September 14th, 2008
10:25 AM ET
10 years ago

Palin tweaks stump speech for different audiences

Palin recently returned to the campaign trail after a visit back to Alaska.

Palin recently returned to the campaign trail after a visit back to Alaska.

CARSON CITY, Nevada (CNN) - Sarah Palin's reputation for rarely deviating from a scripted stump speech as she travels from city to city is not entirely accurate.

She’s open to changing a few lines here and there - depending on the audience.

Consider her speech Saturday in Nevada, site of the proposed Yucca Mountain Repository, a controversial project that would store radioactive waste in Nevadans’ backyard. At nearly every campaign stop over the last two weeks, Palin has touted McCain’s plan to expand nuclear energy, including storage and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.

“In a McCain-Palin administration, we’re going to expand nuclear energy, expand our use of alternative fuels, and drill now to make this nation energy independent,” she said to cheers last week in Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

But in Carson City, where the Yucca issue hits closer to home, that remark about expanding nuclear energy disappeared.

Palin also gave a pair of modified stump speeches during her recent Welcome Home tour through Alaska that failed to mention the notorious Gravina Island Bridge, subject of her usual applause line on the campaign trail that “I told the Congress ‘thanks but no thanks’ for that Bridge to Nowhere."

The Alaska governor routinely cites her opposition to the bridge on the trail to reinforce her reformer reputation, but fact-check groups and the Obama campaign have noted out that Palin supported building the bridge before she came out against it.

Earlier: Palin stays firm on Bridge to Nowhere claim; Obama camp calls bridge claim a 'lie'

At rallies last week in Fairbanks and Anchorage, where Palin's original position in favor of the bridge is well-known, her “thanks but no thanks” was left behind in the Lower 48.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (665 Responses)
  1. Carl from MI

    It's the same old lies... rehashed and tied with a pretty bow!! How many times can she regurgitate the same stuff? Why isn't she on the talk shows today? Why isn't she ready to do REAL interviews!!

    Because she's lame, lacking in knowledge, and JUST NOT READY!!!


    September 14, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. SC

    "Palin is open to changing a few lines here and there — depending on the audience."

    I thought that's very stupid. Speak your mind and gut, Palin. Speak out the issues. You are here to be the VP for GOP. You are not selected by the America people to be the "CROWD PLEASER" when you go around the country. You are here to serve the American public and not to please them as John McCain wants you to.

    September 14, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. Ang

    I watched Biden/Palin revealed special on CNN last night. I was in total awed when I heard that Sarah Palin had went into labor in April. She opt to leave the state she was in flew 8 hours while in labor so her child would be born in Alaska.
    How could any mother risk the life of their unborn child and themselves?
    Did she understand the risk involve or she was just that selfish and decided to take the chances to keep her child from being born in another state in America?
    That was a total unethical and risky decision Sarah made. Both Sarah and McCain lacks sound judgement to command the country.

    September 14, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. Brenda

    I'm glad everyone is so "gun hole" on Sarah/McCain.

    Sarah, God don't like ugly and judging others.

    Voters, beware!

    September 14, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Tom

    As a democrat who is not thrilled with Obama, McCain has made my decision easy. Obama! I actually had respect for McCain before this race. Thank you John for showing your true colors before election time. Maverick? Then why didn't you actually choose the V.P. candidate you wanted instead of pulling some stunt. She has no place near the White House and with everything coming out about her, she may not even be the governor of Alaska for long.

    Talk about flip flopping McCain has gone from a maverick to a conservative party shill!!

    September 14, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. theSideLiner

    I am anxiously waiting on Palin's answer as to why she wanted to charge a rape victim $100.00 dollars for a test kit. This wicked witch must stop hiding and face the media to answer for all of her fabricated lies and dumb decisions. I challenged the cocky wacko to face Barbra and the girls on The View. I double dare you Sarah!

    September 14, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. Sue in MI

    Can hardly wait for her to debate and actually have to ANSWER a few questions. Think she might know what the Bush Doctrine is by then? Or which countries she actually set foot in? Or whether she supports stem cell research or not? Or whether it is honorable to attack a sovereign nation without their permission when looking for terrorists? Or, and my favorite, whether prisoners have rights? She blasted Obama for expecting us to treat prisoners with the Geneva Convention rights they deserve, no matter what we THINK they may have done.

