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. Patrick Henry, Fort Myers

    The truth is in the results–in the end–she was against it.
    You know–kinda like the way Obama was O.K. with his pastor for 20 years–but once the public outcry reached a crescendo because of the numerous comments by Rev. Wright–he decided to leave the church and his pastor.

    It's where the candidate's head is at now that counts.

    September 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  2. PUMA PALIN

    For the first time McCain/Palin are leading in every poll...

    Bye Obama... that's what you get for your vicious attacks on women and children...

    Go back to your criminal cronies in Chicago...

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

    Tell Senator McCain to check his facts. They have interviews and newspaper articles when she was running for Governor when she said she was for it. That has been confirmed. Also, it was killed in Congress before she killed it as Governor. It just shows that she isn't any different than any other politician. They will say anything to get elected. Haven't you noticed that McCain and Palin are not saying anything about the economy, healthcare or the Iraq war. He's going to win just because she is a woman. Could you tell a woman that has been raped that she has to have the child because Palin is an extreme conservative? WAKE UP!!

    September 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  4. Gina J

    TOO INFORMED to vote Republican!

    September 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  5. A Proud Democrat

    I'm completely at my wits end. My following comment will not be about red or blue people. American people listen up. Currently OUR country is the laughing stock of the world. Our economy is GOING into recession. Inflation is ridiculous. Foreclosure is at an all time HIGH. Personally, I'm worried. I need to hear clearly laid out plans on how both parties intend on relieving my fears of inflation eating up my 401k. I need to know how my aging parents and aged grandparents will afford to pay for their prescriptions with the rising costs of healthcare, their electric bills, and put gas in their cars to go to the doctor. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, IN ORDER TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION–must elect a president that has OUR best interest in mind. Americans please do not vote for a man or woman or a hockey mom, or a black person or a white person just because. You will be doing a great injustice to yourself and your country. Let's get back to the real issues.

    September 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  6. jeff

    the reason that there are 80 percent for Obama on here is obvious...they are the out of work democrats/liberals that want Obama elected so they can sponge off the hard working republicans some more...

    September 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  7. Kathryn Richardson

    I think John McCain has made a hasty choice and we will all regret it. He seems to go for good looking women to the point it wrecked his first marriage. I would like to know if Sarah Palin would get so much attention if she was homely.????? Neither she or John are straight honest talkers. He is lying about Obama and there are tapes and recordings to prove it. Kate from Becker

    September 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  8. In Columbus

    After reading all these comments. Now I know where all the Democrats get their news. : )

    September 8, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. rachel

    Enough is enough. My country is tired of those repub shenanigans. We need to improve healthcare, education, housing, economy. Get out, Bush/McCain.
    Obama all the way!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. The Obama team is in panic mode.

    Sounds like DESPERATION to me.

    Go McCain, hit them harder!!!

    September 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  11. Al

    Spear and Fear that is what the republicans are doing, McCain said he wanted to run an above board campaign and instead he started mud slinging. I watched the RNC and that is what Palin did as well. LETS TALK ABOUT THE ISSUES PLAGUING THIS COUNTRY. I LISTEN TO ALL OF THE ISSUES AND THEN RESEARCH, I DO NOT RELY ON THE BIASES OF THE MEDIA. I AM AN INDEPENDENT THINKER AND VOTER. PEOPLE WHO ARE PARTY POLITICIANS ARE DESTROYING THIS COUNTRY, VOTE FOR THE BEST PERSON FOR THE JOB. NOT FOR THE PARTY. I AM GOING FOR OBAMA BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT HE IS OFFERING MORE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. MCCAIN IS GOING TO GIVE US THE SAME.

    September 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. butch

    If Obama only has $1B in earmarks in his plan, then he's TRILLIONS of dollars of improvement over Bush/McCain.

    September 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. eddie

    Ear-marks?? 50 million for a school run by a anit-american who was the group weathermam of 60's and 70's??? His wife got a hundred thousand pay raise by some of the ear-mark money from one of Obama's bill's? People don't air the dirty stuff for the whole world to laugh at the U.S.A. No mater who is in office we want the world to respect them.

    September 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. tom from knoxville

    Kind of like trying to take credit for apologizing after being caught in the wrong.

    September 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Doug

    If politicians are going to lie about the smaller things, what will they be lying about when in the White House? Guess we can look to good ol' George for that answer.

    September 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Peter (CA)

    Tom-

    Get your facts straight. McCain came out and said she sold the plane on eBay and made a profit.

    Not the same as Palin saying it but it was for the same reason–more right wing pandering.

    September 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  17. DMS FOR OBAMA

    HERE IN CA WHERE I AM FROM ARE LOOKING AT THESE TWO REPUBLICANS CAMPAIGN AND ASK OURSELVES, IF THEY ARE REALLY THAT DESPERATE TO GET IN THE WHITE HOUSE THAT THEY WOULD TELL ONE LIE AFTER ANOTHER AND MAKE PROMISES THEY HAVE NO INTENTIONS OF KEEPING TO GET THERE. THIS IS THE REPUBLICAN WAY. THESE ARE THE SAME PROMISES THAT BUSH MADE AND I DIDN'T FALL FOR IT BACK THEN EITHER.

