September 8th, 2008
05:19 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama to Palin: You can’t just ‘make stuff up’

Barack Obama is accusing Palin of trying to 'recreate' herself.
Barack Obama is accusing Palin of trying to 'recreate' herself.

FLINT, Michigan (CNN) –- Refusing to allow the McCain-Palin ticket to usurp his mantle of change, Barack Obama accused the duo of repackaging themselves and ratcheted up his weekend criticism of Sarah Palin, accusing her of trying to “make stuff up” and “recreate” herself in some of his toughest language against her to date.

“Let’s get the facts clear here. When she was mayor, she hired a Washington lobbyist to get earmarks – pork barrel spending – all the things that John McCain says is bad, she lobbied to get!” Obama told a small crowd at community college in this economically hard-hit town.

“When it came to the Bridge to Nowhere, she was for it until everybody started raising a fuss about it and she started running for governor and then suddenly she was against it!

“You remember that?” Obama continued. “For it before you were against it? I mean you can’t just make stuff up, you can’t just recreate yourself, you can’t just reinvent yourself. The American people aren’t stupid.”

Watch: Clinton says 'No McCain, no Palin'

Obama was reacting to a McCain ad out Monday touting Palin’s stance against the infamous $400 million earmark in her home state of Alaska – a position that is central to the Republican’s argument that his ticket will battle wasteful government spending.

The attack echoes his criticism of Palin Saturday, when he charged that she had accepted earmarks “when it's convenient, and then suddenly you're the champion anti-earmark person, that's not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can't just make stuff up."

On Monday, the Democratic nominee asked how McCain could talk about change “with a straight face,” telling the crowd seven of the Arizona senator's top aides of were former corporate lobbyists.

“John McCain says that he is going to tell all those lobbyists in Washington that their days of running Washington are over,” said Obama. “So who is it that he’s going to tell? Is he going to tell his campaign chairman? Is he going to tell his campaign manager? I mean, these are folks who have represented every major corporate interest…”


McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds responded that there are no registered lobbyists currently on the payroll, “and Barack Obama knows it.”

“John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin are a new chapter of reform in Washington, and if Barack Obama is so concerned about former lobbyists than he doesn’t need to look any further than the leadership of his own campaign,” said Bounds. “Barack Obama does not have the record to make change, and voters are recognizing it.”

Obama took another jab at his GOP opponents during a response on Social Security during the event’s question-and-answer session, calling McCain's position “another example of the ‘No Change Express.’”

soundoff (238 Responses)
  1. yup

    Barack and McCain can make stuff up. why not Palin?

    September 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. selfemployed

    way to go Obama!!!!!!!!!!!

    88% of D.C.'s 8th graders can't read

    September 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. returntocommonsense

    The two other little factoids that Governor Palin leaves out is that the Bridge to No Where was already dead in Congress BEFORE she came out against it and that she kept the money. A true anti-earmark person would have sent the money back. How does this make her an agent of change?

    September 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  4. Lost of CNN Moderation

    Oh Barack, they've been making it up as they go for 8 yrs. Why would they "change" now.
    and

    If anybody believes that McCain doesn't have lobbyists working for him think again. The better question to ask McCain would be who works for him that isn't a lobbyist. Go to mccainsource.com. There's about 134 lobbyists at last count.

    September 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Hillary is being held hostage!

    Stop holding Hillary hostage with your promises to help pay back her campaign debt while forcing her and Bill to clean up your image with the other half of the Democratic Party so you can slip into the White House!

    September 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  6. VitoF

    Thank God SOMEBODY is calling the Republicans out on their dishonesty. Their gameplan for the final 60 days is clearly to lie their way to the election and hope no one calls them on it. Obama has been pushing for change from George Bush's policies for years. On the other hand, McCain voted the way Bush wanted him to 95% of the time last year , and now suddenly is saying HE'S the one that supports change? Give me a frickin' break! The American people are NOT as stupid as McCain/Palin hopes they are, as long as there is truth from the media.

    September 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  7. Careful now..

    Palin: "Not ONE piece of legislation in the Senate or even his term in Illinois"

    129 votes in the State Senate as "Present".
    -------

    Cut the man a break, will ya? He was busy shifting money to hate filled churches and writing books about himself. He had alot going on! He is all about change and how much he can line his pockets with it. If he's president I'm sure he'll have another book out there about the big O's history making accomplishments – I just hope he can find some spare time to run the country.

