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. DemoNcrats are falling (like Rome)

    So how does this compare to O-blah-blah-blah's BS about his thoughts of joining the service. How about BHO answer questions about Ayers and Rezko? And... who is this race between BHO and McCAIN or BHO and Palin? For as much as she is getting attacked you would think that BHO is quite threatened by a woman who has more of a political resume than him!

    September 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Xer

    Obama is totally "made up." How can he have any room to talk? I am a dem voting for McCain.

    September 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  3. Katrina

    The McCainies will fire back saying that Obama got 1 Billion in earmarks, trusting the audience not to do the math. Get your calculator out and do 1 bil divided by 12.5 mil (Illinois pop) and 27 million (Wasilla earmarks under Palin) divided by 6,500 (pop Wasilla under Palin). Wasilla beats Illinois by a factor of 50....

    September 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Where's the Beef GOP?

    Obama is a real American hero. There is nothing 'celebrity' about the Security Detail he gets every day. He loves his country enough to put himself at risk for the cause of a brighter future for our children and future generations. McCain and Palin are re-treds in hope of duping the American public into more of the same.

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

    Tucker (out of) Bounds tries to spin it. Well, that is why they pay him. He says, "...there are no REGISTERED lobbyists CURRENTLY on the payroll." (Emphasis, mine). That's cute, note he did not say there are not people in the highest echelons of the McCain campaign that have not been lobbyists (and undoubtedly will sin again) and served rogue nations, major financial institutions and the Republic of Georgia. The McCain campaign is littered with lobbyists. Poor Tucker can't change that.

    September 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  6. Daniel


    4000+ Lives lost and almost $1 Trillion waste of our treasure is ENOUGH reason NOT to vote for McCain. He was right by BUSH-CHENEY urging for this war which was not only a case of BAD Judgement but an outright disaster that must not happen to this great country twice. Russia and IRAN are flexing their muscles because they know we are streched out. They would not have dared if McBush had not squandered our treasure and sent our children to an IRRESPONSIBLE war. ENOUGH!

    September 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  7. karen b

    whta is the problem with your news people. why is your all one sided .i was democrate untill you all were thing all for obama his always flip floping he needs to get his story straigt. i switched to rep before sarah palin was pick vp. the news and delagates and superdelagetes were all on sideed also. if you want to report the news be fair and balance. fox is the you lost me and 100"s of other. lou dobbs, glen beck, nancy grace are the best the cnn has news team need to honest and fair.

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

    McCain's change = flip-flop

    September 8, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  9. frank Honolulu HI

    Character matters. Do we really want these two faced people to represent us? Are all you Palin supporters two faced or just really, really stupid?

    September 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  10. Paul

    I really don't think one campaign has a monopoly on "making stuff up" and distorting positions. Then the candidates wonder why the public gets turned off. As I was told along time ago–"You can't build yourself up, by tearing down others." I think it is time all candidates stop the negative campainging and comments.

    September 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Staghelm-Horde

    lol at your truth VitoF. If you call liberal propoganda in the media "truth" then I can think of ALOT of historical "truths" that I guarantee you'd disagree with.

    McPalin WILL win. She's real, honest, and a very visible mother. Welcome all the Hillary supporters, you ARE welcome on the Repub side. And McCain is an actual leader, not some rookie lawyer from Chicago with NO political experience, or Biden a flip flopping former Repub himself, trash talking on his running mate just this last spring.

    I cackle everytime I hear Dems say truth. I really, REALLY is funny because it's hypocritical and blurred.

    September 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. Eric-29-m-PA

    Hmm. While on your world tour didn't you bring up a committee and then say it was yours, but then we found out you made it up. It goes both ways buddy. You're no expection.

    September 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. W. Taylor

    Thaaaaaaaaaaaank you, Senator Obama! Don't be afraid to attack!

    September 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  14. Frodo

    yup, the American people aren't stupid, Barack.

    So why are you (and McCain) supporting the bailout of Freddie and Fannie?

    We pay taxes on our property. Now our mortgages will be owned by the government, so we are paying interest TO THE GOVERNMENT (a tax?hmm…) then you will also have your taxes raised to bail out the mortgages that you as a taxpayer are paying interest on!!

