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. Mark Cross Junction VA

    Desperate obama supporters grasping at straws that amount to nothing. What is disgusting is obama pretending to be a Christian and biden a Washington outsider. Now that pair is a vote for a Bridge to no where!

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Stone

    making a switch!

    I'm leaving Obama and now supporting McCain/Palin. It'll be the first time in my life that I vote for a republican. Mccain is a trustworthy person with an amazing life story. Obama is terrific, too, but could benefit from a full term as a Senator. My guess is that I will get another chance to vote for Obama. The next time he will have great experience and will be unstoppable.

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Lillie

    Gov. Palin is a FRAUD! Why in the world would Sen. McCain pick someone unvetted when there were several outstanding and very strong Republican women qualified to be VP?? Gov Palin with little experience and a bachelor's degree isn't qualified to be one heart beat way from the Presidency of the most powerful country in the world! And when all the bad stuff began to flow regarding Maverick Palin......those pundits who're propping her up as the saviour to the Republican Party will have to eat crow on national TV!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. Frank

    The Democrats are becoming 'shrill' and 'sarcastic' over Sarah Palin! One of the best things to happen in our political arena and the Democrats are now the frenzied, hysterical and shrill ones...ha...ha! What comes around goes around!

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. mel from Ohio

    I'm beginning to think that McBush/Palin think we are REEEEEALLY stupid and can't read. Don't they know that we KNOW that she voted for the "bridge to nowhere" and changed to vote against it once it was already clear that it was being voted down by the majority? Oh well, it shows again that McBush/Palin represent more of the same.....lie after lie. Lord knows that American can't handle that!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  6. Concerned Citizen

    GIGI or whatever you are called please get a life!!! yes we are d-e-s-p-e-r-a-t-e indeed, desperate for change and its so sad that ignorant minded people like you cannot say NO to the 8 years of Bush and the 4 more McCain is offering. Come November we will prevail because as Bill Clinton rightly said it, Obama is on the right side of History and McCain is.................well, very near the grave!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Mike, TX

    Not only did she support the bridge until it was basically killed by the US congress, but she kept the $230 million dollars that had already been given to Alaska!

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  8. Travis

    I believe everyone here wants to know ALL the truth..not just bits

    So here are a few questions Ms Palin before the election:

    1. Since you were pregnant and you started to leak fluid, during a
    speech in Texas, you chose to finish your speech and then fly for
    11 hours back to Alaska. And then drive for 45 minutes to a hospital
    in a small town to have a baby with health problems.

    How so? would think that you would want the best care possible
    for yourself and the baby at a large city to handle your needs.

    2. I read in your newspaper that you gave birth to a 6lb 2oz baby boy.
    Which you have told us that he was born 4 weeks premature.

    Does a premature baby not weigh less if premature?..just asking.
    Did you transport yourself and baby to a neo-natal unit because he was premature?..No because you were back to work 3 days after giving birth. THAT'S ODD

    3.Why are all the family pictures taken off the govt and other websites?

    Are there things there you don't want us to see?...Too late we've already seen them.

    4. It's odd that the only baby's parents name that was born in the hospital on that day was definitely NOT Palin. Newspapers are printed

    Looks like the MSM hasn't the gazoo's to check on these questions because the Repub will call it "sexist"


    You got a phone call when in Texas that Bristol was going into labor, so you booted it for home to make a good coverup.

    Either there are going to be a lot of people perjure themselves, either way you and McWar are in a whole pile of hurt.


    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. JB, Columbus Ohio

    it would be nice if CNN reported the objective facts instead of just parroting republican lies. When some one is lying, i expect them to be called on it. McCain's campaign is LYING abotu Palin's bridge to nowhere.

    seeing as how this is a fact, it shouldn't be so hard for CNN to report it as a fact, instead of just letting the mccain flack lie again like they did in the statement above.

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  10. KAM

    Hey Jason – if you honestly think that anyone on the Obama campaign is 'scrambling' you are delusional just like the repubs you are supporting.

