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. LE VA

    Please check out the Anchorage Daily News for latest update on the truth regarding the bridge to no where, instead of lying just dont mention it if it has no importance to this election for the republican base

    September 8, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  2. anon

    the Obama campaign has the greatest quick response, negative, attack machine in the history of politics!

    September 8, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. Javone

    Sarah Palin did not stop that bridge,...washing ton did! if washington had let her have her way she would have still been for it. Get a grip jason!

    September 8, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  4. George

    I guess she was for the bridge....

    before she was against it....

    September 8, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I won't even entertain this McCain/Palin discussion. The only thing I can say is that Campbell Brown is one of the best reporters for the 2008 Election. We need more people like Campbell who are not afraid of delving into the issues and dealing with the real questions facing the people of America today - joblessness, lack of health insurance and high cost of fuel.

    September 8, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  6. Hillary Democrat

    Obama choices are not all that good. He should have chosen Hillary as VP so I will vote for McCain in 2008 and Hillary in 2012.

    September 8, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  7. Mace

    I completely agree with the Obama campaign. Outright lies and half truths do not belong in our politics. The Republican Party at the state and national level have been using these same tactics to diminish the reputation of Senator Obama, whether they suggest he is a muslim bent on declaring Jihad on the US, or a militant African American out of touch with America. I expect to hear these lies from radio talk show hosts like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, but I don't think I should hear them from elected officials. McCain had my vote in the 2000 primary battle with GW, but I can't in good conscience vote for him this year. He has betrayed the trust of all of us independent minded people who once supported him in the past. Obama/Biden in 2008.

    September 8, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  8. Charlene Little

    When is a lie a lie, it has been verified over and over that Mrs. Palin was in favor of the bridge to nowhere when it appeared to be advantageos to her and became opposed when it became apparent it would no longer be helpful to her. She also supported lots of earmarks for Alaska and her hometown which she now is campaigning against. And furthermore the only thing she has in common with Hilary Clinton is her gender, any Clinton supporters who now support Mrs. Palin were never Clinton supporters in the first place!

    September 8, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  9. Jon

    Everyone knows that the Palin media campaign is a huge fabrication of her record. She wasn't against bridge as she's claimed, she didn't sell a jet on Ebay, her husband used to be (and maybe still is) a supporter of Alaska becoming an independent state–the statements she's given to read are full of lies. Both Democrats and Republicans know this. The difference is, the Republicans don't care because they want their ticket to win.

    September 8, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  10. Paul, CT

    As usual, the republicans know one thing- the bigger and bolder the lie you tell- the more people are apt to believe it. Jason did.

    September 8, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    There are and have been a LOT of ads, statements, and general rhetoric that stretch the truth to the point that it can be called an outright prevarication. In fact, most everything in recent days and weeks fits that description.

    Stick to the Real Issues.

    September 8, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  12. Obama- Next Stop.. White House

    Pants On Fire!!! The say ANYTHING, DO ANYTHING, LIE, SMEAR, CHEAT Campaign!!!

    No Way, No How No McClown or No McPalin!!!!
    No Way, No How No McClown or No McPalin!!!!
    No Way, No How No McClown or No McPalin!!!!
    No Way, No How No McClown or No McPalin!!!!
    No Way, No How No McClown or No McPalin!!!!

    It's not going to work this time....Not Now, Not Ever!!!
    Barack always said it would be close but he will be VICTORIOUS!!

    BO & JB 08

    September 8, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. R U for real?, CA

    The Republicans are pretty much trying to lie their way into the White House. It worked in 2004 and look at us now.

    Americans deserve whatever we get if we elect them.

    September 8, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. Jorge

    It's time the McCain–Palin campaign became the

    CAMPAIGN–TO–NOWHERE.

    September 8, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. the real Abby

    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. The takeover may result in a taxpayer bailout during reorganization."

    Economists and analysts pounced on the misstatement, saying it demonstrated a lack of understanding about one of the key economic issues likely to face the next administration.

    September 8, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. KATHLEEN

    CHENEY HAS TO GO TO ANOTHER COUNTRY TO BRAG NATIONALLY ON PADIN. HE LOVED HER SPEECH AND FOUND
    IT FUNNY AND GREAT!!!!!!

    THIS CHENEY COWARD CAN'T SHOW HIS FACE IN AMERICA!
    ALTHOUGH, BUSH AND CHENEY, LAUGH AT HOW BAD CHENEY'S
    APPROVAL RATING.

    CHECK OUT THEIR "LAST TELEVISED ROAST" WHERE BUSH MADE
    A JOKE OF CHENEY NOT CARING AND LAUGHING ABOUT WHAT
    "THE PEOPLE' that voted for them and who put them in office, thought
    of him. IT IS REAL FUNNY! And we suckers, voted for Bush twice.
    Oh, my God, America might do it again, with falling in love with
    a barracuda.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama-Biden 2008

    September 8, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Southerner For Obama

    CALL HER OUT ON THE GAFF SHE MADE ABOUT FANNY MAE AND FREDDIE MAC. SHE STATED THAT THE TAX PAYERS HAVE PAID TOO MUCH ALREADY. THEY ARE PRIVATELY OWNED (DUH)

    September 8, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  18. ss

    Regardless of how glamours her speeches she still a Rupublican and nothing has changed just the faces.

    September 8, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  19. Zaphod

    If mccain beats Obama in November it only shows how gullible and utterly stupid the American voters are. palin is nothing more than eye candy. the woman has no record to speak of and she has more garbage and ethics problem than "almost" anyone else in Congress. mccain is using the beauty queen instead of stepping up to do what HE needs to do to become president. pain is being sequestered from the media because she has no clue as to what she got into and they are prepping her for the debate and media scrutiny. if eight years of bush haven't shown us we, as a country, are doomed I don't know what else will.
    no mccain/no palin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Floridian

    What's the difference between Bush/Cheney and McCain/Palin? LIPSTICK

    September 8, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Pat

    The bridge money is in the State of Alaska treasury – it needs to be sent back to Washington.

    September 8, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. Ray Fisher

    Obama must realize that since he is an unconventional candidate he must create an unconventional campaign. First off, he should hold an economic summit with potential cabinet members to begin presenting prototype plans for economic recovery, secondly he should surround himself with brillance ala Jack Kennedy who was constantly pictured consulting with industry leaders. Thirdly, he must clearly define the areas of expertise both he and Biden will focus upon and announce plans ie. Biden will focus on Iraq and withdraw plans, Obama focus upon economy and budget plans announcing goals such as a balanced budget plan by March??? Political campaigns are all about perception and Obama must provide the image of leadership leaving the petty sniping against McCain to others. McCain is older with nothing to prove while Obama has everything to prove!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Debby

    The ad is not a lie she was for it till she found out the cost and as Governor she squashed it. She does not have any earmarks as a Governor so do your research Burton.

    September 8, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    republicans always lie

    September 8, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  25. PATRIOTFORMCCAIN

    Obama is full of it and people are noticing!

    September 8, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
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