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. Sally in PA

    Mrs .Palin did the right thing and changed her mind about the bridge.

    Obama did not support winning this current war in Iraq and wants to quit the war for political reasons. He also now says for political reasons that he wanted to join the US military after high school but there was not a war to fight at the time.

    The smart people will vote for the person that changed her mind about a bridge and is running to serve and protect the USA!

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  2. Teri

    Come on CNN- don't wait for Charlie Gibson to bring us Sarah (Spiro) Palin as the Repubs want us to view her. They won't vet her – it's time for you to step up and play her crazy Reverend as much as you played Rev. Wright 24/7. Do a peice on AIP! Show Wasilla's debt before and after she left office there. Follow the money. YOU have helped make her a celebrity – you better start showing her substance.

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

    Just Say No to the lair McBush and to the pitbull with lipstick!

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Jeff

    I really don't understand why they would nip this so early. Let them put out their ad, then call them on the lie! Lete them wallow in their own words!!

    I think it's a sad day when the polls are so close during an election like this.

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. ERIC

    Dirty politics works...we believe every ad the Republican's put out there. We deserve what we get.
    OBAMA 2008!

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. mike

    The access road that leads to the bridge to nowhere (ie, road to nowhere) was built using earmarked funding ($25M). This project continued construction, even after she supposedly "killed it".

    September 8, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. nobama

    A gay democrat for McCain/Palin '08

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

    Watch Palin as she takes on the media. Palin loses. She cannot handle it.

    September 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. Trina in VA

    lets also state the fact that she put the jet on EBay, however it remainied on Ebay and was actually sold to a business man way less than priced.

    Another GOP antic thinking America is not paying attention.
    Don't believe the hype.

    This mom will not vote for her.

    September 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  10. jake, San Francisco, CA

    Sarah Palin makes me sick!

    I dispise a lying woman...I didn't say a woman lying down fool!

    She's running on a lot of hot air but watch out as we deflict her air bed.
    Haven't we seen Obama come from 20pts down in pools to win the Dem nomination, why are people getting confused by this ugly big headed lying governor...

    None of her stories is clear..everything's got some lies to it...
    Get on America, get going with the issues, this is not time for a hot check!

    September 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. Paula

    CSPAN actually ran the Alaska Gov. debate with Palin yesterday. Palin DEFINITELYy said she supported that bridge. Maybe dems should run a clip from that as an ad.. I just don't understand why they keep repeating that lie. I guess Obama was right......they're counting on us being stupid.

    September 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  12. mike

    obama presidency will be 4 yrs. of reverent wright, tony resko and ayers. can you say corrupt!

    September 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  13. The Patriot

    Keep America Safe.

    A salute from a black man and a former marine.

    McCain Palin '08

    September 8, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  14. Lisa

    At this point, I doubt if any one who supports Mccain/palin really cares if they are liars. They obviously are blinded because to be for these two characters, they have already had to embrace fantasy justifications and shallow thinking.

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  15. Marc M

    The only ones lying are the democrats who ran and removed their own web page that stated that she was given credit for it.

    Why did they change this?

    Who is guilty of a "coverup" and lying? The demoncrats.

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  16. HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

    JOHN, AND SARAH ARE BOTH THE SAME. A CLONE OF BUSH. THEY BOTH LIE. BOTH ARE COLD HEARTED, AND CANT BE TRUSTED. IF THEY ARE IN THE WHITE HOUSE I REALLY FEEL SORRY FOR THIS COUNTRY. SHE HAS ALL THOSE KIDS, AND A SICK CHILD, AND IT MADE HER COLD AND A SCHEMER OR THAT IS JUST HER CHARACTER. WHATEVER IT IS, I DONT LIKE HER CHARACTER.

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  17. tmd

    Tom in Delaware – McCain is the one who said she sold the plane on eBay for a profit.

    Ted – Hillary Clinton said "the sky will open, the sun will shine down on you and you will know you should vote for me" when she was mocking Obama. As for voting to support the troops, Obama has always supported the troops. That doesn't mean he has to support the war.
    I don't know what planet you've been visiting, but Obama has been talking about nothing but the issues. As usual, the McCain campaign only has time to talk about Obama.

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  18. Kaching

    A successful Republican tactic is to simply repeat a lie over and over and over. People believe what they hear most. That is how we form our opinions. McCain repeats over and over that Obama will raise taxes. Republicans start chanting: "Tax-and-spend. Tax-and-spend. Tax-and-spend."

    When Obama replies that he has no plans to raise taxes, McCain says "Obama will raise taxes." Republicans chant: "Tax-and-spend. Tax-and-spend. Tax-and-spend."

    When Obama says he plans to lower taxes, McCain says, "Obama will raise your taxes." " Republicans chant: "Tax-and-spend. Tax-and-spend. Tax-and-spend."

    Our less thougtful fellow citizens, who do not follow the campaign like we do, say "I like Obama, but I can't afford higher taxes, and he has said many times that he will raise our taxes."

    It is a technique that has worked for them before. They are very good at it.

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. Vigla

    I read comments about Palin that make no sense. One comment states that Palin has a surplus. Yeah, from LAST years budget, enacted by Gov. Frank Murkowski. You Republican sycophants make me sick.

    Let's stick to the issues, shall we? Republicans have been in control for 8 years, the country is a mess, the debt is skyrocketing, we have an illegimate wor in Iraq. Why don't we elect another set of Republicans and see how much further we can go before we hit rock bottom? It never ceases to amaze me how some people think.

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. A Woman In California For Obama:

    JUST SAY NO TO:

    McCain/Female '08

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Obama is too freely with his vocabulary. I am not at the least impressed with him. I do have to tip my hat to him he had good judgement in picking biden. Hats off to him for not putting a Clinton on his ticket. People in this country are sick of the Clinton's. Hillary is the biggest liar in this country.

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  22. Dee Dee Lynn

    Lisa,

    There's a Newsweek article (available on a rival network site) that details the problems with the methodology in the Gallup poll. That poll has been wildly out of sync with other polls before. Its likely that McCain is a little ahead at the moment (convention bump) just as Obama was after the Democratic convention. However, since no other poll shows a 10 point margin and since no president in living memory has won with a 10 point margin, and since the country remains deeply divided, that Gallup poll is suspect. Of course, Republicans are prone to believing fairy tales that support their view of the world (hence the idea that the party in power is suddenly going to reverse course), so they accept this as reality.

    I wonder where the story about Sarah Palin's mischaracterization of what caused the Fannie and Freddie problems is? Is that not news? Or is Palin now off limits?

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  23. Major

    Dems are doomed.
    Republican surge gonna put Obama and his liberal supporter into history books :-(

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Ted van Tol

    CNN post this please!

    Again fear wil rule the USA!
    Again the Americans wil elect the wrong candidate!
    Again America wil lose support of foreign countrys!
    Again no healt ensurence for everyone!
    Again a new war to come and two others to end!
    Again four years economic disaster
    America, America, where is your dream?
    The land of the free wil become the land
    of an old tired man and his pitbull.
    What a shame!

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. Lars

    New Face – same old lies. The problem is that the GOP as a whole (and this means all you people that vote for these creeps) does not care about facts, lies, morals, ethics, and accountabiltiy. Sarah Palin looks more and more like George Bush with a little lipstick and a shrillness in her voice (I think it's the sound of bull moose in love).

    September 8, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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