September 9th, 2008
04:41 PM ET
10 years ago

McCain camp launches ‘Palin Truth Squad’

McCain has launched the 'Palin Truth Squad' to dispel rumors about her.

McCain has launched the 'Palin Truth Squad' to dispel rumors about her.

(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.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (373 Responses)
  1. Linda K.

    Truth is wonderful.

    Truth from all of our presidential candidates would be a miracle.

    Obama 08

    September 9, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Deb, Allentown, PA

    A couple of comments, although yes, I've alredy posted.

    1) I don't think the issue is whether her expenditures are legal in Alaska. The issue is whether she's as much of a reformer as the Repubs make her out to be.

    2) The Truth Squad thing is sticking in everyone's craw here because every word that comes out of the McCain camp lately is a lie. A fabrication, a lie or a smear. Yes, Obama has a page on his website dedicated to the smears put out against him. But he doesn't lie about his opponent. Every ad has been a true representation of McCain/Palin's positions. If the truth about their positions is ugly, sorry. But, Palin utters a lie every time she reads that same canned speech.

    September 9, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Ilona Hussein Proud Canadian

    Boy Oh Boy

    Can you folks just see the bills that are going to start coming in for Palin and Family should she get to be VP? I wonder who is footing
    the bill for her family's expenses during the run for the Presidency?


    September 9, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. Former Hillary supporter voting for Obama

    I love the fact the only interview they ler Palin do is on FOX. That is so telling. The same Fox that employs Rove.

    September 9, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  5. Gene

    First the republicans have to know what the truth is before they can have a truth squad. The real truth is a McCain-Palin administration will ruin this country.

    September 9, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Dready1Rasta

    Sarah Palin- Ready to lie from day 1.

    September 9, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. Kaching

    This election isn't about Palin. It's not about people at all. It's about the issues. What do we want the new president to actually DO when he is in office?

    Palin seems to me to be an average politician with the same sins, weaknesses, or flaws that most governors, senators, or representatives don't have. We are not going to find a saint to run for office – well, there is Nader, but he's not going to be elected. He is too saintly. Same with Jimmy Carter I guess.

    Palin's nutty theology is not any stranger than Romney's. Obama's church has some pretty non-standard teachings as well.

    In short, who cares? All this Palin talk is really distracting us from the election.

    September 9, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Nancy

    McCain can start by getting the truth FROM SARAH. He can start with the lie about her selling the plane on E-bay, and how she was always against the bridge to nowhere. That would be great to start with, oh, and don't forget whether or not she was vetted.

    The truth will set most people free, but I suspect Sarah will be in hiding a little while longer until they can dupe more Americans.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Lovely in VA

    hey Clint – we are not Obamabots, we are American citizens you fool!

    September 9, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Poetic Justice

    This is just pathetic. And even more pathetic is the fact that anything anyone says or mentions is either sexist of making fun of someone in her very dysfunctional family. She should be held accountable just like evey other candidate. I'd love to hear the sermons she listened to. Her pastor was on CNN saying that some of his sermons could be "misunderstood" which is a translation for shocking to the general public. Enough of this woman, already!

    September 9, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Olivia


    I feel sorry for Palin. Please protect her and her lovely family.

    September 9, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Former Hillary supporter voting for Obama

    Palin has a worse temper then McBush. She uses her authority for personal gains.

    September 9, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Gail

    Obama – the truth you can ~~BELIEVE~~ in

    September 9, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. thinkpeople

    No one needs to 'flail about' looking for Palin scandal, the truth is all over the place – she's useless and dicey, unless you blindly buy into the 'oh its the media' argument. She's just a cheerleader for the far right and will say whatever carl rove, or whatever lobbyist is in charge, will tell her to say. And it's all very hypocritical in comparison to what they've done to Hilary in the past.

