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. PK

    McCain & Palin are liers!

    September 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. SIGH again

    oh yeah, i forgot alaska.

    September 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Cheryl in Florida

    It is no surprise to me that this ad is a lie, the Republican party has been built on lies for the last 8 years. To continue this only shows exactly that McCain and Palin are all about, 4 more years of the same lies and special interests. It is important to remember that while McCain tries to distance himself from the current administration he has voted for their policies 90% of the time. If McCain/Palin were any different why would they be using Bush advisors such as Karl Rove and others during their campaign. I would be a sad day for the country if they were elected into office and show only go to show the world we have not learned our lesson on the last 8 years. GO OBAMA/BIDEN!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Linda Schatzer

    The Americans are just plain stupid...and we are the laughing stock of the world when they see how stupid we are in supporting McSame again. They see Palin for what she is. What a joke.

    September 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  5. OK for Obama

    You know...the GOP has ALWAYS lied and pandered so this is not surprise. However WE DEMS NEED To stop being so "nice" and throw everything we have at them...the Truth alone is all it takes.
    Obama/Biden -Who cares what the Polls Say.

    September 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    WHERE do some of these Obama true believers get their information from.

    Cell phone users ARE POLLED!!!!!!

    At least the GALLUP says right on its website and in the explanation of its polling methods.

    "Interviews are conducted with respondents on land-line telephones (for respondents with a land-line telephone) and cellular phones (for respondents who are cell-phone only)."

    BTW There is a big pattern of 'half truths' being told and retold as truth.

    The American people ARE NOT idiots and to think that the 'smart' people ONLY live in cities and that rural America does not have the same proportion of bright people is why the Dems may be setting themselves up for another loss.

    Non Obama supporters are people you KNOW but are not as vocal as Obama supporters. They are have souls and feelings and they are your co workers, your friends, your doctors, teachers etc....
    they just don't talk about their politics and if you think THEY are not listening and are not going to VOTE you are wrong.

    By insulting them it only shows how ignorant and shallow you are and will show how truly non intelligent the comments and Obama supporters are. (you can talk yourselves into anything and to say only the less intelligent voted for bush and will vote McCain is fantasy at the very least and has been a way for Dems to rationalize the notion of Dem losses over the years IE if you vote for the Rep you MUST be stupid sort of fantasy.

    Obama supporters and the Dems in history have never seemed to realize the true demographics of this country and rely of stereotyping those that disagree with them and those on the fence. They do this and only insult the American public who are far from naive. Insults are NOT the way to win over voters and only a way to steer clear thinking voters away from you cause.

    September 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. JTS

    The GOP has been lying throughout this election. It's part of the Rove shift in politics. Rove and the GOP have been taking advantage of the fact that citizens don't think candidates lie. The GOP lies, and it's reported as "not completely accurate". Time to start calling a spade a spade. A "lie" is when someone intentionally says something they know is false. GOP – the party for liars.

    September 8, 2008 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. Jerry, Houston

    Obama is a blowhard. I have watched closely several interviews now and he has almost sociopathic tendencies. He can't admit he was wrong on the surge. His answers to direct questions on whether he was wrong sound just like Bill Clinton saying "that depends on what is is".

    Anyone see George Stephanopolous of all people nail Obama for the "95% of all Americans will see lower taxes under his plan"? George corrected him that it is only 81% and the 95% applied to married couples. Obama either does not know or lying about his own plan.

    September 8, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Ashley

    It is hysterical that people on here are accusing Palin of flip flopping. Obama has a history of that... and not being able to make up his mind. I'd rather have a VP makes a bad vote here and there than a PRESIDENT that can't make up his mind!

    And to "Jim Schimmer" for calling Palin dangerously inexperienced... seriously? Can you recall Obama's experience...oh wait...he doesn't have any and he's running for PRESIDENT. Palin is running for VP. If this election was about experiece, Obama would be screwed. Another thing that's hysterical is that Obama fans are comparing him to Palin....remember it's McCain that is running against Obama... compare those experience levels.

    GO MCCAIN/PALIN 08 !!!

    September 8, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. Gregory

    "the claim she was against the bridge is not entirely accurate;" but NOT a lie. Sounds like business as usual here, something you ObamaBiden fans should understand..., sorry I realize it's different when you guys do it.

