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. Matthew

    It's funny to see the Dems scrambling now that McCain is ahead in the polls.

    "McCain and Palin are Liars!"
    "Polls don't mean anything!"

    Scream all you wan't. It won't change the fact that McCain is going to be the next president. Enjoy : )

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  2. Clinton Voter for MCCAIN/PALIN

    Obama should have picked Clinton,

    Oh well, MCCAIN/PALIN 2008!!!!!

    CLINTON 2012

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Mccain=Bush

    The fact that dick cheney supports her is reason enough for us to be scared.

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. lou

    Do you think we are stupid... There is video of everything this woman has said and done...Once the media stops being afraid to attack her and scrutinize her the same way Obama was attacked then America will realize this woman is POISON>>>>>>>George Bush with lipstick....

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Independent

    IF America is stupid enough to vote for McCain and Palin then it gets what it deserves.

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  6. Rewriting History Is Fun

    If anyone thinks Sarah Palin "stopped" the bridge to nowhere and didn't support it, they are sadly mistaken. And it is dishonest for the republicans to claim differently.

    Sarah Palin supported the bridge to nowhere and was soliciting Ted Stevens for her own pork. Everyone is reporting that she supported the bridge and she is on record.

    "Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island." – Sarah Palin

    This is just more rewriting history by the republicans. The Daily Show and Colbert Report each had montages last week of John McCain saying over and over in recent interviews and speeches how he knows this and that – but then they showed more montages where he denies knowing anything when people were trying to pin him down on issues.

    Americans need to open their eyes. They are being scammed and deceived.

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  7. Mike Plummer

    Does the McCain camp belive that we would not find out that Palin is a lier? Both McCain and Palin are betting on us not beliving the truth.I for one would like to see The McCain camp tell the real truth.She is a lier Palin and simple.

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  8. Tom in Wheaton, Illinois

    McCain voters, I understand. They're either one-issue people or they're benefiting somehow from the military/industrial complex. Obama voters, I understan, too. We're genuinely interested in a better, more equitable life for all Americans. It's the Independent/Undecideds I don't get. What in hell do they want? It's like not being able to make up your mind between a day at the park or ten years in jail. Wake up!

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  9. Gary Chandler in Canada

    It was NOT Palin who lied about selling a jet on EBay, for a profit; it WAS McCain who lied about it. (so there!?)
    She made sure a Republican friend got it at discounted price so he could use it for polar bear hunting clients!
    What about her attempts to fire a librarian who would not ban books she did not approve of?
    What if Mrs Biden had been an American hating Separatist? CNN would be reporting it then!
    I still predict Plain will resign for 'family reasons', and McCain will then bring in his 1rst choice, Lieberman.

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  10. Marie in California

    The only "lie" in this election is Obama and his campaign. They're trying to put a slick one over on the electorate. I'm very glad to see he is slowly melting away in the polls.

    Actually, Palin is the best thing I've ever seen hit the campaign trail in my lifetime. She is like a refreshing breath of clean Alaskan air.....while Obama is like filling your lungs with dirty Chicago smog.

    NO WAY....NO HOW.....NOBAMA!

    McCain-Palin – 2008

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  11. Nate- Minneapolis

    The lie here is that they claim she is responsible for stopping it when it was already a dead and done deal. That would be comparable to McCain coming out and saying he was for direct diplomacy with Iran or North Korea after he was against it, then taking credit for it when it succeeds. It would be another lie. It would be like McCain coming out and saying he is for Iraq withdraw time tables after he was against it, then taking credit for the drawdown.

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. sara, az

    People - WAKE UP. The Republicans lie to you. They lied to you about Iraq and WMD. They lied to you about Hussein and his role in 9/11. And what did that do for YOU? More Americans killed in Iraq than killed on 9/11. Thousands more maimed for life. An economy in shreds. A loss in stature and credibility by the world. Getting loans from China - a Communist nation.

    And now? They are lying to you about Palin as the "reform" candidate. They're lying and obfiscating the truth about her hiring lobbyists and taking ear marks. They're desperately trying to hide her abuse of power and corruption and keep her from being truly vetted. John McCain lies to you EVERY day and you CHOOSE to believe him.

    WHY do you want more of the same? The Republican bosses are counting on you to be stupid - to believe any and everything they tell you at face value and to never EVER question the veracity of their candidates.

    Are you willing to let the Republicans continue to grind the Constitution under the heels of Rovian politics? Do you not know how to do ANY critical thinking on your own??

    Will you only be satisfied when Americans become oppressed by religion and threat of war?

    What is wrong with you people???

    For God's sake - please. THINK.

