September 8th, 2008
05:19 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama to Palin: You can’t just ‘make stuff up’

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Barack Obama is accusing Palin of trying to 'recreate' herself."]

FLINT, Michigan (CNN) –- Refusing to allow the McCain-Palin ticket to usurp his mantle of change, Barack Obama accused the duo of repackaging themselves and ratcheted up his weekend criticism of Sarah Palin, accusing her of trying to “make stuff up” and “recreate” herself in some of his toughest language against her to date.

“Let’s get the facts clear here. When she was mayor, she hired a Washington lobbyist to get earmarks – pork barrel spending – all the things that John McCain says is bad, she lobbied to get!” Obama told a small crowd at community college in this economically hard-hit town.

“When it came to the Bridge to Nowhere, she was for it until everybody started raising a fuss about it and she started running for governor and then suddenly she was against it!

“You remember that?” Obama continued. “For it before you were against it? I mean you can’t just make stuff up, you can’t just recreate yourself, you can’t just reinvent yourself. The American people aren’t stupid.”

Watch: Clinton says 'No McCain, no Palin'

Obama was reacting to a McCain ad out Monday touting Palin’s stance against the infamous $400 million earmark in her home state of Alaska – a position that is central to the Republican’s argument that his ticket will battle wasteful government spending.

The attack echoes his criticism of Palin Saturday, when he charged that she had accepted earmarks “when it's convenient, and then suddenly you're the champion anti-earmark person, that's not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can't just make stuff up."

On Monday, the Democratic nominee asked how McCain could talk about change “with a straight face,” telling the crowd seven of the Arizona senator's top aides of were former corporate lobbyists.

“John McCain says that he is going to tell all those lobbyists in Washington that their days of running Washington are over,” said Obama. “So who is it that he’s going to tell? Is he going to tell his campaign chairman? Is he going to tell his campaign manager? I mean, these are folks who have represented every major corporate interest…”

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds responded that there are no registered lobbyists currently on the payroll, “and Barack Obama knows it.”

“John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin are a new chapter of reform in Washington, and if Barack Obama is so concerned about former lobbyists than he doesn’t need to look any further than the leadership of his own campaign,” said Bounds. “Barack Obama does not have the record to make change, and voters are recognizing it.”

Obama took another jab at his GOP opponents during a response on Social Security during the event’s question-and-answer session, calling McCain's position “another example of the ‘No Change Express.’”

soundoff (238 Responses)
  1. Peter E

    Always keep the focus on negatives about your opponent... that way they may ignore Obama's lack of record on his issues, or the fact that he flip-flopped on every issue from campaign finance through domestic wiretaping to offshore drilling.

    September 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. HSNP

    Boy oh boy what an interesting race. Too bad the best candidate isn't in it (Hillary).

    September 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  3. Frustrated

    I can't believe how incredibly blind people are. This woman constantly lies – and she is perfect for John McCain, seeing how he wrote the book on pandering.

    Keep at it Obama. People need to hear the truth. If only McCain didn't have the media, "my friends," in his right pocket. Maybe these stories about how the Republicans are lying on every issue would make bigger headlines.

    September 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. Sandy

    She's a broken record, always repeating words from her big night. So if she can't think of what the issues are and let the public know what her pans are, she just make up stuff.

    September 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. Steve Scherer

    If Mccain has more experience than Obama, why he has to copy obama's idea on every issue??? I just don't get that, he keep saying he has more experience than Obama yet copies everything Obama ideas and issues... also Paulin is against birth control pills..get ready to pay more tax to support unwed & unplanned birth benefits (warefare check, health insurance and housing expense and etc). Wake up!!!! america!!!!!

    September 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Independents For McCain

    Obama needs to be real careful accusing Palin of lying. This is a guy who said he sat in the Pews of Rev. Jerimiah Wrights sermons and never heard any anti american rhetoric? Yeah Right......


    Bad, bad decision Obama, you do not want to go their.

    McCain/Palin – True Reform
    Obama/Biden – No Record/Plagerist

    September 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. JDC

    Wow! It is just me, or is the Obama camp looking weak, dazed, confused, tired and scared? It's called Karma! Hmmmm .... I havent seen much Hillary-trashing from the Obama folks recently. I wonder why?

    September 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  8. JC

    Obama make his earmarks public when asked a while ago, now it's your turn Gov. Palin, oh, what..that's right you're against earmarks....right....

    From one woman to another you don't fool me one bit....I must say you might be from Alaska but you sure talk like you've been inside Washington for a long time....

    Obama/Biden campaign call McCain/Palin out on their lies...the way I see it as a woman if Palin is woman enough to play with the big boys she ought to be able to handle it like the big boys...

    No "winning" Gov. Palin (or the McCain Campaign) of sexism! If you put it out you need to take it.

    As a woman as long as they are not demeaning Palin all is fair....

    September 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  9. RJ, CA

    For the first time in a very long time I'm NOT afraid for my country - with McCain/Palin at the helm!

    And I LOVE pit bull women like Sarah Palin, with or without lipstick - we get things done - always have, always wil!

    And I LOVE men who love us - REAL men!

    September 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  10. richs

    Obama sounds like a desperate man who sees his lead slipping away...

    September 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  11. peter, CT

    Everyone leans one way or the other. MSNBC on the left, Fox news on the right. ying and yang. Cnn plays for the middle ground, but its hit or miss. However, anyone who thinks glenn beck and nancy grace are balanced and unbiased needs to go back to school.

    September 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |

    Now Obama is flip flopping on taxes? He is siding with McCain's tax proposal because we are in a recession?

    What a LOSER!! He is just running scared he is no longer the Golden Boy and all the money people have donated to him isn't making a dent in the polls. Go ahead Obama Zombies keep spending your money on a failing campaign. He will be like Clinton pretty soon!

    McCain/Palin 08

    September 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. rita - alabama

    Go get 'em Obama! I'm tired of Obama and Biden walking on eggshells around John McCain and especially Sarah Palin, she can't have her cake and eat it too. She can't dish it out like the big dogs and then act like everyone ought to treat her like a lady. All that harsh language she spewed out at the Republican convention showed she ought to be ready to rumble with the best of them. I'm not saying attack her as a person, but go full fledge at the issues and policies. Get Hillary out there get Bill out there I don't care what kind of tit for tat these politicians think they have with each other my kids future is at stake, democrats need to pull out all the stops!!!

    September 8, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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