ST. PAUL — Facing a potential internal hurricane of its own, the McCain campaign has called on the press to back off pressuring them for more info on the surprise pregnancy of running mate Sarah Palin's daughter, Bristol. At a lunch with reporters, senior policy director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, bristled when asked about the "love child," saying, "A little respect—love child issue, I mean this is a young woman, 17." He added: "This is the governor's daughter. It is their issue. It is something that we believe should be treated with a lot of respect." Rejecting that the campaign was in a panic about the news popped in an E-mail on the first day of the convention, he said that the issue is a concern only to the Palins. "It's clearly something that we have a lot of concern about, the future of this lady, she's a wonderful woman," said Holtz-Eakin. "And from the campaign's perspective, we have an outstanding candidate."
According to the campaign, Bristol Palin plans to marry the father. Here's their email:
ARLINGTON, VA — Today, Sarah and Todd Palin issued the following statement regarding today's Reuters story:
"We have been blessed with five wonderful children who we love with all our heart and mean everything to us. 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. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.
"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. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates."
Palin is here in St. Paul, but plans no press conferences. She is to speak to the convention delegates on Wednesday when she is to accept the vice presidential nomination.
Also, the campaign suggested that they knew of the pregnancy. "The governor was completely vetted by the campaign," said Holtz-Eakin. Meanwhile, the campaign is hoping that voters won't consider the out of wedlock pregnancy a scandal, but instead will view the Palins as a typical American family.