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. Lee, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    CNN and the liberal press keeps dragging up nonsense about Palin. They keep trying to discredit her and McCain.

    Now the American public is learning more about Obama and they DON'T LIKE WHAT THEY SEE. He wants to increase spending and is a full-fledged SOCIALIST.

    Obama will LOSE in November (as has every other liberal democratic candidate). The majority of America don't buy into those liberal tenants.

    September 9, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  2. Wayne

    Its over for her. After the party there is the hangover. It turns out PALIN IS A FRAUD!! Using taxpayer money to STAY HOME?! Thats rediculous. Its like she's on welfare. They also use taxpayer money to stay home.

    September 9, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  3. James

    So don't address the fact that she charged the state and taxpayers for staying in her own home but do say it was okay under the rules?

    And then charge others with unfairly revealing the facts?

    What hypocracy.

    The genie is out of the bottle.

    She wasn't vetted. Now the pooch is trying to cover his poop with dirt.

    No McCain. No Palin.

    September 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. No Palin, Ohio

    A man wouldn't be asking us to pay to take his children.

    September 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. Sylvia B

    I wonder who is paying for Cindy McCain's expenses. My goodness she is glued to McLiar. This is something that makes me kind of sick - why does Mrs. McLiar always have to be right on top of McLiar - to hold him up and remind him of his name? There should be an investigation of this as well. As a taxpayer I do not want to pay for the travel of a millionaires.

    September 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. B. Obama, Illinois

    The Washington Post and Joe Ol' foot in His Mouth Biden's mudslinging and lies have hit a new low. As one of Hillary's 18 million supporters, I'm voting for a Republican for the first time in my life.

    September 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. Tom

    The “Palin Truth Squad.”

    Now that has to be a joke, right?

    September 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  8. Bob

    Caribou Barbie sure seems to have a lot of ethical problems.

    September 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  9. NHDem

    I'd love to see the tax returns for the Palin's to see if they picked up the cost of the family members as income. It is taxable.

    September 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    This is what happens when forget to vet...

    September 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  11. redneck for obama

    mccain ! you wouldn't know truth if it was sittin on yer head!

    September 9, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Now that's sexist for ya! I'm sure that will be McCains camp claim.

    Also, at least the Democrats are taking questions from Americans and the media. Palin still refuses to take questions from ordinary citizens and the media. Instead, she'll do a controlled interview with Charlie Gibson at her home in Alaska where the other media can't touch her.

    Wake up America! Wake up America! Wake up America! The Republicans are fooling us again and so many of you are falling for it.

    September 9, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  13. Len in Washington

    This is "Reform" and "cutting wasteful spending?"

    It doesn't matter if it was "legal." It wasn't right.

    What would she do with a Federal Travel Budget? Pay for her cousins?

    September 9, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  14. Former Hillary Supporter

    The Washington Post and Joe Ol' foot in His Mouth Biden's mudslinging and lies have hit a new low. As one of Hillary's 18 million supporters, I'm voting for a Republican for the first time in my life.

    anyone else notice how CNN didn't post an article on Olbermann getting demoted at MSNBC, aka the hatemongering mouth of our Democratic party?

    September 9, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  15. Mike from St. Louis

    While the truth squad is at it they need to calm the rumors or questions into why Bristol was out of school for the last 5 months of her mothers pregnancy...Ohh my fault she had mono which is not a long term illness. She may have been pregnant at 16 aand mom flew 10 hours back to Alaska from Texas after her supposedly water broke just to have her baby in Alaska. Ohh wait one more minute...not only did she fly 10 hours to Alaska and not go immediately to the hospital...she drove another 45 minutes to the hospital of her choice to have the baby. All in 12 hours after water had already broke? Come on!! He daughter was still sick with mono during that also right? Why are there no pictures from any of the conventions in Texas or anywhere else for that matter to refute the questions. Ohhh...again my fault she toook one with a plump belly for a camera crew. Can anyone say dressing room??? This has to be a joke!!!

    September 9, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Sandy - PA

    Somebody needs to explain to Palin that the Iraq war was not God's will – It was George W. Bush's and Dick Cheney's will. And more importantly, it was NOT the American people's will.

    I thought we were fighting the religious extremists, not trying to elect them to run our own government!!!

    September 9, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  17. Anne E.

    "Truth Squad," indeed.
    Everyone else has to defend her because she's being shielded from the "elite media."
    I'm sick and tired of hearing how LITTLE we "know" about
    Barack Obama, when two weeks ago, THIS woman wasn't even a blip on the radar screen!!!
    This entire thing REEKS of blowhard Karl Rove, who is no doubt busting his chops at earning his under-the-table campaign strategist fee.

    September 9, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  18. GRA

    Does "quality of life" mean anything to you? Regardless of one's bias on this, this is a public servant making the best of her responsibilities both to her public as well as to her family - on one can fault you on that. Having done business with the federal government myself, they are "people too" and have permitted certain costs similar to the hotel costs because our proposed alternative saved the Government many thousands of dollars - just as Palin's plans did (selling the plane, etc.). It is convenient to be high and almighty and debate only the data you feel convenient - but a whole different picture emerges when you consider the whole picture and give credit where credit is due. Palin seems to have made some very prudent and economical choices.

    September 9, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  19. think before you type

    The Clintons built a house on their property for the secret service. They then charge the government rent of over 10k a month. Basically the Government (US via taxes) is pay the Clinton's mortgage

    You folks (dems) have yet to throw a single stone that didn't break a window in your own homes.

    September 9, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  20. James

    LMAO at people thinking Obama is under pressure. This lady is corrupt with a capital 'C'. Like Biden said, the truth will come out, and Obama is stating nothing but facts, something the Republicans are completely unable to do. They need to quit blaming Obama's campaign for all of the dirt that is uncovered. This woman is useless, kinda like most of their supporters.

    September 9, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  21. Jen in PA

    Yay, hypocrites!!! Wow, what-a maverick. "It's justified." Sooo...that would make her different, HOW, again???

    Want the TRUTH, McCain? You didn't vet her, AT ALL. Considering how long ago you had clinched your primary, I would think that this decision could have been made carefully. And you want to run this country by the seat of your pants, too?

    "Thanks, but no thanks!!!"

    September 9, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  22. Matt

    I was ok with John McCain, he was just more of the past 8 years and I lived through that. Palin however scares the crap out of me.

    I don't think I could live with a radical right wing republican in the oval office if Jonny-boy decided to kick the bucket.

    This race is making ME desperate.... please no McCain/Palin!!!!

    September 9, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  23. John in Ohio

    Note that when Obama has to defend against a smear, the attack is usually a completely unfounded internet rumor that has been emailed all over the web.

    When McCain has to defend against an attack, it's a recorded fact that the media has found and is reporting on. It's a recorded fact that Palin went on record supporting the Bridge to Nowhere before she went on record against the bridge when it became unpopular. It's also a recorded fact that she put one of her daughters up in a room that cost $707/night.

    Seven hundred and seven dollars a night. I couldn't spend that much on my honeymoon, but then, I'm a relatively ordinary American.

    September 9, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Former Hillary Supporter

    The Washington Post and CNN's lies about Palin have hit an all-time low.

    Of course, CNN won't have the guts to post this b/c it's a post not in love gushing over Obama.

    September 9, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  25. P Leotard

    Au choc des idees jaillissent la lumiere mais au choc des biographies jaillissent des mensonges.

    Question:
    Why John MCcain wants to push biography instead of issues?

    P Leotard
    Paris, France

    September 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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