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. DS in San Diego

    Again, the Democrats are expected to do whatever they can to find some way to discredit Sarah Palin. Like it or not, Obama blew it with his choice of Biden and McCain was wise enough to step up and make a choice to accept Obama's gift of the election.

    In any event, if Obama can't stay on-message ( i.e., 'change' ) with such a critical point as choosing a VP candidate, how can you expect him to stay on-message when he visits Iran to talk about nuclear weapons?

    But it's not Obama, it's about McCain and Palin bringing the right approach, energy and wisdom for America in 2008.

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. irish

    So what if she was for it and now against it. For whatever reason, she changed her mind on it. Do you know why she changed her mind on it ? do you know what she did with the money ? NO, you don't. You get all your facts from the talking heads. Why don't you just wait until she is interviewed or in a debate. I'm sure they will be coming up soon enough, and I'm sure that these questions are going to asked. Stop bashing the canidates when you don't know the reasons behind the decisions. Half you people that make comments on here don't know sh)(*t !!! You like to think you do, because all your information comes from the talking heads. Try picking up a book or go to the library and research history and past president and presidental elections

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. HIllarySupporter

    This woman palin need to be exposed this woman is evil Dick Cheny in dress and a dog with a lipstick. Peopl go read Factcheck.org for the lies Mccain and palin telling you. Flat out lies. Obama as a president and Hillary secretary of state.

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. Paul

    Strange bed fellows.....

    "...presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said pet projects could have played a role in a Minnesota bridge collapse that killed 13 people earlier this year.

    "Maybe if we had done it right, maybe some of that money would have gone to inspect those bridges and other bridges around the country," McCain told a group of people in a town-hall style meeting in Ankeny, Iowa.

    "Maybe the 200,000 people who cross that bridge every day would have been safer than spending $233 million of your tax dollars on a bridge in Alaska to an island with 50 people on it."

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. Taran, San Diego, CA

    This election can no longer be about people or personalities. It has to be about the party.

    I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but if a Republican gets in the White House during this next run, and if there are changes to be made on the Supreme Court, you can forget about civil liberties. Social and cultural dogma will take over and the U.S will be stimied into a cultural dark-age, where we'll see it be illegal to be gay; we'll see religion forced downed our childrens throats (whether you believe in religion or not); we'll see womens rights and choice fade away.

    Whether you believe in these things or not, the premise of America is to have a difference in belief. With a Republican in the White House, our gait toward facism will increase rapidly...

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

    Looks like a flip flop to me!!!
    Time to bring it out!!!
    Time to do the vetting that it seems J/M didn't do if you ask me!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. Chris in Nebraska

    Unbelievable.

    What good is being a maverick if integrity is not one of your characteristics? Sarah Palin (and McCain of late) seem less the mavericks and more the flags flapping in the wind.

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  20. Sarah

    Jason, the "real Barack Obama" has integrity and genuinely cares about this country and its people. He came from nothing and achieved the American Dream. He understands us little people and sincerely wants to help US, not the richest and big oil like the Republicans Obama's economic plan will start us back on the right track, unlike McCain's which will only help the rich get richer.
    The Republicans only care about lining their own pockets and imposing their old fashioned right wing agendas on a nation too obstinate or afraid to take a chance on a real change.
    Go with McBush and Palin-Bush if you must but please remember it hurts all of us, nationally and globally, to allow another 'regime' like the last hold this country hostage to their war-mongering, christian extremist views.

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. kay deedee, nashville

    Liar, liar, her pants are officially on fire...

    September 8, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. ISLANDER

    BUSH WAS AN HONEST MISTAKE (TWICE)....MCCAIN/PALIN WILL BE DELIBARATE....

    September 8, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  23. William

    Republicans are doing what they do best. Lie and deceive just to get elected. They figure if they stick with the same story long enough it will become the truth. Look what it got GW Bush. He won. So why not do the same thing.

    September 8, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  24. mike s.

    I prefer this at least to Obama's stealing a primary based on, ad nauseum, an argument that he was the "only one" to come out and actively oppose the Iraq War, BUT NEVER ONCE mention that he was not in the U.S. Senate at the time and thus NEVER HAD TO CAST A VOTE EITHER WAY. Guess if he had been in the U.S. Senate at the time, he would have tried to vote "present," but then realizing that in the U.S. Senate it's either up or down, he would have gone ahead and voted whichever way the political winds were blowing at the time - i.e., for the war.

    Same old Chicago Politics.

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 8, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  25. McCain + Sarah = empty suits

    Liars liars liars,
    Evangelicals will put up a deaf ear, reason please............
    I am an evagenlical and i know Palin is a big liar.
    Evangelicals will vote for a rock as long as it pretends to love God.!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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