    Give us a Constitutional scholar any day over this lying duo.

    September 14, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |



    September 14, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. If U enjoyed the failure of Jimmy Carter, you'll LOVE Obama

    It's disturbing to see the party of unity or whatever the DNC claims it is now whining with such hatred and vitriol. THIS is change we can believe in? Um........NOT.

    Hillary 2012.

    September 14, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Marie-Gurnee, IL

    Gee a political candidate adjust their speech to adjust to the crowd they are speaking too? Amazing... CNN this is just groundbreaking.... wow.

    September 14, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. GEEZER & GIDGET '08

    The media FINALLY begins exposing the lies that bloggers discovered on day 2 of her announcement.

    Yet the republicans still say "we are in it to win" and will keep submitting lies because we want to.

    Seems the republicans have tried that route for the last 8 years at a very high cost in both lives and funds in an illegal war.


    September 14, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Jeffer65

    It doesn't matter if she changed her position on the bridge or if she didn't. What matters is SHE KEPT THE $$. Why doesn't someone in the media press her on that?

    September 14, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Joe

    she's ok to admit dumping waste in someones backyard but when shes at that persons backyard she wont admit it.

    September 14, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. CarolO McBain MI

    Lie 1.......Bridge to No Where…..only changed her mind when forced to…and never returned the money for that project
    Lie 2.......Sold jet on Ebay for a profit…..sold to a broker many months later for a loss
    Lie 3.......Palin visited Iraq….she never left the Kuwait border. She also never “visited” Finland.. it was merely a re-fueling stop.
    Lie 4.......She had no earmarks ……everyone has earmarks but why lie about it?
    And the Troopergate problem remains and she is trying to block the subpoenas. Another lie, Sarah?
    We seem to hear a new lie every couple of days.

    September 14, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Seattle Sue

    Mrs Palin calls it tweaking her campaign, I call it outright lies. Speaking of liars, where does McCain propose to build those 40 to 45 nuclear power plants.

    September 14, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. seattlefemdem

    The rain of her lies will come flooding down on her, just hope it's sooner rather than after they steal the election

    September 14, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |

    »HURRAH for the GREAT man John McCain!...HURRAH for the beautiful,smart Sarah Palin!...The wonderful Sarah Palin will CHARM the entire Country. Yes.

    September 14, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Chechi

    In the rep. publicity they say S. Palin is "Devoted to her family" In what planet is a full time politician devoted to their family? It looks like she is actualy running away from her family and all her family troubles!! What is she smiling about? She is scary!
    Charity begins at home.

    September 14, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. McCain/Palin

    Nothing Obama or his campaign can dig up or say about Sarah Palin or John McCain is as bad as Obamas inexperience, the church he attended for 20 yrs. and the pastor who was his best friend and the people he hung around with and got his sweetheart deals from. You are the ones who need to wake up Obama followers.

    September 14, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. white woman

    CHANEL..Yes, there IS a place you can get real facts..its
    and as for Catholics having probs with Bidens anser on when life begins, are they ALSO having probs with the McCain -Palin least Biden answered correctly according to Catholic doctrine, life begins at conception, however he wasnt going to force his beliefs on others..whats wrong with that answe ??? NOTHING !!! whats wrong with LIES ??? EVERYTHING>>>
    Obama -Biden..Please hang tough..Beat these miserable LIARS...

    September 14, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |

    Laura Bush stated on 09/01/08 that Palin’s experience as a mayor, qualified her for the Republican vice presidency.

    Cindy McCain stated Sunday, 8/31/08 Palin had national security experience because Alaska was next to Russia.


    Are you willing to take a chance that the welfare and safety of your own children, may at sometime in the future be the responsibility of the Republican party that actually believes that anyone, male or female, with experience as a city council member and the mayor of a village of 9.000 for 8 of her 10 years of “executive” experience, actually qualifies the candidate for the top office in the land?

    The same Republican party believes that the fact that the state, which has a total population of less than the city of Atlanta, and which she is the current governor of for all of 20 months, during which time she has already managed to create a cloud of suspicion for possibly abusing the power of her office. and is currently being investigated, is actually qualified for national security because the state she is the governor of is next to Russia?

