Watch CBSN Live

E-Mail Reveals Rift between Palin and Joe Miller?

AP Photo

(Updated below with comment from Todd Palin)

Joe Miller's victory over incumbent Lisa Murkowski in Alaska's Republican Senate primary was at least partly credited to former Gov. Sarah Palin's endorsement of the tea party favorite. But Miller may now find himself on the outs with Mama Grizzly's camp.

Alaska politics blog The Mudflats released an angry email purportedly sent from Palin's husband, Todd, to Miller after the candidate declined to fully endorse Palin's presidential qualifications.

During a Sept. 19 appearance on Fox News Sunday with Neil Cavuto, Miller was asked whether Palin was qualified to be president. His response was less than enthusiastic, saying that there were "a number of great candidates out there."

That apparently didn't sit well with husband Todd, who apparently sent a testy e-mail hours later to Miller, Tim Crawford, the treasurer of SarahPAC, and Thomas Van Flein, the personal attorney for both the Palins and Miller:

CBS News political analyst and Republican strategist Dan Bartlett said that while he can feel for Todd Palin's frustration, "the reason [Miller] is having trouble with this is the same problem a lot of Americanss are having - they can't answer that question why potentially she's qualified to be president of the United States.

"In my observations watching during the previous presidential campaign ... Sarah Palin and her camp are extremely thin-skinned and if she does plan to run for president, she's going to have to get used to people like this doing things they don't appreciate."

Updated at 2:07 p.m. ET

Todd Palin released a statement to the Weekly Standard, downplaying reports of friction and chastising the mainstream media for posting the leaked e-mail:

My family has worked hard in supporting Joe Miller, so when I heard he'd said something less than supportive of my wife's efforts, I responded. But it turns out we'd gotten our wires crossed and Joe hadn't said anything like what I'd been told. So there's no story here except the fact that the press put our personal emails online again, and again couldn't even be bothered to conceal our email addresses or take any steps to protect our privacy.

We don't know who leaked the email. In 2008, by way of background, Sarah Palin's personal email account was hacked by the son of a Democratic lawmaker in Tennessee. The hacker was found guilty on two counts of obstruction of justice and unauthorized access to a computer last spring. He awaits sentencing.

View CBS News In