    September 9, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  15. Confused

    I have a problem with John McCain keeping a tight leash on Sarah Palin. Why won't they let her talk without McCain? Because she is not PREPARED to address the true issues!!! Please let Sarah address some of our country's issues without John McCain holding her hand, so we can truly see WHAT SARAH PALIN has to offer us.

    September 9, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Richie

    Focus on the issues. This woman thinks the Iraq war is a Christen Holy War against Islam. How do you feel when an Isalmic extremist says he was sent by God? She is saying the same thing. If McSame/Palin get in, it will be a religious world war.

    September 9, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. Blacks for McCain

    Can someone please create a 'Spelling and Diction Squad' for the Obama supporters? If Obama is elected I pray that the spawns of his minions will get that great education he is promising.

    September 9, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. truth now

    I"d like to know how many of you ladies out there can sleep at night knowing that your man or husband is dreaming about having a good time with Sarah Palin. Not thinking about the issues but about what she would look like next to them instead of you.

    The old geezers at the convention were drooling when they looked at her. They couldn't even hear what she was saying and what did all you ladies think about all the Hot Babe buttons or Hot Mama for V.P. buttons. Reeks of sexism doesn't it?

    September 9, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Real Real Change

    Here's an idea. How about just let Sarah talk to the press herself.

    September 9, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  20. KenB, MI

    Most Americans applaud equality...such as the accomplishments of women in many fields...

    The Republican campaign to have Palin throw hard ball pitches and expect the Democratic party not hit as hard as they can is ludicrous.

    If she can't play hard ball then take her out of the game.

    September 9, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  21. Gail

    no matter how you spin it – a LIE is a LIE.

    No Liers in the White House – No way no how no McCain or the dog.

    September 9, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. Lynne the concerned voter from GA

    Lies, and More lies...The republicans have lied so much throughout the years, they think that its okay with the American people. Their rationale? "They won't say too muc." Well this American is saying enough. I am tired of the ruthlessness, the disregard for the American people and the way of thinking that they can do what ever they want. We ARE NOT STUPID!!! What is it that would make someone vote for McCain after all of the arrogance, deceitful and thuggish politics that have been thrown in our face...and the nerve of McCain to think that we would endure more of this! Palin is no better. She has been called on her lies on "the bridge to nowhere" at least 7 times since she was selected as VEEP and people think its cute!! Now the new ethics is saying there are charges being made that she charged her state for staying in her own personal home. Don't you see the same things that the Bush-Cheney-McCain is doing? They are actually saying what they will be doing in the WHite House if they are elected. We cannot be caught up in a euphoria...WAKE-UP PLease!! Our children's legacy depends on you doing the right thing. God Bless!

    September 9, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  23. Former Hillary supporter voting for Obama

    To Not falling in line,

    So now you are falling in line with McCain. You think McCain gives a hoot about you or any womens issues? You are a fool. If the dems lose Hillary is not going to run again. Wake up. However, you are most likely a McCain staff member anyway just trying to stir up trouble so never mind.

    September 9, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  24. Jan in Virginia

    This site is full of pathetic Obama supporters who are blinded to the truth and will believe anything that he and the MSM (Main stream Media) will throw out there.

    Think for yourselves people! If she was ripping off the state of Alaska, why the heck would she have an 80% approval rating! They aren't stupid up there you know.

    I'm enjoying Obama in defensive mode. He's behind now and will do and say anthing to get elected. Hmmm, sounds like something HE used to say about Clinton....

    September 9, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. LT

    Hmmmm. Maybe this Palin truth squad should have been out and about before he chose her as his VP running-mate quick-flash style.

    Do you really want a president who will make "quick-flash" type decisions? Who will place an unqualified person in line to possibly become president after a few conversations and now thorough background investigation.

    Come on! I applied for a basic fed job and underwent a 2 year background check. How does a person become possible VP with a bachelors degree and no serious bkgrnd check?

    It insults my intelligence that they have the nerve to act as if she is more qualified than Obama and Biden.

    September 9, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15