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. Mike - Texas

    Before anyone casts any stones at this story, they had better look at how much their own govenor , senator , and representative are being reimbursed. A few of their statements and you might just change your mind.

    September 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  2. FreeNLovIt

    6% UNemployment rate and it's going up and we're talking about Sarah's lipsticks? Maybe I'm the only one going home hungry.

    September 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  3. CNNman

    I do not think people are reading this carefully. It also said that Palin travel expenses is 80% less than the previous Governor. Looks like Obama friends in the media are getting desperate! Anyway, I hope the media does an analysis on Biden's travel expenses as well.

    September 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  4. R.I.F.

    I hold a pretty high position within my company and travel a great deal on compnay business and I can tell you that if I dropped $707 a night on a hotel room there would be red flags flying all around. The fact that this was taxpayers money and she's supposed to be a fiscal hawk makes this an issue. The McCain camp is trying to make everything that comes out about Palin just smears and excessive reporting. Where's the smear in the WaPo story and how is this exessive? He's the one touting her experience as a fiscal hawk as the main reason to vote for her and McCain. Why can't the American voters get a look at her actual record and make a decision. We just can't go on what she says in prepared remarks on the stump.

    September 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  5. Former Repub

    So the Mccain campaign justifies the expenses by saying they were funded by the jet that was sold. The jet was bought with government money which she basically pocketed and applied towards her house payments for a year...

    Wow... just..... wow...... Oh yeah McCain, your trophy VP is just spotless!

    September 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. charles

    those on the left what about those on the right who have been smearing Obama 24/7 since 2007. do you feel how its like now. the only difference is that most of the things questions about Palin are factchecked not smears.l say most not all.

    September 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  7. John in Ohio

    700 dollar hotel rooms to send her kid on a trip.

    That is your tax money at work. That's change I can't believe in.

    September 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  8. kevin

    Truth Squad- brought to you by the makers of freedom fries.

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

    I think that McCain is more experienced than Obama, at telling lies that is....

    September 9, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  10. Former Hillary Supporter Voting 4 McCain

    Senator Obama's Official Position on this is as follows:


    September 9, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  11. Alex

    man who cares about these things. Republicans do not care, they are not democrats who pick every issue apart... Obama/Biden 2008

    September 9, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  12. TJ

    I wonder if the Palin administration offered the same perk to all state employees with travel requirements. I doubt it – more likely it's another example of Palin believing that one set of rules apply to her, and another to everyone she wants to govern.

    When either my wife or I travel for our jobs and want to take along our family, we pay the incremental costs ourselves. We accepted jobs with responsibilities that require sacrifice, and live with the consequences.

    Sarah Palin as VP of the USA...a sure sign of the Apocalypse. Perhaps that is why the rabid right is so excited about her!

    September 9, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  13. Ken in Dallas

    Since we're having some truth today, here's a truth: Oil prices are down by more than $40/bbl because of conservation, not because of McCain and Bush posturing about drilling the OCS.

    September 9, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Pat

    Corporate would require that family expenses are your own personal out-of-pocket expense. If you charge it to the company, you reimburse the company. Don't they have a Governor's mansion???? Sounds like Gov. Palin has one sweetheart deal in Alaska.

    September 9, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. Tom B

    Too bad McCain/Palin will win and all this frustration and angst will have to carry with all of you for another 4 years.

    Bear down folks... some day your party will get its act together.

    September 9, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  16. Chuck

    I might not argue with Palin's travel expenses ( maybe those of her family members at taxpayers expenses), but how does one justify charging the State of Alaska (the taxpayers) a per diem for 312 days while she was at home. That makes no sense at all.

    It seems perhaps that Palin is finally getting vetted like the other candidates have been. Forget the family issues. The kids and such have no place in such a vetting process and need to be left alone. But the American people have every right to know about Palin's record as Mayor and Governor, the decisions she made while Mayor and Governor, her stand on the major issues facing this country as well as her leanings from previous statements or comments, her spending of taxpayer money, her religious beliefs (as Obama's and Mcacin's have been reviewed), her treatment of employees and constituents while Mayor and Governor, her aquisition and use of special interests monies, who her political ackers are, and so on.

    September 9, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  17. BR

    It always appears the Obama supporters fill the comment pages, i guess this is where our wealth will be distributed, maybe if they were contributing (get a job they are out there) to America they would see why McCain / Palin are right for America!

    September 9, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  18. Former Hillary Supporter Voting 4 McCain

    Wow, the Washington Post has hit a new all-time low in terms of it's sell-out support of Obama. Any more lies they'd like to print?

    September 9, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  19. Gina - Lancaster, PA

    Just because something is "legal", does not mean it is the right thing to do... and is certainly NOT CHANGE!!!

    September 9, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  20. CNN, can I PLEASE get off of your 'list'...


    September 9, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. GCG - Austin, TX

    Wow. What a great pick by McCain. I thought your VP should be someone that helps you, and here you are having to create a whole new web site to combat the negative, but true, stories about the pick.

    Boy, I hope that the money you paid that comprehensive vetting team was conditional upon success. 🙂

    September 9, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Helen

    I am reading all the comments with regard to this article and am astounded at the anger on both sides. We need to address the issues not fight. The Republican party started this at their convention when Palin, Giuliani and The "old man", I forgot his name started attacking Obama and Biden. They should be ashamed of themselves. We need to get this country on the right track or we will be a third world country in four years.

    Stop all this fighting and addres the important issues.

    September 9, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  23. just me

    don't forget to vote on november 4th people. don't forget!

    September 9, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. Chris

    God help us, if we elect more idiot republicans to the white house.

    Obama/Biden...or BUST

    September 9, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. lindapuma


    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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