Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., once again steered clear of straight talk when discussing his running mate’s record on earmarks today.
BARBARA WALTERS: What is she going to reform, specifically?
JOHN MCCAIN: Well, first of all, earmark spending, which she vetoed half a billion dollars worth in the state of Alaska.
WALTERS: She also took some earmarks.
JOY BEHAR: A lot.
MCCAIN: No, not as governor, she didn’t. She vetoed –- Look, well, the fact is she’s a reform governor.
Palin may be a reform governor — there’s a good case to be made that she is — but, yes, she did seek and receive earmarks. McCain’s claim that "as governor she didn’t" is simply not so.
Why the McCain campaign is so dead-set on not being honest about her record, instead of emphasizing the positive, is really quite bewildering.
The Anchorage Daily News reported this month that Palin in 2007 sought "52 earmarks valued at $256 million in Palin’s first year. This year, the governor’s office asked the delegation to help them land 31 earmarks valued at $197 million."
USA Today reported in March of this year that "Arizona, the second fastest growing state in the nation, will receive just $18.70 per capita in federal earmarks this fiscal year. By comparison, Alaska — with roughly a tenth of Arizona’s population — is set to receive $506.34 per capita, the highest in the nation, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group which tracks earmarks. The state of Alaska receives about three times as much as Arizona receives in actual dollars, $346 million to $119 million."