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..
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.