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. Eleanor

    Am I the only person in this country that is fed up to eyeballs with this Palin woman, already?? And it's only been a week!! Why is it, that Republicans always seem to back liars, cheats, and people with over-inflated, or disreputable histories? It is astonishing to see how they blithely dismiss issues for which they would move heaven and earth to try to crucify a person of the opposing party for. It just shows them for the hypocrites they truly are, and certainly not to be trusted with the reigns of government anymore! I think we all conservative AND progressive...understand that...after the last 8 years of Bush's failures and imperialist rule!! Don't trust a Republican...EVER!

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Nia Hussein- Phoenix, AZ

    What else is new... every ad they put out is a lie...the problem is American is so dumbed down that they can't see the forest for the trees

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Raj Calapatti

    We have been listenning to Obama for 19 months about change and I am sure no one will ever mistake spelling that word. If he really meant change then his selection of Biden was wrong because he does belong to the old ideas and functions.He should have made us ask the question Why this candidate rather than Why that candidate?Merely , speaking about change is not enough we need to be shown how serious he is. Mccain did just the opposite he also talked about change and he showed his guts by appointing a younger candidate for the 2 spot.President of America is the most powerful position in the world and for that we need a president wo looks tough,who speaks tough and who takes tough decisions.When we questioned his inexperience for the post of President he should have been tough and selected a younger person as his running mate and not 65 years Biden. By his selection he showed and acknowledged that he is really inexperienced.This position is not for the weak and Obama has to yet to show that.He keeps harping about his decision not to go to war with Iraq as a sound judgement but let us remember that 9/11 happened immediately after democratic left office.Lets us also remember that there has been no 9/11 for 8 years. are we not safe now???

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  4. texas blue

    McCain is an opportunist. He dumped his wife after cheating his way across America when the meal ticket came along. Married in Arizona before he was divorced in Florida.
    Palin is his new meal ticket.
    She and McCain are hypocritical frauds.

    Obama/Biden 08.

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  5. smart40

    With all Palin's experience she can start banning books on a federal level on day one. Hand gun rights for Christians only. Jesus loves SUV's and oil drilling. Alaska sold the govenor's private plane to the McCain campain.

    Jesus was a comunity organizor, Putus Pilot was a govenor

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  6. ObamasTheOnlyChoice

    she was only against it when she found out the Alaska would have to pay way more then she thought...then she kept the money that had already been received and built the 'road to nowhere'.....just in case that bridge ever showed up.

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Redneck for Obama

    I'm not buying this news about McCain boost, only a handful of people I know will vote for them. It looks like McCain is buying the news stories now a days, cause it's all about him. But I don't trust him and America wants change. Obama supporters keep your heads up, we will win.

    September 8, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Willy Brown

    Obama and his Dick Cheney (Joe Biden) are running scared.

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. LEW in the Cove

    Now, the McCain-Palin ticket has become the really scary "Bridge to Nowhere". Ms Palin must be held accountable to the electorate for her record – however sparse it may be. Somebody's got to call her out. There's simply too much at stake.
    Who IS this woman that millions of us had never even heard of two weeks ago? Could Sarah weather the kind of excessive scrutiny, unrelenting attacks, and vicious hatchet jobs with which Hillary Clinton has had to contend the past 16 years. And there's what? 60 days left? We may never know – until it's too late!
    I am so disappointed in Senator McCain for foisting this unknown, inexperienced and thorougly unqualified candidate onto the national electorate. And for what purpose? To pander to the "Religious Right!" Totally irrespnsible.

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. John

    Repubs will keep repeating this story over and over and over and over and eventually they'll say the facts are a creation of the oppositional mainstream media. Deja vu?

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Candy West Virginia

    Careful now... It's one thing to change your opinion, but to lie about it and say you never had it, that's another thing. Stop acting like a repuglican and twisting and spinning the truth. SHE LIED! Period! And she has continuously lied since she stood up in front of the nation at the RNC. She is a paliar.

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Larry Kincaid

    She should be called Sarah Palin Cheney every day until the election. If the dems want to compete this time around.

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. chelle

    Big surprise....the mavericks are actually branded cattle!!!! The brand they wear is the GW Bush, D Cheney, and K Rove brand.

    Lie your way to anything....war...the Whitehouse....whatever...

    McCain has sunk so so low...what the heck happened to him?? After his loss in 2000, he seems to have decided to stop being himself and be a "Republican". What a shame.

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. John

    She may be new to Washington politics, but it didn't take her long to learn how to fabricate in the conservative tradition..........the only ticket to consider for her this election is a one way ticket back to Alaska!!!

    Obama/Biden 2008!

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |

    Shameless...the GOP lies with no regard for the American people...they lie just to win.
    The very definition of being un-American.
    And this is the 'maverick'?

    Vote integrity, Vote Obama 08.

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  16. tom

    Biden and Clinton were both against Obama before they were for him. I would rather someone be wrong then make the right choice than someone be right then turn around and make the wrong one.

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. Kitti J

    That's it...keep calling out their lies!

    But its really sad...America is SO scared of Barack, they are going to elect McBush/Palin, and then complain when the country is WORSE than it is.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  18. Concerned

    It would be nice if both parties would raise the discourse to a level that avoided this sort of thing. Governor Palin should be asked to explain the inconsistency in her positions, but Senator Obama and Senator McCain should be called upon to do so with respect to theirs. Taxes are a good example. Senator Obama is advocating raising taxes on businesses as a way to grow the economy and aid those whose incomes put them in a tax bracket other than the highest one. What he is not telling voters is that many businesses that cannot afford the tax increases will discharge employees to find the money, which means more people, not less, will be out of work. There are other problems that will be created by his tax policies that he is not discussing, which means that he is being less than forthright. Senator McCain, for his part, should explain exactly where he intends to find the funds to balance the federal budget if his tax cuts are implemented, especially if the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue for some time. There is simply too much riding on this election for voters to be uninformed.

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. John Hussein OBAMA

    Right on Obama! The SHEEP in this country need to wake up and realize what a farce Palin is. If she ran for office in any other democratic country, her credibility (or lack thereof) would be torn to shreds.

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

    We all know liberals don't flip flop – they just change their mind after giving a matter some evolved, intellectual thinking. NOT!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  21. Jean

    If these statements are played over and over the publlic began to believe lies.

    What are we so afraid of???????

    These k ind of statements cover up the real issues of today.

    What a shame!!!!!!!!!1

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



    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Dan A

    There is a moron named John McCain
    Who shows us all he has no brain
    He went and picked a Alaskan Viper
    Who will help him change his dirty diaper

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  24. Democracynow2008

    Democrats show your different from the Republican liars that are running McCain/Pailns campaign .
    Fight back hard and do not let the GOP get away with this ad or anything else they wish to throw at Senator Obama and Biden.
    Obama is Change we need now .
    Good you called the ad a lie.
    Now is the time to stop the GOP in their lying tracks.
    Lets all join the fight to stop McCain and whats her name from the Stone age Palin.

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  25. Jen

    Alaska received the most per capita earmarks of any state in the country last year. Exponentially more than Illinois received per capita.

    McCain and Palin have demonstrated that they are willing to say anything to get elected, mislead, lie, bend the truth, etc. We've spent the last eight years being lied to. Enough is enough.

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
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