September 8th, 2008
04:06 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama campaign calls McCain ad a 'lie'

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="New McCain television ad claims Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin stopped the “Bridge to Nowhere”."]

(CNN) - The presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and John McCain are sparring over a new television ad claiming Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin stopped the “Bridge to Nowhere” - the infamous $400 million congressional earmark that became the ultimate symbol of excessive pork-barrel spending.

Watch: The McCain campaigns latest ad, 'The Original Mavericks'

The new McCain ad, set to air in key states, calls both the Arizona senator and Palin "original mavericks," and characterizes the Alaska governor as an ardent opponent of the 2005 bridge proposal championed by Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens connecting Ketchikan, Alaska to the Ketchikan airport on Gravina Island (Population: 50).

Several opponents of Palin, as well as the non-partisan, have noted the claim she was against the bridge is not entirely accurate - the Alaska governor was for the bridge during her 2006 gubernatorial bid, and did not begin opposing it until it became clear the project was doomed on Capitol Hill.

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton went even further Monday, calling the assertion a flat out "lie."

“Despite being discredited over and over again by numerous news organizations, the McCain campaign continues to repeat the lie that Sarah Palin stopped the Bridge to Nowhere," Burton said. "McCain and Palin will say or do anything to make people believe that they will change something besides the person sitting in the Oval Office."

But McCain spokesman Brian Rogers is standing by the claim, and said the Obama campaign is launching "hysterical attacks."

“The only people ‘lying’ about spending are the Obama campaign," Rogers said. "The only explanation for their hysterical attacks is that they’re afraid that when John McCain and Sarah Palin are in the White House, Barack Obama’s nearly $1 billion in earmark spending will stop dead in its tracks."

Rogers also provided several press clips noting Palin became a critic of the bridge in her early days as governor of Alaska.

UPDATE: The McCain campaign says the Alaska Democratic Party has removed a Web page that credited Palin for killing the Bridge to Nowhere project.

"National Democrats apparently want to rewrite history and say that Palin did not kill the Bridge to Nowhere," the McCain campaign's Michael Goldfarb said.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (726 Responses)
  1. AB

    I'm happy that someone has decided to call this character exactly what she is, a LIAR.

    Like Obama said, "they must think you're stupid or something."

    September 8, 2008 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  2. JustMe

    You lefters just kill me! Obama's an empty suit. He's got nothing. Can't wait to hear you all cry foul come November. Whiners.

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  3. Jen in PA

    CNN, do your job! Don't be partisan, but REPORT THE FACTS.


    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  4. jlumain

    It's scary to think on what these two will do should they win. I feel if that happens then the worst is yet to come. One thing though she sure is energizing the GOP. So the choice is substance or novelty.

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Johnny V

    "If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it."

    -Joseph Goebbels

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Michael in Houston

    These are the people from the same cut of cloth that said there were WMD's in Iraq, that Iraq was part of the attack of the United States, that were selling weapons to the Contra Rebels bought by Drug money from drug sales in the United States, I can on and on about Republicans. You would think that McLie and Paliar would be smart enough to quit trying to convince us that this BS is true, knowing that the facts state otherwise. Now as I have said in the past, I know both have staff to do this for them in most cases, YOU NEED TO FIRE YOUR STAFF AND DROP OUT THE RACE WHILE YOU STILL HAVE SOME DIGNITY MCLIE AND PALIAR. Is there anydoubt that these two will lose badly on November 4th. This is just the begining folks, let's see how more ignorant McAttack and the Mutt becomes. Sad just Sad. I do want to thank both of them for securing the Presidency for Obama. At least they can do something right.

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. steve dumford, Scotts valley ca.

    Not that Obama hasn't done alot of stretching of the truth. I hear there are news reports quoting her as being against the bridge early on. I think this is a sign that the Obama campaign is in disarray. If Obambi had have picked Hillary (who should really be the nominee) as VP it wouldn't have left this opening for McCain. Noe it's the Mccain campaign that's new and exciting. I know CNn is ignoring the gallup poll which has McCain up by 6 points and up by 9 points among likely voters. Time to start paninicking, Obamabots.

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. Bill Tampa

    Don't believe the McSame-Palin Hype......we have suffered enough with these Repugs...EIGHT IS ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!.....WAKE UP PEOPLE...Let the Repugs know, we're MAD AS HELL AND WON'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!!!!!!!..No Moose Killing....Ebay Selling..Shotgun wedding mother in law. and POW story telling , Warmongering old dude for the unpteenth time will help our country!!!!!!!!!!


    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Foreign observer

    The right wing hawk has simply no shame. People liked the Bush lies so they will like hers.

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Betty Webster NY

    Everything I read says she initially was for the bridge and then decided against it. The federal grant was reallocated to do with as she wanted and she kept the money. I sure wish the politicians would be totally truthful during their campaigns. In order to find all of the truth you have to REALLY dig. I have REALLY dug on the Palin thing and she is just a glamorous diamond to get McCain elected. Otherwise she is no different and offers no change. I am an independendent and will be voting for Obama – Biden. Put that in your polls and count it.

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Mack

    Oh sure, the Republicans are all liars and the Demogods never do. Repeat after me "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Both parties are worthless.

