOPLE that are slamming her and the libs and Dems can just sit back and watch. I assume these folks are Republicans since they once all worked on the same front and I guess Levi was once a right leaning GOPer himself. As of right now these are the folks going after her, not the liberal left. To the rescue Rush, Glenn and Sean since Joe the Plumber's 15 minutes of fame seem to have finally expired.

    November 14, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. marvin Rhodes

    November 14th, 2009 4:55 pm ET
    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.

    He hasn't read a book, much less written one. No, he didn't put them in a book. He put them into speeches he delivered to Congress and to the American people!

    November 14, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. Molly Sage

    My personal feeling is that Sarah Palin is just plain not herself and she just wants to get back at people for she was a sore looser in the 2008.

    And I also feel that she is making a down right fool of herself. I ask myself what the heck is she trying to do anyway. It sounds to me if she doesn't get her way she just throws it to the side and try's something else. Please take her back to Alaska where she belongs.

    Thank you if you do

    November 14, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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