September 8th, 2008
04:06 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama campaign calls McCain ad a 'lie'

New McCain television ad claims Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin stopped the “Bridge to Nowhere”.
New McCain television ad claims Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin stopped the “Bridge to Nowhere”.

(CNN) – The presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain are sparring over a new television ad claiming Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin stopped the “Bridge to Nowhere” - the infamous $400 million congressional earmark that became the ultimate symbol of excessive pork-barrel spending.

Watch: The McCain campaigns latest ad, 'The Original Mavericks'

The new McCain ad, set to air in key states, calls both the Arizona senator and Palin "original mavericks," and characterizes the Alaska governor as an ardent opponent of the 2005 bridge proposal championed by Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens connecting Ketchikan, Alaska to the Ketchikan airport on Gravina Island (Population: 50).

Several opponents of Palin, as well as the non-partisan factcheck.org, have noted the claim she was against the bridge is not entirely accurate - the Alaska governor was for the bridge during her 2006 gubernatorial bid, and did not begin opposing it until it became clear the project was doomed on Capitol Hill.

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton went even further Monday, calling the assertion a flat out "lie."

“Despite being discredited over and over again by numerous news organizations, the McCain campaign continues to repeat the lie that Sarah Palin stopped the Bridge to Nowhere," Burton said. "McCain and Palin will say or do anything to make people believe that they will change something besides the person sitting in the Oval Office."

But McCain spokesman Brian Rogers is standing by the claim, and said the Obama campaign is launching "hysterical attacks."

“The only people ‘lying’ about spending are the Obama campaign," Rogers said. "The only explanation for their hysterical attacks is that they’re afraid that when John McCain and Sarah Palin are in the White House, Barack Obama’s nearly $1 billion in earmark spending will stop dead in its tracks."


Rogers also provided several press clips noting Palin became a critic of the bridge in her early days as governor of Alaska.

UPDATE: The McCain campaign says the Alaska Democratic Party has removed a Web page that credited Palin for killing the Bridge to Nowhere project.

"National Democrats apparently want to rewrite history and say that Palin did not kill the Bridge to Nowhere," the McCain campaign's Michael Goldfarb said.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (726 Responses)
  1. IAMWMD

    Dick Cheney in a dress at her best. Hell, she didn't sell that plane on ebay either. She sold it to a repug congressman under the table.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 8, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Adam

    She supported the Bridge while she RAN for governor. She opposed it after it was killed, AFTER she became governor.

    September 8, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. joey from NC

    I am for Obama because I have seen what has happened in my short life under republican control.

    I will vote for Obama comming in november but it seems to me that this Mccain fella has a shot at it. For some reason..

    If mccain does get elected, then we deserve what he will do to our country. Don't complain when in 4 more years, we are in wars, poverty stricken, and much more in debt to communist nations.

    I see people on here all the time "i voted for bush for the first 2 terms, i wont vote for him again!" Keep it that way, don't be stupid. Republicans have had there 8 years already to show how incompetent they are. Don't give them another 4 to really stick it to us!

    September 8, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  4. GIGI IN LA

    D---E----–S----P---–E---R----A---T--–E

    September 8, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. PGB

    Caught in a lie so CHANGE the subject...

    CHANGE THE REPUBLICAN WAY

    September 8, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Mary

    How shocking....the Republicans are lying their way into the White House...isn't that their usual strategy...where is the news in that. I feel like I did playing with bullies on the playground...feeling like I had to take the high road and not fight back because I did not want to lower myself to their dirty tricks, etc., but for the sake of this country, Obama and Biden need to take off the gloves and ATTACK! Stop calling McCain your friend and stop being afraid of being called a sexist and take it to Ms. Palin....she does not speak for any woman I know and in fact terrifies them, both Dems and Republicans alike....stop being Kerry and Dukakis and FIGHT BACK!

    September 8, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  7. J.L.

    Wait... don't the Republicans have a term for this type of action?
    I think it's called flip-flopping...
    Palin was for the "Bridge to Nowhere" before she was against it.