    September 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  8. DK(@)AZ

    I see the beginning of an awakening in the OBOMA/BIDEN camp. Get Bill Clinton out there to pound those streets. Palin will be exsposed and then the RNC will have to pay the piper.

    September 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  9. Pat F

    Can't you just SMELL the panic in the Democrats?

    September 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  10. Big D

    I really wish the media would cover Palin's statements more thoroughly. She lied. Can't that be said more directly? Why does the media keep repeating the RNC's talking points without analyzing them? Why isn't there more fact checking, and more coverage of the fact checking that's shown that she lied? Why are people willing to support her, knowing that she lied? Why aren't more people aware of the fact that she lied? She lied on the bridge story, and she lied about Obama at the RNC convention. She lied.

    September 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. Lisa from VA

    Yes she can just make stuff up. Thats what the republicans do and nobody bothers to call them on it. She's pathetic but they are all swooning over her when they had no clue who on earth she was just a week ago. She can do whatever she wants or say whatever she wants...the republicans don't care. They will do whatever it takes to win. And I am just sick of it all.

    September 8, 2008 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  12. Clint

    Yes, Sarah lying is a sin.

    September 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. Alice

    I love it – the "No Change Express" !

    Take those mitts off, Barack!

    Finally!

    September 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. blaising

    Sure you can!! When you’re senile, every day is a completely new day and everything is new to you. you have no memory… Why worry about what you said yesterday or the day before or six months ago, since you can’t remember it anyway. Just babble on…

    And let's not forget:
    "Her philosophy from our perspective is cut, kill, dig and drill," said John Toppenberg, director of the Alaska Wildlife Alliance, maintaining she is "in the Stone Age of wildlife management and is very opposed to utilizing accepted science."

    September 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  15. Taniel

    The day's polls have McCain gaining nationally but the race remains a toss-up in the most important battlegrounds, Virginia, Michigan, Colorado. Full roundup available here.

    September 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Chris from Mpls

    It's about time he just said it like it is... unfortunately it looks like 47% of Americans are stupid. Lets help to educate them.

    Obama 08

    September 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. RR in AZ

    Keep on talking about the ISSUES!!........The truth shall set you free!!

    September 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. MT, Texas

    I guess Obama doesn't remember the over $1 BILLION in earmarks that he's placed onto bills ... including $MILLIONS to his wife's interests.

    John McCain earmarks – $0 for his entire career!!!

    September 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  19. Fritz

    She can and she will make stuff up – did you see her recent one about Fannie and Freddie and how she did not understand the mortgage situation in the US at all? Neither Palin nor McCain seem to know anything about economics. No Palin No McCain.

    September 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  20. whiteboy for obama

    why not? that's what the mccain camp tells her to say.

    September 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  21. CM

    Its about time someone started bringing out the truth against those guys. They may have their base duped but their positions are in black and white for everyone to see.

    I guess the typical response from the GOP will sidestep the issue and just attack Obama. How about you guys answer a question for a change?

    It seems pretty hypocritical that you don't hold your own candidates to the same standards as you hold your opponent.

    September 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  22. If you liked Bush- you will love McCain

    You can’t just ‘make stuff up’?

    Sure they can

    And they are

    September 8, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. Jacquie

    This election is about McCain and Obama. Which candidate will actually hear the phone ring at 3am? Who has the ability to keep up with the physical demands of the job? With McCain the scene could look eerily similar to a "Weekend at Bernie's" movie with cabinet members holding him up during peace talks!
    The country needs a person who is in his right mind. The aging process is taking its toll on McCain and that was very clear during his speech. I love the man he deserves a lifetime achievement award not the oval office. This independent is choosing Obama without even first considering Palin which is another story altogether.

    September 8, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  24. Mike

    How in the world can Barack Obama say, "I mean you can’t just make stuff up, you can’t just recreate yourself, you can’t just reinvent yourself. The American people aren’t stupid," with even a remotely straight face? Has he ever told the truth about his relationships with Jeremiah Wright or William Ayers? No. To this day he conceals the depth of those relationships because he'd rather "recreate" himself as somebody who won't try to make America a socialist nation.

    September 8, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  25. brad

    all questions would be answered simply by ALL MEDIA report the facts. From what I am reading, I don't think I have ever seen so many half truth and all out lies in a campaign. Disturbingly scary.

    September 8, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
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