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. undecided in ohio

    Shouldn't both parties promise to end pork spending? Are there any Americans in support of it?

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. carol

    All I can say is that if McCain should win, we'd all better hope he is taking longevity pills. He rails against Obama's 'lack of experience' and then choses a pretty runningmate who probably thinks Georgia is in the good old US of A. International stature??? Statesmanship? Has she even READ the Constitution, let alone knows what a constitution is and isn't? It's obvious that she's a slow study, since she hasn't figured out that abstenance 'education' leaves one sexually illiterate and.. um... expecting.
    This is one older woman who finds that choice of VP enough to demonstrate that McCain should remain in the Senate where his lack of judgment might be diluted.

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  14. Enlightened Voter

    She, Palin has lied since she opened her pit bull mouth. She lied unabashedly at the convention and that was very troubling that she did it so easily. All of mccain's ad's are lies, especially the one where he says Obama will tax middle income families. BLATANT Lie! But then mccain said he would do whatever it took to win showing us that he is power hungry just like his pit bull running mate. Only in a Rethiglican America is a black man who is a Constitutional Law Scholar, who served 8 yrs as State Senator and 4 yrs as US Senator and served on the Foreign Intelligence Committee not ever considered ready to lead but a white evangelical ultra conservative woman, with a BA in Journalism and 19 mos as Governor considered ready on day one. BTW Barack, you are my hero for your community service and don't let paliar tell you any different.

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. MBuvia Greenwood,IN

    Palin did support the bridge and used the money ,instead, for other things after she became governor-If the Democrats want to win they had better realize the Republicans are fighting,lying, cheating, groveling in the dirt and doing whatever it takes to win-Staying above the fray is a loser idea-Call a pig a pig and not a silk purse. Hopefully Americans would do a little of their own research in the era of the internet but don't count on it. Who was it who said -Many are too stupid to be governed and are lemmings leaping off the cliff. This election is too important to lose to the Republicans which has in essence become a Christian religious party.

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  16. nicole

    Did you know that the church she has attended for years is having a conversion meeting for anyone who is gay and who wants to become straight?

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. Rebecca



    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. Stacy Texas

    My question: Did she keep the money? I understand being for it and then against it. Did Alaska get the earmark money for the bridge? I'm unclear.

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Wasting Your Time

    Folks, please, make better use of your time instead of responding to the comments sections of this site and others...If you truly want to elect Obama/Biden now is the time for action on your part...individually and collectively come together...volunteer for the campaign, donate some spare change, phonebank, block walk, hold a debate party, anything and everything...there's only 60 days left and real change is in our hands. Thank you!

    September 8, 2008 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Tara

    So this will be their tactic. they will lie and say everything they are doing to destroy America the dems are doing. They will lie... why because it works, because we are the people that voted for Bush twice, because if you remember, he said he was going to be a reformer and compasionate conservative. Have you seen Palen's record on civil rights..... by by civil rights. She vetoed hate crime legislation

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Kuilor2k

    And Obama was AGAINST WIRETAPPINg until he thought he might be president. Then he was FOR WIRETAPPIJNG because he thought he might be able to use it to spy on his opponets. Lets be 100% honest if you demand that we be 100% honest.

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Zman

    If mccain get elected that just shows how dumb americans are

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Reza

    There is a saying that generally we deserve what happens to us. After electing George Bush for two terms which has resulted to

    a) huge budget deficit,
    b) going to a completely unnecessary war which has cost us billions of dollars, and thousands of killed and injured Americans,
    c) loosing our credibility around the world, even among our allies
    d) loosing our houses and investments

    guess what we are going to do? We are going to vote for McCain.
    I guess we deserve what has happened to us. Change does not come from the sky it comes from us.

    Congratulations! Let's vote McCain for another four years of living in misery/

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Steve the Soothsayer

    It is important to learn the facts before shooting off one's mouth. Many who have commented above have not learned this basic rule. How many have even seen the ad in question?

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Ohio 4 Obama

    To Jason and others trying to make Lemonade out of lemons....She has been caught time and time again flat out lying!

    – She did not "Ultimately see it for what it's worth" fact she supported it and ANOTHER bridge project while she was campaigning in 06' right up until it was killed in Aug 07'. The state, however, never gave back any of the money that was originally earmarked for the Gravina Island bridge. In fact, the Palin administration has spent "tens of millions of dollars" in federal funds to start building a road on Gravina Island that is supposed to link up to the yet-to-be-built bridge.

    – Her earmarks per capita are some of the highest in the nation.

    – Her office is currently under investigation for Abuse of Power.

    -She recently stated that Freddic Mac and Fannie Mae have grown too big and are costing taxpayers too much...These are private institutions that were not funded by taxpayer money until yesterday.

    The above items contradict everything she has said or swears to be.

    The only reason she is generating any interest at all is because nobody knows a thing about her and the McCain camp is hoping that the public is too lazy and stupid to do the leg work.

    But it is obvious as time goes on, she will be exposed and the interest will where off on this novelty/gimmick as it is impossible to bring someone who says "What does a VP even do" up to speed in 2 months.

    September 8, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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