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. Soldier 4 OBAMA

    Everyone knows she was for it before wshe was against it, and she still keep the money of all that PORK. OBAMA need to get dirty, this election will not be won by been nice, that kiddy glove need to get some dirt on it. We can't keep trying to do the right thing, we have to tell the truth forcefully. McCain campaign is following the script of BUSH. OBAMA's campaign need to follow the Clinton script and that script beat the GOP twice. We have the funding advantage, it is funny that McCain who have 85 million is attacking so much, there is something fishy going on and I believe the GOP/RNC are doing some illegal fundraising etc. There are about to be the September 11 ad to attack OBAMA and september 11 was in 2001, now isn't that more fear. Every election cycle we have these FACIST stuff going on. Now, Cheney is over in Europe talking to people and will feed those conversation to McCain. OBAMA needs to wake up. I am now wondering if he played right into the GOP hand with not selecting Hillary? We will have to play hard or go home in November, this election is ours to loose!

    September 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. JimS.

    All these polls supposedly showing them tied are nonsense, nothing but the media trying to hype up another story. They're all done by telephone but they don't call cellphones. Many younger voters (more of them probably Obama supporters) don't have land-lines anymore. You can't trust these polls and as we've seen you can't trust the press to do anything but churn out fodder to generate interest, caring nothing for issues.

    This race likely isn't nearly as close as it's being reported.

    September 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. KATHLEEN

    I hope Obama-Biden know what they are up against!! A "Barracuda"
    taught, every lasting moment by the likes of KARL ROVE.

    Believe me, Sarah will be taught exactly what to say and she WILL
    do very well.

    Unfortunately, no truth, all lies.

    Obama-Biden 2006-16

    September 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  4. Pat Gurney

    IF Bush Jr ( McCain ) gets voted in, all I can say is "shame on us "
    What with McCain's health record, it could happen that we'd end up in a few months or so with another dinwitt (Palin) for our leader! I cannot believe that our people would even consider such a Politicallly ignorant person to be vice Press. I truley hope that that move on McCanes part is a susidal move on his part .
    COME ON AMERICANS,.WAKE UP BEFORE ITS TO LATE!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. Brian Rich

    So when did CNN decide they loved Palin? I like how this morning they had some audio "problems" with Biden's rally, but then when Caribou Barbie and Grandpa Munster stumped and lied in Missouri, the audio worked just fine. It seems that every single story out lately is about Palin, and none of them are about Palin's serious judgment problems in both her personal and professional lives.

    This is just like when Hillary Clinton complained about the media back in March. CNN immediately backed off, giving huge stories to Clinton and trashing everything about Obama they could find. Always giving in to the whiners, eh CNN?

    September 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  6. jrzshor

    "not entirely accurate". That implies some truth. Yes?

    September 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. jeanette

    Somebody please tell me how these polls can change daily?
    Who is being polled, and just how accurate are the polls?
    Something seems amiss here.

    September 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. Carmen

    Obama is getting desparate... he is attacking her because she has more executive experience than he and Biden combined...

    The Democrats are going to regret what they did to Hillary!!

    Hillary or McCain/Palin 08

    September 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Demorat to the bone

    Obama, listen don't pay those two lying idiots no mind. Any body who chose to vote for this lying pair, deserve what they would get. America can see what the republicans did tto this country. everyone is losing their homes, our kids are dying in iraq, please wake up america, don't for God's sake don't put the republicans back again to finish us off.

    September 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Kel in Auburn, AL

    Folks, take a look at FactCheck.Org and see for yourself. Palin has been on the National Scene for Only 2 weeks and she's already building an impressive resume of lies.

    The GOP is the irrelevant party of the past, and the proof is in the truth.

    Obama / Biden 08!

    September 8, 2008 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. rey

    well, enough of this nonsense...

    WE are going to win.
    and if people are actually foolish enough to vote McCain into office, then they will end up getting EXACTLY what they deserve when he screws us even further...

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. eufaula mike

    The next time a prosecutor challenges an individual for doing something illegal, the correct response is to point out that the prosecutor is making "hysterical attacks".

    The McCain camp is so morally corrupt that they cannot admit they made a mistake, or were taken out of context, or misspoke. "Hysterical attacks!"

    The M$M are being fair and balanced and have become cowed by the McCain camp thereby being unwilling to ask valid questions. "Hysterical attacks!"

