Palin says 17-year-old daughter is pregnant

Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin admitted today in a press release that her 17-year-old daughter is currently 5 months pregnant. Seems to be the press release was purposely released today in the midst of the hurricane Gustav and the opening day of the RNC.

Video report from the Associated Press:

A report from Yahoo News:

ST. PAUL, Minn. – John McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin said Monday that her 17-year-old unmarried daughter is five months pregnant, an announcement campaign aides said was aimed at rebutting Internet rumors that Palin’s youngest son, born in April, was actually her daughter’s.

A statement released by the campaign said that Bristol Palin will keep her baby and marry the child’s father. Bristol Palin’s baby is due in late December.

“Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We’re proud of Bristol’s decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents,” Sarah and Todd Palin said in the brief statement.

The disclosure of the pregnancy came on the opening day of the Republican National Convention, scaled back because of Hurricane Gustav, and three days after McCain named Palin as his running mate. The other news was likely to overshadow the disclosure.

The first-term Alaska governor was in Minnesota preparing for her acceptance speech when the campaign issued the statement; her family was home in Alaska.

“Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family,” they added.

The father was identified in the statement as Levi, but the campaign said it was not disclosing his full name or age or how he and Bristol know each other, citing privacy.

My first question, of course, was did the McCain campaign know about this ahead of time? Apparently so:

The advisers said Palin told them about the pregnancy during lengthy discussions about her background. At several points during the discussions, McCain’s team warned Palin that the scrutiny into her private life would be intense and that there was nothing she could do to prepare for it.

Advisers said Palin’s daughter should be afforded privacy like the other candidates’ children. Said Schmidt: “If people try to politicize this, the American people will be appalled.”

In Monroe, Mich., Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama condemned rumors involving the children of candidates and echoed the McCain campaign argument. Said Obama: “I think people’s families are off limits, and people’s children are especially off limits.”

Obama adamantly denied anonymous claims that his campaign helped spread the rumors.

“I am offended by that statement,” Obama said. “Our people were not involved in any way in this, and they will not be. And if I ever thought that there was somebody in my campaign that was involved in something like that, they’d be fired.”

The next question, will social conservatives be turned off to Palin over such an issue? Apparently not:

Prominent religious conservatives, many of whom have been lukewarm toward McCain’s candidacy, predicted that Palin’s daughter’s pregnancy would not diminish conservative Christian enthusiasm for the vice presidential hopeful, a staunch abortion opponent.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson issued a statement commending the Palins for “for not just talking about their pro-life and pro-family values, but living them out even in the midst of trying circumstances.” He added: “Being a Christian does not mean you’re perfect. Nor does it mean your children are perfect. But it does mean there is forgiveness and restoration when we confess our imperfections to the Lord.”

Roberta Combs, president of the Christian Coalition of America called the pregnancy private. “It’s a matter that should stay in the family and they have to work through it together. My prayers go out to them.”

Added Combs: “We’re excited about the governor and think she’s going to do well.”

Mathew Staver, dean of Liberty University School of Law, said: “We’re all sinners.”

“We all make mistakes. Certainly, the ideal is not to get pregnant out of wedlock. But she made the right decision after her mistake,” he said.

I’m thinking that the Obama campaign is going to stay away from touching this story since any route they go down would inevitably be misconstrued. Furthermore, Obama himself has stated that families are “off limits” so to make an issue of it would be somewhat hypocritical.

The bottom line here is that I doubt this is going to be an issue at all. First of all because her daughter is marrying the father and keeping the baby, which will keep social conservatives happy. Second, countless families deal with similar circumstances and there may be some type of empathy for the situation, especially if her opponents make an issue of it.

Either way, the news is out there so what do you all think? Keep your comments respectful..

Update

More thoughts on this. Seems to me that the Palin family will state that the new life is a blessing, not a curse. Not that it’s an optimal situation, however, they value life and they’re walking that walk.

Carry on..

  • Ted

    This is a plus. As Mark Steyn points out in his recent best seller, America Alone, if our western civilization is demographically to survive in the increasingly “hostile to the west” islamic world — and not end up like the sinking European populations — these are the precise people (the Bristol Palins’) we should thank for increasing their progeny.

