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. Clare from Orlando

    Go ahead and preach to the choir......no one is really listening. Some Americans don't want change, they want a pretty face. What they don't realize is when all the makeup has worn off......We still have the issues to deal with. The Republicans are so happy that they have a pretty face to look at to the point where they will jeopardize their children and grandchildren's future. But have no fear; GOD is in control. Hang in there. I know the end of the story.......WE WIN!

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

    Look at the crying libs. hahahahaha, as for factcheck being bipartisan, there is tons of evidence that they have been misleading on pro-obama emails.

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Barbara

    You bet the Obama camp and supporters are terrified. Terrified of
    having a liar and an incompetent make it to the White House..
    Hope the Press does its' job and doesn't succumb to fear of
    the Republicans new face of Mcarthyism....
    This woman is unqualified to do anything but gut Moose not our
    country !

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  4. Ken, LA California

    Palin is short for Palindrome MacLiar+Palin(drome) = George Bush+Dick Chenney whichever way you spell it just like Racecar you can read it from any angle and end up with the same result.

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. USMC Mike

    McCain is a shameful individual and so is Palin ...

    Difference: at least Obama can admit that a policy he was against worked if it actually did work ...

    McCain/Palin = lie about it more and scream louder that you were "right" when someone calls you on your lies about that policy...

    Americans, please, we are smarter than this, are we not?

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. James Friel

    Just another distortion by the Republicans. If the Democrats are serious about winning the White House they need to highlight
    John Mcains voting record in the Senate, he has about 30 years there.
    I read he voted against raising the minimum wage 19 times.
    He voted against Webbs bill to raise education benefits for veterans.
    Sure would be a clue to how he would act as president. I will never believe what these Republicans say to get elected. The Democrats need to hammer John Mccain on his record, it reflects what
    George Bush wanted 90% of the time. He is not a "maverick at all
    but just an ineffective Senator from the right-to-work state of arizona.

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. Jeff

    It doesn't even matter anymore what the truth is. People aren't informed enough to discern fact from fiction. If they just keep running the ad it WILL become the truth. Why aren't these things discussed more on the news?

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

    It's a sad day in America when the American people can't see what is happening here. The Republicans continue to take the LOW road with their snide comments, outright lies and mudslinging while the Democrats take the high road. What happened to "good Christian values"! The Republicans certainly aren't "practicing what they preach". What a bunch of hypocrites!

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. JC

    Of course she was against it, after she was for it. A lie is a lie is a lie. And by the way, she may have finally dumped the idea but she didn't return the money either.

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Peter (CA)

    Sure, it was deceptive. The ad makes her look like she went against the tide and against Ted Stevens. Truth is she was for it, took the money for it, kept the money, and then when she saw it was being blasted by all sides, said she was against it.

    It shows she is not a maverick, but rather the worst kind of politician.

    Like we need more of that.

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. Vmancini

    SHE ALSO NEVER RETURNED THE FUNDS FOR THE BRIDGE.

    CNN PLEASE REPORT THE NEWS. CANT COUNT ON FOX OR MSNBC TO BE NON-PARTISAN PLEASE REPORT THE NEWS.

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. David in Illinois

    They are not mavericks. They are liars. McCain and Palin lied in their convention speeches, have been lying consistently in their nasty, petty ads, and their surrogates continue to lie, distort and belittle. I'm truly saddened that the race has tightened based on Palin's one good speech and and an oddball history.

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. William, from Cali!

    If you can't tell the American people "the truth, make-up some lies" that they can believe in....................

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. No Way, No How, NObama

    Right or wrong, at least she was for SOMETHING.

    How many "PRESENT" votes = "CHANGE?"

    PUMA!!!

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  15. deborah

    How can American Citizens even consider voting for the Republicans after the tragedy they have created in the last 8 years??????

    It is no wonder that People in other countries Poke fun at Americans for being stupid!

    Come on people make a sensible decision in this election. MCCain is more of the Same and it is a disgrace to compare Palin (Ms. Pain) to Obama. She is only on the ticket because she is a woman.

    Experience NOT Obama is well educated and professional and can think and write his own speeches and he does not have to be shielded until he has been programmed on the acceptable talking points. By the way Michelle Obama writes speeches as well.

    Come on American people and Vote for Competence and real Change. VOTE for OBAMA/BIDEN 2008

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  16. Dan, IL

    Wonder if any of Obama's earmark went to the house he purchased on the cheap thru Rezko? Obama really made out like a bandit on that one. Very slick.

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

    When is Palin going to start answering questions?

    According to Nicole Wallace of the McCain campaign, the American people don't care whether Sarah Palin can answer specific questions about foreign and domestic policy. According to Wallace — in an appearance Joe Scarborough's show — the American people will learn all they need to know (and all they deserve to know) from Palin's scripted speeches and choreographed appearances on the campaign trail and in campaign ads.

    I thought she was applying for the job as VP?

    Why can't we ask her any questions?

    All we get is one speech she delivered great, but didn't write.

    I find this VERY, VERY strange. Very unsettling.

    Gov Palin has rejected more than one hundred interview requests. IF SHE ISN'T READY TO STAND UP TO THE PEN, HOW CAN YOU THINK SHE IS READY TO STAND UP TO THE SWORD?

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  18. Seeing Clearly Now

    VOTE FOR AMERICA'S FUTURE!!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08
    WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE!!!

    -----–or-------–

    Vote the McCain/Liar Ticket
    Bush/Cheney mouth pieces.

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  19. TC, Fl

    From factcheck.org "Congress had removed the earmark, giving the requested money to the state but not marking it for any specific use. Palin unplugged its life support, declaring in 2007 that the funds would not be used for the Gravina bridge."

    READ CAREFULLY – the money could be used for the bridge – it wasn't 'dead' – but Palin said 'No Bridge'.

    WHERE is the lie???

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  20. Anderson Dallas Texas Obama 08

    I dont see how it is deadlocked , because a lot of people have not voted ... Me and my family ... we will be there in November .. So enjoy it McCain/Palin while it last .. Because in November .. Your out... OBama/Biden 08

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

    Unfortunately, us bloggers are the only ones reading the news and staying updated. Most of my neighbors who plan on voting for McSame have no idea that this was inaccurate and dispute the facts that it is when I've told them mainly because I'm an Obama supporter.
    Stay informed America, PLEASE!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. Chip

    Both campaigns lie, distort, spin, etc.
    Old news.

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. Check you facts

    CHECK THE FACTS ON BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS @ factcheck.org

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. Lutisha BeeBranch Ark

    Wake up and smell the McShame and Palin Brew she was chosen to get you attention she has had her 15 Minutes of FAME now lets get back to the facts ,McSame is is running for president if he wins we should just save American the Moving expenses and just keep Bush,
    that is not CHANGE it is SAME.

    Palling is being used as a smoke screen, Senator Obama is the High Velosity Fan he will BLOWWWWWWWWWW all that smoke and hot air out of Washington..

    SENATOR OBAMA THE REAL DEAL FOR A REALLLLLLLLL CHANGE!!

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Repubs will keep repeating this story over and over and over and over and eventually they'll say the facts are a creation of the oppositional mainstream media. Deja vu?

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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