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

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

Barack Obama is accusing Palin of trying to 'recreate' herself.

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. Mike in Calgary

    Saw the latest National Poll. Shows HOW WRONG OBAMA WAS ...../ WHEN HE SAID AMERICANS AREN'T STUPID.

    Obama didn't do his homework at Annapolis re Naval Academy (5th worst student) or in Washington (authorizes Iraq war and wants to continue it against the NON-EXISTENT WMDs).


    September 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. george

    obama talking about being for something after being against it?
    let's see – the surge, bush tax cuts, military spending, government bailouts,
    is there ANY issue which obama isn't on both sides of?

    fact – since palin became alaskan governor the state has a 12 billion dollar surplus.
    fact – nobama's hometown of chicago is crumbling and we have the highest taxes in the nation (double digit sales tax)

    when is nobama going to get around to offering a position on any issue and not attacking his opponents after saying he would run a new/clean campaign? i guess nobama was for political attacks after he was against them

    September 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  3. Phil Newton from Murphy, Oregon

    Last week: Warmed-over McBush.

    Now they are selling themselves as "agents of change?"

    Ought to be "Artists of quick Change."

    September 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  4. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Tucker Bounds said what?
    Surely you jest Tucker. Maybe Campbell Brown can set you straight AGAIN you tool.

    September 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. whiteboy for obama

    right,tucker. but, they only took 'leave of absences' like steve scheuneman, so they can work on mccain's campaign.

    September 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. slax

    Not to mention the $27 MILLION she got from the government when she was mayor of Wasilla—an earmark that McCain himself condemned. And even with all that money, she lieft the town $20 million in debt. A town of 8,000.

    The Wall Street Journal:

    The biggest project that Sarah Palin undertook as mayor of this small town was an indoor sports complex, where locals played hockey, soccer, and basketball, especially during the long, dark Alaskan winters.

    The only catch was that the city began building roads and installing utilities for the project before it had unchallenged title to the land. The misstep led to years of litigation and at least $1.3 million in extra costs for a small municipality with a small budget. What was to be Ms. Palin's legacy has turned into a financial mess that continues to plague Wasilla.

    Ms. Palin marched ahead, making the public case for a sales-tax increase and $14.7 million bond issue to pay for the sports center, which was to feature a running track, basketball courts and a hockey rink. At the time, the city's annual budget was about $20 million. In a March 2002 referendum, residents approved the mayor's plan by a 20-vote margin, 306 to 286. The city cleared roads, installed utilities and made preparations to build.

    Later that year, Ms. Palin's final one as mayor, the federal judge reversed his own decision and ruled that the property rightfully belonged to Mr. Lundgren. Wasilla had never signed the proper papers, the court ruled.

    Her city ended up taking the 80 acres using eminent domain.

    It's still in litigation, and the legal bills amount to about half the cost of the sports center, which they paid $15 million for.

    fiscal conservative? i think not. if palin can't even manage a simple building project, how can she run the country? and what, is there not enough land in alaska that they had to take this person's land using eminent domain? what a shame.

    September 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  7. Republicans Hate America

    Keep hitting them Obama dont let up counter everything they say with the truth dont brush it off like Kerry did. if the right wing media doesn't want or is too scared to we know you are not step on these cockroaches and show no mercy. dont worry about the sexist thing if they whine about that kick her when shes on the floor. enough with these inbreeds!

    September 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  8. Dawn

    Obama is so full of it. WHo is he talking to? He reinvents himself practically every time he opens his mouth. The fact is she supported it at first, then vetoed it. To me, the important thing is she vetoed it. End of story. Mr. pork-barrel himself has no room to talk.

    September 8, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. VDAL

    With the lies, false claims and smoke screens around...

    Question: Whats the difference between Palin and Cheney?...Lipstick...

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  10. Nick

    I think this is a prime example of the two minute attention span that to many americans have. The president will be decided on lies and punch lines.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  11. tai


    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Obama is running scared.

    Real clear politics average has McCain up by +3 now.

    WOW I can't wait till a few days and Palin starts giving interviews and shows her self to be the intelligent, strong, think on her feet doesn't like the GOP old boys club (and battled it herself) she is (she has a +80 AK approval rating for good reason (Dems even like her in AK)

    The lies about her are going to be far worse when she will be able to defend herself with her own words and charm.

    Obama is not the only one with carisma now.

    The louder Obama and his sheep complain and whine the better job McCain and Palin are doing.

    Gotta love it.


