WASHINGTON (AP) – The husband of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says the Republican Party’s lavish spending on her wardrobe during the presidential campaign was “out of our control.” In the May issue of Men’s Journal, Todd Palin was asked about the more than $150,000 that the Republican National Committee spent on clothes, accessories and beauty services for the GOP vice presidential nominee. He defended his wife, saying she was focused on preparation for her debate with Joe Biden.
“She never went to Saks, or any of that stuff,” he said. “You come into a campaign late, you put all your trust into the team, you got people who are working on VP ops for a long time, and we’re just focused on debate prep. I couldn’t give a rat’s (expletive) about clothes. Please. I mean these are my Sunday go-to-meeting jeans!”
Sarah Palin and Republican presidential nominee John McCain faced a storm of criticism over the tens of thousands of dollars spent at high-end stores to dress the Alaska governor and her family. Some of the purchases included a $75,062 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, one for $49,425 from Saks Fifth Avenue and $4,902 at Atelier, a stylish men’s store.
The buys were a stark contrast to Sarah Palin’s image as a “hockey mom” who calls herself part of an average, middle-class American family.
Sarah Palin has said she neither wanted nor asked for the wardrobe.
Some of the clothing was returned immediately because it was the wrong size, or for other reasons, the McCain-Palin campaign said at the time. The Republican National Committee has said the remaining items would be donated to charity.
Todd Palin told the magazine that his wife had been through tough campaigns before becoming McCain’s running mate.
“You got to remember, it’s not like they just plucked us off the fishing boat with scales still under our nails, you know?” he said.
Todd Palin, a champion snowmobiler racer, also told the magazine about his temporary Secret Service protection during the campaign.
“They liked cruising around with me,” he said, “because we went to the Arctic Cat snowmachine factory and then drove up to North Dakota, went to a Penn State-Michigan football game, went to a NASCAR race. Rough duty, hanging out with me.”
The Men’s Journal issue reaches newsstands April 10.