    PEOPLE, OPEN YOUR EYES AND YOUR MINDS, WE HAVE HEARD ALL OF THIS BEFORE AND LOOK WHERE WE ARE. DON'T FALL FOR THE HYPE. WE ARE BETTER THAN THIS AND WE DESERVE A PRESIDENT THAT WILL WORK FOR US AS IT HAS WITH EVERY DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT WE HAVE HAD.

    DON'T FALL FOR THE LIES. CONTROL YOUR OWN MINDS, DON'T BE BRAINWASHED. BECAUSE IF ITS THAT EASY, THEN I HAVE SOME SWAMPLAND IN THE EVERGLADES FOR SALE.

    OBAMA ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. Kim

    Everyone should vote for McCain. Does anyone really want to put Obama in as President with Russia helping Iran built nuclear power? If you do, then you need your head examined. Obama has been wrong on every foreign policy decision he has ever made. Obama said Iran was a little country. Obama has not a clue what he is doing.

    September 8, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. The Patriot

    The real Obama is showing. Ahh Desperate!!!

    Substance over Hype.

    McCain Palin '08

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Anna

    I LOVE IT THOSE IN THE MEDIA AND THE RNC WENT OUT THERE AND MADE A BIG DEAL ABOUT HOW OBAMA NEEDS TO STOP MAKING GOOD SPEECH AND TELL US WHAT HIS PLAN IS, THAT HE WAS ACTING AND HIS PEOPLE WERE TREATING HIM LIKE A ROCK STAR. WELL WELL WELL LOOK AT THE MEDIA AND THE REPUBLICANS TREATING PALIN THE SAME WAY.

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Jack - DSM, Iowa

    Yeeee Hawwww! Now this is what I call a party! Everybody choose up sides and on the count of three pick up the nearest thing and bash someone from the other side over the head with it. Don't be squeemish about it. Klobber them good. Otherwise, on down the road, somebody might accuse you of sitting on your duff watching 'American Idol' and just thinking about yourself and being all cozy with your comfortable lifestyle.

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. Thomas Baird

    Food for thought:The Truth is the Truth. Come On Politicans lets try to be if not completely then partially Honest and not make false statements or half truths. Question I have does McCain really have lobbyist and or special interest people behind the curtain giveing Him and Palin advice or aid in any way?Also is Carl Rove involved in any way in trying to help McCain get elected?And if so ,in what ways?And who is McCain and Palins Council, the one they ask for guidance?Or are they makeing there own decisions and writting there own speeches. Or just following orders and reading the speeches as they are given them? Promises for change form those who arent really going to bring change is just more of the same political game play as in previous campaign. Say you both are Mavericks for change and will have a biparition administration ,that should get you more votes. Tell them what they want to hear and promise them what they need and get there vote and once in the white house lock the door and dont worry about it for 3 years or so.Its plain to see the people behind the curtain keep coming up with ideas on how to hustle more votes even though they are probably just more of the same and will end up as broken promises like the last 8 years of the Republican Bush/Cheney administration in the White House. Lets vote the republicans out of the White House and let the Democrats have a go at bring the changes we the people need. Yes we need change and we can start with changeing who is in the White House.Republicans had the last 8 years and they failed its time for a change of who is resideing in the White House if you know what I mean. A clean sweep of the White House is what we need.A new Democrat President and Vice President and Democrat Administration and a Democrat Controlled Congress. I say they that combination will be able to get things changed for the American People for the better. If they dont We the People will Vote them out of Office on next election .Its just that simple. Lets keep it simple its really not that complicated you know.

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Concerned Democrat

    This is a lesson to kids all over this great land. "If you continue to lie or mis-lead the public they will eventually believe you". It's just a sad display of American politics.

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Shirley

    What,s with all the action on Sarah and nothing on Oboma.
    He has a lot of baggage. Why don't the news Print it like not putting his hand oner his heart when the pledge is said. It's on the internet even a picture. Why isn't he put on TV. with all his dumb moves. It evens has a book out on him. Was he really born in America. These and more questions. Mclain really proved he was and loved America. I am a Dem. but going to vote for McClain and Sarah.

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. Patty

    If Sarah is so proud of "killing" the "bridge to nowhere," is she planning to kill the "road to nowhere"? There are still plans on the books and stakes in the ground for a 40-mile road that crosses 37 avalanche paths on its way to connect Juneau to a broad, silty glacial outwash. The road will NOT connect to any other existing road. What will maintenance cost? Those of us who live closest to the non-Juneau end of the road are largely opposed to its construction, preferring improvements to the ferry system, and even Juneau residents are split on the idea. Few people thought the bridge expense would be worth the money and no one but Governor Frank thought the jet was a good idea. All this "cleverness" and slam-dunk budget-cutting is highly overstated.

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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