Palin Hasn’t Spoken to McCain in ‘Weeks’; Says ‘Department of Law’ Would Protect Her in White House

By Caitlin Taylor

Jul 7, 2009 12:49pm

ABC News’ Kate Snow and Rick Klein report:

A few more tidbits from ABC News’ interview with Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, shed light on her thinking surrounding her decision to announce her resignation — and on her relationship with her former running mate.

Palin told Kate Snow that she didn’t give Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., a head’s up about her bombshell announcement to leave her seat early.

Asked about the last time she spoke with him, she responded only that she “left him a message a couple of weeks ago” when Exxon announced June 11 that it would work to build a natural gas pipeline in Alaska. 

Asked about whether she touched base with him in advance of Friday’s resignation announcement, Palin responded:

“Didn’t tell him I was going to do this, but he is very astute, he is very sharp, he knew too that the distractions in the state — he knows me well enough to know that I am wired to not want to waste any time or any kind of resource. I want to get the job done.”

Asked if McCain would have had an inkling about her intentions, she responded, “don’t know if he could sense [that she was going to resign], but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he knows why I did it, and he knows how much I love Alaska. He and probably everybody else gets sick and tired of hearing how much I love Alaska.”

McCain didn’t put out a statement until the day after her Friday announcement. The statement read: “I have the greatest respect and affection for Sarah, Todd, and their family. I was deeply honored to have her as my running mate and believe she will continue to play an important leadership role in the Republican Party and our nation.” 

Palin thanked McCain for his support in a Facebook posting over the weekend, and again in yesterday’s interview. 

Snow also asked Palin whether, if she runs for president, she could avoid the “political blood sport” she cited as among the reasons she wanted to leave office.

“I don’t think it will be the day after day after day of ethics violation charges that are frivolous, that are ridiculous. I think on a national level your department of law there in the White House would look at this, the things we have been charged with, and automatically throw them out, not make somebody hire their own personal attorney to get out there and fight.”

There is no “department of law” at the White House, though Palin appears to have been referring to the White House counsel’s office.

–Kate Snow and Rick Klein

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