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. Careful now..

    @Eric-29-m-PA: RIGHT ON!

    But it falls on deaf ears to his blinded supporters. If the messiah say it, it must be so!

    September 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  2. Brian, Pittsburgh

    Why can't we just have a race based on facts? Lay out the issues, where the candidates stand, and let the people decide.

    Instead, most of the race is full of lies, attacks and rumors, and the American people will be the ones who suffer if they make the wrong choice.

    Obama '08

    September 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  3. Liz

    Everybody knows John McCain's desperation to win is evident in everything he does–from his choice of Palin, to the speechwriter his campaigns chooses for her, and now the lies that she fabricates.

    Everyday, this country is learning something new about Sarah Palin...and it doesn't look too great.

    September 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  4. GOP HYPOCRITS

    Finally Obama has the guts to call Palin on her bare-faced lies; something that the media seems unable to do.

    The truth will prevail. Down with the Republicans and their lying machine. Palin thinks because her lies has won her the hearts of the Republicans base that Americans will nto see thru her.

    May the truth be told to Americans. After all after 8 years of lies and spins, Palin has the nerve to offer more of the same.

    September 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  5. facts are facts

    Palin and the GOP religious fanatics think they are well on their way to installing the teaching of creationism in schools and letting on it's science to American children.

    My question is since there are so many different fairy tales preached by the many different religions who chooses what fairy tale to be taught to who.

    Also will all the women forced into having back alley or seedy back room abortions be charged with murder under the Republican regressive approach to eliminating legal abortions?

    Someone needs to ask these questions and get direct responses from both McCain and Palin and it should be done now!

    September 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  6. peter, CT

    Say it like it is Obama, say it like it is. Don't let the repubs get away with this "you can't critisize palin" straw man they've adopted. On another note, McCain was smart to pick someone more interesting than himself as a running mate... but why is Palin, the running mate, the new face of the republican ticket? Don't you think dems would take flak if Biden's face suddenly replaced Obamas at every venue and in every publication? Hmmmmm.... who's using gender to they're advantage now????

    September 8, 2008 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  7. Will smith

    Why can't she made stuff up, since the rest of americans are stupid and 20% of them won't vote for you bec. of your race. Ofcourse, the GOP can make stuff up, it is what you do about it

    September 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  8. oz in cal

    She took donuts as the city council was down to thier last two. Greed your in when no one is looking, people are looking and Palin still has sprinkles on her finger tips.

    September 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  9. MikeH

    I wanna hear about Sarah's involvement with Brad Hanson.

    September 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. McCain=the draft

    Call McCain and Palin out on ALL their lies! It's about time!
    She's a novelty, but that will wear off when the truth is known!
    They are both just MORE OF THE SAME!

    September 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Brian Wilson

    Come on yourself Obama. You said it yourself, words mean something. And we're supposed to accept your lies? What about your billion dollars of earmarks? And why, oh why, won't anybody run a story about the lawsuit you're involved in claiming you aren't constitutionally eligible for president? You can be sure that if Palin wasn't qualified to be VP the press would be all over it – oh wait she is eligible and they're still trying to say she's not qualified.

    September 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  12. Michael in Houston

    MT, Texas, you got any proof of that 1 Million dollors, or are you repeating something that you heard as you NeoCons tend to do. And Gary, get over it dude, Your whole arguement is Obama uses dirty tactics, when? How? Where? Against Hillary? maybe I was watching the wrong debates, but he was the one takin gthe high road 100% of the time. And what Gary, by speaking the truth, he is being unfair? Tell you girl Palin to have her staff check the speech before they let her say anything. To many ways to verify Truths and Lies, Sarah and John. And I have to agree with you Barack, 47% of the "polled" population needs a little education on facts.

    September 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  13. Dave H

    Wolf get a backbone. Palin's girl buddy gives you the spin and you do nothing to refute it. She gives you the bridge song and dance and you don't even try to challenge her on it.