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Ed

    I still say that Obama/Biden should use in it's commercials the "Viet Nam veterans against John McCain" stuff that is floating around on the internet. I have no way of knowing if any of it is actually true but so what? The republicans had no qualms about using the "swift boat veterans for truth" in the 2004 elections. I read that most of the "swift--" spiel was proven false before the actual election but it had already done the dirty work for putting the Texas "idiot" back in office. If your opponent is going to play in the mud you have to risk getting some of it on your own hands.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. Lisa

    A Republican is lying, how is that possible, that can't be true. Please if John Mcfuddy is talking he is lying.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. Brad

    This is just another prime example of how the Democrats are running scared. They thought the "community organizer" had it all sewed up. The Democrats and their liberal, leftist, socialistic, and communistic media, (CNN, MSNBC, and NBC) are afraid of Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. Lovely in VA

    "Despite being discredited over and over again by numerous news organizations, the McCain campaign continues to repeat the lie"

    – just like they continue to repeat using the same music in which five artists have told them not too. (I know there are many more examples of lying but this one irks me especially.)

    Do you really think they care at this point whether they are lying to you or not? Their number one goal is to keep the White House. That's it and they'll do whatever to whoever and not look back.

    And what's with MSM all of a sudden? Now you're going to pander to McCain because the big bosses are losing big money from republican investors. Sorry, but KO and CM are the only two journalists that have ever come close to speaking for me. It's about time too. I for one have been quiet to long. If they don't cover the rest of the election, I will be watching CSPAN, and I encourage others to do the same.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  17. Missy M

    Politicians change their positions on things all the time and there is nothing wrong with that as long as it's done for a good reason. I don't see how Obama can effectively use a reverse-position strategy on McCain/Palin as that would surely draw attention to his and Biden's numerous flips, especially Biden's most famous – that he clearly stated Obama is not qualified to be president. Biden didn't change his position on that issue until he became the vice presidential nominee.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  18. Mario, Madison

    How can we fall for this again? America will reap what she sows..We are in for PAIN if we elect McCain/Palin...C'mon America let's wake up and turn the page on this Bush-McCain Doctrine of lying, non-transparent government!

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  19. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    She was nailed with something that didn't get through Congress. I wonder how many media and website outlets researched this question. How many have noted that the sale of the jet on E-Bay never happened. It was true that it was posted on E-Bay but never sold there. It was half true; plane was sold; just not the way people think.

    To call these two the original mavericks does a disservice to the founding fathers. They saw that there was a problem with the monarchy from England. They planned for a new government so that all of the people could be represented. Those were mavericks because they said everyone could have a voice.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  20. Jennie

    This is the most bizarre case of "THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES" we have seen in years. Palin was not qualifed for the job she has....she is certianly not qualified for VP..and yet her party is rushing around gushing over her....but she is STILL NOT QUALIFIED. And guess what, WE ARE NOT BLIND AND STUPID..she was Gov. McFailing and will not get to be our veep....this is sheer lunacy. Ya'll can run around all day long gushing over her, but she is NOT QUALIFIED ....and you Repubs NEVER WOULD HAVE CHOSEN HER IF MCCAIN HAD NOT FORCED HER DOWN YOUR THROATS. SO WHY BE BROWBEATEN INTO THE PARTY LINE.
    PALIN IS WORSE THAN BUSH.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Boomerang in Chicago

    Why don't the Republicans run an ad on how Alaska has the worst high school drop out rate in the nation. Their educational system is one of the worst in the country. Or better yet, run an ad on how when Sarah was mayor of Wasilla, she left that city $22million in debt, or better yet find that waitress who says she called Barack Obama "Sambo," after he became the presumptive nominee. I am not sure how much Obama needs to do to "counter" the Palin "surge." It looks like her record will catch up with her and she may simply self destruct.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. larry wi

    Pork barrell spending will be a definate issue for McCain and Palin, and Obama has a warehouse full of ear marked Pork Barrell spending, why wouldn't he be nerveous! The only bridge to nowhere is the one that Obama and his supporters are attempting to build. Wahhhhh, wahhhhhhh, wahhhhhhh, that's the democratic way.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. Dave From Philly

    Gov. Palin, please give the $300 million back to the feds. They need it for Fannie and Freddie. Oh, you spent the pork money. I guess you are for pork after all.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  24. sarah1

    hey where is the report about obama and biden voting against rerouting earmark money to katrina aid. guess they figured those rich folks benefitting from the earmarks needed the money more than the people of nola and the gulf coast.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  25. Alaska and Arizona POW for Obama/Biden

    Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman VP and was a democrat. You people get inform before who say such thing that this is the greatest history for women since suffrage. No it isn't; I wonder if geraldine ferraro nomination as first woman VP in the history of US was not matter. People are very inform and saying such things makes people want to laugh at your one sided republican guts. Geraldine ferraro first woman nominate VP, Hillary Clinton first woman to run for the presidency as a front runner for quite a long time and these folks are Democrats. No way, no how, No mcCain son of George Bush.
    We were waiting for a savior to save our country we found Bush as Americans personal savior. Now Bush as a god that kill and distroy economy will send McCain his son to finish the job. No way, No how, No McCain.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
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