ANCHORAGE, Alaska--The presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain announced Monday that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's teenage daughter is pregnant.
In a statement, Palin and husband Todd said, "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 are proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby, and even prouder to become grandparents."
The couple said Bristol, 17, plans to marry the "young man" who is the father of her child. The Reuters news agency reported Monday that Bristol is five months pregnant.
Bristol is the oldest daughter of Gov. Palin's five children.
The campaign released the statement today to rebut rumor swirling around the internet that Sarah Palin is not really the mother of her youngest child, but that Bristol is the mother of baby Trig, who was born in April. Such rumors, months old here in Alaska, were fueled by the fact that Bristol has appeared at all McCain-Palin campaign events since Friday holding Trig on stage.
McCain knew that Palin's oldest daughter was pregnant before he tapped Palin to be his running mate, campaign officials said Monday.
"Of course he knew," one senior campaign official said, adding that there will be no further comment and requesting that the media respect Bristol Palin's privacy.
Mark Okeson, the assistant principal at Wasilla High School, said Sarah started her junior year there last fall, in the town where Sarah Palin grew up, but Bristol transferred to an Anchorage high school mid-year.
Okeson said Bristol is always an excellent student and popular.
"She was very well respected, very kind to be around," he said. "She ran lots of circles."
Okeson learned of the McCain camp's statement about Bristol's pregnancy Monday.
"I'm sorry to hear this, but I have every confidence they have the abilities and the confidences handle this," he said.
"Just like children should not pay for the sins of the parents, the parents should not pay for the transgressions of the children."