    No matter how you feel about the Democratic ticket at least the one with the lesser experience was ELECTED, and made a VP selection of someone who would bring balance to the ticket and provides some responsibility. The Republican VP was SELECTED by one man that actually believes the Republican statements and beliefs as outlined above.

    You parents out there need to think long and hard about this ticket but more importantly about the Republican party which is apparently so welling to cater to the Far Right that the entire Republican party is willing to chance putting your own kids future in jeopardy, just so they can win an election?

    How exactly is that considered "Country First"?

    September 14, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. Hank

    The two faces of the twofaced John McChain, raving publicly about the surge in iraq while pravitely saying it was a failure

    September 14, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. Gary Chandler in Canada

    McCain is getting soooooooo much mileage about his hurt and bitter attitude after Bush low balled and swift boated him back in 2000.
    After that campaign he 'opposed' a some Bush proposals, global warming, tax cuts for the rich, and (I can't remember the other, look it up on Wikipedia).
    Before and AFTER that brief appearance as a Maverick, he has been Bush and right of Bush AND all those maverick moves he has flip flopped on over time.
    Of course he had hurt feelings after what Bush did to him in that campaign, (calling his wife a drug addict and Swift Boating his military record), and of course he postured against everything Bush put forward, except the Iraq War; BUT. my friends, THEY KISSED AND MADE UP A LONG TIME AGO. They bought him back!!!
    In 26 years, Feingold and him created a pretty good bill and he had a few other minor accomplishments, one with Kerry, which he NEVER brags about. Obama did more legislation in a few years than McCain did in a few decades!
    McCain and Obama and America are WRONG about Ossetia! Sachofshiltes IS a war criminal!
    Russia is rising out of decline and America is *spiralling into it.
    *(9 trillion in debt [borrowing from China and Russia to pay Iraquis to stop shooting at you!?] highest crime rate of developed nations, lowest education rate, overstretched world expansionism, worst cultural and racial divisions)
    Russia and China are lining you up in their cross hairs. Right now they could destroy America by simply calling for their paper money!!!
    America can recover but McCain and Palin cannot lead it, and Obama might be able to stall it.
    America would have to buy into Obama's plan and there plain old probably are not enough Americans with brains to GET IT. BILL MAHER is the ONLY American I've seen who GETS IT. HE IS WHO YOU NEED, you NEED a CHURCHILL times 10, and you only have – 10's.

    September 14, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Republican

    Democrats try to focus on the issues. What the republicans seem to understand far better is that voting is not a rational choice, it is an emotional choice. The issues, after all, change over the years. So you choose on the basis of future (unknown) issues and thus it is all about vague emotional concepts as the general political direction of a candidate and if the candidate is to be trusted. Hence, the `character' debate. Forget about experience, voters are not very interested other than as a marker for character. Forget about the plans, voters know from experience that the plan is the first casualty of reality. The McCain campaign uses this angle rather well.

    But the McCain campaign is walking a tightrope. They are lying and distorting the truth far more than the Obama campaign (see for instance The lies hurt their opponent directly but the feeling when lies are exposed hurts their credibility and diminishes their trustworthiness. The closer to the election, the bigger the distortions and lies on both sides will be as it takes time to expose lies. But it is a close race and if they peak too early, they might fail.

    Maybe Obama should campaign more on emotional issues like 'change'. Since change has been co-opted by McCain Obama could move to other emotional issues like `honesty'. Maybe the Obama campaign is already planning this and maybe the republicans are digging their own hole as we speak as they are only creating input for Obama to use in the last month/weeks.

    Nixon, ironically, was the first victim of large scale campaign lies (the "rocket gap" of the Kennedy campaign was a lie and Kennedy knew). Eisenhower and Carter were the probably last `decent' presidents the US had. Obama seems to try, though even he cannot do completely without given the attacks he is facing.

    September 14, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. If U enjoyed the failure of Jimmy Carter, you'll LOVE Obama

    Is it just me or has the Obamabot Platform consisted only of "Stop talking about Sarah Palin" for the last two weeks? Wow, how inspiring....

    Hillary 2012.

    September 14, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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