McCain Defends Staffers From Palin Barbs

(AP Photo)
Sen. John McCain defended his 2008 presidential campaign staff today against the attacks lobbed at them from Sarah Palin's new book, "Going Rogue."

In an interview with Reuters, McCain praised his campaign manager Steve Schmidt and campaign adviser Nicolle Wallace. Palin, McCain's 2008 running mate, criticized both in her book.

"There's been a lot of dust flying around in the last few days, and I just wanted to mention that I have the highest regard for Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace and the rest of the team," McCain said. "I think it's just time to move on."

Wallace said Palin's claims about her are not true and said the book is "based on fabrications."

Other members of McCain's campaign staff have disputed the stories from Palin's book. Additionally, factual errors and discrepancies in Palin's claims have come to light since excerpts of the book were released. Earlier this week, McCain said Palin was wrong about a $50,000 bill she claimed to have received for the vice presidential vetting process.

Despite the controversy, McCain told Reuters, "I'm still really proud of her and the campaign she ran, and I think it's pretty obvious that she has a substantial base and interest out there." The interest in her book, he said, showed "the strength of the base" of the Republican Party.

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