Rift Cracks 'Demoralized' McCain Campaign

A rift is emerging inside the McCain campaign, reports George Stephanopoulos.

ByABC News
October 27, 2008, 8:40 PM

Oct. 27, 2008 — -- The McCain campaign is definitely demoralized right now. The blame game has begun.

There is no question that there is a rift between Sarah Palin's camp and that of John McCain inside the Republican campaign, sources tell ABC News.

And you are seeing people within the McCain campaign starting to look to the future.

Not only Palin, but many of the McCain staffers, as well, are circulating their resumes and pointing the finger.

Whenever people in the campaign are starting to worry more about their own reputations rather than whether they're going to win in seven days, there is a significant problem.

Palin is going to be the most vivid chapter of the McCain campaign's post-mortem.

McCain argued Monday that he "couldn't be more proud" of his running mate.

However, there is a significant rift inside the McCain campaign.

Those loyal to McCain believe they have been unfairly blamed for over-handling Palin. They say they did the best they could with what they got.

They point to the bounce in the polls McCain got when he announced Palin as his running mate, her Republican convention speech, and her first interview with ABC's Charles Gibson.

What didn't work were the limited, subsequent media interviews, most notably between Palin and CBS anchor Katie Couric.

But some McCain camp insiders tell ABC News they simply couldn't put Palin out in front of the media any more than they did because she wasn't ready.

The Palin camp is fighting back, arguing that if the McCain campaign had just let Sarah Palin be Sarah Palin, she would have done just fine on her own.

The Alaska governor herself has been pushing out on her own against McCain's handlers.

In recent days she has been speaking her own mind about what she thought of McCain's strategy in Michigan, and what she thought of his decision not to go after Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And we're seeing more and more of that in the closing days of the campaign.