  • OBAMA_SUCKS

    This is someones family issue and i find it disgusting and absurd that it is being spread all around the news and how the liberals are going crazy about it on their blogs. Think about if you were this 17 year old girl, and how you would be dealing with something like this. I even commemorate Obama on this for what he said. Leave this to the family.

  • Stalin

    At least this girl has choosen to care for her child as opposed to Obama’s parents who abandoned him. I’m glad he has said that it is a private matter.

  • 17 is a bit young in my opinion, but it is a private matter.

    Kinda makes you wonder if there’s any more surprises to come from Palin, a gay eskimo cousin perhaps? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bid9KsuxECA

  • U.S.A.

    Everyone here wants this to be just a private family matter. I agree because that is the right thing to do. I do wonder though how it is that when Clinton cheated on his wife everyone jumped on him. Fact is that it don’t matter who you are or what you do. Family matters are just that. It is no ones business about the girl and it was no ones business about Clinton. Hypocrits attacked Clinton all over the country. I do say that Palin knew that this would be an issue but she didn’t care enough to stay out of the game.

  • I think in an ironic way Hurrican Gustav came at the right time for her to mention it, then it becomes a non-issue before it even starts.

    I remember in 2004 when it came out Cheney had a lesbian daughter, like anyone really cared.

  • Perhaps Joe Biden will drop the pregnant daughter line similar to John Edwards in 2004 with the Dick Cheney lesbian daughter line.

    Somehow I doubt it as this is an issue best avoided since it would be misconstrued.

  • Jenn

    It is also very good posibility that Track Palin, Sarah’s oldest son,was also born ‘out wedlock’
    1. Sarah Palin’s first son, Track Palin, was born on April 20.

    2. Sarah Palin was married on August 29, 1988. She eloped.

    3. 38 weeks is the typical human pregnancy.

    4. 38 weeks before her son’s birthday, April 20, 1989, is July 28, 1988 – i.e., that would be the hypothetical day of conception.

    5. If this data is correct, that would mean that Sarah Palin eloped four weeks after her son’s conception.

    6. Sarah Palin’s son could still be legitimate if he was born four weeks premature, AND if he was conceived on the night his parents eloped.

    Just thought this was interesting.

  • Michael

    Sorry, folks, but if we are going to talk about family values and praise Palin for her wonderful family issues (5 children, high-school sweetheart husband, down’s syndrome child), you need to take the good with the bad.

    What I find a little disconcerting is that this whole issue clashes with Palin’s “abstinence” policy (she is strongly against funding any programs in Alaska for safe-sex education).

    My point is not to criticize Palin’s daughter choice (though, one wonders at the political pressure here on her), but to point out that Palin’s political stance on abstinence is coming up short in her own household.

  • Dreadsen

    ooooh i didn’t think of it like that. Good point. If she is so conservative that she is against the spending of any program in Alaska for safe sex and boasting abstinence then her daughter gets pregnant.

    I guess they are cleaning this up by saying she is going to Marry the guy.

  • Maybe it’s the norm in Alaska to do things ass-backwards?.

    Like it or not I think the whole family values thing is now going to be put into play. And perhaps if she’d spent a bit more time at home practicing family values instead of just talking about them in her office, she wouldn’t have fertilized egg on her face.

    To reply to Jenn, normal pregnancy is 39-40 weeks and you can give or take a couple of weeks for the birth, well you can do the maths. It’s highly unlikely though that as soon as they got married within a week or so she gets knocked up. It could happen, highly coincidental though.

  • In watching every news channel I could flip to over the weekend watching for Gustav news, it’s my understanding that the press release was issued by Palin because the internet had “lit up” with false rumors and accusations, to include that Bristol was the mother of Trig (the Downs Syndrome infant), and so to stop the madness among people on the internet they issued a release about a subject that was really no one’s business to begin with. Anyone who would believe McCain supporters would have started that kind of viciousness lives under a rock, of course the Obama supporters did it. I can only imagine the pressure it has brought to bear on 17 year old Bristol – feeling that her situation could cost her mother and McCain the election to hear the liberal nuts on the internet tell it. No 17 year old should be crucified like that.

