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. rabblerouser

    The only lie is that Obama is capable of leading this country, which he isn't. This guy has done more flip flops on issues for the sake of telling whoever is listening what they want to hear, shouldn't criticize anyone who has changed their mind on an issue.

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

    They can show this McCain McPalin lie just by showing that Palin 2006 debate performance video where it shows McPalin absolutely FOR the bridge to nowhere. What did they do, burn the video? Go Obama/Biden '08-2012!!!

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  3. Willow, in Iowa

    There used to be honesty in campaigning. People campaigned on the issues, and kind of hedged a bit, changing the subject when they had been wrong. But it seems that the swiftboating last time and the lying this time are showing that one can say anything at all, and expect to be believed. I believe everything they say should be run through an organization like Because McCain continues to repeat lies over and over, such as Obama will raise taxes on someone making 32,000 a year, when in reality, Obama will raise taxes ONLY on people with families making more than the top 3% of the country. Why do they get away with this? The Repubs this time and last time are just plain vicious. And it works? And we keep electing the same Bush policies election after election?

    I actually quit voting after Dukakis. I thought I was only voting against someone, never FOR someone. This is the first election that I have "come back" to listening and voting. And I come back to this? We need to get rid of the lies.

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Republican Alternative

    CNN's Two Segment Series: Revealed McCain/Obama. Despite the tabloid like title it was revealing. I gathered more about Obama and got a very deep insight into the mind and motives behind McCain. I just don’t understand why McCain’s taking the low road to the Whitehouse by exploiting 911, but after watching CNN’s Revealing McCain, I understand him more. He’s been injured, damaged and he is very bitter over his own Republican party for many personal reasons. This election means so much to him for the wrong reasons- Revenge. So he has resorted to using all the nasty political tricks Bush did and has turned against everything he once spoke of during his Straight Talk 2000 to win this round. It’s disturbing.
    He picked Palin for the hype distraction she offers, she's very coachable, moldable, and knows how to keep secrets.

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Lesley

    The Obama campaign should add to its objection the fact that Palin kept the money for the bridge to nowhere despite her claim of "stopping" it. What happened to the money?

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. AConcernedCitizen

    They sure know how to report the news about Palin, don't they? There's another news story that obviously no one is covering. Just go to and do a search for: "McCain Camp Battles National Enquirer Over Alleged Palin Affair"

    Palin may be involved in an affair and the McCain camp is suing the National Enquirer for their reports of the alleged affair. Wasn't it the National Enquirer that broke the news on the affair of Edwards??? Where's the fair and balanced news?

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. B.K. Wright

    I think it is very sad that Barack is attacking Palin. Guess he is running scared. After all, he is supposedly running for Pres., and Palin is running for VP. That's even sadder, that Barack has to attack the VP choice and cannot go toe-to-toe with the choice for Republican Pres. Oh, well. Bill to the rescue!! Good luck with that.

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  8. Republicans Hate America

    Just confirms how the GOP hate America by willing to vote for a VP candidate that wants to separate Alaska from the U.S. and then have the nerve to say Obama doesn't wear a flag pin. I dont care if I end up being the only one to vote for Obama but I refuse to accept you rednecks as Americans

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  9. jAYjAY

    "Palins first major Gaffe"

    Gov. Sarah Palin made her first potentially major gaffe during her time on the national scene while discussing the developments of the perilous housing market this past weekend.
    Speaking before voters in Colorado Springs, the Republican vice presidential nominee claimed that lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers." The companies, as McClatchy reported, "aren't taxpayer funded but operate as private companies. The takeover may result in a taxpayer bailout during reorganization."
    Economists and analysts pounced on the misstatement, saying it demonstrated a lack of understanding about one of the key economic issues likely to face the next administration.
    "You would like to think that someone who is going to be vice president and conceivable president would know what Fannie and Freddie do," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "These are huge institutions and they are absolutely central to our country's mortgage debt. To not have a clue what they do doesn't speak well for her, I'd say."

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  10. PA Independent

    Same old lying liars, same old distortions and smears, and the same old folks believe it. Then in 4 years they'll be wondering why they still aren't better off. Welcome to America, land of the dense.

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  11. JN

    LIAR LIAR SARAH PALINS PANTS ON FIRE...I saw last week a republican woman being interviewed who said that Sarah was against the bridge to nowhere after the alaskan gov. voted to end it...Sarah did keep the 300 million dollars in ear marks to build a beautiful hockey stadium...Seriuosly though...a hockey mom with only one son who is headed to Iraq..Is she still trying to convince everyone she's a hockey mom??? SHE IS A LIAR!!!! THATS FOR SURE!!!

