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. Tony

    Over My Dead Body (September 8th, 2008 1:56 pm ET):

    "She and McCain will be the cause of a war that no one on this planet will survive. Do not let these warmongering sadists ruin what little hope we have left."

    Oh my God, and liberals blame conservatives of using scare tactics? *LOL*

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

    Sarah Palin is apparently one of those people who believes if you keep telling a lie over and over it will eventually become true. She must be a student of the "George W. Bush Purty Good School of Government", where this line of thinking is drummed into its followers' heads relentlessly by Karl Rove.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  3. Ashlee Jacka

    I just don't see HOW the race could possibly be this close when it is SOOO obvious that we need a different party in the Whitehouse!!! It really makes me question my belief in people!

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Debra Austin, Texas

    Nobody says a candidate can't change their mind unless the change is back and forth or unless like in this case, the claim of being a reformer, or for being a staunch reason the bridge was halted turns out to be a lie.

    Say you changed your mind but don't claim this was your firm stand from the beginning that PROVES you are a reformer. That's just not the truth. But that supposes that Republicans care about the truth. The only thing Republicans care about is power and they will kill their grandmothers to get it or keep it, so don't let a lie get in the way of a good story to support the BIG LIE about reform.

    September 8, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  5. Dee Jay a young republican

    Yes getem Obama.......

    Obama/Bidem the only hope 4 this country,,,,,,

    Ihope america looks past race and gender...
    and see that Obama/Biden are the right ones for this country

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 8, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Juliann

    I saw the McCain ad RIGHT AFTER the local Cleveland news reported that Palin did not try to stop the bridge to nowhere, and that after the bridge deal was cancelled, the state was still offered the same millions of dollars and she said yes and took it. Some maverick.

    September 8, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Barbara

    Why was Obamas wife's salary tripled the year he became a senator and started earmarking funds to her employer? Cnn wants to look into scandals then maybe they should check that one out....also check out the corrupt Chicago political machine that got Obama elected....just might take some of that shine off of Obama if people opened their eyes and looked in the right places. As Americans we deserve to know where our tax dollars are going..all candidated need to be completely checked out, not just Palin. Obama never should have gotten his parties nomination...it should have went to Hilary, she was the better candidate.

    September 8, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. U.S. Common Sense

    Does anyone here honestly think the Obama campaign is going to come out and say "Yeah, _____ ad by the McCain camp is true?" Or, better yet, does anyone here honestly think that either political party is going to release an ad that is 100% true?

    No news here folks. Just politics as usual. Move along, move along.

    September 8, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  9. Silence Dogood

    Independent Voter: "non-partisan group like factcheck.org "

    This group has listed Obama lies and exaggerations, and policy swithces as well. You might want to actually read through the website if you are truly independent.

    And also check out gp.org to see how liberal Obama is (NOT).

    September 8, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  10. Richard

    At least she found better use for the money!

    Hillary supporter for McCain! McCain 2008!

    September 8, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. Richard,Orlando,FL

    I don't understand why newspapers and tv stations keep printing and showing these lies. They know the facts and they should always put a disclaimer when these commercials are aired. It should be in big Red letters stating the true facts. Eventually, there will be enough Americans who will get sick of these ads and demand that the truth be always shown on their airwaves. Wake up AMERICA, the Republicans have been doing this for years and when they get caught they always blame the Democrats. Can you imagine people who say they are Christians and revel in the slime. It looks like we are going to have many more sons and daughters dying in unnecessary Republican Wars. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. AreWeOnCrack

    This Pallin character has got more investigations going on than Swiss cheese has holes. she's not even in office yet and there's yet another investigation on her about obstructing justice in an investigation. I've never seen so many right wing fanatics wanting to put this YO~Yo into office. She makes Conservatives look liberal compared to things she wants to cram down our throats. I would be very afraid of her. Im no woman but when someone tells me that you get raped and end up pregnant you deserved it. for pallin's own abortion beliefs. She wanted to fire the head of the Alaskan Library because they refused to not ban certain books. Funny I’ve never seen her way a flag pen either...she under investigation for wanting to fire the head of DPS for not firing the man who was married to her sister. she gets into office this country will be in serious trouble

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  13. Laverne

    People wake up! Embracing Sarah Palin is just an excuse NOT to vote for Obama. It does not matter if she is inexperienced and that her views are not the views of most Americans just so long as Obama does not make it to the White House. This is just pathetic and McCain has the little man syndrome which is why he continues to milk his POW days for all that it is worth. Shame on you John McCain!

    Typical white lady for Obama!

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  14. Chris, Denver CO

    Pretty much all Palin has been doing since she landed on the national stage is lie.