    I personally am proud of the girl for making the decision that she did, and that her family doesn’t consider – as Obama – that she has been “punished with a baby”. This is an issue that truly NO ONE in America can sit on a pedestal and judge. No one is above this – you cannot judge Bristol, nor Sarah with whatever ignorant timeline you try to set for her on first child. That’s a big so what, its petty, and beneath everyone here.

  • From the Boston Herald today:

    “John McCain’s VP choice was already the fastest-breaking curveball American politics had seen in a generation before this Reuters report:

    “The 17-year-old daughter of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is pregnant, Palin said on Monday in an announcement intended to knock down rumors by liberal bloggers that Palin faked her own pregnancy to cover up for her child.”

    “Faked” pregnancies. Teen sex. Government cover-ups. It’s like a bad episode of “Desperate Housewives,” except Gov. Palin is much hotter than Marcia Cross.

    And she’s been the nominee for less than a week.

    For normal people who don’t surf the fever swamps of the DailyKos and other liberal Web sites, the reference to faking a pregnancy has to do with a story invented by some lefty blogger that Trig Palin – Sarah’s newborn son who has Down syndrome – is actually the illegitimate son of the governor’s oldest daughter.

    This idiotically offensive slur was demonstrably false – it took me less than 60 seconds to find a photo of a painfully-pregnant Gov. Palin from earlier this year – but pro-Obama activists like Andrew Sullivan and even some mainstream media outlets jumped on it.”

  • This is a non-issue and is ridiculous. “Palin’s political stance on abstinence is coming up short in her own household.” This is said as though Palin herself is somehow responsible for her daughter’s pregnancy. You can teach, but cannot control your child’s actions. I am impressed with how well she is handling the situation, however, by helping her child to deal responsibly with the consequences of her actions. This only strengthens her image as a strong conservative with core family values.

  • Independent

    Lemme just drop a few lines on what I think:

    1) If you cannot control your high-school children then how can you control individuals involved in the administration of one of the biggest countries in the world? I think having a disfunctional family is an issue. Of course, the girl is off limits and I do not approve of the media going after her. But I do believe that the fact of having a high-school daughter getting pregnant does indicate, to some extent, how successful that girls’ parents have been in teaching their daughter family values that they preach outside the family.

    2) The fact that Palins are backing up their daughter is nothing special: would anyone here damn their child for any wrongdoing? It’s still your baby, right?

    3) I think McCain picked Palin based on the gender and age only with a hope to woo frustrated Clintonians. A real Maverick pick would be Lieberman or Bloomberg or the like – those outside of the Republican mainstream.

  • Simply Me

    I find it quite interesting that so many people are praising this. I’m certainly not here to judge Bristol because as it was stated no one has the right to judge. I also agree with Obama’s statement families should be off limits. However the same people who are hollering “don’t judge” were the same people who jumped down Obama’s throat every chance they got. Everything the media came out with just “proved he wasn’t president material” but now everybody is so fair and understanding. Same ole America it’s okay for something’s depending on who you are. Again this is not to beat up on anybody but to shine some lights on how we as “Americans” close our minds and eyes to things we don’t understand. Wake up people it’s time for a new America it is time for CHANGE.

  • Palin IS outside the Republican mainstream. And to ask your question you marked as #1 is ludicrous, considering you’re from one of the most liberal countries in the world. On your #2, consider the US statistics on how many fathers abandon their pregnant girlfriends in this country before you consider it business as usual that she has a support system.

    And of course your #3 is the Dem’s favorite line. Hillary Clinton is no Sarah Palin, the contrast between the two are huge, and Hillary falls short of Palin on many issues.

  • Just a response to what Michael said regarding Palin’s strong abstinence policy: ‘What I find a little disconcerting is that this whole issue clashes with Palin’s “abstinence” policy (she is strongly against funding any programs in Alaska for safe-sex education).’

    Well, this is what happens when you tell teens, ‘Don’t do it’ and you don’t give them the proper education to protect themselves. They’re gonna do it, even (perhaps especially) if their mother is a staunch conservative who belives in abstinence and no safe-sex education.

