Obama Hits McCain’s New Ad Claiming Palin ‘Stopped the Bridge to Nowhere’

By Natalie Gewargis

Sep 8, 2008 4:16pm

"They’re starting to run an ad now saying she (Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin) opposed the Bridge to Nowhere," Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said today in Flint, Mich.

Obama was referring to this new TV ad from the McCain campaign, titled "Mavericks," which states that Palin "stopped the Bridge to Nowhere."

"Well, now, let’s get the facts clear here," Obama said. "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! And got a whole lot of it. 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 asked the Flinters. "’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."

Palin’s position on the "Bridge to Nowhere" is far more complicated than McCain’s TV ad makes it seem.

Obama’s take on it isn’t quite accurate, but according to Politifact, it comes pretty close.

Palin originally was a supporter of the Bridge while she ran for governor in 2006.

“The money that’s been appropriated for the project, it should remain available for a link, an access process as we continue to evaluate the scope and just how best to just get this done,” Palin said then, according to a story in the Ketchikan Daily News. “This link is a commitment to help Ketchikan expand its access, to help this community prosper.

“I think we’re going to make a good team as we progress that bridge project,” she told the audience.

The political winds began to shift, however, and as Politifact notes after Palin was elected governor, Congress began to divert funding for the bridge to other projects, leaving Alaska $329 million short in funding. "Lois Epstein, director of the Alaska Transportation Priorities Project, which opposed funding for the Gravina bridge, said while it’s true that Palin formally put an end to the project, ‘It wasn’t really a bold move when she did it.’ … Keith Ashdown, a spokesman for Taxpayers for Common Sense, the government watchdog that first drew attention to the project, believes Palin has ‘hyperinflated her role’ in killing the project. She put the final stake in the project,’ Ashdown said. ‘But there was already tremendous momentum for the project to be scrapped. She gets credit for saying that they were not to go forward with the bridge, but it was at death’s door.’"

– Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus