Politics & Government

Levi Johnston says Palin stepped down for money, family

Levi Johnston, the former fiance of Gov. Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol, on Thursday joined the crowd offering up potential reasons for Palin's decision to step down.

Johnston met with reporters to say that he heard her musing about a better life, one in which she could spend more time at home, reduce her stress, and accept the lucrative offers coming her way.

Back in December, a month after her election defeat as John McCain's running mate, Johnston said that Palin "had talked about how nice it would be to take some of this money people have been offering us and just run with it, and saying forget everything else."

Asked about Johnston's remarks, Palin's spokeswoman, Meghan Stapleton, said, "It is interesting to learn Levi is working on a piece of fiction while honing his acting skills."

Johnston, 19, and his family have engaged in a public feud with the Palins over issues like whether his mother and sister could visit his son, born to Palin's daughter Dec. 28, and respect. Now Johnston is the latest to join the rampant national speculation about why Palin made the decision to step down July 26 as governor.

Palin has attributed it to frustration over ethics complaints and politically ambitious legislators, saying attacks on her have been costly for the state. She has said that leaving office and handing power to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell 19 months before the end of her term will be better for Alaska.

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