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. Susanne

    Palin supported the bridge to nowhere while she was running for Gov. and check out where the money for the bridge is....still in Alaska! In fact the money is being used to build a road to a deserted beach where the bridge was supposed to be built.

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

    Everytime I see Pit Bull on television she is giving the same speech diffrent outfit. Maybe shes like the robots in that movie 'Stepford wives' except she only has that one speech recorded in her speech chip.Ha,Ha,Ha

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Debra Austin, Texas

    What can't you understand Republicans about the English language:

    'She once promised the voters of her home state that she would not only come to the defense of the bridge but would "not allow the spinmeisters to turn this project or any other into something that's so negative."

    That's a 2006 quote people. If you want to be a Nazi, just admit it but don't claim things when they are not the truth. We;ve had 8 years of lies that has cost us 4,000+ lives and a trillion dollars. Stop the nonsense NOW.

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  4. K.NIX


    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  5. Jack

    It won't help to ask for Hillery's help. Can't yall see Hillery wants obama to loose so she can run in 2012.

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. idiots that comment on articles

    lets point the finger and say thats the bad guy lol. Oh my god liberals are always good for a laugh.

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. dj

    Come on barack!!! do something. say something!!! these people are liars and thieves. don't let them get away with 4 more years. america can't take it!!! Fight!!!!! Fight with all your might. give it to mclame and that smug sarah palin who thinks she's so funny reading other people's jokes off the teleprompter. Give it to them!! They lie!! whew...there, I feel better.

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

    Good to see McCain's camp getting called on their blatant lies by a "legitimate" news outlet for a change. Usually, the only place I see anyone getting held accountable for what they say in this campaign is on "The Daily Show" of all places....

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Aussie.

    America is the light of the world. The beacon of business, the arts, media, technology. Many years ago I came to live here in admiration of all that the American people have achieved.

    Please will an American explain to me why half the population is buying into the same old Republican lies and distortions that have run this great country into the ground over the last 8 years. Surely people cannot be so blind? Even my little kids come up with more plausible fictions than the tripe that the Republican spin machine is churning out. It's staggering!

    This really is America's last chance to get it right. With the US economy in tatters, the national debt at almost unrecoverable levels, US standing in the world at a low ebb and everyday life here in America becoming a soul destroying struggle for all but the wealthiest, the Bush-Cheney government has undone over a century of hard work by generations and generations of Americans. Four more years of McCain-Palin will see the situation irreparable. History will wonder what the hell Americans were thinking in 2008!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. kay deedee, nashville

    Sadly, no matter how many lies and misrepresentations the GOP puts out there, unless the mainstream press covers the fact that they are lies, the Republicans will win. Their campaign is nothing more than a well-run PR machine, and the press and many citizens are being swayed by it. I've heard numerous people I thought were pretty smart, and who'd had enough of Bush, indicate that they will vote for McCain/Palin (well, Palin more than McCain). The fact that so many are goo-goo-eyed over this extreme right-wing liar is astonishing, especially considering they'd never heard of her before 10 days ago. God help our country.

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. JAS

    Discredit by news orgnizations! News organizations that are biased in favor of Obama. Now that says a lot!

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    Remember Kerry in 2004? he was for the bill to fund the Military before he was against it when the republicans loaded all of their earmarks and did not address the issue of funding VA and better equipment? remember the job the Bush Campaing did on him... this is about fair play... I think the Dems have the right to question the ad; it is a flip on her stance and a pretty big one at that $300 mill worth.

    McCain was Brilliant in picking the first Republican woman to share the ticket with; Obama must show his brilliance in energizing the country again on "HOPE"; ladies and Gentlemen buckle your seatbelts.

    September 8, 2008 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  13. Mccain=Bush

    This woman should face the tough interviews just like all the other candidates have had to. The repubs are quoted as saying, "she will be interviewed when we see it is to our advantage".

    What about us the voters? Don't they think we have a right to know who she really is? What else are they hiding? Do they really think we are just supposed to have her a heartbeat away from the presidency and we know nothing about her? She could potentially be in charge of all of us and we know nothing about her.

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. William L. Garner II

    I think that the MCcain and Palin are doing a great job and I belive that they will be a great team in the White House. And Obama's people know that MCcain and Palin are right when it is and about all of the issues. We need some one who knows how to lead and that is MCcain and Palin.

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  15. DOUG

    I'm so sick and tired of hearing how McCain voted with Bush 90% of the time (his party). Lets start hearing how Obama voted along his party lines 97% of the time.

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  16. Scott

    So where did the Money Go??? Is there a bridge to no where that is half built???

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. Laurie

    Lies from the Republican candidates...shocking! Maybe when our "ready to lead the country" candidate Sarah is "ready to talk to the serious press" we may get her to answer some of these charges.

    I really don't understand how if she is so READY and QUALIFIED that her purpose for this week is to bring a spark of excitement to the oldster McCain.

    How can Meet The Press be such a challenge, why do they need to protect her? Come on you have the stuff or not!

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. Really

    Boy the dems and the media are running scared. Amazing a woman can bring this on. They are scrambling to discredit her as much as they can. And I thought the dems were more liberal on womens' rights and equal opportunities. I guess not.

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  19. Rod, Elgin IL

    Can someone PUUULLLLEEEEEEZZZZ stop them from lying?!?!?! First, abuse of power, then a bridge, include the number of colleges that she attended...Palin is a person of LOW CHARACTER.

    They are depending on Americans being dumb, bigoted, or too lazy to seek and act upon the truth.

    I'm issuing a challenging to my fellow Americans:

    Are you willing to willing to let your vote be cast in the direction of what is not based upon truth (which, by the way, is colorless)?

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Undecided...

    I respect people's right to study and practice any faith they so desire, but when that faith leads them into power, it's troublesome. We need leaders that will make their decisions on facts and not on their faith. Your relationship with god should be personal. Obama distanced himself from his church because the rhetoric was divisive. Sarah should distance herself from her church and pastor too. Right now, I'm leery of anyone who believes Iraq is a war from God, Israel deserves terrorism because of it's non-acceptance of Jesus, speaking in tongues, etc... Again, I respect their beliefs, but think they should stay in the private sector if their views aren't more moderate.

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  21. Joseph

    The game is repeat the same old lie and people will believe it
    has facts.
    If the media was doing their Job each time a candidates makes a false statement they should stop them right there and denounce them.

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Sarah- ARIZONA

    GOP have lied to the American people for 8years over and over again.

    They cannot be elected again.

    MCAIN/PAILIN = George boosh and dick cheny in LIPSTICK

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. JB2003

    Then Obama/Biden should start running adds calling them out on this. Negative campaigning seems to work.

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. Lisa from VA

    gosh I can't stand that woman....

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Steve

    Based upon what I've seen in the media, and found on my own in my own research, I believe that Sarah Palin will make an excellent Republican Vice President. She fits the profile perfectly. She is vindictive, nasty, and slimy. She wraps her unethical activities up in the flag and religion so that those who attack her can be labeled unpatriotic or "left wingers". I'm sure the Republicans are VERY proud of Sarah. She is a continuation of what has been going on with our country for the last 8 years.

    I wish the American media would get some guts and start calling these politicians on their distortions, their records, and their sneakiness. In the 50's and 60's these people wouldn't have lasted more than a day or two without the great newscasters of the day taking them to task. Where are the great newscasters of the 21st Century? Helloooooooooo????

    September 8, 2008 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
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