September 9th, 2008
04:41 PM ET
6 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. Idependent

    Looks like the money she saved went into her own pocket! Question: Why is her husband always on stage with her and Mccain? Interesting!

    September 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. Sylvia

    Obama has done worse....he wasted time being a senator...all he did was vote "present"....a cardboard cutout can do that!!!!
    AT LEAST SE WORKED THOSE 312 DAYS

    next.....

    September 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Allen

    I think that it is funny that McCain is now defending Palin, while the democrates don't have to really defend Obama anymore like they did when he first was on the scene. Also, notice how McCain and Palin are campaigning together while Obama is in one state while Biden is in another. Is it because McCain doesn't want to leave Palin alone to campaign where she could blow the whole deal of reform? McCain needs to let go of his kid aka Palin and let her fend for herself and see how she does. Obama and Biden are in different states as is Hillary. They aren't all campaigning together. Maybe they trust each other more than McCain trust Palin? There a question to ask yourself

    September 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  4. ENOUGH ALREADY

    If Sarah Palin is a true reformer as she claims, she wouldn't have bilked Alaskans for all these charges – it may be legal but it's not right.

    If Sarah Palin were a real reformer she would have called BS on the Bridge to Nowhere BEFORE Congress got up in arms about it, not after.

    If Sarah Palin were honest, she'd admit she was stretching the truth on her "thanks but no thanks" line she CONTINUES to use on the stump. This is all about fooloing people into thinking these two Republicans are mavericks, and they're not at all.

    September 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. S for Obama

    what an interesting woman!!! Truth keep coming out. So America...is this the woman we want to vote for? Ask youself - think twice before making the decision.

    September 9, 2008 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Larry

    The Palin Truth Squad ...???

    No need John ...

    The Media and the Democrats are handling that for you

    Palin is make believe John ... and you know it

    Quit now ... save us all a lot of time

    September 9, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  7. Eddie G

    If anyone in industry claimed per diem for staying in their own house they would be fired. If they did it to the tune of "Palin's" claims, they would be prosecuted. She has demonstrated business as usual in politics. How can people blindly support someone that they know so little about? At least find out who she is, what she has done, and what she will do before you drop to her feet and start kissing........

    September 9, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. Gail Albers R.N.

    More than anything else I fear about Sarah Palin is her affiliation with the Evangelical Christian movement. As far as media coverage being unfair? I guess the Republican party refuses to believe that we as voters need to know who this person is. How can make an educated vote if we don't know about her beliefs and governing process? Maybe the Republican party just doesn't want us to know!

    Gail Albers
    Illinois

    September 9, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  9. CNN, can I PLEASE get off of your 'list'...

    Hillary 2012
    We have seen same kind of attacks on Hillary
    Now you all repeating to Sarah Palins

    REPORTING ON WHAT SHE DID IS NOT AN ATTACK.

    September 9, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  10. brad

    I haven't heard one positive thing yet about her record. Everything that is being claimed is questionable at best.

    September 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. Silence Dogood

    Obama negative smearing kicks into high gear. Let's pick apart the woman instead of clarifying where he stands on anything. Seems like I heard this one before......

    "The paper noted that officials said the claims were justified under existing state regulations."

    Let's take a detail and turn it into a crisis, in the absence of actual wrong-doing.

    It is fun to hear Obama arrogance whining under pressure.

    September 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. J.d,

    So the McCain/Palin team claim to be such mavericks that everything they have done since she has been on the ticket has been about taking everything that Obama has done for there own. This is ridiculas, they are both so unorginal and this is why they will continue the Bush polcies. It is because they can't come with any of theire own!!!!

    September 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Southerner For Obama

    Billing the taxpayer while living at home is an Ethics Violation in Cap Letters. This should be all over the news...If it were Obama, what do you thinnk would be the headlines?

    September 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. Diana Ewing NJ

    Does it ever occur to the McCain Campaign.... we do not like or trust this Palin person that they pulled out of the woods and it is not Obama..
    In fact I have been annoyed withObama for calling lies untruths.. these people are not funny, if we are not careful they may lead the country... but then again can it get any worse... well yes.. guess we can get into another war with Russia.. and Iran... (bomb bomb bomb iran... funny little man)

    September 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Bruce

    I agree that this could be just the tip of the ice berg..I read earlier today about the family travel and how "they were allowed a per diem and so they used what they were allowed" seems to me that "reformer" would have said...no to the family memeber per diem and used hers when she was on business not at home....
    More to come...and the repubs of course can just deny, deny, and claim "Oh the press is being mean to her" well if she were not a woman th epress would ahve been all over worse than they have been. She is playing the sexism charge, and her handlers have her on short leash. Too bad Charlie gibson is doing her first interview...talk about a cupcake interviewer...too bad Russert id dead..he wold have been all over this, and we would have gotten the truth.

