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. Steve in Kentucky

    I think this book will show even Palin's supporters how completely unqualified and clueless she was during the campaign and still is.

    To refer to a network television anchor as a "press" is a real head shaker. "I really didn't have a say in which press I was going to talk to ... "

    Like she was going to talk to a printing press.

    And why not just Faux and the Wall Street Journal? I mean, hey. I'm not a Rethuglican strategist, but one can fairly assume the McCain folks wanted to expand their reach into media that's not part of the right-wing fringe. Not rocket science. But apparently it's still a mystery to Palin.

    And her wish to do a "shout out" to praise Bush. Again, no mystery. He had bottom-of-the-barrel approval ratings. The Rethugs didn't want to bring him up. If she is so clueless that she still doesn't get it, how stupid can she possibly be?

    November 14, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  2. MikeH

    I think all the right-wing losers posting their inarticulate and ignorant sputterings here, are both hilarious and pathetic at the same time.

    Your Moose-Babe Sarah is a pathological liar, like, I suspect, most of you right-wing losers are.

    Thank God Obama won. I don't agree with everything he's done, but he's infinitely better than Palin/McCain.

    November 14, 2009 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Palin Hopeful

    Clearly the best candidate Republicans can offer in 2012. Will the Eastern Money Republicans still try to silence her then too? Real America knows her and her heart, and are willing to support her.

    November 14, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  4. DanInBoulder

    Sarah Palin is a train-wreck. You can't help but watch, but still feel a little guilty afterward.

    November 14, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. Sharon in cincy

    She loved Alaska so much she quit her job as govenor and wrote a book full of lies. Just imagine what she would have done as VP.

    November 14, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  6. Clark W Griswold

    Katie was throwing softballs at Sarah Palin througout the whole interview. A high school freshman should have been able to make that interview look good. Sarah didn't.

    November 14, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  7. Billy-Bob-Joe-Darrel-Darryl-12 pak-Capt. James T. Kirk in a pink tutu

    Evertything about Sarah Palin is a FRAUD. We have already established that. So let's move on from this FRAUD TART and get on with rebuilding our great country with people who can, instead of those who can't. Yes We Can!

    November 14, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  8. Fed up

    I can't believe that any of you libs would even suggest that it is such a travesty that she might have lied!!! Please, our own President nearly sold his sould to get where he is today, given that he has not made good on any of his campaign promises and never will!!!!!

    November 14, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  9. Love Thy Neighbor

    November 14th, 2009 4:51 pm ET

    Mary in Colorado says:

    "Thank goodness I don't have anything to do with CNN, an unabashedly left leaning network "

    Thank YOU Mary for the hilarious laugh of the day!!! Can you not even see that you are being blatantly oxymoronic by even posting here! Ha-Ha! Thanks for the laugh and Thank YOU CNN for posting it! Made my day! BRU-HA-HA-HA!!! ROFLMAO!!! Literally!!!

    November 14, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  10. carol

    worried mom: so you believe Sarah Palin above experiencedcampaign staffers? Palin thinks that putting all this in a book will make it true. The sad thing is there are actually people like you who believe this idiot! Palin opened her mouth in front of the media, the media did not make up what came out of her mouth.

    November 14, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  11. Mike

    You have to wonder: If McCain had it to do all over again, would he still pick Palin as his running mate? My guess is "no" seeing as he won't even come out to back her for a 2012 run.

    Poor little Sarah. She dwells in her own little reality. Too bad she just won't stay there.

    November 14, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  12. Sherrie

    Sarah Palin lies? Gee, what a shocker... NOT! This woman is the ditziest of blondes so who really cares what comes out of Sarah's World's Most Annoying Mouth?!

    She is so embarrassing and puts women back by generations! I guess that's what some sexist men would like about this dip! Only an idiot could like this idiot but thankfully most can see right through this thing that thinks she is being ever so clever! Unbelievably ignorant to say the least!

    November 14, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  13. Big Blue Patriot

    To (posters) Vince, bob and Chris Desouza:

    Vince, what does performing "REAL WELL" mean? More importantly, how does a person's performance on a TV program prove she is telling the truth? Perhaps you should wait until Monday to see the show.

    Bob, as for President Bush lying, here are two excerpts from his 2003 State of the Union Address. Both were proven to be lies, Both are written down in the speech's transcript: "Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." "Our intelligence sources tell us that he has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes suitable for nuclear weapons production."

    Chris, as for President Obama lying, the actions he promised are indeed, as you sagely suggest, still in progress and therefore don't qualify as lies. Ms. Palin's refer to the past and are already hotly contested. She also has already been caught in contradicting herself (see the bridge to nowhere).

    Wow. These CNN postings are really Fantasy Land.

