McCain Admits Campaign Tensions Between Palin, Aides | 44 | washingtonpost.com By Garance Franke-Ruta Former presidential candidate John McCain (R-Ariz.) acknowledged on CNN's State of the Union Sunday that tensions flared during his campaign between senior strategist Steve Schmidt and those allied with his running mate, then-Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. "With a high-pressure situation, there's always tensions that develop within campaigns," McCain said in a video excerpt posted online. "And there were clearly tensions between Steve Schmidt and people in the Palin camp." Schmidt has recently become a vocal public critic of Palin, predicting that a presidential run by her in 2012 would prove "catastrophic" for the Republican Party. McCain did not criticize Palin and called her an overall asset to his campaign for whom he still has affection. "There are fundamental facts ... that cannot be denied," McCain said. "When we selected or asked Sarah Palin to be my running mate, it energized our party. We were ahead in the polls, until the stock market crashed. And she still is a formidable force in the Republican Party." "And I have great affection for her," he continued. "Did we always agree on everything in the past? Will we in the future? No."