In the wake of Sarah Palin’s surprising announcement Monday that her 17-year-old daughter Bristol is five months pregnant , the news media has been in hot pursuit of details about the unborn child’s father, 18-year-old Levi Johnston. Sarah Palin was announced as presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s running mate on Friday.
A small amount of information on Johnston could be found at his MySpace page, which has since been removed. The Wasilla, Alaska, hockey player’s page listed him as being in a relationship, but under his “children” status, Johnston opted for “I don’t want kids.”
Johnston’s page also revealed his likes and dislikes: He’s a self-professed “redneck” who likes to snowboard, ride dirt bikes, go camping and “hang out with the boys.” He also enjoys fishing, and warned that, if you mess with him, “I’ll kick [your] a–.”
In a statement issued Monday, Sarah Palin said she and her husband, Todd, are “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.” The statement noted that Bristol and Johnston will marry, and asked that the media “respect our daughter and Levi’s privacy as has always been the tradition of children of candidates.”
In Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, where news of Bristol’s pregnancy has reportedly been known for weeks, the reaction to the news was mixed but largely positive, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Palin family friend Karen Rhoades told the paper that Bristol’s impending motherhood is a testament to the governor’s ideals and her own decision not to terminate her most recent pregnancy; Palin learned during her pregnancy that her son Trig would have Down syndrome.
“You can teach sex education all you want, but human beings are human beings,” Rhoades said. “Sarah chose life and therefore her daughter saw a great example and she is choosing life as well.”