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. sandee in Portland

    Yes, every political candidate tweeks their speeches for the audience they are addressing. However, there is a difference between tweeking and telling a lie and the McCain campaign is based on lies, lies, lies. Lest everone forget, Palin is not running for President. The focus should be on McCain and Obama and the difference stances they have on issues.
    It's proven that people don't vote using their brains (God help us!), but vote emotionally. It's too bad that so many people in our country are uneducated and not intelligent but it is those people that will be using their emotions to vote. Those people won't vote for McCain because of his age, won't vote for Palin because she's a woman, won't vote for Obama because he's part black and won't vote for Biden because he's also too old. So it's going to take the intelligent people to decide this race. Go out and get people registered to vote! Maybe that will make a difference if we can get enough intelligent people registered.

    September 14, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. Jody Monroe

    Palin is a fabulous leader, I hope she is president one day. But not today.

    September 14, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. Donna

    why has CNN not addressed the evidence that the McCain campaign is inflating the number of people at McCain/Palin events?

    September 14, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. missouri

    Tweak, yes. But change your whole stance– state where nuclear power is a big bad boil to the citizen's–no mention how the McCain administration will pursue nuclear power harder. In Alaska she does not mention that she said "Thanks but no thanks" to the bridge because there she said yes yes yes to win the vote.

    That is not tweaking–that is deception.

    She is not a good role model–no way no how no McCain no Palin!!

    September 14, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. Frank, MO

    Pathetic that such a blunder can happen here in the USA ! We should have a media that protects us from flat out lies !

    September 14, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Yes Sarah! We wouldn't want to tell the same lies to different audiences now would we?

    September 14, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. yielee

    The B2N is complicated, transitional issue with a budget that tripled while it was being proposed. Good idea, too costly. Voters don't understand complicated, so Obama can use it as a simplified contradiction. Palin will appear strained for answers as she tries to explain it.

    September 14, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Chipster

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

    Just continuing the Republican tradition of deception. It's how Bush deceived so many people into supporting his war for oil and vengeance. Yes, they all target their speeches to address their audience but Obama changes his to address the issues that are most important to that audience, not to avoid them.

    Don't you think nuclear power / WASTE would be an issue that would interest Nevadans? Isn't that an issue you would include, not exclude?

    September 14, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Gail

    She believes in less government unless it has to do with your rights that she disagrees with.

    September 14, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. kimbo

    Well said Sandee.
    I need to add one more comment. Has anyone seen the latest Republican campaign posters? Palin is out front of the poster with a smaller McCain behind her. I've never seen anything like this in a campaign. Who is running for president?

    September 14, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  11. Garrett


    Does America care?? I've lost ALL respect for John McCain.

    September 14, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Meleon

    By this time two weeks from now the McPalin ticket will have tweaked itself into a state of "is this for real?!"

    Sometimes what seems like the worst thing ends up the best thing, and for the Obama campaign, Palin will prove that "what started out as McCain's secret weapon to win the WH is just what Obama needed to do the same."

    The PalinHigh is crashing faster and faster and there's nothing to replace it with. Maybe if McCain had stayed on the Straight Talk Express and not resorted to half truths and out right lies, he wouldn't be looking forward to a tarnished legacy that unfortunately will trump in interest where his POW once did.

    Maybe if he had bucked the conservative right system and not caved to what Rove and the rest wanted he could have lived up to the maverick persona he's allowed himself to be identified. He could have picked who he wanted instead of who was told what "they" needed. Maybe if he had listened to his own soul this would be a race he could have been proud of whether he won it or not. As it is now, when the smoke clears, I have a feeling John McCain's self respect is going to be a hard thing for him to locate again. I see a bitter, regretful man who didn't have to be no matter where he hangs his hat come Nov.

    September 14, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. gram

    What is WRONG with so many people that they can't see through this woman? If the McCain/Palin ticket wins, she will be one heartbeat away from the most important job in the world...and that really scares me. America, if we allow this to happen, then hang on to your children...or better yet, hide them! I am 60-year-old white female and have never had these feelings about any candidate before. Hats off to Barbara Walters and "The View" for telling it like it is!

    September 14, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. anyonmous

    whats a earmark

    September 14, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  15. Keith

    Lord this woman makes me want to vomit.

    September 14, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. missouri

    Palin did not ONLY fly 8 hours just to have her baby born in Alaska–she did not go to the nearest hospital in Alaska she flew onto Wasilla.

    She risk the life of her baby and herself, which means she did not put the best interest of her other children first. I'm sure her job would afford her a few days to stay with her newborn baby. I'm sure she could work from home, after all she charges the people of Alaska for the time she spends at home. But apparently her baby was not her number one concern at all!!

    September 14, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  17. lynn

    Why no coverage of the anto Palin rally in Alaska.?

    Surely voters need to hear what her constituents have to say about their Governor.

    September 14, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. Susan

    Let's just quit beating around the bush and call her & McCain what they are: LIARS.

    I'm tired of being lied to – aren't you?

    September 14, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Judy in PA

    The sad thing is that Americans wil buy into the lies, and call the truth when it comes out as a lie.
    Can we really afford another 4 years of the same bush policies and lies?
    Are you really better off then you were 8 years ago?

    Banks failing, unemployment on the rise, gas prices up, food cost up, pays the same.
    Think hard and on the facts and issues.

    September 14, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. Hankers

    Jody says:"Palin is a fabulous leader, I hope she is president one day. But not today."
    Hardly an endorsement I'd say when she could be "one heart-beat away"!

    September 14, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Tara

    It's interesting that a majority of people concerned about electing Sarah Palin in a VP position are the same people who elected Clinton in as PRESIDENT the MOST powerful position and his experience was being the Governor of Arkansas...come on people! If you are going to argue...argue apples to apples...President to President...VP to VP... Experience goes to McCain! I'm non-partisan; I think people are reaching hard to find a scuff on Sarah's record. It's getting pathetic, give her props for what she has done, where she is at, and focus on the issues. I'm glad to see we have diversity on both tickets. The most exciting thing about this election is that people are tuning in, and if it took Sarah and Obama, to get people interested in showing up at the poles...well alleluia! I'll be turning off the speculators on all the new channels, and waiting for the debates to make my final decision. I encourage everyone to go into the debates with an open mind and open ears.

    September 14, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. Garrett

    It's obvious that most of us that have posted here are pro Obama. Republicans only see what they want and stick their head in the sand when they don't want to hear the truth. My question is, what are we doing to get the word out to the voters about these lies? How do we make people care?

    September 14, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  23. Max

    The republicans strategies of killing the truth, fabricating lies,and dodging issues will one day lead to the extinction of their party. Voters are now getting wiser young and they are fed up and disgusted with the republicans ways which destroy their ambition to become politicians. They would love that ,as politicians , they remain honest, truthful, transparent, and just. This is why the majority of young people feel inspired by the political ideology of Obama. Through Obama they sense that politicians don't have to be dishonest, liars, fabricators, procrastinators, and deceivers in order to succeed. With this motivation, when more young people grow up to become politicians, chances are that all of them endorse the democrat's ways of doing things, and a republican party, if it still exists, will be a subcategory of the democrat's just a label for campaign purpose.

    September 14, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. Allthatmatters



    Obama/Biden 08

    September 14, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. PG

    Did you know that for "Christians" the devil is the ultimate DECEIVER? I wonder if these "Christians" remember that Satan is the "FATHER OF ALL LIES?"

    September 14, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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