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. G. Penley

    All Obama has done since Sarah Palin's name was uttered is attack her personally. Change? This is the same old dirty Chicago politics that he grew up in. He's nothing but a whiner with no experience and no skills except as an orator–which amounts to a lot of hot air.

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Douglas, Los Angeles California

    We need to know more about Palin. She is keeping herself under the skirt of McCain and reading whatever they put in front of her. I haven't heard one word from her heart. And if you say anything about her and question her ability, she claims sexual discrimination; bull. I hope Charlie Gibson ask her some straight questions and not white-wash the interview. For now, I do now trust this candidate.

    They also stole Obama's campaign theme; Change!

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  3. Nick - Arlington, VA

    CALL THEM OUT BARACK!!! ...enough of this fake maverick garbage...McCain thinks he can just repeat lies and half-truths and the public will gobble it up as true....disgusting...his own campaign manager says this isn't about the issues....THIS IS ABOUT THE ISSUES...McCain-Palin are on the wrong side of all of them!

    OBAMA-BIDEN 2008

    September 8, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  4. thomas

    If McCain really was a straight talker, his wouldn't belong to the party of hypocrites. Sincerity is diminished when parroting others and truth is discovered only with knowledge. It says a lot when you try to trick people into voting for you by pretending you are something you're not. It shows a lack of conviction for their party and a lack of respect for the intelligence of voters.

    September 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. Trysh, Los Angeles

    Way to go Obama! Time to come out fighting, but with FACTS and about actual ISSUES!!

    If McCain was so much for change, then why was he so against it when YOU were campaigning on change in the beginning. At first, CHANGE was a joke to him, but since he sees it working for you, NOOOOW he is the "CHANGE" candidate.

    Of course, this is one more CNN won't post of mine. I guess I will have to come back and say something "flip" that will be posted.

    September 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  6. Viet Vet

    That the repubs mantra- -Lie about everything, someone will believe it.
    And reading these posts – -sure 'nuff. Obama some Americans are stupid.

    September 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  7. me

    I like Palin's honesty, strength, smartness, and the "barracuda" will. I like that she is OK to show her imperfections ( americans want perfection, but NO ONE is perfect, and ever will be).
    If she changes her mind – it is due to evaluation situation. Obama changes his words all the time.
    She is fresh, smart, pretty, good mom, and good person. So is Hillary.

    September 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Mikey

    McCain and Palin have a bridge (to nowhere) they would like to sell the American public. To borrow a line from Palin, let's all get together and tell them "Thanks, but no thanks!"

    Obama '08

    September 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. Jerry

    CNN has talked to Meg Stapleton, Former Aid to Governor Palin and said, when Palin campaigned for Governor, she supported the Bridge to No Where.

    But when she became Governor and saw the cost, that it had double, she killed the Bridge To No Where Project.

    However, Obama talks about taxing the Big Oil Companies.

    Sarah Palin did just that in Alaska, she taxed the Big Oil Companies and the residents of Alaska got a stimulas check.

    Obama has no experience in taxing the Oil Companies.

    Palin Does.


    September 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Jim D

    Glad to see the Obama Campaign on the defensive. Hows that going for you???

    September 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Woman from Texas

    Obama made his earmarks PUBLIC and isn't claiming to never had used them! Wake up! Obama has been open from the start!

    September 8, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Brandon from WI

    "Mind what people do not only what they say, for actions can betray a lie." – Terry Goodkind. Gov. Palin's record has shown that she has now problems with earmarks and wasteful spending, despite what she now says. John McCain says he is against earmarks he has voted for them with his own party on plenty of an occasion. When Obama became head of his party he had them no longer take money from PACs.
    Actions vs Words

    September 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  13. Josh


    I mean do they realy think we are STUPID!!!

    At the end of the day the facts are all I have and no one can undo what is done!!!!

    If McCain win God bless him but I might as well move to China since we are borrowing billions of dollars to just send it to Iraq where we had no buisness of being there at the first place.

    Where is Bin Laden by the way??? Isn't he the one who attack the nation?? Isn't he the one who killed??? I just don't get it anymore.

    By the way what is this change McCain and Palin talking about this days?? First run on experiance, that didn't work?? okay bring Palin who doesn't even know what a V.P. does and then run on change???

    As John Stuart said it on The Daily Show, "If I give you a 5 dollar bill and you give me another 5 dollar bill, that is not a change but more of the same!!

    Final thought not only they think we are supid but they know we are stupid. So much for the most educated and smart people! As Roma was colapsed I guess it's time for a new sherif in town! China!!!

    September 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  14. GOP=win at all cost....Lies are currency with uneducated base

    Sure she can Barack. What else is she gonna talk about? What books she'd like to ban from public libraries? Get real Obama, this is just the tip of the iceberg. They are only just getting warmed up with the lies and smear. After all, who's gonna catch them in a lie? I mean besides Jon Stewart? Who in the mainstream media?

    September 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  15. CH

    Obama is doing the right thing. While I do agree that he should have chosen clinton there is no way he could have known palin was going to come out of nowhere. keep punching away on the issues and it'll unmask the sham agents, mccain and palin.

    September 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  16. ANGIE

    I just dont understand why mccain is now adopting obamas CHANGE listen mccain please come up with your own policy and tell your pitbull with lipstick to stop HER LYING be original mcain STOP COPYING OFF OBAMA everyone knows you are mcbush voting with him 90 percent of the time YOU ARE NO CHANGE MY FRIEND! OBAMA/BIDEN08

    September 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. xddy4u

    The slogan "Change" has ran its course. It's time for Obama to let McCain have the change, and start a new one leading up to the election.
    I wish there was some way that I could get the ears of Obama's advicers, I could give them some helpful hints. Sometime you can't see the forest for the trees.

    September 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Dameun Strange

    When is Palin going to start speaking for herself? Can Barracuda swim in the big pond without her water wings? Looks like a big fat NO...what is the RNC afraid of? That her lack of understanding of the US government and foreign policy will come to light and people will see her for what she is. A PR stunt in perpetuity.

    September 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. susie

    Good-bye Obama.

    Hello McCain.

    September 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. Todd

    They say what is the difference between Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney: LIPSTICK!

    September 8, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. R.Deezy

    After painting Barack as a celebrity with no leadership skills McCain has resorted to a copycat strategy by creating a "celebrity" to run the show and hope that people will fall for it. How pathetic can a man be. Sarah Palin may be good at reading a George W Bush scripted speech but that does not qualify her to lead a nation that's suffering from job losses and foreclosures from the same guy who's chief scribe writes her speeches!!!

    September 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. We MUST elect OBAMA

    $4 gas, torture, invading the wrong country, job loss, widening gap between rich and poor, diminished credibility amongst the rest of the world. IT MUST STOP!!!

    Obama '08

    September 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. Charlie Black

    You should just come out and say the truth... Sarah Palin is a big ol' fat liar

    September 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  24. usmc

    Keep calling that lying lack luster pilot out. keep hitting them in the chest with the truth ,over 4000 troops dead,and the truth hurts that why you don't see flag draped coffin I've seen my share

    September 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  25. kenny cole

    Maccain and his campaign really think american people are stupid,and all he want is to be PRESIDENT but republic should know that not this time

    September 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
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