    How can we, in this day and age, really believe that telling our children, “NO!” without educating them on the risks of sex (pregnancy isn’t the biggest one) is alright. It’s disgraceful and it’s not fair to our kids. Period.

  • Dreadsen

    man this is a stupid topic.

    cheney rallied against homosexuals but has a homosexual daughter. One has nothing to do with the other.

    I’m damn sure he didn’t raise her to be that way. All because he can’t control who his daughter likes doesn’t mean that he can’t control things on a national or international level. This Logic is stupid.

  • Dreadsen

    Babs

    “Palin IS outside the Republican mainstream. And to ask your question you marked as #1 is ludicrous, considering you’re from one of the most liberal countries in the world.”

    Ad Hominem tactics on people from other countries eh?

  • No, Dreadsen, a comparison of two socialistic cultures that couldn’t be farther apart. It’s the pot calling the kettle black on that one. France is one of the most liberal countries in the world, just as I said, and the statement could be described with your favorite word of the day “Hypocracy”.

  • Todd

    Ok here we go again folks

    What you libs ain’t getting is the fact that Palin tried to teach her child what they believed !

    If you believe Coke is better than Pepsi you don’t encourage them to drink Pepsi. You guys want so bad to put that, what did you call it Pudding ? “fertilized egg” ? on her face that you are saying things without even thinking.

    All parents believe in something and chances are they teach the kids what they believe. A child not doing what the parents would like is not new and to hold Palin responsible is just plan stupid. I mean-can’t you see abstinence is what they believe and apparently believed before the pregnancy. The child fell short of what the beliefs and values of the parents are. The real issue is that the parents are maintaining their belief despite the facts. The child did not follow the rules of her parents so you see the parents as the failure ? If this is the new standard we all suck a parents of teen’s.

    Republican’s who lean on abstinence believe that to provide sex education to children is basically telling what they are missing and how top get it/do it safely, since they are against the act they believe teaching the use of condoms is like giving them the gun and telling them not to shoot. While I believe that it is just plain stupid to depend on that method in this day and age You cannot deride any parent for the way they depend on their ethics in raising their child.

    You guys, I can’t believe you are so callous that you are trying to figure out another way to point out the kids or the family itself are failures.

    I never have seen ANY comments that called Obama’s father a dead beat dad, even though he left both he and his mother. I never saw any comments which found fault with Obama’s mother and her apparent inability to keep the marriage together. Those are not proud moments in the Obama family and I doubt they follow the teachings which that family initially taught Barrack, but it happened.

    It is not a proud moment when your child fails at the families belief’s and it is just amazing to me that you guys are getting so much pleasure out of it. Talk about conspiracy theory’s

    Pudding you and Dreadsen have constantly spoken about the mean way Republican’s attack and you talk about them being hypocrites but to here you guys get this kind of pleasure out of a child’s failure is beyond both of you.

    She’s a child people !

    Palin didn’t lose her morals, your progressive discombobulated liberal society won out against her child’s fight against the ideals now prevalent in our world ! It was the air of sexual liberation that made sex a casual affair amoung kids as well as adults, that is what won, celebrate that and have fun. Your ‘it’s their life mentality’ stances victimized yet another teen because we conservatives are blasted for trying to teach our kids the ethics only a virgin can enjoy, pat yourselves on the back, liberalism is on the march! and it’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it ?

  • just a thought

    to be honest i really dont care about the fact that her daughter is pregnant. its really an irrelevant non-issue.

    however, i think it bears noting what it says about sarah palins character that she chose to run for vice-president under these circumstances. she knew full well that the media would look into her life and knew full well the shame and humiliation that her daughter would have to go through when this would become a national media spectacle. and somehow she still chose to run. hows that for “family values”?

  • Todd

    Real nice “just a thought”

    say you think it is irrelevant and then-attack.

    I think it’s disgusting that you would turn a person’s choice to serve their country into a family values issue. If Palin fails to cloth her children b/c she is running it’s a family values issue. If Palin stops feeding her children b/c she is running it’s a family values issue. If Palin starts sleeping around b/c she is running then it’s a family values issue.
    It is not however a family values issue when the media and extreme liberals or people who live in glass houses decide a person who has family issues cannot run. It’s not a family values issue b/c you talk about it when you could have chosen not to make it an issue. It’s your bias that assumes that everyone in this country is unqualified to run, if they have problems they are dealing with in the household. To imply serving your country while dealing with a family issue makes you devoid of values is ridiculous and would require that only about 2 % of our country be eligible for office.

