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. Greg FL.

    Mccain does not care what the truth is. He has learned well from watching Rove and the swift boat attacks He is another Bush. If I say it enough it becomes the truth. I am deeply saddened to see the American public is buying into this ridiculous Mccain campaign. People she is nothing more then a gimmick and your going to give her the second set of keys to the White House. May your children be the first drafted into McCain's next war.

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Julie in California

    Much of what the republicans do is paint the picture they want to project and spend very little time worrying about the facts and fallacies behind their words.

    So to all of you who are sick of hearing people telling you lies and trumped up half truths, I encourage you to do whatever you can to help Obama get into office. We're looking at polls that are dead even...this can't happen to us again.

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. ClintonDem4Cynthia08

    Looks like the Obama/Ayers team is going to lose in November... woohoo!! Hillary 2012 !

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. Republican - Soon to be Independent

    This woman is disqusting! She is a hypocritical whiner.....

    September 8, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  5. June W

    Oh Boy America, I can't believe you are even considering replacing Bush and Bushwhacker with McKen and Barbie and attack dog "Rove"er. However, everyone loves a circus and while your standing in the world is still in the cellar, you at least remain the "entertainment " capitol of the world. Keep it up, it's great comic releif.

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

    This woman is a total joke. The Obama campaign is so strategic. They will win because they expose every lie this woman is telling the American people. I was taught a half-truth is a whole lie. My students in Middle school know that this woman is a fraud and a liar. Why can't Republican Christians see this? I am a Christian and I am ashamed that this woman is being heralded as a model for Christian women. Liar, no integrity, poor mother. Shame on you!!!
    Obama/Biden 08

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

    Does not suprise me that they are all liars. Karl Rove taught them how and we should expect more lies. The American people are not stupid but the repubs think we are.

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

    What else would you expect from these people. They will lie, cheat, beg, borrow, steal or kill to win. The thoughts of Ms. Palin one heartbeat away from the Presidency sends cold chills down my spine. As far as these polls go, who in God's name are they polling? They certainly arent' polling me or any of my friends and I doubt any of the millions of people who voted in the Democratic primaries or anyone with a cell phone!!! America, this is our chance to really change things – don't blow it with more of the same!

    Obama/Biden 08

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

    McCain doesn't have any guts, and he shouldn't get the glory. Sarah is not a game changer because she brings nothing to the ticket but liptstick and big hair. She a zero and we will win this election. Why? Because in the end Americans will vote in their best interest. They will vote for the candidate of Warren Buffet and the Kennedy's. They never let America down, and they never will.

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

    Ah, it is beginning. The Democrats, as their situation becomes more and more desperate, will now resort to the old tactics of insinuation, lies, and targeting their opponents rather than presenting their own doomed programs. The polls are now beginning to reflect what the arrogant DNC has created with their dictatorial management. The polls are now beginning to reflect what will be a Republican victory in November. PUMAs will help in this victory and I am one. McCain/Palin in 08!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  11. Dal CA

    TELL A LIE THOUSAND TIMES AND IT BECOMES FACTUALLY TRUE.

    THIS IS THE REPUBLICAN WAY.

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  12. Jean

    Obama and the democrats had better aggressively define McCain and Paulin before it becomes too late. The public seems to listen to the best smooth talker, not the realities on ground.

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. Kd Oklahoma

    Yes...we are definitely a smart country....it isn't every day, that a country goes bonkers over over a woman and a baby, and decide that they will vote them into office. Poor McCain, sounds like he is being booted to second place on this ticket. New ticket should read "Palin, baby, and McCain.

    The insanity!

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. Irene

    The McCain campaign cherry-picks over what to tell the voters. They really have to be selective.....McCain's voting past supports GW Bush....McCain's policies for the next four years would be a repeat of the past eight years........NO THANKS!

    AMERICA has suffered enough!

    OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. DisenfranchisedHills for McCain

    The only swaggering lier I see is Obama,who changes his mind like the wind. He ask his polls before making a statement of belief.

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. RP

    Changing ones mind on a issue is not the issue
    with the controversy over the Bridge to Nowhere.
    Palin is trying to create this maverick persona from the BtN project. When Palin says 'I told Congress to keep their money" but did actually receive the money. She is no maverick and neither is McCain. If McCain really was a maverick the he would have picked his solid number one choice, Mr.Leiberman

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

    Gee, Republicans that lie. Now there is a novelty. America is trapped in corruption.

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. Austin, Texas

    Hillary said it correct! No Way-No How-No McSame and Co.

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  19. Veteran in Kansas

    She came out against the bridge after it was a forgone conculsion that it would not be funded, however, what was the final balance of the Alaskan pork that year, it was very substanstail to say the least. Half truth at very best. Better luck next time.

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  20. LS

    I can't wait for McCain and Palin to be put on the spot. That's when people are going to hopefully open their minds and realize what the republican party is all about. They would say anything and do anything to try and get elected.

    McCain and Palin will have their day to address the false remarks they have made and let's watch them try to talk theirselves out of their own lies.

    McCain and Palin a ticket for DISASTER!!

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  21. Carl Justus

    Here we go again, the republicans will lie through their teeth to try to convince un Americans they can govern, when we see the results of the last eight years have been a disaster and if McCain gets into the Whitehouse we will have the same lies and more tax cuts for the rich for our children to pay off.

    Our parents gave us a chance a better life than they had, but if republicans get the Whitehouse the national debt will keep ballooning at the rate of 1.4 billion dollars a day or worse. We cannot afford to put another republican in the Whitehouse, especially now.

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  22. don

    am not a American,,,,but i think Americans are toying in the wrong way,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, mrs palin is a fruad and with time you guys will see the truth,no press for her because the mccain camp are afrid of what the press will ask her,, well imagine she being the president.can`t even think about her with putin. pls American don`t let the rest of the world look you guys as a big joke.

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  23. Kat

    Cnn – I'd like to know why you are NOT calling in the accuracy of the McCain Ad. She gave interview after invterview where she was in favor of the bridge to nowhere. When it became unpopular and would hurt her career, she flip flop. But she sure as heck took the money for it and kept it. Its about time you people started doing your jobs instead of just reporting for ratings. Failure of the media to actually do their jobs is what got us George W. Bush not once, but freakin twice!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Gimmick FIRST

    After all the negative stuff the Republicans tried to pull on America about Obama’s experience, change and hope they give us Palin (when McCain is 72) ? Strangely, with less than 60 days remaining, they decide to make their campaign about change? Hmmm, Obama wished he thought of “change” too. Just too funny!

    Palin is still using her training wheels as she is not allowed to talk to the media.

    Obama & Biden are all over the circuit, answering really tough questions and looking very good to boot!

    When I look at the VP picks it leaves me with the feeling that Obama is the true candidate that puts Country before Gimmick!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  25. Steve Oberman

    OBAMA NEEDS TO FIRE THAT IDIOT BURTON. HE IS A MORON!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
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