    September 8, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  11. Patty

    Seems to me this issue becomes more interesting when you look at a CNN story in April this year when Obama and Clinton were campaigning in the primaries. Obama made some pretty strong statements about the need to reexamine the whole earmark process, signed on as a co-sponsor for a bill which called for a moratorium on earmark spending and refused to submit any earmark requests for 2009.
    On the other hand, Sarah Palin submitted a request for $197 million for 2009. This is a state with less than 700 thousand residents (vs 13 million for Illinois). It is also a state where there is no state income or sales tax, because they derive 80% of revenues from oil company revenue. In addition, every resident, including babies, get a check every year fro oil company revenues. Our pain at the pump is Alaska's gain!!!

    September 8, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  12. Breck

    Republicans have been lying for 8 years. why should this be any different?

    September 8, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  13. Caryn, Washington DC

    I'm truly scared for the future of this country if that woman gets anywhere near the White House.

    She should stay in Alaska with her moose and pregnant teen daughter and teach creationism or whatever she's into.

    September 8, 2008 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  14. Obama Campaign

    Sen. McCain = Pres. McCain :-(

    September 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Pat F

    Instead of trying to create a controversy where none exists, the Dems should concentrate on teaching Biden to walk and chew gum at the same time. Biden "not a debater"? Talk about the understatement of the decade! Biden would lose against a ripe cantaloupe.

    September 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Rob

    anyone surprised they are lying? The last month of the McCain has produced no proposals for how the plan to tackle the issues at hand. They spend all their time crying about the media, lying about Barack Obama and lying about Palin's experience.

    September 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  17. Caryn, Washington DC

    Changing your mind is not the same as blatantly lying. This woman is a liar and a poor substitute for Hillary Clinton.

    September 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  18. CS in PA

    The Republican party lie about issues? You don't say??? They are still keeping the Trophy Vice until they have implanted the Rove brain into her body – poor soul – isn't she smart enough to reailze she is being used like a puppet (you hear than Sec. Rice?)

    September 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  19. vote4Obama

    The Republicans speak with such hate and vile words when describing a candidate of true hope and change for this country, the republicans and their supporters should feel shameful especially since so many claim to be Christians and should never desire that kind of Politician in Government. McCain who has ran for President 3 times because he needs and wants POWER to feel like he has accomplished something bigger then himself has chosen to run a negative campaign, not a choice shared by his opponent. McCain a man that would do anything to get power, and that is scary! He again chose a V.P. based only on the idea that it would give him a chance for that win. Well, I’m an Alaskan resident and Sara Palin is riding HIGH on the wings of her predecessors and many Alaskans will tell you the very same story. Alaskans know that her high approval rate is not based upon her it is based upon the government establishment that was in office prior to her taking office. Her so called accomplishments are the hard work of many she works with now and those that held office prior to Palin. Americans need to do their home work; we absolutely can not afford to have a McCain/ Palin in the most powerful positions in America!

    September 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  20. DJ Los Angeles

    THIS is indicative of what to expect if McCain / Palin were actually elected. I have never seen such blatant lies in politics. As if McCain's people actually expect people to believe that he is for "change" and against lobbyists??? How can people believe a single word out of her or McCain's mouth? Err make that the speechwriters rather.

    September 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  21. Amber

    Hmmm....John McCain's not a Maverick? Yeah right. Let's see....

    John Kerry considered running w/ him in 2004. And even Joe Biden said he would've been honored to run w/ McCain. Lieberman backs him. And Hillary and Bill like him too. (And these are just a few of the big names). Now suddenly, all the Democrats are turning on him. lol It cracks me up!

    Certainly he's a Maverick. There's no questionining that. Obama is just shaking in his boots now that he messed up by not choosing Hillary as Veep! His polling #s are bad and.... Well, you get what you pay for DNC and Bots.

    September 8, 2008 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  22. Greg K

    If you make less than 60K and you buy the garbage the GOP is still selling. You will get what you deserve, an even harder life. If you are a righty troll, you are what is wrong with this country and no patriot.

    September 8, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Jean

    HELP! HELP!
    SOME ONE PLEASE STOP THIS PARADE OF LIES AND TWISTED HALF TRUTHS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  24. Elliot. NY

    Slamming Sarah Palin won't work. She's turned the election upside down-just look at today's polls.

    Middle America loves her and that's where the election will be decided, in the small towns of Ohio, Pa., Indiana and Michigan.

    Mccain/Palin 08'

    Sarah Palin 12 & 16'

    September 8, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  25. Ken

    Of course people against Palin are going to lie and say she was for it before she was against it. The records show she considered it and had it killed. "Considering" and "being for" something are different.

    September 8, 2008 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
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