September 9th, 2008
04:41 PM ET
13 years ago

McCain camp launches ‘Palin Truth Squad’

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="McCain has launched the 'Palin Truth Squad' to dispel rumors about her."]

(CNN) - John McCain’s campaign defended Sarah Palin Tuesday over a report that highlighted some of her travel expense claims as governor, and announced the launch of the “Palin Truth Squad” to fight future attacks on the VP nominee.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the Alaska governor had billed the state a per diem for 312 days she spent at home, and requested reimbursement for plane rides and hotel rooms for her husband and children, including a $707 room when her daughter accompanied her on a trip to New York to attend a Newsweek forum.

The paper noted that officials said the claims were justified under existing state regulations.

The McCain campaign said that Palin had reduced yearly travel expenses by roughly 80 percent of the amount spent by predecessor Frank Murkowski, in part by selling the governor’s private jet. Roughly half the $93,000 spent went to cover expenses incurred by her family. In a post on the campaign’s Web site, adviser Michael Goldfarb told supporters that Alaskans were paying “pennies on the dollar,” and accused the Washington Post of “hunting for ‘scandal.’”

“As governor of the state, Palin is expected to travel across Alaska to meet her constituents and attend community events. As a mother of five, she occasionally brought her children with her,” wrote Goldfarb. “Her travel-related activities have been appropriately documented, are completely transparent, and entirely legal. She also saved Alaskan taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in the budgeting process and hundreds of thousands in cutting waste from her own office. It is an impressive record of reform by any measure.”

The McCain-Palin team has made her record on cost-cutting a central element of her vice presidential bid.

The campaign — which has been sending “fight the smears” e-mails whose tone echoes similar messages from Barack Obama’s campaign — also said staffers and major campaign surrogates at the state and national level were forming an official rapid response team that will respond to rumors about the Republican vice presidential nominee, sending alerts and campaign statements to voters and reporters.

“We will not allow those on the left and in the media to smear a woman who has always served her constituents with honor,” the campaign said in a statement. “We know the truth and are committed to ensuring it as well."

The McCain-Palin team has campaigned on media coverage that they describe as excessive or unfair.

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (373 Responses)
  1. Ex-Republican for Obama

    The list of thievery conducted by this crook in a dress just keeps getting longer and longer.

    She stole the money from the Bridge to Nowhere and now she has been proved to have fraudalently stolen from tax payers for her travel and stay at home business (a stay at home Mayor/Governor...wonder what type of VP this convict will make?)

    September 9, 2008 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  2. Sharon

    McCain campaign should have launched a Palin "truth squad" before he put her on the ticket. Now that the the truth is coming out about his un-vetted, extremist, lying, fanatical running mate he wants to squash the truth and sell the American people more lies, lies, lies.

    McCain/Palin = Bush/Cheney Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, they even keep repeating their lies after they are revealed as lies. Yes, they really do think Americans are STUPID! If American's stay asleep to the truth and hit the snooze alarm on Obama's wake up call to save and restore the American Dream we will all wake up something in the next four years screaming in terror in this ongoing American Nightmare! Then it will be too late and the wars these two war-mongering, gun toting lunatics will get us into are not something we or the world will recover from. Anyone who voted for Hillary and is now voting against Obama out of spite bettter look again at your own best interest. Destroying the world is really not worth your pettty satisfaction. WAkE UP AMERICA!!!! Put your selfish, petty bias aside and step up to the plate of participating in restoring our country.

    September 9, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. Ann

    September 9th, 2008 5:35 pm ET
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    C'Mon guys……….this is perfectly acceptable behavior of an elected official.

    Just like the EXECS from Mae-Mac who are waiting on their COMBINED PAYOUTS OF $24 MILLION DOLLARS for FAILING to do their jobs.

    After receiving a combined $32 MILLION LAST YEAR.

    Aren't you glad us regular-joe taxpayers are footing the bill for all this?

    Doubt this will get posted!!!

    September 9, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  4. ket

    CNN and all MSM should be ashamed to not demand this woman to speak to the press this is absolutley a joke. this should not be tolerated.

    September 9, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  5. v.ananthan

    McCain : a war hero who knows about wars and can manage them well...

    OBAMA : Missing in action......

    September 9, 2008 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  6. Just a Canadian

    btw you PUMA people are out of you think if you torpedo Obama this time that the Obama people will not return the favor in 2012??

    September 9, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. Patty

    Good grief – do ya really think Palin would put all that info out if it wasn't legal? Read people and find out what she did with the expenses is perfectly legal. And as for her talking to the press? why should she until she wants to. The press is not the best place to put anyone. Please don't think she is not prepared – there is a strategy behind it – you can bet on that.

    September 9, 2008 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  8. Vince

    America will go down the DRAIN with McCain and will be FAILIN' with Palin. NO THEOCRATS IN THE WHITE HOUSE

    September 9, 2008 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  9. CNN, can I PLEASE get off of your 'list'...

    (hide the) Truth Squad...