    So Palin supported it when it was a half as much? So that means she supported it when it was a $110 million bridge for 50 people. Doesn't that qualify as pork? Is that really a fiscal conservative or are you afraid of taking on anyone?

    When will you give us real news that takes some digging to determine. Make them pay for their political advertisements. Don't give them free air time to say whatever they want. The situation room has become the graveyard for any political partisan hack that wants some free air time.

    September 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  14. pete

    McCain and Palin are also saying she refused the Bridge funds. That is an outright blatant lie. She kept the funds and used them.

    CNN, will you please cover the lies that these people are saying. What is happening when we have candidates going around saying outright lies that can be easily exposed by the facts? I think that they think they will get away with it because MEDIA like CNN lets them!!!

    Even on this post, you are too chicken to call them liars, so you headline the post saying Obama calls them liars. That is cowardice.

    (I can't believe I got a comment in before CNN closed comments on this topic)

    September 8, 2008 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  15. FreeNLovIt

    Hillary was campaigning in Florida and she said the funniest thing, basically, asking for McCain and his twin, Palin to save the economy, IS LIKE asking an iceberg to save the TITANIC...

    September 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  16. Susans pics

    Even after she was against it, she still took your money and spent it in good ol Alaska, which gets the most tax money per capita, correct? I also want the media to start getting into the details of all those earmarks she fought for that she apparently is now against too. $27 million worth was it? Some McCain himself called out?

    I'm as interested to see in a whole if evangelicals are going to walk the walk of their talk here in the past year. They have been saying they care about war, poverty, the environment, inequality, etc. over the past year to try to convince the general public they weren't the fringe group they have been. But what have I seen the last couple of days? Evangelicals on TV saying Palin (McCain) ALL THE WAY. We don't care about the these two's stance on the environment, human rights, poverty, the two wars we're in (which should come in conflict with their beliefs) it's all about abortion. Back to the fringe, and a government that is suppose to be for all that is based on one group's narrow view of religion.

    September 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  17. M. Bryan

    MT, Texas
    Please tell me where you found the information about the "billions" of earmarks that Obama sponsored. I would like to look it up for myself.

    September 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  18. Sherri

    We must all bring the facts straight to Sarah Palin whenever she waivers. Women Against Palin! Hillary for Secretary of State!

    Unite now to stop this train wreck from happening to America.

    September 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  19. andy

    Obama would be an expert on making things up and the ability to flip-flop on issues. Maybe Palin was just watching him and learning. At least she knows how to vote yes or no and not "present"....

    September 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. Tim

    Palin ... not ready to lead, except perhaps the pork laden state of Alaska

    September 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  21. jward@nobleescrow.com

    Obama: please stop talking about Palin.

    Only mention: Bush/McCain.

    September 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  22. FreeNLovIt

    I was laughing so hard...

    September 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  23. rich o

    But the problem is (by a slim majority) this country is stupid.

    Proof? Two terms of Bush/Cheney. 'Nuff said.

    September 8, 2008 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. EdMan

    These stories are being mis-represented –

    Palin's campaign from ALASKA has already come out and explained this and the MSM is refusing to listen to it.

    As a matter of fact, her campaign manager was just on CNN explaining it again.

    The Bridge to nowhere cost FAR LESS MONEY when it was being proposed in 2006. This is when Palin was feeling positive about the project. Also note that Palin approved some sort of "Link" between the two areas, and not even this project.

    However when it bloated to almost 400 million dollars, Palin rejected it because it was a completely different budget than was originally proposed – and included gross wasteful spending. In other words, it was not a good use of those dollars.

    She did the responsible thing.

    Who will have the guts to report this?

    It is easily confirmed that the cost of the project went out of control.

    September 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. FreeNLovIt

    McCain's hands will be tied when he gets to the White House. He'll serve the few, the proud, the LOBBYISTS.

    September 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
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