    OBERMAN AND MATHEWS ON MSNBC have been given the BOOT for BIAS on election coverage. (not fired but no on air anymore during political events......) The worm has turned against the media.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  13. Matthew Bolton

    Good. Now, in addition to adding this material to his stump speech, Obama needs to run some prime-time ads that say the exact same thing. He's been out of the news for ten days while the Republicans have spread their lies with near impunity. Remember, Democrats, in American politics a lie that isn't debunked loudly enough becomes the truth.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  14. pot and the kettle

    ... you mean like you just suddenly made up that you wanted to join the military?

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. Dexter in Houston TX

    McCain / Palin don't care about the American people they only care about all of sudden McCain and Palin are the agents of change...give me a break!
    They can't even come up with their own platform to run on...The Republicans are having an identity crisis....
    My choice is clear
    Obama '08

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. FlaDem

    Obama needs to comment on Palin's views about the environment too. Our environment is such an important issue to all of us, Palin doesn't feel that we need to reduce carbons, or create alternate forms of energy. Every country in the world is acknowledging and working to resolve this issue....except America. We are so far behind this effort because of the Bush administration, we don't need 4 more years of the same. We need to act now, we need Obama/Biden...NOW.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  17. mel from Ohio

    But she IS "making stuff up" because she has proven to be typical of the bush/mccain/rove/chaney group....liars, liars, liars, liars!!!

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. Careful now..

    Obama: I was opposed to the Iraq war from the start. Hillary voted for the Iraq war and that shows bad judgement.

    Biden: Hey, I voted for the Iraq war!

    Obama: Oh...well, we won't talk about that. We need to stick to the issues!

    Obama: I oppose off-shore drilling.

    CNN: Polls show Americans are in favor of off-shore drilling.

    Obama: Crap...I wanna be president so I better change my position..afterall, it is my trademarked campaign logo! It just shows SOUND judgement when you can CHANGE your position based on new information.

    HE IS NO DIFFERENT THAN ANY OTHER POLITICIAN. He was for it before he was against it.. He was for cutting our military to now expanding it... listen to him. He's playing the American people. Only some of us were smart enough to hear it from the start.

    I'm not voting for McCain/Palin...I'm voting against Obama. A man of empty promises that played many people. He is not deserving of the Presidency and he sure as hell didn't earn it.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  19. JusLaugh

    It's about time Obama called them on their BS.

    McCain is bought and paid for by the lobbyists and Palin is the earmark queen. A dangerous combination.

    Obama, on the other hand, is fully funded by the american PEOPLE. The same people that McCain/Palin are playing for fools to get votes only to ignore once elected, just like Bush/Cheney did.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. Woman from Texas

    She is a fraud. She thinks Iraq is a "task from God", that the Alaska pipeline won't happen until the people of Alaska's hearts are "right with God". She LIED about the Bridge to Nowhere (she still kept the money) and collected and hired a lobbyist for Wasilla. She taxed people's groceries to pay for that hockey arena that left Wasilla in major debt. She is an extremist religiously and socially.

    I am a strong woman and I wasn't for Hillary, but this woman pales in comparison to Hillary. Hillary looks like the super candidate next to this whackjob.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  21. mK

    It's about time somebody called the McPalin ticket liars. Because that is what they have been doing and the media has not called them on it. But, I guess that is hard to do when the candidate for VP has to hibernate and figure out what she is supposed to say.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  22. Lance

    Obama/Biden 2008!

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Frank

    I support Obama, but he is beginning to sound like a whiner.

    I oppose McCain because is dangerously impulsive.

    At his best, he's a right-winger who would legislate our morality and who would sell us out to big corporations just like he sold out veterans when the new GI Bill of Rights came up for a vote.

    But at his worst, he's an unpredictable war-monger who will destroy our already tattered alliances and deplete our military strength on every hair-brained scheme that the neo-cons bring to his desk.

    Obama needs to stop complaining that Republicans are liars. Where's the new there? He needs slam them for the dangerous lunatics that they really are.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  24. Beth

    John McCain and Sarah Palin criticized Democrat Barack Obama over the amount of money he has requested for his home state of Illinois, even though Alaska under Palin's leadership has asked Washington for 10 times more money per citizen for pet projects.

    What LIARS, if this doesn't say Palin and McCain are more of the same then I don't know what will. They don't tell the truth just like George Bush and Dick Cheney.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  25. NO McCain, enough is enough

    Republicans love to believe lies and people who gets their emotions going.... 8yrs later we have the sad usa as it is today. I'm losing sleep over this scary election.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
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