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. burning ring of fire

    we're going down down down, the ring of fire, the ring of fire

    these two parties will bring us down. There is no hope for them, they are both more of the same.

    You democrats remember voting for congresspeople so they would end the wars (like they campaigned on?) yeah! well hows that workin for ya?!

    You republicans remember what smaller government was about? how's that working for you?

    September 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  2. townie27

    Not only did palin flip flop on the bridge to no-where first campaigning for it and then coming out against it, SHE KEPT THE MONEY!! that would have gone towards the bridge....and used it somewhere else. (Congress had already cut the funding loose from the bridge project...the project was dead before she issued her flip-flop statement.)

    September 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  3. Michigan For Obama


    September 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. Bruce, Chicago

    Somebody is afraid of Sarah Palin. Oh well, it seems most of America is now awake and aware that Obama will say anything to get elected. I'm looking forward to the day President McCain gets to veto one of Obama's earmarks...if a bill actually makes it out of the do-nothing congress we have.

    September 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  5. Peter E

    Says the man who was against NAFTA before he was for it, was against offshore drilling before he was for it, was against domestic wiretaping before he was for it, was for public campaign financing before he was against it, etc.

    September 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  6. Fort Collins,Colorado

    MT/Texas....You should find out what these earmarks were for....I know and I am for Obama. All the time you spend writing your comments should be spent researching Obamas record, then you will understand why we are behind him. The reason McCain doesn't have earmarks is because he never cared about anything or anyone. Not all earmarks are a waste of taxpayers money. Go to and find out about your candidate and then make your all knowing comments.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  7. Tylenol 666

    I Go to church every Sunday,,, does that qualify me to be Pope?

    OBAMA / BIDEN 08

    September 8, 2008 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Palin goes around talking about how she is "all for change" but the only changes she wants to make are terrible ones. She sued the bush administration for putting the polar bear on the endangered species list for goodness sake! God knows we dont need another Bush, but could America even handle a v.p. WORSE than he is!?

    September 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Barbara

    Barbara September 8th, 2008 4:36 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Since the repubs have no solutions, they put out a distraction "in lipstick".

    Worked, didn't it? That's all we see and hear. Makes me want to puke.

    This nation has problems, and they send us distractions.

    Please post this CNN

    September 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. FreeNLovIt

    I admire Palin, but I dont think this is right for her yet. I wouldnt mind, but McCain is so old and she's just not a safe choice.

    With Obama, at least we kicked him around for 19 months, but her? two months?

    September 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  11. Lebanon Ohio

    The fact that Palin supported the "bridge to nowhere" during her election and then changed her mind is a giant flip-flop. This just shows how we can't trust that the Republican party to follow through on what the SAY they stand for right now. (Which is, by the way, when we have to take them for their word and decide on how to vote!)

    September 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  12. mik43e

    John McCain has shown his true self. He will do or say anything to win. Shame on him

    September 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  13. David

    It's about time that the Democrats stop polite politics. John McCain and his team have lied with their non-factual statements from the onset of the campaign. The "maverick" is a desperate old man that will lie and pander to grasp for the presidency.

    Americans have had enough of Republican filthy politics. Time for the liars to be throw out - and that includes McCain's VP gimmick, Miss Eskimo Pie

    September 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  14. sally

    Karen b learn how to speak English. Please.

    September 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. boomer babe for Obama

    Yes! Senator Obama nails it!!

    September 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  16. Carole

    Wake up America! Wake up!

    September 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  17. Michael in Houston

    Wow I just learned of and watched this video of Palin at church. She is straight up crazy. Now I know you NeoCons need a hero, but are you sure you want to put you trust in Palin? Politics aside for a moment; does this disturb you that she believes that the world will emplode and the only safe place will be Alaska. Sounds kind of Cult memberish to me folks. The question I have is she mentally stable? I don't wish death on McCain and I hope he lives to see 100 yrs old but he is up there, he has had some medical issues. That means this Extremist Palin could be our President. I have an serious issue with that. I mean, what is the difference between a Christian Extremist and Muslim Extremist? None. They are both whacky. If they get elected, I might surrender my US Citizenship because I don't want to be close to the United States if that mentally unstable person, Sarah Palin get's anywhere near the White House. And how do you who live in Alaska deal with this nutt? Are you that desparate Alaskians that you chose her to be your Govener? I mean you do have 600,000 folks and that was the best you could do. Wow

    September 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. clean up washington

    Great rebuttal Obama, but let's keep the focus on McCain and the GOP - the so called party of "ideas".

    September 8, 2008 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. morefromLA

    A quick note to MT, Texas: Obama has not attacked earmarks the way McCain/Palin have. You do know that under Governor Palin Alaska requested more earmarks per capita than any other state? For McCain/Palin to criticize Obama is not change, my friend, that's pure hypocrisy.

    September 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Love for Obama

    Samelin is a time bomb waiting to happen. She hired a lobbyist to secure earmarks, she was for the bridge before she was against it. Not to mention she kept all that money for it and just reappropriated it elsewhere. And did I mention she has her own pastor problems. She seems like one of those over the top religious freaks that is scary. How hypocrytical it is for McSame and Samelin to go out on the stump and say the same ole tired speech after it has all been proven that she's a liar is unbelievable.

    September 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  21. RJ, CA

    Hey, Barry - YOU talkin' 'bout makin' things up about another person? You gotta be kiddin' me flip-flopper extraordinaire! Makin' stuff up is your only political agenda, dude!

    September 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  22. Wendy

    Sorry Senator Obama, you can if you are a Republican. Republicans think they are the ruler of the world and can do whatever they want. When has politics ever been about the truth for Republicans, it is about winning. Republicans can say whatever they want and as long as they get what they want. They know Americans don't care enough about their lives to hear the truth. It is a known fact that Americans are very visual and their eyes don't lie.

    September 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. Joan

    Every time Obama "hits" Palin, he elevates her stature to his. Doesn't her realize that HE is the presidential candidate...and SHE is a VP candidate. If anyone takes on Palin, it should be Biden.

    Or, is Obama in a panic now that he no longer leads in the polls, and like a frightened pit bull (pun intended) he turns on the one who is stealing his thunder?

    September 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  24. Candy West Virginia

    gary – you are a typical rethuglican who is blind and deaf to anything your party does. Sarah Paliar got on national TV at the RNC and told about five bald faced lies and has continued to lie ever since. Not only that she has attacked Obama since the RNC, and when Obama strikes back you label him wrong! You, and your kind are what is wrong with this country! You don't love America neither do the rethuglicans, you guys only love power and money and that's where it ends.

    September 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  25. Viet Vet

    If you McCain/Palin people want FACTS- -google Randi Rhodes
    nova m radio

    September 8, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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