Begich: Alaskans don't like quitters
July 10th, 2013
05:28 PM ET
9 years ago

Begich: Alaskans don't like quitters

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Mark Begich, the Alaska Democrat who holds the seat Sarah Palin is considering seeking, argued Wednesday the high-profile Republican has lost touch with the values of her state.

Speaking to CNN the day after Palin said she had contemplated a run for Senate, Begich questioned whether the former governor and 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee still has enough of a connection to Alaska and its residents.

"I know she doesn't spend a lot of time in Alaska," Begich told CNN congressional producer Alan Silverleib. "I go back to Alaska a lot. I spend a lot of time in Alaska and I don't see her. She'll have to figure that out."

Also a problem, Begich said, was Palin's 2009 decision to step down as governor before her term was complete, a choice she said at the time was made due to the time and money spent on a litany of ethics complaints against her. She said then the complaints were without merit and took away from the job she wanted to do for Alaskans.

But Begich argued Wednesday the decision to depart the governorship midway cut against his state's values.

"One thing Alaskans pride themselves on is that no matter how tough it gets, not matter how tough the issues are, we stick with it through the end," Begich said. "And I think Alaskans know that she quit midway through her term. And that's the thing that sticks in people's minds."

"I think Alaskans understand that quitting midstream is not the Alaska way," he continued.

Begich, a former mayor of Anchorage, was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008. He defeated longtime GOP Sen. Ted Stevens, who died in a 2010 plane crash.

The 2014 race is labeled "lean Democratic" on the Cook Political Report, and the Rothenberg Political Report rates the race as toss up/tilt Democrat. Both are non-partisan political handicappers. Alaska Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell and Joe Miller, a Republican who lost a U.S. Senate bid in Alaska in 2010, have both said they'll run against Begich next year.

Speaking to conservative radio host Sean Hannity Tuesday, Palin blasted Begich as a pawn of national Democrats who wasn't listening to voters in Alaska.

But the Democrat pushed back on that allegation, pointing to the heat he's taking from some in his party for votes on gun control and energy production.

"I represent Alaska. And when Alaskans walk into the voting booth, they pick who they think they'll represent them best," he said.

But when it comes to potentially facing Palin next year, Begich said he's not discounting any rival.

"Something I've learned in my life, running for different offices, I ran for mayor and ran for Senate, I take everyone seriously," he said. "It doesn't matter who they are, where they come from, and how much money that have in the bank, their campaign. The unique thing about Alaska politics is that everyone is a contender."

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: Alaska • Mark Begich • Sarah Palin
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Time to be USA

    Plain like her or not will destroy him in Alaska senate run. She is too popular up here.

    July 10, 2013 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  2. The REAL Truth...

    Why on earth would any intelligent Alaskan voter want to put someone - who abdicated their responsibilities to the people of that great state without even completing her first term after being elected as Gov – into Federal office to represent them??
    Is she aware it's a 6-yr term? She only managed to serve 1/2 of her term as Gov – before quitting.

    July 10, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. ST

    Not only Alaskans who don't quitters, the whole nation doesn't like them either.

    July 10, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. The Oracle

    I foresee an umemployed Democrat soon....

    July 10, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. yeah but

    Begich: Alaskans don't like quitters

    Yeah but they don't like Obama supporting Democrats even more. Pack your bags and book your flight back to another job

    July 10, 2013 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  6. Sophie Meyer

    So....Ms. Palin couldn't be bothered to fulfill her term as governor, but Alaska should seriously consider her for a senate seat. Seriously?

    July 10, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  7. Bill


    Agreed. But apparently, Ms. Palin is still living in lal-la land, where the only thing that matters is her inflated ego.

    July 10, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  8. jules

    Most people don't like quitters and then there will be the whole reason she actually quit coming out.

    July 10, 2013 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  9. BJ

    Not just Alaskans!

    July 10, 2013 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. plain&simple

    Alaskans know Palin is only out for herself. That's why she quit. More money in the lower 48!! Convenience of office led to her fortune....

    July 10, 2013 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  11. Gurgyl

    Alaska has got to be stupid to see Sarah Palin back in election. Stupid witch this nation has felt.

    July 10, 2013 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  12. Data Driven

    I admit to mystification, re: Palin running for Senate. She's already on the gravy train with Fox; why wait 6 years for the money when she has it now?

    The ego is a powerful, powerful thing. Clearly.

    July 10, 2013 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  13. Alaskan

    Time to be USA, says,
    "Plain like her or not will destroy him in Alaska senate run. She is too popular up here."

    I beg to differ. Come election day, people will remember EVERYTHING she has done and hasn't done for Alaska. As a non-partisan voter, I am overall okay with Begich in his current position. There are a few issues that he supported that I didn't approve but he's the right person for the Senate seat at the time being. palin (deliberately uncapped because she means nothing to me and probably most Alaskans) has no chance in politics ever!

    July 10, 2013 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  14. Marie MD

    Quitter is the least offensive adjective this bimbo should be called.
    BTW – where's Trigg? Sorry if I don't have the child's name correct because we have not seen him for a few years.
    Americans don't like quitters and liars and people who see Russia from their back porch.

    July 10, 2013 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  15. S. B. Stein

    Palin showed that she can't handle much of anything that doesn't conform to her ideology. She seems like an arrogant coward to me.

    July 10, 2013 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  16. Pete

    Palin is just delushional ..She quit a job in a little hole in the wall town in Walsella Alaska and if she had all Alaska just how long could she bare that political pressure before she quit,maybe one,two days..Give it a break Palin you're not only a quitter but a political basketcase as well!!

    July 10, 2013 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  17. Emily

    Not only Alaskans who don't quitters, the whole nation doesn't like them either.
    very true.

    July 10, 2013 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  18. Emily

    She probably thinks Alaskans are stupid.

    July 10, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  19. Thomas

    Sarah Palin would win because she is as sweet as good ol' Alaskan Cream Pie. Buy Sarah Palin alaskan cream pie mugs & shirts at the Moose Mama outlet ANCHORAGE, Alaska.

    Imagine what she could sell in DC ?


    July 10, 2013 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  20. Robert

    I don't blame her for leaving office..considering the conspiracy directed at her by the communist democrats...besides the lutenant governor took over...Begevich is a stooge of the communist democratic party and only oposed gun control because he had to and he only supports drilling in the Artic because he has to...Palin wlil destroy him...

    July 10, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  21. gwiz

    hey sarah can u still see russia from your backyard hows that bridge to nowhere coming and hows your taxpayer wardrobe doing thought you were going to donate them. please keep america safe and stay out of office the people need fair intelligent representation not a FOX news talking head

    July 11, 2013 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  22. ThinkAgain

    If Palin weren't photogenic, she'd be no where. With that screechy voice and lack of intellect, she never would have been elected to anything in Alaska, where men are incredibly hard-up (a friend of mine used to live there and told me she'd get marriage proposals walking down the street!). She never would have been picked as McCain's running mate; she never would have been noticed by anyone.

    Only an idiot would ever vote for this disgrace to women.

    Palin = Quitter, Liar, Mooch

    July 11, 2013 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  23. Greg

    The moment she is criticized as senator we know she will quit again.

    July 11, 2013 06:04 am at 6:04 am |
  24. bassman

    Mr. Begich sounds like he might also be a 'birther'.

    July 11, 2013 06:14 am at 6:14 am |

    Snooki Palin only wants their money. She has no intention to run for office anywhere.

    July 11, 2013 07:12 am at 7:12 am |