    It is truly frightening that there are people buying into the republican's full court press of lies and attacks in order to win the presidency. Desperate times lead to desperate measures.

    An anit women's rights, ani gay marriage, pro aerial hunting redneck woman who does not believe global warming is caused by humans is NOT going to end up in the White House!

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  11. Speider

    "New McCain television ad claims Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin stopped the “Bridge to Nowhere"

    ...unfortunately, she never returned the federal funds earmarked for the project. That came out of all our pockets. A glimpse into the possible future? You bet!

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Erik

    KEEP UP THE LYING, REPUBLICANS! DO YOU THINK WE CANNOT READ AND GET THE REAL FACTS? So much for being on the Christian right. The Bible does not tell us to lie, now does it? McCain's campaign is ALL run by lobbyists. Republican Government for hire, just like Bush-Cheney. Still waiting on the Iraq WMD...any update??

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. Jackie

    Finally! Obama needs to keep jarring back- although he is above such lies, he does need to make a stand against such lies and deception that the McCain campaign is banking on to get them to the Oval Office.

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  14. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    Just like the neocon repugs. "Fear, smear, mock and lie" and when they get caught red handed – "deny, deny, deny". Is this the "real change" that the McCain-Palin-Bush clowns are trying to serve up to us?

    September 8, 2008 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  15. Mary

    One lie after another. Keep letting the American people know just how much she lies about. McCain was desperate. I doubt she was vetted properly! I am a woman and have children and grandchildren, doesn't mean I would ever vote for her! Shame on John McCain, he would sell his sole to be president and apparently she would too!

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  16. Brian

    Hey CNN, why don't you investigate it yourself instead of relying on all this 'he said', 'she said' nonsense? The facts are out there. Why don't you do a little bit of actual news reporting?

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  17. David, Ventura, calif

    I didn't know who I was going to vote for until now – Obama is the choice – I'm so tired of the mean spirited comments by McCain – but thank you for helping me make the decision

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. David in Dallas

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

    Palin opposed the "Bridge to Nowhere" after she was elected, after it was obvious the bill was going to die anyway. You have video clips of that. Fine.

    But she was for the "Bridge to Nowhere" when she was running for office. And that's a fact.

    Misdirection and prevarication, thy name is Palin.

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Ramona H.

    I wish someone would tell me, who are you polling to get these numbers? Where can I put my vote in? Also, why are all the news reports different? CNN said this morning McCain is ahead by 4 points, when I get to work, the radio says USA Today says McCain is ahead!?!?! Who are we suppose to believe?

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  20. Jeremy


    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  21. Paula

    BUT SHE KEPT THE MONEY!!!! The real test on whether you were for or against it is what actually happened to the money. She took it. She spent it. Even worse than a bridge to nowhere, she took money and nobody even got a bridge. Why is no one bringing up the fact that she kept the money? That matters more to people than changes in what people have said.

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. ShirleyY - Seattle



    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  23. Peter Hedglon

    It is possible for an elected official to be against the concept of Federal earmarks in the budget and to attempt to get a piece of the earmarks that are going to be in the budget. If the Congress is going to spend billions of taxpayer dollars for earmarks, it is silly to not attempt to get part of that for your community or state.

    There should be no earmarks in the federal budget. If is is not good for the country as a whole, it should not be in the budget. Both major parties have used earmarks to buy votes from special interest groups, and the leadership of both major parties have used earmarks to enforce party discipline-rewarding those who vote the party line and punishing those who don't.

    I think McCain is more likely to attempt to do something about earmarks than is Obama.

    More attention needs to be paid to the fact that Obama is the product of the Chicago Democratic machine; one generally preceived as highly corrupt. I do not trust Obama to defy the political bosses. I think there is a reasonable chance McCain will.

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  24. James in DC

    I guess the republicans like to forget the lack of earmark money coming into alaska before Palin became govoner, and they like to push away the fact that she never gave any of the money back....

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |

    Anyone that votes Mccain/Palin need to see a shrink.

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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