    I am sure you would apply your belief to Obama since his girls have to be going through a total upheaval, given the fact mom AND dad are never home and people are always talking bad about them. Which obviously means Obama is unfit as a father for putting his entire family in the spot light, right ?

    no somehow I didn’t think you would see it that way when talking about Obama.

  • paco

    what does the bible say your supposed to do to a girl who gets pregnant out of wedlock? they need to inform palin so she does the godly thing.

  • Just A Thought makes a very valid point. Sarah Palin knew her 17 year old un-wed daughter was pregnant, she has a new born baby with down syndrome that will need all the care and attention both parents can give, a son off to Iraq, two other kids that barely get a mention and yet she still decides to put family second and VP first and as such have them scrutinized in the media spotlight…nice family values.

  • paul

    Hopefully this is off limits ! We shouldn’t even know about it…
    scandals in the election

  • Stalin

    Some of you people make me sick! This is a 17 year old child! She is 5 months pregnant and under more stress than any 17 year old should ever have to endure. Don’t tell me that Palin should not have run because of her daughters pregnancy. Don’t tell me that Palin is a hypocrit because her daughter got pregnant. From all I’ve heard, she is a wonderful mother and wife. The women of this country need to stand up for her or this will continue to happen every time a woman runs for high office….at least as a Republican. The fact that liberal women are saying she can’t hold office because she has too many kids is damaging to the womens movement. I would say that the womens movement has taken a giant leap backwards in the last few days. It’s sad that some people will sacrifice equal rights just to get their party nominee elected.

  • Here, here Stalin!! This is the most sexist and discriminating thread on this site! Bristol’s pregnancy only brings her “shame and humiliation” if she were Obama’s daughter, who he doesn’t want “punished” with a baby!! I’m a woman, a mother, and a grandmother, and my first grandchild was born 5 months after the wedding. You want to call me a bad mother? You want to dump on me because my son did the right thing and married the girl he loved and took care of his child??? You in the hell do you people think you are!

    And pudding, you are the worst of all!! To insinuate she’s a bad mother because she has the brains to multitask and be a mother AND a career women?? God, what a sexist pig!!

    Any woman who doesn’t absolutely revolt against this idiocy is no woman – she’s merely a female with no pride in her gender whatsoever. I think the women’s movement should file a class action suit against the Democratic party for sex discrimination. And to the wives of the idiots espousing this crap I have a piece of advice – introduce the jerks to McDonalds and Motel 6.

  • Chas

    You know..I have never really been the political person or kept up with politics. However, I must say that this election has taken a whole new turn verses the many elections this country has had and it has caused me to be very involved and on top of all the stories.

    With that said, I can’t help but comment on both parties. Palin, Obama, McCain, & Biden have all made the decisions to put their families on the back burner for the upcoming election. I can’t say it’s a bad thing because they all want to win, but I would like to comment on a few things.

    1) I don’t think it is appropriate or necessary to pick on Palin’s 17 year old daughter for being pregnant.

    (I too was a teenage mom and my pregnancy was not a reflection on the values that my parents gave me, but it was a reflection on my lack of understanding and affects of premarital sex)

    Therefore, Palin may want to reconsider her stand or should I say lack of stand for sex education in schools. It may have helped is all I’m saying.

    2) On the other hand, I really hate how the media and America wants to tiptoe around her family issues when they have never been danced around any other politician that I’ve seen in the past. That’s from Clinton and his sexual escapade to Obama’s Pastor’s statement.

    One thing I think they all need to remember, NOTHING IS OFF LIMITS IN POLITICS IF YOU’RE GOING TO CRITICIZE THEM FOR SOMEONE ELSE’S ACTIONS!!!!!