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

    The problem with this country is NOT Democrats or Republicans. It's US the citizens and voters. Somehow we have gotten it into our heads that we must choose from only 2 political parties and that one is better than the other for this reason or that reason. The truth is we shouldn't be so worried about whether or not someone is a Democrat OR a Republican. Your vote should go to the person you believe will do the best job based on their prior decisions/experieces. Voting for someone just because you prefer their political party is irresponsible and ignorant. We should all do our research and then make our decisions and stop focusing on which party is better or which one did what to whom. If we elect officials based on merit and not on political party maybe we can resolve some of the issues this country is facing.

    America '08

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. irony

    she was for earmarks before she was against them. She was for abstinence before she was proud of promiscuity. She was for the oil industry before she took 'em on. She was in the hip pocket of indicted Sen. Ted Stevens (R) before she was against him. She stabbed Hillary in the back before she praised her. She praised Obama before she stabbed him in the back. She was for taking on the ole boys network and establishment before she was the same ole boys network establishment. She was for unions before she was against them. She was for the bridge before she was against it. She likes to quip that she is like a pitbull in lipstick; Where i am from there is a saying "you can put lip stick on a pig and its still a pig!"

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Mark

    Obama and his words are getting old.. He also picked Joe, what kind of change is that?

    From Clinton, now to McCain.

    LET'S TOGETHER CHANGE THE REPUBLICAN WAY, AND THE WORLD!

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. lil

    Its about time they called her on it. Now how about calling the her
    on the ebay lie.
    Call her on her lies and her so call experience and dont forget the
    nasty remark about community organizer comment.
    Dont trust this lady she talks a little to much about other in order to make herself look good no honesty there.

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  19. debbie

    And, Obama, never flip flops! C'mon people – wake up!

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  20. Tam

    What in the world is WRONG with some Americans? People are looking down on Barack Obama because of the color of his skin, and not looking at big picture! Yes, Obama was a community origanizer, and that doesn't make him qualified to run for president.? It shows that he cares for the American people.

    THE GOP MADE FUN OF OBAMA LIKE BIG BULLIES! SHAME ON THEM! LAUGHED AT HIM LIKE WHAT HE DID WAS A BIG JOKE! SHAME ON THEM! AND SOME OF YOU THINK THAT IS OK! SHAME ON YOU! People WAKE THE H**L UP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE! MCCAIN AND PALIN ARE FULL OF LIES AND DECEIT! THEY ARE ONLY OUT FOR THE RICH! THEY SAY WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO SAY! AND THEY ARE SO MANIPULATIVE WITH THEIR WORDS, ONLY AN EDUCATED PERSON WILL CATCH THEM! WAKE THE BLANK UP AMERICANS!!!! WHAT DID MCCAIN DO FOR YOU?BESIDES SERVING IN THE MILITARY 30 PLUS YEAR AGO? YES HE IS AN AMERICAN HERO, AND THANK GOD FOR SERVING HIS COUNTRY! BUT THAT DOESN'T QUALIFY HIM TO BE PRESIDENT. IF THAT IS THE CASE ALL OTHER MILLIONS OF VETERANS ARE QUALIFIED TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT. I DON'T THINK SO!

    YOU WILL NOT HURT OBAMA IF HE IS NOT ELECTED PRESIDENT, BECAUSE OBAMA IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT. HE IS LIVING A COMFORTABLE LIFE. YOU ARE HURTING YOURSELVES! DON'T LOOK AT COLOR, LOOK AT THE TRUE HEART OF A PERSON, AND WHAT THEY CAN TRULY DO FOR YOU! STOP LOOKING AT HOW PRETTY A PERSON IS, AND HOW SWEET THEIR VOICE SOUNDS. PLEASE LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE!

    STOP MCCAIN AND PALIN BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  21. Johanna

    Is it because Palin is a female that she can tell untrue stories? And everybody seems to believe? This sounds like decorating cupcakes to me! The worse the cupcake the better you try to make it look.

    Gov. Palin seems to be also the new sweet heart for the media.

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. sam garland,tx

    people lets step back an look at her record the one thing that i fine so bad is my family has a speical need child two . in her own state she cut 62% for them , my wife say know ,seance she is the vp pick she for it speical need, but not in your own state that call that flip flop an we are glad we don't stay in a state where 62% of the funding is cut for my family. buy the way my wife (rep) but she wont vote for them on that note, she going for real change

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Doris,Memphis, TN

    Sarah Palin lies through her teeth and pretends to be a saint.

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  24. obama all the way

    CNN,

    Why not have a poll of the number of Americans that will MOVE OUT OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY, if Mr. McWalkingCane and Ms. Pitbill get into office.

    You can count us in for 2 votes here!

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  25. American

    Does McBush and McPalin think Americans are stupid?.....
    Palin basically Lies...or she is the biggest Flip Flopper since McLoser.

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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