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. Brian

    Palin has saved the citizens of Alaska millions of dollars, and people are pointing out she never fired her personal chef, ridiculous.

    The reason why the Obama campaign is panicking and why they are mailing out a detailed description of what a community organizer actually does, and is begging powerful democratic women to support Obama is because Palin is the republican equivalent of Obama...she is getting Repulicans excited about the campaign, and has helped McCain surge ahead of Obama in the polls.

    So, instead of arguing whether or not Palin still has a personal chef, why don't we point out the fact that Obama's self-proclaimed "most important political experience" as a community organizer came when he was hired by a private party(as in, not elected), and told people in a community of which he knew success was not possible, how to live their lives.

    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  2. Roger from CA

    I'm sorry, but I THOUGHT we were supposed to hold her to the same standard as a male candidate..... So, then, why is it relevant that she is a mother of 5 when it comes to having the state pay for her family's travel???

    There isn't a male politician–or corporate employee, for that matter–who would get away with charging the state (or company) for family travel, absent some sort of a relocation.


    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. Jeff

    John McSame and Caribou Barbie wouldn't know the truth if it smacked them in the face. It is just LIE after LIE. The fact that she isn't allowed to speak to the media on her own shows us that she has to be scripted at every turn. It just amazes me to see all these mindless drones supporting them. With just a little research and common sense, anyone should be able to see that they are LYING.

    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Former Hillary Supporter Voting 4 McCain

    It's shameful to see CNN and the Washington Post in their all out mysogynistic war against a female candidate with a legitimate shot at winning elected office.

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

    It is funny how mccain camp is all panicking with these smears. I don't rem obama camp was panicking... when he got attacked with smears non stop ...

    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  6. Ken in Dallas

    Maybe American women should pay attention to the fact that Palin polls best among white male Americans. Make of it what you like.

    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  7. Darrel from Denver

    McCain says that when he is President he will veto the pork barrel legislation that comes to his desk and 'you will know their names'.

    I guess we already know one – it is Sarah Palin....

    It's a bummer when the truth comes home to bite the Repubs. They don't seem to be able to handle it.

    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  8. Spencer from VA

    The truth is, she's not ready!!!!


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

    We all know that if the Convention was reversed and the Democratic went last, we on Sept 9th would not know who this women is today. McCain knows that He had other choices and probably did not Palin on the list. People, wake up, the Republican party is throwing you under the bus.

    p.s. Palin's voice is annoying...yuk

    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Peter (CA)

    Hey folks, get a clue.
    These reports are not coming from Obama. They are coming from the media. They are finally doing their job and not running scared from the Republicans.

    Guess it is OK when they dig up stuff on the Democrats but please don't attempt to say anything about the Republicans!
    The Republicans are nothing but smoke, mirrors, and hypocrisy.

    Make a change, America......Obama/Biden

    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Kimberly

    The repugs wouldn't know the truth if it hit them square in the face! And I wish it would! NO ONE BELIEVES YOU!!! Republicans are all liars!!!

    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  12. If you liked Bush-You will Love McCain

    Uh, Debbie- You need to fact check your Fact Check
    This is from their website
    Palin may have said “Thanks, but no thanks” on the Bridge to Nowhere, though not until Congress had pretty much killed it already. But that was a sharp turnaround from the position she took during her gubernatorial campaign, and the town where she was mayor received lots of earmarks during her tenure.

    But, nice try

    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  13. Len in Washington

    TO: "Debby"
    Palin did NOT want to send the bridge money to Katrina victims. That money was dispersed to other programs in the state.

    What I want to know is, if she was SOOOOO concerned about the money being wasted, why didn't she order it returned? She didn't, now did she?
    We should ALL want to know why congress didn't make Alaska return the money when the project got cancelled.

    This whole thing just stinks of corruption.

    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  14. Diego

    you mean a PALIN SPIN SQUAD...

    September 9, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  15. Lynn, Missouri

    I don't understand how she can be proud of taking our taxpayer money from the bridge to nowhere and giving it to her constituents. I don't think I'd be too proud of that. Geez.

    September 9, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  16. former hillary supporter now for Obma

    To Sandy are 100% right!!

    September 9, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  17. Patrick M

    Maybe McCain is thinking that we're all stupid, I don't know. How can he pretend to change Washington when almost all people in his staff are working for special interest groups? I watched his speech at the convention and I was not surprised. He still has the same policies than Bush. Fortunately I'm not stupid; that's why I'm gonna vote for real change with Obama.

    Saint Louis, MO

    September 9, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Shari, NY

    Hillary 2012: Obama gets banged up too you know but all he does is laugh it off. Remember that if the McCain/Palin ticket wins, Hillary's chances for the next round will be nil, because Palin will reign. LOL

    September 9, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. CNN, can I PLEASE get off of your 'list'...



    September 9, 2008 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. WA

    I think the We who will not allow those on the left and in the media to smear a woman, should take Sarah back home and let her continue to Govern Alaska. We don't need her. She's not experienced for the job, she's far from genuine and Americans don't need her religious views shoved down their throats. So take her back to Alaska so she can save you more millions! If she's that good you should have all tried harder to keep her!

    September 9, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |

    When you sell yourself as above the other government representatives, you need to be above them.

    If you do the same thing as the others, then you are simply a LIAR.

    McCain lied because he did not vet Palin.

    Palin has been lying about everything she has said so far.
    She has lied from the amount f children she has to her religious beliefs.

    McCain and Palin are LIARS, LIARS, LIARS

    September 9, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. Sara Twogood

    Ummm....wouldn't you call this wasteful spending?? Exactly what McCain claims he is going to stop??? I am so sick of the hypocracy of the Republican campaign. I really wish the media would wake up and go after Palin!!!! Come on CNN, DO IT!!! We have a right, as the people, to know the truth. They will cry sexism, but you need to investigate her, you have to Obama, Biden, and McCain...Please go for it!!!

    September 9, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. Will-South Dakota

    Truth Squads?????? COVERUP GOP STYLE!!!!

    September 9, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. Joshua College Station Texas

    More evidence the Republicans (McCain campaign and NeoCons) are copycatting every good idea Obama has had–reducing troops in Iraq; increasing troops in Afghanistan; the "change" emphasis; now the rumor-dispelling websites.

    I'm going with an original, not a copycat.

    I'm going with Obama.

    September 9, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. Sherry, Atlanta


    *****SHE'S A REAL JOKER*****

    September 9, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
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