    September 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Please expose Sarah many Lies CNN, Still waiting

    Why can't the pitbull answer for herself. I am sick of her the republicans already. She is not a reformer and neither is john mccain. only 56 days left and i still don't know what john and sarah wants to do because all they do is trash obama. i wish the lobbyist would hurry and tell john what to say on the issues, so i can see where he stands.

    September 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  17. KATHLEEN

    What is going on in this Election Process is maddening to the
    American People!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    CNN, you are going to be "obligated" to tell the truth about Palin.
    All of the truth?

    The media will be the ruin of America if McCain-Palin get elected.

    Just the TRUTH. It is your obligation!!!!! We are hearing the truth
    elsewhere!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama Biden 2008

    September 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  18. cf

    But she was reimbursed for days she spent at her own house. That's my concern. The other stuff isn't such a big deal (family travel, etc..) but when your big "sell" is that you cut spending and you want reimbursed for staying at your own home??? Doesn't make sense.

    Just another way we're being sold a bill of goods with Palin.

    Glad I've got the good sense to vote for Obama. :)

    September 9, 2008 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. Fed Up American

    It is pathetic what I see happening in my beloved country. After 8 years of total and complete failure by Bush and the republicans the American people are considering putting back the Republicans for 4 more years. This should have been a one sided affair. We must be the laughing stock of the world right now. Sarah Palin was brought in to get the pity votes. Nothing else! After all McSame had so much more time than Obama to choose a running mate and he ended up with Palin one week after the Biden announcement.
    John McSame is a great war hero. So therefore to honor that we must vote for him. And Sarah Palin looks nice and pretty and speaks nice so let us vote for her. What kind of UTTER CRAP is that? What about the issues and peoples lives? Is it that the WalMart moms have not lost enough sons and daughters yet in the Iraq war to wake up? Are we better off as a nation than we were 8 years ago? Tell the truth!!
    This is truly a fed up American.
    “Obama 08”.

    And shame on CNN. Stop entertaining and start giving the real facts.!

    September 9, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Hey Repubs... she's been using your tax money to travel with her family...does that give you a warm fuzzy feeling?

    September 9, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Michael, watching from Canada

    The Palin Truth Squad......

    let's see, how do we stop the voters from getting the truth about Sarah Palin?

    Do the American voters want truth?

    Google Anne Kilkenny.

    September 9, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. No Thanks, Ohio

    So another words the story is true...why do the people have to pay for her to take her children. They are HER children and it's HER choice. Why do the people have to pay for her to stay in her own home.

    Just because she cut cost down from her predecssor doesn't mean all her cost are legitimate. Get real Mr McSame.

    (The family also charged for flights around the state, including trips to Alaska events such as the start of the Iditarod dog-sled race and the Iron Dog snowmobile race, a contest that Todd Palin won.)

    No Thanks

    September 9, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. Debby

    FactCheck you should really read factcheck.org. Every "slime" as they put it about Palin has turned out to be FALSE even the Bridge to Nowhere. How about CNN posting how Palin wanted to send The Bridge to Nowhere money to Katrina victims while Obama/Biden nixed it. Maybe CNN can do some digging on that. Isn't a Governor entitiled to an expense account like Obama was when he took his family and friends on the campaign jet to Hawaii? He isn't even President yet and he is using his jet like Airforce One. LOL

    September 9, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  24. Jeff

    AHHHHHHH! What does that doddering old fool and the religious fanatic have to do before anyone will say that they are LYING! Is there anyone in the media besides Randi Rhodes and Bill Maher that will call them on their lies? Stop with the CORPORATE MEDIA POLLS, they are completely inaccurate. If you want a poll, look at the conventions. The attendance says it all. John McCain couldn't fill a stadium even when he was considered a Maverick.

    September 9, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  25. Stefanie, Texas

    No one has to hunt for scandal regarding Palin. Her career appears to be full of it.

    September 9, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
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