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. Chickenhawk

    What do you expect from a campaign advised by Karl Rove? Rove proved with Bush that you can feed Americans lies because they're too lazy and ignorant to uncover the truth. Win or lose, Obama and Biden aren't going to lie in order to win an election. And as we saw with Bush/Cheney, the truth always comes out - hopefully not too late this time around.

    September 8, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. Leon, Atlanta GA

    All I can say is we deserve the people we elect.

    If you want 4 more years of the same old bomb,bomb, war,war, ballooning deficit, high energy/gas prices, rampant inflation, depressing stock market, deteriorating environment, unaffordable health insurance, corporations with increasing power, by all means vote for McCain/Palin (or is it Palin/McCain?).

    Vote Obama/Biden if you want this country to have a chance at coming out of this turmoil.

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |



    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. karen

    Why doesnt CNN after playing these campaign stump speeches on both sides, stop the tape and say OK now lets check and see if this is true....Once in a while you do it but all too often, today included all three cable stations were playing the same old stump speech about earmarks. Why dont you use the "ticketer" and contradict the speech with facts! Its infuriating to those of us who actually spend time on "google" searches, and learn the truth ourselves and dont see reporters talking about it. its like noone wants to offend anyone in fear of losing an interview....We are deciding the most important election of my lifetime and my kids lifetime and you are not giving us all the facts on these people . I guess its true if you tell a lie often enough it becomes the truth...I wish we had some reporters with backbone instead of worrying about who will get the best interview...

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Renee

    Jason – Read the article again. She was for the bridge when she was running for governor. She did not oppose the bid until she saw it was a disaster. So the ad is a LIE! Just like she lied about selling the plan on ebay.

    Also to add, I am an undecided voter who everyday inches closer to voting for Obama/Biden because of the lies and disgust coming from the McCain/Palin campain.

    In addition, what respectful woman allows herself to be called a "hot chick" on a campaign button? I see the women's movement rights moving back nearly 50 years.

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Fairly Obvious

    Obamas ship is sinking fast the no experience hot air candidate has had his day and now Palin is here to deflate the big bag of ego hurray!

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  7. FL Dem

    Democrats have to get mean!!! Come on Obama and Biden, expose these republicans turds for what they are!!

    Who are these idiots still supporting the republican party?? Are Americans that stupid.....unfortunately the answer is yes!!

    I see why republicans don't care about providing us with good schools and good education. When we become educated we start thinking for ourselves and quickly realize how stupid republican policies are and how damaging they are to ordinary Americans.

    McCain is the SAME with Bush on economy, education, environment, health care, foreign policy! Our economy is crap, our education system is broken (I teach, I know!!!) and we are in two wars and the rest of the world hates us now. Why do you want more of that?? You republicans are idiots!!

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  8. Latino from Sacramento

    I saw this momentum coming when Barack Santa Claus O-blah-ma stomped on those 18 million Hillary votes. They see landslide coming and are obviously desperate. Pepole are not crazy adventurers, they will chose the kind of change the democrats in congress have not been able to achieve. That is whe they will vote for McCain plain and simple.

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  9. jb

    Careful now...

    September 8th, 2008 1:55 pm ET

    So, it's OK for Obama to change his position based on more information, but it's not OK for Sarah Palin to change her position when she became governor.


    She didn't change her position – she LIED about her supposed actions. There's a huge difference – even a brain dead bufoon should see that. I guess tho, lying is an admirable trait in the GOP.

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. Marge Hibbing Mn

    Oh my oh my oh my......obama has now started on another woman....l suppose he thought the good old bunch of boys in congress and blogs jumped on his bandwagon against he is starting on Sarah Palin.

    It seems to me he thinks because he is who he is not one person will say anything against him. It is about time he was set straight...STOP THE ATTACK ON WOMAN... EVER SINCE SHE WAS NOMINATED VP HE HAS ATTACKED ATTACKED ATTACKED HER.

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. voter


    you are incorrect. When she was governor she was still for the bridge to no where. There is video of her claiming such on huffpost. She lobbied to receive earmarks to pay for it. ted stevens tried to receive the earmarks, but was short. She did not want Alasks to pay for the bridge so she did not build it. however, she kept the money instead of returning it to the federal goverment. It is documented that she was for it has governor. lets not try to turn it around to make her look like a hero for stopping the bridge to nowhere. she was all for it she did not receive the money for it.

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

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

    Does this mean that she made campaign promises and then reneged on them after she took office? That she actually lied to her supporters?

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Helen, NY

    I could not believe that these guys here saying she sold the plane on ebay. She said she put it on ebay to sell it. This does not mean she sold it on ebay. These liberals will do anything to tell a lie. Barack is also a liar.

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. Ken

    Well its the same-old same-old from the [R] party. Like WMD and all the other discredited lies they repeat for going into Iraq, the [R]s think if you say it over and over and over again, some in the public will start to believe it as truth. And why not; there are those out here with all the brains of a toy mouse who actually fall for the lies!!! How many neo-nuts out here are already repeating this already-discredited lie about Palin?

    So thank you McCain for showing us that your "maverick" mantra is just a bunch of hooey. You are playing from the same old [R] playbook, where most of your policies are comming from too. Your team is caught in a lie, and what do you do? Like any good [R]ightwinger you go on the attack, you badmouth and blame your opponents for calling out the lie, and then you abandon any semblance intellectual integrity by continuing to defend it as truth.

    The American electorate needs to wake up and send McCain and Palin on their own "bridge to nowhere".

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  15. Rick K

    We allow people to say anything at all during a campaign.

    They can lie or completely distort the truth. They can call each other names, mock and belittle each other. They can even manipulate media coverage.

    We don't call them on it. We don't enforce any consequence.

    We will get what we deserve. Truly saddening.

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. Steve

    Just to change the subject...So the race is a tie so far. Eevryone smirked at McCain' s audiences of 10,000 and boasted of Obama's 75,000 and not to mention the the 200,000 in Germany. Be afraid Dems, be very afraid!

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. Jeremy


    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  18. Mark G

    Once again, the McCain Camp thinks we are idiots. News Flash to the GOP...we have a little something called the internet...we can research these things for ourselves. We can see the lies as soon as they are told and yes...we can see WHO is telling the lies and we won't be fooled again. It doesn't matter what bump the GOP may be enjoying, it is small and will be short lived...or do we want a President and administration that lies to us...oh wait...we had that already for eight really want four more?

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Larry, Apex, North Carolina

    These Republicans are such pigs-and Palin heads the list. Surely the American people can see through these anti-American, anti-Christian liars.

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  20. We're Winning

    Someone said Palin is a racist. Well it's not as if we haven't had racist in the White House, or close to the White House before. I think she will be an excellent VP, and she doesn't need experience. John has the experience and she can reiterate what he says.

    She's an excellent choice for women and she will be president by 2016.

    McCain, Palin 08

    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |


    ENOUGH !


    September 8, 2008 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    But lying is what the McCain camp does so well.

    See you in November, John.

    Obama 08

    September 8, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. John, FL

    People don't get it.. Republicans will do anything and say anything to gain control.

    September 8, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  24. Turning the page

    The McCain campaign is doing a great job of hiding Sarah from the media. She should fit right in if she takes over as VP from Dick Chaney.

    As a self proclaimed Pitbull Sarah causes watchers to wonder why she's so timid about facing the media – sounds like a Celebrity Pitbull!

    September 8, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  25. dee

    she was for it until she was against it.
    and then, ah, she took the money though.
    no mention of that any where.

    September 8, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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