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. Oregon calling

    All that McCain can do is lie. Palin just reads the teleprompter.

    Obama / Biden 08

    September 8, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  2. fella from Chicago

    Forget the "bridge to nowhere". Of course she stretched the truth, she's a politician. All four presidential and vice-presidential candidates lie (stretch the truth); they're politicians. That's what they do best. Sarah Palin is better looking than the other three and to me that makes her lies more acceptable.

    September 8, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. Careful now..

    So, it's OK for Obama to change his position based on more information, but it's not OK for Sarah Palin to change her position when she became governor.

    Sorry Obama, you can continue to whine about those mean 'ole Republicans. Crawl back to the Clintons, beg for their forgiveness and help. It's your only "Hope".

    September 8, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Jim Schimmer

    Lets have Ms. Alaska run the country.

    The country will be 10 times as worse as when Bush was president!

    She is dangeriously inexperienced and is all drama!!

    September 8, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. Nik

    What's stupid is that anyone can factcheck this "Bridge to Nowhere" story. There are countless reports that don't add up to what Palin/McCain are touting. Americans fall for the bait everytime.

    September 8, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  6. Kim

    Lie after lie the Mccain camp continues to push on the American people of what a Mavrick Mrs Palin is. John I want you to take your time in the sun while it last, cause come Nov 5th you will be headed back to the US Senate.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 08

    September 8, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. Over My Dead Body

    So what did Miss Right Wing, Evangelical, Women's Rights Banisher do with the millions in earmarks for this 'bridge'? Apparently it never made it's way back to Uncle Sam...

    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.

    September 8, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  8. Cynthia

    The Obama camp is correct in that it is a lie of omission. What is the McCain camp saying by using the word hysterical – if the Obama camp had used that word to describe Palin – some people would be in an uproar saying that they were being sexiest.

    September 8, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Dan Erdmann

    I believe that it is also true that even though the bridge was canceled, Alaska still received the money to spend on other projects. So "thanks but no thanks" isn't very accurate.

    September 8, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. Jane - PA

    McCain is using the George W. Bush playbook and lying about his competition. Basically lie and win the election there is no ref to call you on it. McCain learned this in South Carolina when W. lied about him. How far you have fallen McCain.
    Wake up America....McCain/Palin is using the Rove playbook!!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. Mark Wagner

    It's hard for me to watch as the McCain campaign lies over and over, and not one media outlet is calling them out on it.

    Despite what you think about Obama, he has never flat out lied about a McCain policy, and then defended the lie. I'm aware that this is a political environment, and an issue has many sides.

    But, I'll watch it til November. Lord knows the media isn't going to call McCain out on anything or they'll call them sexist.

    September 8, 2008 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. Independent Voter

    Still trying to figure out who to vote for but it does seem pretty close to lying when a non-partisan group like factcheck.org states that they were for the bridge before they were against it.

    September 8, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Bob Huxhold

    The point isn't whether or not she opposed the bridge. The point is she kept the federal funds anyway. She didn't cut spending she reapropriated it.

    September 8, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  14. Tom

    Lying to win the election has become the republican trademark for the 08 election.

    September 8, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  15. Ryan in Omaha

    Did the money still make it to Alaska?

    September 8, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  16. patmosburg

    Iwouldn't vote for that liar Mccain if he put twenty women on his ticket. Fomer Republican voter

    September 8, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  17. Sammy

    People are going to believe who they want to regardless of the facts. Palin publicly said she supported all the federal earmark money but did not exclude any projects as bad ones. So at the very least, regardless of whenever she changed her mind about the bridge (people can change their minds you know) she did like earmarks. Trying to be against them now is a bit disingenuous.

    To be sarcastic..... I am waiting for the democrats to release a Palin "superstar" TV add with pictures of Paris and Brittany. No wait they cant do that. It would be sexist.

    September 8, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Eric

    This will all backfire on the McCain campaign. A house built on lies will never last

    September 8, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  19. Donna

    We have known she was lying since she first opened her mouth over a week ago and then dragged her Jerry Springer soap opera into the public spotlight. Where's the commercials and news reports saying as much? It's not rocket science. I hope this is the last election the news media is involved in. They have turned the most powerful position in the world into an American Idol Jerry Springer/ MTV show.

    September 8, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  20. 4Obama

    Palin lied the whole time she was up doing her performance at the convention and she's still lieing.....she was for the bridge and the only reason they are claiming she was against it is because it was killed on capitol hill.....but she's suppose to be so christain....she's nothing but a liar....claims to be a pittbull but won't talk to the press and that charlie gibson mess doesn't count.

    September 8, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  21. R U Kidding?

    Hmmm.... no mention of the fact that she kept the money!! I couldn't care less if she changed her mind about something based on more information but then give all the money back!

    September 8, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  22. charles

    Gov. Sarah Palin made her first potentially major gaffe during her time on the national scene while discussing the developments of the perilous housing market this past weekend.

    Speaking before voters in Colorado Springs, the Republican vice presidential nominee claimed that lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers." The companies, as McClatchy reported, "aren't taxpayer funded but operate as private companies

    September 8, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. scott

    $1 billion? Holy crap...is there any substantiation for that?

    September 8, 2008 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  24. humoured

    they tell more lies than pinnochio. the saddest part of it all is that people are falling for it. Like the clinton supporters that are now for mccain cause of palin those idiots fell for it like a sack of bricks.

    If you dont stand for something you'll fall for anything.

    September 8, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  25. george

    what about her state's 12 billion surplus she created and the jet she got rid of?
    the dumbocrats are fearful of anyone who won't waste your money on political connections and pork projects

    September 8, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
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