    November 14, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  14. Michael Buck

    Palin is becoming the face of a new political party that features the rest of her ilk; Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and Sean Hannity. Right wing, fake religious hypocrites without education who prey on the ignorant by repeating lies until they believe it is fact. I just watched the Palin exorcism...what a whack job!

    November 14, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  15. Nadeem

    Where is the uplifiting political memoir?

    Looks like the blame game, not very presidential, you need friends to make a run for th WH, not make more enimies.

    November 14, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  16. Bill in Ct.

    O No Miss Wallace, doing the campaign, she was the greatest thing happening but now she is lying about the campaign, come on now which one is it. I'll tell you which one it is, Palin was not and will never be qualified to be Pres.. She's just as dumb as a cucumber and some out here really thinks she is qualified, what a joke. I guess this country loves to have someone not qualified to run this country. Just look at the last 8 yrs and that tells you all you need to know.

    November 14, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. Death Panel Sarah

    Hey Vince....the interview, like the book is not out yet.....dumbo!

    November 14, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  18. A.B.

    John McCain is either in denial about the disasterous performance of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate or he is mellowing into senility. I don't think Senator McCain is a stupid man, but I do think that he suffers from poor judgement–his continued stance on the Iraq war in light of public discovery of no weapons of mass destruction being found and his selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate. McCain's campaign advisors know better and convey the fact that his selection of Palin was a gross mistake and that she is obviously unsuited for the U.S. Presidency or any form of political leadership.

    November 14, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. john henry

    Just one thing to put things in a perspective, Towards the end of the 2008 presidential campaign Todd Palin was quoted as saying to a group of Republicans/Conservatives to "...hold their powder until 2012." We are now seeing the Palin plans seeded then.

    Don't simply accept this it out!

    It is not so much Palin sares me.......but there is some scale of mass that accepts her as a "leader" scares the the bejesus out of me.

    November 14, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. Gus

    Poor Sarah and her followers, they are being abused by people that can actually read and write,

    November 14, 2009 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  21. Lorraine - Ontario Canada

    #1 Why is this 'woman' still commanding write ups at CNN?
    #2 Why would anyone want to read her book?
    #3 Why would anyone believe anything she spouts off from her mouth?
    #4 Why would anyone believe anything written in her book?
    #5 Who cares about Sarah Palin? Besides Sarah Palin?
    #6 Does anyone care how much money she is making for someone else to write this book of fiction?
    #7 Does anyone care that she has yet to complete anything satisfactory enough to warrant even being in the news except as a joke?
    #8 Can we get over the 'Sarah Palin' fetish?
    #9 Who cares what she says about a failed VP Campaign?
    #10 Who cares to even want to think about this tragic failure in so many areas of politics, life, etc.
    #11 Who cares that she has a disabled child?
    #12 Who cares that she has an unwed teenage daughter?
    #13 Who cares that she kicked out her grandsons father?
    #14 Who cares what she has to say on her speaking tour?
    #15 Who cares what she can earn from this book?

    This woman is old news. Anyone that pays money to buy and read her book really needs to get a life. I am surprised as a woman myself how anyone that cannot even answer simple questions gets so many headlines a month especially this failure as a Gov of Alaska and Failed VP candidate.

    CNN, people, get over the Sarah Palin thing already. She's not news, she's an example of who can't complete anything and is so money obsessed that she will put forth a book of fiction and go out on a speaking tour.

    Someone needs to put this woman back in her home in Alaska taking care of her children and feeding her husband. Attending church and whatever else she does in Alaska. Stop promoting her. Stop giving her headlines. Stop asking her questions. Stop hiring her for speaking tours. And stop letting her tape robo calls for candidates in the political arena. Let her go back home and be what she needs to be and stop all this 'hype' about someone that wasn't newsworthy before and certainly isn't newsworthy now.

    November 14, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  22. David

    Going Rogue: a work of hilarious fiction.
    Even McCain aides agree.

    November 14, 2009 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  23. Wikedstepmom

    Very enlightened view of women, Ed Stack Sr.

    November 14, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  24. David

    @ Mary in Colorado- McCain aides are libs? Is factcheck a "lib" source.
    Do some research on this lying heap of trash before making a further fool of yourself. Her book is a total pack of lies that contains nothing remotely resembling the truth other than the fact that the McCain camp made a HUGE mistake selecting her to be VP.

    Oh but that must be the "libs" fault again.

    November 14, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  25. JBj

    How do you clowns go to sleep at night knowning that this president can not make a decision on the troop that are risking their lives to protect your right to be stupid. The economy is detroyed. Thank you for allowing me to be part of the presidents dependents. I have worked in concrete constuction for several years and the life blood of construction has been destroyed by goverment. That has changed due to this administration. I admire anyone with comon sense values. I look forward to voting all of the existing career leaches out of office and voting Sahara Palin and any responsibe laeders into goverment for the people.

    November 14, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
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