    September 9, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  10. McCain Is Insane

    I just got off the phone from my friend. She says she has never prayed for a presidential election in her life, until today. She is so worried that the GOP will get back in office after 8 years of Bush. I told her if they win I'll be in a coma. That's just how shocked I'll be if America is duped yet again.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 9, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  11. Dennis in Indiana

    Palin Truth Squad – sounds oxymoronic!

    I guess McCain's VP Pick needs a squad of talking heads released upon the media like a squad of cockroaches because it's very apparent that she is totally incapable of speaking on her own beyond a prepared script.

    It unprecedented that a major party candidate for a national position is being sequestered by party handlers and kept away from the press. I mean come on if Palin can't take the heat she shouldn't be in the kitchen let alone a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    What a pathetic joke!

    September 9, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  12. Eunice

    I just want Sarah Palin to know that the media and Obama camp are trying to use her faith to divide her supporters. She should stick with her beliefs because what Obama camp and the media does not understand is that her belief is one of the reasons why she is so popular and Obama and Joe Bidden are not. It is John McCain's Pro-Life stance that attracted Evangelicals to him and when he picked Sarah who has the same values, the game completely changed. So the media is going to put her in a corner by making her think that the public will not like her that much if they can force her to deny her faith. Well am sure she is smart enough not to even go there and stick to her guns and deny God at this point because her appointment by John McCain, I believe is ordained by God. This is the same reason Bush won the second term in Office in addition to his handling of the 911 atttack.

    So Sarah please don't listen to them. You are in good hands with Evangelicals and God.

    Also, Sarah's response to the media should be that "It is better to be a good Christian in a good church where love and patriotism is taught all her life than to be a member of a church for 20yrs. where the pastor preaches nothing but anti-American and hateful messages against fellow Americans"

    September 9, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  13. Anonymous

    Obama is saying the same old talking points to a group right now of his supporters. BUT when Palin repeats some of her talking points she has no brains?!?!?

    Come on guys you are in trouble and can't you remember some of these arguments against Palin were used against Obama not that long ago and you called the GOP nasty words for doing the same thing (using the same arguments). McCain (and Hillary I might add) know darn well what the Dems do well and its Smear the opposition.

    Dems really do not have a memory or don't care.

    Sad how the left keeps playing the intelligent card and how you have to be stupid to vote for McCain

    Careful you are tuning into what you think the GOP is (but isn't )
    a party of hate.

    Oh good Bill Mahr is on CNN wonder what 'gems' he will say that will hurt Obama???

    September 9, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. TM

    So Gov. Palin billed the state $16,951 for eating and staying at home for 53% of her first 19 months in office and then bragged about firing the chef? Like a good mother, she said her children knew how to make sandwiches – must have been some high-dollar sandwiches.

    Alaska also paid $11,000 to fly a seven yr. old girl around. That doesn't sound like good use of taxpayer money.

    September 9, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  15. JusLaugh

    That's funny...this "truth" squad sent to find ways to cover up the truth to benefit the election... Tee hee hee. Hee hee. hee hee hee.

    The McCain/Palin ticket is so similar to the Bush/Cheney ticket that Obama doesn't even need to point it out anymore.

    September 9, 2008 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  16. Breck

    Hard to run a Truth Squad when you hate the truth. And I love all the McCain supporters posting meaningless personal attacks and insults here, and crowing about a small lead or dead tie in the same polls that said Al Gore would crush Bush.

    September 9, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  17. Alongwayback

    "McCain/Palin 08'...............Two Bridges To Nowhere"

    They both represent change-from the Republican party to the Republican party!! Didn't we try that before a time or two?

    "McCain has been consistent-Consistently for the rich"

    McCain of 08' is not the man he was in 2000, he seems more like a bought and paid for man by the Evangelicals and other extreme agents of the Republican party.

    If you truly want to hear in John McCain's or Sarah Palin's own words, their thoughts or opinions on any issues which concern the voting public directly, you are going to have to wait until the Republicans give em' to them!!......Rick Davis-Campaign Manager for John McCain...

    September 9, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. Hillary/Palin 2012

    Someone needs to help the Obamabots! I demand the media to bring our people back to reality!

    September 9, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  19. It's a shame

    And we used to count on the media to be the truth squad.

    September 9, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. CFL


    Obama – 311 MILLION


    McCAIN – 0

    enough said about your money ??

    September 9, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  21. Janine Owens

    Think America. Do we really want this woman as our President?
    If McCain is elected, (God forbid) with his health record, this is a real possibilty. With 5 kids, one pregnant teen, and a handicapped infant, I think Palin should stay home and take care of her personal problems.

    September 9, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. Lainy, MN

    Why doesn't Sarah go on Sean Hannity's show, he's Republican. He won't ask her any questions, all she'll have to do is smile and look presidential.

    Obama 08

    September 9, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  23. danel

    MSM do your job. Had you did your job we wouldn't have Iraq war. Keep digging the truths. Thank you.

    September 9, 2008 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15