(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 scroll down and read all of the comments coming from the Obama supporters, and it really breaks my heart to see so much hate coming from my fellow Americans. It's truly disheartening.
It is so funny to watch the Dems and the Obamites flailing about looking for the next Gov. Palin scandal, all the while McCain takes a lead in the polls.
That's right, you folks keep straining after gnats, while MCain and Palin win the election. Good strategy. LOL
This woman wouldn't know the truth if it bit her on the butt. She is telling the same old lies that were rebutted in the primary. Only now, instead of coming from hillary, they are coming from the "Barracuda". If she's going to lie, let her make up her own. Oh yeah, she did. She said she was against the "Bridge to Nowhere".
Thinks the "Palin Lian Squad " has a better ring to it.
The governor of the largest state in the union, with cities few and far between, and isolated by mountains, rivers, and snow had to stay at a hotel a few times?
what a shocking discovery!
(as for the price, I challenge anyone to go on a travel site and find a price cheaper than $185 a night in fairbanks. that was for a motel 8...)
Saved millions for her people? We are Americans, we are not her people. You lose.
Truth Squad – Boy they will be busy trying to keep up with Palin and her lies.
ABC network interviewed 4 of Palin's close friends... it was aired yesterday.. only one of her friend's stated they would definitely vote for Paulin and McCain.. I think this states alot about her. If people that truly know her don't have the faith in her leading this country...Wake Up People. I guess they feel that she has as much governor experience as the once governor or Texas...George W Bush!!!!!!
Doesn't matter it is legal or not. How the Governor of Alaska falsefy the travel docament and pocketed the public money. Is it not unethical? May be Jesus Christ wanted her to earn money that way.
Shame on you .Tom Delay 100 times better than you.
I have learned from the McCain camp to believe none of what I hear from then unless someone other than Fox News confirms it.
Hey Scott in Rochester. That's a pretty sweet deal......let's see, so if the invitee indicates to the inviter that the invitee would like them to invite the invitee's family, THEN its OK for the invitee to bring their family on the puiblic dime???? Sounds like YOU need to take YOUR own advice to "quit foaming at the mouth and screaming your partisan baloney". You neo-believers are like a 4 year old kid, thinking up all kinds of incredible excuses for bad behavior. Us adults out here just shake our heads in disbelief.
I can see why the queen of trailer trash is so popular amongst the "fair and balanced" [R] true-believers. She's right down at your level.
Sheesh, you'd think from all this whining by the Dems that Obama's campaign just got slashed...
Truth does not equate to 'liberal media' although the right has painted it that way
Sheesh, you'd think the Obama campaign just got slashed from all the Obamabot whining on this thread.
Truth sqaud...GIVE ME A BREAK! The first one's that need to be investigated are themselves!
do they have youtube in alaska?
OK, well guess we have to hire an Obama Truth Squad to check out what the Palin Truth Squad comes up with. Maybe it should be the Palin Truth Authority, you know PTA! hehehehehe.....
Lies are lies and cannot be covered. The state pays for business functions and trips, anything that is not related with business should NOT be paid for – period. Why should she ask for per diem reimbursement when she did not stay in the hotel
Its hard to imagine that some women in this country can be so petty. I for one will never vote for Palin and neither will anyone in my family. Palin is against womens right in the name religion. You Pumas are cutting off your nose to spite your face.
WHAT DO REPUBLICANS HAVE TO SAY TO THE FACT THAT MCCAIN AND PALIN ARE REPRESENTATIVES OF BUSH'S PARTY.
THE SAME PARTY THAT HAS BROUGHT US TO THIS POINT WHERE WE ARE IN THE LARGEST DEFICIT – ONLY THIS YEAR'S PROJECTIONS $408 BILLION. AND ACCUMULATED DEFICIT OF 8 YEARS OF OVER $2 TRILLION.
HOW CAN WE TRUST THE SAME PARTY????
PLEASE ANSWER THIS QUESTION WITHOUT USING THE NAMES OBAMA AND BIDEN AND THE WORD(S) DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
YOU CAN HOWEVER USE THE EXAMPLE OF BILL CLINTON, WHO LEFT US WITH A SURPLUS OF $559 BILLION AND THEN REPUBLICANS TOOK OVER.
You know, they could always just point people to sites like factcheck.org.
Problem is, if you go there you'll see that the Obama folk have told the truth for the most part – the vast majority of lies have come from the republican side.
Just look for yourself.
Mccain the VILLAGE IDIOT OF LIES !
John McCain must defend VP Palin. After all they are calling themselves mavericks when she has made decisions that all good thinking Americans consider questionable
Palin needs to be vetted properly since McCain's campaign didn't or because they are hidding something....anytime someone has a legitamate question, McCain's campaign is on the defense, they need to either come out with the truth's or have this lady interviewed properly with the media.....nothing to hide then she has nothing to fear......WHY IS THIS LADY SO UNDER WRAPS? WHY DOESN"T SHE SPEAK TO THE MEDIA? Can't stand for herself, how is hse going to be a VP of the US then?
Debby September 9th, 2008 4:53 pm ET
FactCheck you should really read factcheck.org. Every "slime" as they put it about Palin has turned out to be FALSE
You are really stupid. You tell a lie to cover another lie?