  • Dreadsen

    Babs

    All because someone is from a liberal country doesn’t mean we should attack them as a person and not their argument. I mean you and I live here. If Obama gets nominated would you want people from other countries to accuse you of supporting his views just because you are over here? You have been around a long time. You have seen the good and the bad our country has done. Look at this atrocity right here about someone’s child. From the outside it may look like that we as a country as a whole are all monsters like this. But it is obvious you are not part of this madness. So lets welcome the views of people from other country with out convicting them of their government. For all we know they are complaining about their government the same way people are over here.

    Another thing Stalin and Babs

    I have always felt that the far left pro choice women are the close to being the most dangerous and radical loons out here. They will try to run any woman out of the female human species who doesn’t agree with them. This is the equivalent of the KKK who attack whites who disagree with them as being non whites or part of the enemy.

    Paco is a troll ignore him.

  • PeoplePower

    What extraordinary hypocrisy!!

    People who are decrying the media notice of Bristol being pregnant need to wake up to the reality of the media in this country.

    I don’t think it’s fair or should be a subject of discussion, but then I also don’t think any air time should be given to Brittany Spiers or Paris Hilton or Michael Jackson or any of their foibles. But these things are mostly driven from the ratings perspective and we do love our train wrecks…any dirt dug up becomes a story and until people stop watching such stories, they’ll continue to air.

    Before you get upset about the coverage, ask yourself what Fox or the Drudge Report or the plethora of political preachers (Dobson, etc.) would do if Obama’s daughters were older and one was pregnant at 17. Would it get air time? Would they criticize him for not teaching abstinence or point out failings in sex education?

    I think that it is fair to bring up the question of the effectiveness of an abstinence-only policy. And Todd, teens were having sex long before the sexual revolution came along, so this is not simply a question about “liberal values corrupting a ‘pure’ nation”.

    To top this off, the amount of sexual innuendo and sexual content available in magazines, on TV, in the movies, in how we discuss life, etc. etc., surrounds kids with something they are explicitly and implicitly told they should want – even if they don’t fully understand what it is.

    Sexual imagery is pervasive and the power of our biology is intense. The latter is good, else we’d pr’ly die off as a species, but it needs to be controlled like all of our animal instincts.

    Thus, I think that sex education is extremely important. Given that sexual activity is a hard-wired part of our biology and the drive grows intensely while we’re teenagers, we need to forewarn the children of what to expect.

    Would you want your kids to hop in your car and start driving it w/o ever having driven, had lessons or been taught about the dangers?

    That being said, I think it’s also very important to include abstinence as a part of sex education. It is, afterall, the only 100% method of not getting pregnant or getting an STD.

    I think it’s naive to believe that if you don’t tell kids what they’re missing, they simply won’t try it out for themselves. And if you think they won’t learn anything about sex/sexuality, go look at the cover of many, many fashion mags and men’s mags (not pornos – but GQ or Maxim type mags). Tell me how many stories are on the cover about sex? How many more are making implicit references to sex?

    Kids need to be taught what dangers exist so they know best how to avoid them – morals and ethics are a different lesson to teach and they should be combined to form a very strong moral/ethical framework along with the wisdom to avoid excessive risk.

  • Todd

    People Power,

    I am a Republican and I agree with everything you said.

    Except I never said kids were not having sex before the sexual revolution I said the Liberal, do as you want lifestyle, has contributed to the fact society is now tolerant of teens having sex.

    I will be completely honest with you guys, I have never been convinced that a woman should, not could but should, be in any aspect of our upper political offices. I know that’s wrong Babs, but I just don’t understand how a middle eastern leader, from a country that places women in a separate lower class could ever respect the U.S. opinion if it is given by a woman.

    With that said I am still absolutely amazed that most of you folks are so callous toward the fact that a women(any woman) has to now deal with a failure in the immediate family and in the value system that that family attempted to set and go by. It is truly sickening to see democrats prove that the term “family values” has no meaning to you because if it did you could not bring yourselves to celebrate the situation as it has affected the child and HER family.

    Since you seem so eager to regurgitate the Democratic “concerns”–concerns that have nothing to do with the qualifications, unless your seriously worried Palin and McCain are going to pass a law that forbids the use of birth control and mandates that only abstinence can be taught by parents. If that is your concern say it (as ridiculous as that would be) or either say your just hate Republican’s and all we stand for. It would be much easier