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. Wake up, America!

    I thought the evil duo of Bush Cheney could simply not get any scarier or more cartoonish. McCain/Palin actually makes our current administration look somewhat respectable. I cannot believe half of our country could fall for this type of blatant, nefarious pandering. It's like the GOP has roofied half of the population and now they're nothing but mindless, drilling-loving, souless zombies. McCain/Palin: the savoirs of the "Head On! Apply Directly to the Forehead Head On! Apply Directly to the Forehead!" crowd.

    September 14, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  2. MK, Apex NC

    Why does Palin prefer war with Russia? Instead, why not improve our relations with Russia?

    Diplomacy requires some give and take. We give some, they give some and we all take a lot more from what the both sides give. War with Russia ove Georgia or Ukraine is not a solution. Already Bush has got us into a fruitless war in Iraq. We don't want more.

    Palin, please reconsider your stand on going to war with Russia.

    September 14, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  3. Sean

    "This woman is a great role model for all Americans. She is a uniter.
    She could make a great Vice President."
    Really? Who wants a Scandal-plaqued and LYINg VP? Everyone who likes Cheney I guess?
    "She is a uniter" According to this blog, she is uniting everyone against her with her lies and fabrications. Everyone slammed Obama for not visiting the wounded US troops in Germany, but at least he Was HONEST About it!
    "She could make a good Vice-President" NOt if the voters have anything to say about it!
    Obama/Biden 2008-2016!

    September 14, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. jt

    Smart Governor with proven record.

    September 14, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Charlie

    “Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer,” said Governor Palin. “Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329 million short of full funding for the bridge project, and it’s clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island.” Governor Palin, September 21, 2007.

    This doesn't sound like "thanks, but no thanks" to me... this sounds like "we can't finish our bridge because Congress won't give us any more money."

    September 14, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |

    »Governor Sarah Palin!...Sarah Palin!...Palin!...»I LOVE YOU!...This wonderful,clever Lady is our next Vice-President. YES!

    September 14, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  7. janet, ohio

    If there happens to be anyone who would like actual facts, please go to and read the full factual story of Sarah Palin and the bridge

    September 14, 2008 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  8. Nando

    Dick Chaney in a skirt !!! America better get their heads out of there racist A$$$$$$$ 's

    September 14, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. C W

    Palin and McCain are both liars and everyone knows it.

    To go ahead and vote for them is not only foolish, but unpatriotic: putting party ahead of the good of the country at a time when we need honest, intelligent leadership is inexcusable and just plain wrong.

    September 14, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  10. Stephy

    What she needs to tweek is the fact that she won't comply with the investigators in Alaska, and now her staff wont either. Just what is she covering up?

    September 14, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  11. Concerned Voter

    With all the lies coming from the Repubs ,do not understand how anyone would be sucked into this but they are turning a deaf ear.

    If you believe the lies in the ads and what comes out of McCain and Palin mouth , I guess you deserve what you get. I just hate it that the other half of this country has to suffer too.
    All the Repub pundits , just keep it up even when confronted time and time again. Just change the subject or revert to McCains service. Yep he was a POW 40 years ago folks , not now and that is no reason to make it ok to lie to us .
    The disappointment I feel in the GOP is hear breaking.

    September 14, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  12. Candy West Virginia

    McCain/Palin – get real. Obama doesn't have to call her or mccain out on their lies, the public who is sick of the lies is doing it for him and thank God. It would be an endless task to point out all their lies mcain and palin had said. I feel sorry for people like you who don't have the capacity to think for themselves, do the repugs tell you what to wear too?

    September 14, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. CO

    Palin may regret joining the ticket. Her lack of integrity and vindictive nature may undermine her political career.

    More interviews and investigation, please. Fewer scripted talking points and standard campaign answers.

    September 14, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  14. Tracey

    Ron, it's called . . . .America the beautiful!

    September 14, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. chopkovi

    I'm not sure wh this is newsworthy –
    all politicians use their same basic stump speech, barack obama and joe biden included

    September 14, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. Dee

    This election is not about Sarah Palin, this election is about John McCain. You can try to change the perception of the republican ticket with Sarah Palin, but it does not change the fact that John McCain is John McCain.