    September 8, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  8. Accountant Guy

    Awesome!! It's about time that McBush and his joke of VP be called on their lies and deceit!! Anyone with half a brain can see through them!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 8, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. Jason

    Yes, Bill, she was orginally for it, but then she ultimately saw it for what its worth and opposed it. So the ad is not a lie. It is a bit absurd the way the Obama campaign is acting. Get it together! You are all scrambling and it shows!!!! At least the public is now getting a sense of the real Barack Obama.

    September 8, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. ginger

    On boy this is funny.

    Ok, Dems, please do the following: Provide the public with a truthful ad about the bridge to nowhere. Blast that ad in every state. And don't forget the I sold the airplane on Ebay.

    September 8, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. Not4MoreYears

    This will be Karl Rove's legacy – repeat anything enough times, and it becomes the "truth".

    September 8, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  12. Breck

    Republican liars. She's still for the second Bridge to Nowhere, something the Republican scum won't let you know. Come on America!

    Obama/Biden 08. The change America needs.

    September 8, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. Danny

    Not only did she not kill it, she took the money! If McCain was such a maverick how come he voted with Bush 90% of the time? That's not a maverick thats a lapdog.

    September 8, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  14. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Palin is disgusting! Flip flopping on the bridge to nowhere is one thing, but forgetting to mention she kept the money for use elsewhere is an additional unspoken untruth. She accepted porkbarrel money, which never should have been sent to Alaska, period!

    September 8, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  15. Lori

    Nothing at this point would ever make me vote for McCain and Co.

    Obama '08

    September 8, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  16. Hockey Moms for Obama

    If she DID back the bridge to nowhere, she just can't come back when it suits her to say she was against it. We do call thay lying in English. Maybe that word fell through the cracks while she was moving around between 5 colleges in 6 years to get a degree in Journalism.

    September 8, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  17. Pops

    Added to the long list of false claims by McCain, this one along with the others will be taken as the truth by most voters, unfortunately. If all voters were well informed and did their own due dilligence on the candidates, Obama would win in a landslide.

    September 8, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. Connie, Tennessee

    If the American people weren't such Sheep, they could see right through Palin. How any woman could support her is surprising when her views match that of McCains's and Bush's. Guess there are more people that liked the last 8 years than I thought! How sad.

    September 8, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. Obama 08

    I don't understand why the McCain camp would use Palin's name and earmarks in the same sentence. This is a debate I would think they would want to avoid, instead of repeating over and over. We know she asked for earmarks, we know she was for the bridge before she was against it, we know she works extensively with lobbyists (and that they run McCain's campaign) so why lie and get called on it every day from now until November?

    September 8, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  20. Ray from CA

    That's it we need to go after them right now, I'm sick of McCain he lied saying she sold the jet on EBay but his campgain did not note that

    September 8, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  21. Connie

    Sorry but Palin WAS for the bridge for a Long time before she was against it.

    September 8, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  22. s

    Rebublicans flip-flopping. This is news? More like business as usual.
    US politics is really in sad, sad shape when almost half the electorate are so gullible and/or ignorant that they accept whatever one says regardless of reality. Like that famous line: Don't confuse me with the facts. Guess they're living in another version of reality, no?

    September 8, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  23. bob in L.A.

    If Obama wants to win then he needs to get out there with ads, people like Biden and the Clintons and strat fighting for it.
    The guy likes to play "legal" politics by finding loopholes in elections, well welcome ot the big leagues Barack!
    Call them on their lies and distortions. Start fighitng with dual ads of their shortcomings and your ideas. Stop repeating you version of "I have a dream "or the Camelot speeches.

    September 8, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  24. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    Palin is a liar and so is McCain.

    Palin kept the 300 MILLION dollars bridge ear-mark for Alaska.

    September 8, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  25. Cal

    First it was experience, experience, experience.... Now it's change, change, change... First he was pro-choice, now he supports a constitutional amendment banning abortion... First Palin is for the bridge to nowhere, then she was against it... First it's gas tax holiday, now McCain is all for a green economy. No way, no McCain.

    September 8, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
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