    Thanks for your lie Sarah..i'm now contributing $100.00 to Barack Obama's campaign..

    September 8, 2008 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  12. GC

    The democratic party, Obama specifically, missed the oopurtunity to end the game by not selecting Hillary as his VP. It only shows the bitterness between them which represents the party as a whole. He missed the point that the republicans wants him to win instead of the Hillary in the primary. If he ws a good leader, he should have pick her to solidify their base. A lot of people will see this flawed decision-making and will be the basis for them voing for McCain. McCain showed forsight and savvy in choosing Sarah. That might be just the leader we need. Remember, both parties have their trashes and soil to hide, the voters will just pick the best one.

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  13. Foreign observer

    Either something is right or it is wrong. When the bridge was right before so it is still right now. Only money might lack now but things stay right. A judgement on a day by day basis is not a judgement at all. It is flip – flopping.

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. Dan

    This is the Rove way of making a lie a fact, just keep saying it often and load and soon the people in this country who do not or can not read or think will believe it. It worked before and the hope is it will work again, I only hope that Obama and Biden take advice from Bill Clinton and go after them on each and every half truth and lie they tell and expose them for what the are.

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Let's talk about real issues that face America like our tax dollars that is bailing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Silver Bank's FDIC bailout. McCain's son was CEO of Silver Bank that invested and in mortgages and land developments prior to it's calspe. Investigate whether John McCain was involved and we are picking up his tab also or were all those weekend trips to Sedona, Arizona for the used for the purpose to disclose his involvement. Investigate that because tax payers are picking up the tab.

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  16. Knock Little Miss Ice Chip Palin and Botox Barbie McCain Off the Runway

    She doesn't lie, cheat or steal; she's a good Christian. She'll also be voting for Ted Stevens unless, of course, he's indicted. Nah! She'll still vote for him.

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  17. Seriously

    The Dems are scared! It is so obvious. Until now all Obama had to do was show up and say the word "change". There was no substance behind anything, now he might actually have to explain what change is! I don't think he has a clue, he best make something up quickly. It is so funny how scared they are. And all because of a woman! Fabulous!

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  18. W. Taylor

    I am an Obama supporter but sometimes I wonder if they are too nice. If you know this is a lie, put out an AD that hits them in the mouth. Man, us Dems can be so soft!

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. Bruce

    Telling the same LIE over and over only serves to show that some people will believe in anything no matter how much evidence shows that it is a LIE, and it also shows that the person that continues to tell the LIE is STIPID because they think they can get away with it.

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. Kris

    I have to give it to the Republicans, they are excellent marketers. If this country votes for those idiots then we deserve what we get. If the Republicans win, we will have to pray that McCain stays healthy. Obama is such a stronger candidate. He is actually brillant, even smart than Bill Clinton. I hope this country does not keep slipping into the the dumb dumb bin.

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  21. Jeff

    We have already experienced 8 years of "cowboy" diplomacy
    America and the World cannot afford 4 years of "maverick" diplomacy from these two extremists....

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

    Abandon hope all ye who live here. The low-information voters are turning to McCain/Palin. Cause she's scrappy. And pretty. And because they don't bother to investigate the lies. Nevermind that she's never shown an interest, even an interest, in foreign policy. Nevermind that Alaska's major issues have zero to do with the rest of the country. It's close to Russia afterall! Inter-city issues. Who cares? Infrastructure - keep the earmarks coming! Mediocracy rules the Republican party. And Americans like nothing better than mediocracy! Heaven forbid they vote for the intelligent person. Oh no, they're elite. Yep. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and John Adams could rise from the dead tomorrow and they'd be elite! Give us the Hockey Mom! We get the government we deserve I guess. Too bad we deserve so little.

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Washington girl

    McCain and Palin make me sick....

    I should be VP. I have a higher degree than a Bachelors in Journalism, have been a leader in my Highschool student council and I once sold a purse on ebay.

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. Olu - London, UK

    Quite clearly the term “maverick” now has a positive connotation for one who has no real vision of his or her own! Where was the “maverick” when the Iraq war was being voted on? Or does “the maverick’s” judgement get clouded at the mention of war? The RNC clearly demonstrated that the Viet War still has very vivid memories, which, from all indication, needs to be revisited!

    Concern. What sort of a team would you really get with 2 “mavericks”?!!! Then what? Do “mavericks” actually have a vision for the future or is it simply a case of endless disagreement amongst themselves and with everyone else?

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. mike

    Lie after lie from oshame/biden. Enjoy yourselves for now but come Nobember biden into retirement and oshame back to the senate and no more billion dollar earmarks.

    September 8, 2008 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
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