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. Penn Voter

    If you have been to Alaska, you would find out that flying from town to town is how things as achieved.

    Has Obama ever gone to Alaska?

    September 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. Joe Regis

    Let the truth comes out.

    We will know the truth. No more lies. Not this time.

    Obama/Biden 08/12.

    September 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Darryl

    I am sorry Senator Fraud is fraud no matter how you cut it. The State Comptroller should have caught it as well. No one is above the law ethic in government this does not apply to Gov. Sarah Palin!!!!!

    As Per Senator John McCain...

    September 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  4. Michael, watching from Canada

    And to think that Sarah Palin publicly stated that the US invasion of Iraq was, "a task that is from God"!!!!!!!!!

    Since when is God for war? NEVER!!!

    September 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. Sue from the other WA

    Why do the Palins hate America? Sarah's husband member of the Independence party; Sarah as governor speaking at their convention and lauding their good work. Alaskans that want to leave the union; American not GOOD enough for them.

    September 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  6. GOP Woman for Obama

    I don't like nor trust Palin! It's Obama for this mother of 4!

    Never voted for a Dem. before but I will in November!

    September 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    My goodness..................That's a shame that they said they vetted this "piit-bull". Obviously they didn't.

    Eight is enough!

    Obama-Biden 2008

    September 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  8. Darrel from Denver

    In the business world, when bringing family on business trips I am responsible for those expenses and they are not reimbursable.

    I believe it is disengenuous saying that because Palin saved the jet expenses that she could use some of those saving for perks for her and her family.

    Shameless and a misuse of taxpayer funds, in my view.

    September 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  9. BJ

    The Obama smear machine is in full gear once more!

    He's truly disgusting. Talk about reverting to the old Chicago style politics. NO CHANGE HERE.

    September 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  10. Mike

    Maybe if she were accessible to talk to the media, we could get the data we need to "know" Palin the candidate. With her being sequestered by the Republican campaign handlers, these stories are all we have to go on.

    The Republican campaign is forcing there to be questions in the biggest area of all: What is her competence level, her ability to make decisions and think on her feet? I can only conclude that they are very poor, given that they don't trust her to be out on her own and say anything that is not scripted for her.

    September 9, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    The charges may be perfectly legal, but it doesn't mean they are smart.

    When you hold yourself up as a cost-slashing reformer, you open yourself up for questions on your spending habits.

    Simple solution: answer questions from the press.

    September 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  12. yankeegirl15

    This woman is a hag, a liar, a racist, a bad parent, and a Jesus freak trying to convert gays. She uses the down syndrone kid on stage constantly showing his little "Corky on Life Goes on" face to pander for votes. She parades the teen trollop around. The drunken bum husband and GOD FORBID Michelle Obama wore a bikini and a US Flag with her Semi-Automatic Weapon-wasn't that the New Yorker Cover. I hate Sarah Palin. She is a disgusting pig. Lastly, at 10pm you Special Needs child needs to be in bed, you don't have a CLUE what a special needs child requires. I have a 5 yr. old special needs child and I myself am disabled. You are a nasty book burning-Hitleresque Hausfrau. Zieg McCain.

    September 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  13. Groundhogday

    Palin Truth Squad? That sounds like a left wing blog trying to get the press to notice her many lies.

    September 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |

    The Republicans are developing a PALIN TRUTH SQUAD!!!!
    because they don't want the truth to be told to the voters????
    Nothing they have told the American People so far is the truth!

    Obama Biden 2008 or America will sink.

    September 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  15. Rich in Seattle

    Why is there all this talk of Palin, isn't McCain their canidate? Would the Republicans like to switch the two around and have McCain as the VP?

    Wake up people! We can't afford to continue down the same path that got us where we are!!!! What the heck is wrong with America. Obama should be blowing the Republicans out of the water.

    I hate to say it, is it because he's black? I'm starting to wonder as I see no other reason other than race and religion.

    September 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. ANGIE

    This woman is a fraud and a liar remember how she said she got rid of the chef LIE LIE she is no reformer and mccain is no maverick WAKE UP AMERICA DONT BE DUPED LIKE YOU WERE 4 YEARS AGO! LETS VOTE FOR SOME REAL CHANGE OBAMA/BIDEN08

    September 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  17. Bill Tampa

    Ebay Plain spent 93k ???..Imagine how far those bucks would've gone to feed the homeless in Alaska, or Ohio, or Indiana, hell in any state!!!!!!!!.....there will be's all about slight of hand with McSame and Palin!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. Chip

    What a circus. I'll wait for FactCheck (the real FactCheck, not the Obama sheepling on this board) to weigh in on this garbage. Is less than 60 days too early to get into the actual issues facing this country? I guess so.

    September 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  19. Independent in PA

    Incredible! they say they know the truth. After all the lies they have been telling, now they finally know the truth. Hey if a government position entitles me to take my family with me on business trips sign me up. Would they be saying the same thing if this was about a man taking his family with him. I think not...

    September 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. Mark

    Let me see if I understtand this. Sarah Palin as governor sold the governors Jet( not on e-bay for a profit, but with a broker at a loss of $700,0000) and now is claiming that she has saved the taxpayers of Alaska lots of money and that justifies her charging the tax payers for her staying at home working. I think the bottom line is she has cost them alot more than she's saved, but its probably legal (maybe not ethical, but when did that ever stop a politician). Mar-Republican in PA.

    September 9, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Mike33

    Instead of a Truth Squad, the McSame campaign should call it a Rabid Response Team.

    September 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  22. CNN, can I PLEASE get off of your 'list'...

    The Washington Post says Palin billed the tax payers for times when she was actually stayng at home....

    People 'who work for' Sarah Palin say "its all good"..

    THEN... the rebuttal and the details of it posted by cnn are actually LONGER AND MORE DETAILED than the charges fromthe Post article itself...

    and by the way... anyone notice how they tried to tie this as if Obama's campaign is responsible????

    i just hate them.

    September 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  23. Mika, OK

    Maybe she should have put the mansion on ebay.

    September 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. RapidRay

    "Palin Truth Squad"

    yeah, sure........

    Probably the same bunch that did Intel on Iraq's WMDs.

    Finding the truth about Sarah Palin is easy. Getting her to admit to it is the hard part.

    BTW: Is she planning on using the same speech until the election.
    "Thanks, but no thanks."
    "I put it on ebay."

    You claim to be the advocates of about changing your speech? It's been almost a week of the same sound bites.

    September 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  25. RDS

    Hmmm… democrats twisting "facts" to their benefit? What are the odds? Next thing you know they will be making promises that they can't keep.
    How is that twisting the facts?! These claims are true they are well documented in financial statements. The article also mentioned that this isn't illegal, it just doesn't look good for someone claiming to be a 'fiscal reformer' billing the state for meals when they are at home! What 'official' business could her kids have possibly be on. I'm confused by your entire quote....I mean are you talking about the Republican...LOL we know that's their motto Lie, and Lie again and if you get caught repeat the Lie someone's bound to believe you.

    September 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
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