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. Vincent Spaulding

    Palin is a liar in the tradition of George W. Bush and the entire Republican party. Give her credit for being a political opportunist and fooling the people of Alaska, but don't confuse anything she says with the truth.

    September 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  2. jose in brooklyn

    of course they're lies...what else can the republican say? if ont lies?

    September 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Peter Zheutlin

    She didn’t say “no thanks” to the “Bridge to Nowhere” until after Congress had already abandoned it, and she kept the $223 million in taxpayers’ money anyway. Far from rejecting federal pork, she hired lobbyists to secure her town a disproportionate share of earmarks ($1,000 per resident in 2002, 20 times the per capita average in other states).

    Yup, this real change all right. Palin is a federal welfare queen.

    September 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Celtic

    McCain is going to win in November, because he truly loves this country and will put the country first. Unlike Obama, who is running for his ego. Have you seen that silly Obama "presidential" seal? And the hilarious styrofoam Greek columns? Obama the demi-god. And the majority of Americans are not left-wing lunatics like the Code Pink freaks who interrupted McCain's speech at the convention. Thank you, Code Pink! What with the American flags tossed into trash bags from the Obama rally & the loonies from CP, Obama's cronies have done a great job reinforcing what a bunch of anti-American nutjobs the Democratic party has become. Not to mention the clear misogyny coming out of Obama's campaign, directed against both Hillary Clinton & Sarah Palin. Women still think the Democratic party respects them? Well, I know MANY life-long Dems who are jumping ship and voting McCain this year, since they don't even recognize their old party.

    September 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Didine - Maryland

    According to the fact check, Sarah Palin statement is not accurate. That's another lie from the Republican Campaign. Everyone who whatch the fact check about her speech last week know very well that this is a lie.

    September 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  6. Zoolopolis

    These lies remind me of how insistant they are about drilling everywhere. Course, they leave out the fact that any oil we get would bought out by the Chinese and Indians on the market and in the end it'll only lower gas at the station by a few pennies. "Drill now" indeed.

    I say we open up off shore drilling but say that if gas prices don't go down to less than $3 per gallon in 5 years we take it back.

    September 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  7. Pam

    Once again the Republicants and McPander are telling mis-truths.
    John McCain should now be known as JOHN McSHAME!
    Blinded by nothing but ambition John, you are willing to do whatever you have to in order to put "ME (JOHN McCAIN FIRST", INSTEAD OF "COUNTRY FIRST." By pandering to the extreme right is something you ought not do, particularly if you had any sense of dignity and self-respect and TRUE love of country.

    Democrats do NOT sacrifice their principles. We hold TRUE to them and will FIGHT to GET OUR COUNTRY BACK!!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Don

    Let's be honest, neither side has clean hands here – not Obama and not McCain. It is easy to attack McCain on this one, but Obama is no saint either. This is not ideological.

    Obama told a leftist organization that he would cut tens of billions of dollars in defense spending, including missile defense. He then turns around and tells reporters that he will increase the size of the U.S. military. It is inconsistent. He clearly says whatever he needs to say depending on who the audience is.

    McCain does the same thing.

    All politicians – from the village mayor all the way up to Pennsylvania Avenue – play games with the truth every day. It is the nature of the game.

    September 8, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. Jim

    "The Alaska Democratic Party has removed a Web page that credited Palin for killing the Bridge to Nowhere project."

    Funny..how history gets changed when Obama is threatened.. Lol. This is rich. The Democratic party is in Emergency Mode!!!!! CODE RED, CODE RED!

    September 8, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. Bob

    Alaska gets more earmarked pork per head than any state in the nation. "Maverick reformer"? Please.

    September 8, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. mistermister

    Sarah is a women! Of course she's a liar!!

    September 8, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Wayne

    CNN is there a rule out there that says you cant say that Palin LIED. She lied to voters in her very first speech to the nation. Can you say that. Can you rename the article "SARAH PALIN LIED ABOUT THE BRIDGE TO NO WHERE"?

    She lied. She said she was against it when she was really for it. When it get shut down she took the money anyways. She LIED. Do you have the cojones to say that? That she lied to us? That her whole maverick image is a big fat lie.

    September 8, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. Joule

    Your listening skills are lacking. Palin said she "put the plane on eBay."
    She did that. No buyers on eBay for the plane, but she did sell it.

    September 8, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. Hal

    Hmm...like Obama hasn't changed his mind on issues and flip-flop from time to time. I have to laugh at all of this- Nobama for this mama!!

    September 8, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  15. John

    Is CNN connected with the democrat party? I'm just wondering because all you ever see negitive articals about Rep. and never the Dems. It's the same with the comments.

    September 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. Joey

    Do we expect anything less from a McCain campaign? Isn't funny how Barack Obama is not experienced enough to be President but Palin is experienced enough to be a heartbeat away from a 72 year old presidential heart. Then we hear that Palin is qualified because she has been an executive; however, that makes John McCain unqualified.
    We need a President with a vision to help our country. We need Obama.

    September 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. Paul C. Palmetto Bay, FL

    Palin supported the bridge then when she saw which way the wind was blowing she was against it. She kept the money. She's not stupid.
    She has received and spent earmarks but I am sure it was distasteful.
    Masters of the half truths and outright lies.
    As Goebbels proved, if you repeat the lie often enough it becomes the truth.

    September 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Independent Jones

    Instead of body armor, American soldiers should just strap Republicans to their chests, because they will deflect everything.

    September 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  19. annie - former democrat

    To s.a.m. in virginia – you are so RIGHT – that is all bo and his campain do – lie – lie -lie. Except maybe yesterday on Geo. Step. show when he said "My muslem faith"

    September 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Alex

    Wow mccain camp is quick, they pulled that page down with bridge no where ..already... admitting to the lie? great...

    September 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Ron

    Republicans: The Audacity of Lying

    Gof forbid McCain and Palin get anywhere near the White House!

    Obama/Biden in 2008!

    September 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. jj

    Obama = inexperience
    +
    Biden = more of the same Washington fat cat
    =
    Country 2nd and moving backward

    McCain/Palin '08

    September 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  23. kyle

    republicans thats all they do is lie get rich and let the wealthy gets richer and the poor gets poorer.

    September 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. Jack Jodell, Minneapolis, MN

    Of course it's a lie, just like 80% of the rest of his ads have been lies. Why? Because, with ex-Bush campaign aides on board, all you'll get are lies, just like in 2004! If it looks like a Bush and it stinks like a Bush, then it's JUST LIKE BUSH!

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08 AND '12!!!

    September 8, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  25. Paul D.

    Palin KEPT all that pork money. This is irrefutable. She is dishonest and hypocritical.

    September 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
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