(CNN) – John McCain’s campaign defended Sarah Palin Tuesday over a report that highlighted some of her travel expense claims as governor, and announced the launch of the “Palin Truth Squad” to fight future attacks on the VP nominee.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Alaska governor had billed the state a per diem for 312 days she spent at home, and requested reimbursement for plane rides and hotel rooms for her husband and children, including a $707 room when her daughter accompanied her on a trip to New York to attend a Newsweek forum.
The paper noted that officials said the claims were justified under existing state regulations.
The McCain campaign said that Palin had reduced yearly travel expenses by roughly 80 percent of the amount spent by predecessor Frank Murkowski, in part by selling the governor’s private jet. Roughly half the $93,000 spent went to cover expenses incurred by her family. In a post on the campaign’s Web site, adviser Michael Goldfarb told supporters that Alaskans were paying “pennies on the dollar,” and accused the Washington Post of “hunting for ‘scandal.’”
“As governor of the state, Palin is expected to travel across Alaska to meet her constituents and attend community events. As a mother of five, she occasionally brought her children with her,” wrote Goldfarb. “Her travel-related activities have been appropriately documented, are completely transparent, and entirely legal. She also saved Alaskan taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in the budgeting process and hundreds of thousands in cutting waste from her own office. It is an impressive record of reform by any measure.”
The McCain-Palin team has made her record on cost-cutting a central element of her vice presidential bid.
The campaign — which has been sending “fight the smears” e-mails whose tone echoes similar messages from Barack Obama’s campaign — also said staffers and major campaign surrogates at the state and national level were forming an official rapid response team that will respond to rumors about the Republican vice presidential nominee, sending alerts and campaign statements to voters and reporters.
“We will not allow those on the left and in the media to smear a woman who has always served her constituents with honor,” the campaign said in a statement. “We know the truth and are committed to ensuring it as well."
The McCain-Palin team has campaigned on media coverage that they describe as excessive or unfair.
I didn't know that truth and Palin could be used in the same sentence.
I didn't know that "good Christian" and Palin could be used in the same sentence either unless you're the one who's lying.
Palin is a regular Republican ...just in it for themselves , and never care about the real Americans who have to work for their families
The GOP thinks that they should have a lock on the Christian vote.
I do not.
Republicans protect the unborn, but ignore the living.
People are losing their jobs and their homes and all the GOP wants to do is give tax breaks to people who don't need them.
Christians want peace and only go to war as a LAST RESORT. The GOP does not.
Cover up squad is more like it. The truth will come out, hopefully, BEFORE the election.
nothing to get excited about here folks. if you were ever in politics and did any traveling the per diem isn't enough to cover your expenses. Its all the perks that are out of hand.....
Don't worry about the PUMAs, they're just a bunch of Republicans. Don't wory about Palin, she'll be back home in Alaska full time in about 54 days.
Thyis should be a full time job spinning Palin's lies.
Scott from Rochester and CAK,
The point is that many of the "per diem" expenses were taken when she was AT HOME, not when she was traveling. You seem to ignore that inconvenient fact. While this may have been legal, it certainly is not ethical, and it is also hypocritical when you look at her platform.
If you want to make an INFORMED decision, Scott, then you need to INFORM yourself with ALL the facts...not just some of them.
To CAK, you also ignore the "at home" part. On top of that, it's irrelevant if her travel expenses were less than the previous governor. That doesn't justify her actions. She was taking travel expenses for being AT HOME.
Name me ONE employer that would allow such actions. I can't think of any. Yes, it may have been legal, but legal does not always mean ethical. And when your platform is all about reducing wasteful spending, charging the government a per diem when you are at home is quite wasteful.
A truth Sqad? Now thats laughable. They will be as busy as when OJ Simpson hired an investigation team to find out who murdered Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.
A truth squad for a bunch of liars.
Lets be truthful her first speech was a lie and thats all she has been repeating that every since.
At first I thought that many democrats and media pundits just hated Hillary because she was a Clinton and that's why they trashed her so bad, but now with the way they're going after Sarah Palin and her kids is very telling of the misogyny with any women that becomes a threat to Barrack Obama. The fact is that the majority of americans understand that Palin has saved millions in peoples tax money more than anyone in politics up to date. Get it! Hello! She has saved millions of dollars for her people! Keep on trashing her and wait for the backlash. Enough is enough.
I am wondering who paid the fees of Obama's family vacations!
A "Palin Truth Squad"?
Well that's a tad ironic.
Is Fox New Channel not enough of a "truth squad" for them?
McCain campaign and supporters... have you folks ever heard of KARMA? That boomerang effect is in full force!!! You all cannot not change natural law.
McCain will live to regret this decision.
I just don't want his horrible decisions to become my problem.
Palin's lies = Palintology
Go get em McCain ! Liberals are such bottom feeders!
Truth is relative...that's why Republicans have had power for too long...they're very good at twisting it! Unfortunately, once again, it looks like the general American public is buying into it! McCain supporters just don't get it!!!
To voting 4 McCain,
What lies are being spread about Palin? If anything we are just beginning to find out the truth about her. You just want a woman, it doesn't matter who it is. So much for you being a hillary supporter, you are a joke and I am glad you will now lose twice in the same election. Palin is against everything you once stood for, thats even if you stood for anything in the first place.
Lies are lies and cannot be covered. The state pays for business functions and trips, anything that is not related with business should be paid for – period. Why should she ask for per diem reimbursement when she did not stay in the hotel
Say no to the SPINMASTERS. We already have factcheck.org , moveon.org and Lou Dobbs
Aren't these the guys telling the lies?
And they don't dispute anything in that story, they don't dispute that she's billing the taxpayers to sit in her own house.
They just insist that it's OK to bilk the public like this.
Palin: Now 68% Less Corrupt Than Her Predecessor!
McCain's campaign evidently did not read the words to Hearts song "Barracuda". The chorus says:
"If the real thing don’t do the trick
No, you better make up something quick"
In other words, if they don't believe what you say the first time, change the story and say something else.
McCain credibility will suffer after more reporters do their job and vet Ms. Palin; something McCain didn't bother to do. The media should not stop asking questions. We live in a democracy not a dictatorship. Ed Koch got it right...... Palin is SCARY. I'm leary of anyone who would fire people because they do not agree with them. She is no MAVERICK only an undercover CROOK like McCain. BOTH LIARS and THIEVES.
Democrats are scared. You can sense it in all their bitter dribble posted all over the internet. You all need to grow up and get a life.
Palin's expenses are considered valid in Alaska alone where corruption is the order of each day of everyone's political life and beyond. If, in fact, she did reduce the expenses rolled out by Murkowski it must be remembered she isn't even halfway through a term. In every other corner of both the public and private sectors, working from one's home is regarded as a perk, not a per diem expense – Palin simply manufactured a cozy little double-dip to scam the public funds. Palin's answer to fighting corruption is to displace former corrupt politicians to become the beneficiary of the system they created. It's time people saw through her lies and the ones her supporters are willing to tell in her defense.