    Obama-Biden 08

    September 14, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. Laura

    Every political candidate "tweeks" their speeches for the audence they're addressing. Obama, McCain, Biden, they all do it. It's called strategy.

    September 14, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  18. Alan

    Instead of "drill baby drill!" the new chant for the republicans who refuse to truly change or move toward the future will be, "Bring back the typewriter!"

    I hope, for the sake of our grandchildren, that Obama wins and brings true change to our country. We need an energy policy that will move us forward, not just drilling deeper and wider!

    September 14, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  19. Kurt

    One way to characterize Palin's foreign policy view
    is to think of her as the female version of :

    Dr. Strangelove

    (Or how I learned to stop hating and really love the bomb!!)

    In other words, if she had been President in 1963,
    Cuba would have been toast,
    and Moscow, New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C.,
    Berlin, Vladivostok, ChickenSquich, Georgia, Los Angeles, Leningrad,
    Paris, London, Detroit, Wasila, Alaska, Chicago,and North Butte, Montana
    would have been obliterated by nuclear holocaust.

    September 14, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Oh, look! The bus went off the edge!

    The Straight Talk Express apparently fell off the end of the Bridge to Nowhere.

    September 14, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Texans for Obama

    CNN, why don't you stop giving this woman a free ride, and demand she answer questions for the American people. She is running for one of the highest offices in the land. We demand she answer questions like most of the candidates. If she is tough enough to dish out lies she should be tough enough to answer question about the lies she is telling.

    McCain is not a man of "honor" he approves every negative ad the republicans are putting out including down right disgusting "lies".
    We are so tired of these sleezy ads overwhelming TV.

    Bring Palin forward and make her answer tough questions, and stop sugar coating your questions and stop babying this woman. We as American deserves answers.

    CNN post this and stop being biased.

    September 14, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. Cathy

    After Palin removes all the lies from her stump speech...she doesn't have much left to talk about now does she. McCain's horrible pick in VP will be exposed. I am all for a woman in the White House but not just anyone woman!!!!!

    WAKE UP....and let's get back to the issues of the campaign and proved Rick Davis (McCain's campaign manager) wrong that this campaign is about issues!!!!

    September 14, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  23. James, Mississauga, Canada

    Sara Palin is amazing. She can read a teleprompter really well. She's intelligent: From her convention speech one can see that she has learned an awful lot about Obama in just a few days(Only what can be twisted, used to mock , deride and belittle).
    McCain and Palin are really true agents of Change.They should start with their slogan of "country first ". It is all too evident that their slogan should be changed to "Politics first".

    September 14, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |

    i will be so glad when the novelty of Sarah Palin wears off and we as Americans can get back to the real issues at hand. With all due respect to McCain, I think that someone has recently dropped him on his head. What a rotten pick for VP especially when there were so many qualified Republicans out there to take this position. Perhaps as a governor and a mayor, Palin is fine. But she is not my pick for VP. I would have so much respect for this woman if she would stop lying about her personal life and her numerous accolades about her vast experiences in office. She has accomplished more according to her than any other governor in the world. Other countries must be laughing their butts off about our country. Wars can not be won with hockey sticks and thanks but no thanks slogans. I repeatedly hear women say, "Oh, she's just like me,, she understands what I am a woman endures, she's one of us because her daughter is "supposely pregnant". Well, ladies, speak for yourselves, because I be darned if this lady is anything like me or the women that I know. In addition, the constant comments of her she igniting the Republican party is a sad commentary on Republicans. If McCain is going to be our president shouldn't he be the igniting our party" No, he taking a back seat and a "Driving Ms. Daisy" attitude and allowing our party to be driven by his "chaffeur Palin." So, McCain ,"Thanks, but no thanks to obviously one of many of your lousy choices for this country. Who's going to be your Secretary of State, 'Brittany Spears?'

    September 14, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  25. james

    McPalin wants to win by any means necessary, like lying or misleading the American people. That may work in Alaska where her supporters are so desperate for "outside" attention, but the rest of Americans aren't stupid. McBush is no longer a maverick. He's completely changed and I lost all my respect for that two-face.

    September 14, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
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