    You keep SAYING that you won't raise taxes on people under $250k income, but you JUST DID!!!

    September 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  15. fiscal conservative?

    Recently, Alaska’s Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell announced that every eligible man, woman and child will receive $2,069, thanks to dividend payments from the state's oil royalty investment program distributed annually. On top of that, the checks will include another $1,200 from the state treasury to help offset soaring fuel prices.

    $3,269.00 x 600,000 eligible Alaskan residents equals $1,961,400,000. Almost $2 billion simply for being a resident of Alaska. The oil royalties are up from $1,641 in 2007. Is Alaska a welfare state?

    Sister Sarah"s immediate family of seven’s take: $22,883.00.

    September 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  16. Kelby from Houston, TX

    GO GET'EM Hit them, Hit them hard, hit them repeatedly. HURT'EM AND HURT'EM BAD! let me see your teeth.
    She says she's a pit bull with lipstick and I say that dogg don't hunt! We will not accept your lies. CNN we will not accept your polls!
    I will accept nothing less than victory in November.

    September 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  17. JD

    Everyone can make stuff's call politics. You should know.

    September 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  18. James in Glendale

    Obama nation meltdown. I love it!

    September 8, 2008 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Josh

    Oh yeah Obama, you're right. You can't be "for" it before you were "against" it. Yeah, well I guess she shouldn't follow your example and all your "experience." You know, you were for an agreement for public financing before you decided against it. You were for a "undivided" Jerusalem when you spoke in front of Israeli leaders before you were against it the next day. You even sometimes do the reverse: you are often against someting before you are for it. Like President Bush's Faith Based Initiative plan, which you now want to expand. Oh, and most recently, you were completely against "the DREADED surge," before you came around and decided it had worked. Beyond that, you have been completely for reversing those terrible, evil Bush tax breaks, till you saw it was politically convenient to say you would hold off on that until the economy sped up.

    I used to think you were probably an honest man Obama. Now I think you are just trying to win an election. Jeremiah Wright, whom knew you better than any of us reading this article for 20 years, was probably right about you. You sold him out when it was politically expedient for you.

    Get a clue Obama, a politician can change their mind on something. It is ok to do, if you feel you have a better position. Beyond that, there is video showing Gov. Palin being critical of the Bridge to Nowhere early in her time in office. Quit misleading people. You lost my vote.

    McCain/Palin 08

    September 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. bob in spokane

    First of all CNN wont post this due to their censorship. But stop Lying Obama. Palin said she was for earmarks until she realized that the pukes that push them use them for payola. Then when she realized the graft that comes with earmarks she changed her stance and is against them. So stop making stuff up Obama. You just dont get it.

    September 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. Wisco

    What? Republicans are making stuff up? Naw, can't be! Where did I put those WMD again....

    September 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  22. Bill in Illinois

    It is time for both campaigns to quit with the mudslinging and start bringing some solid plans and information to the American people. I believe that we have all heard quite enough of that thank you and now how about you candidate folksies need to tell us what your plans are and most importantly how you will get them implemented.

    I think that most of us are tired of hearing "When I am president I will ........ whatever the subject du momente is" when we all know that when you are president you will have to get a bunch of politicians with agendas that are totally out of line with yours to agree. Remember – you aren't gonna do anything if a bunch of other elected folks don't agree with you. It's kind of like when you were a kid and had to say "Mother, may I?".

    So – throw away all of your negative ads and personal attacvks and lets hear how you would go about fixing whats wrong in this good old country of ours. In other words – Earn my vote. You haven't yet!!!

    September 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. Linda from Prescott AZ

    Come on Obama, give it to them. Don't let them make it up as they go along.

    September 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. milo

    Good to hear the tough talk and finally calling these guys on their lies.

    Unfortunately people seem to believe whatever they hear, whether it's true or not. Hopefully they'll keep pointing out the continued lies of the republican candidates.

    September 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. Frustrated Independent

    Education and why we need to have a good educational system in this country...... its bearing its head to us now..... how can people vote for these idiots....... McCain and Palin are as low and doing the same tactics that bush did, change? yeah a name change thats all it will be if we go from McCain to Bush. Come on america

    September 8, 2008 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10