Cameron's claim that Palin didn't ask for earmarks is contradicted by Palin herself

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

On Studio B, Carl Cameron said, "Fifty-eight days before the elections, and the Obama campaign is accusing the McCainiacs of lying about this 'bridge to nowhere' issue." He went on to claim of Gov. Sarah Palin, "Now, she didn't ask for the bridge, nor did she ask for the money. ... [W]hen people say, 'Sarah Palin asked for earmark money or pork,' it's just inaccurate." In fact, in an op-ed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Palin wrote that in 2008, her administration "requested 31 earmarks, down from 54 in 2007" and that "the federal budget, in its various manifestations, is incredibly important to us, and congressional earmarks are one aspect of this relationship."

uring the September 8 edition of Fox News' Studio B, chief political correspondent Carl Cameron claimed, "Fifty-eight days before the elections, and the Obama campaign is accusing the McCainiacs of lying about this 'bridge to nowhere' issue." Cameron purported to "straighten out" the issue by claiming, "She ultimately told legislators in Alaska, 'It's not coming,' " and stating, "It's very important to understand in earmark discussions, Jon, governors and state officials don't ask for federal money. That's done by senators and congressmen. So when people say, 'Sarah Palin asked for earmark money or pork,' it's just inaccurate. It's done by members of Congress." But Cameron's claim that Palin did not ask for "earmark money or pork" is contradicted by Palin herself. In a March 5 op-ed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Palin wrote that in 2008, her administration "requested 31 earmarks, down from 54 in 2007" and that "the federal budget, in its various manifestations, is incredibly important to us, and congressional earmarks are one aspect of this relationship."

Moreover, Palin has repeatedly sought and requested hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks as governor of Alaska, and according to The Washington Post, she hired a Washington lobbying firm to acquire tens of millions of dollars in earmarks while serving as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

Further, in claiming that "Sarah Palin can point to a number of things that she did and said that made it very clear that in the end, she was against it. You can't dispute that. She ultimately told legislators in Alaska, 'It's not coming,' " Cameron did not point out, as the Post reported, "the money did not go back to Washington. It stayed in Alaska for a different road project."

From the September 8 edition of Fox News' Studio B:

JON SCOTT (guest host): Well, Barack Obama's campaign says Palin did not stop the "bridge to nowhere" and claims she and McCain will say or do anything to make people believe they can change something besides the person sitting in the Oval Office. Carl Cameron with the news live in Lee's Summit, Missouri. A lot of back and forth. I've already gotten emails from the McCain campaign today over this "bridge to nowhere" thing, Carl. Straighten that out for us.

CAMERON: Oh, it's not an easy one to straighten out at all, Jon. There's a lot of sort of nuance involved in how this plays out. Back when Sarah Palin was the mayor of Wasilla in Alaska and the bridge was beginning to be the buzz of congressional spending, she spoke very favorably about it. When she was a candidate for governor, she said that there needed to be a link between Ketchikan, the city in Alaska, and a tiny little island, Gravina Island, which had about 50 residents and an airport.

She said that it needed to be a link. But the political winds began to turn. This $400 million congressional project, dubbed the bridge to nowhere, became unpopular. The political rhetoric -- the din rose, and as it did, it became clear that the federal government was not going to send all of the money for it, and with that change, so, too, did change Sarah Palin's rhetoric. And ultimately, as a candidate for governor, she began to say that she didn't want Alaska bad-mouthed, but it was clear that the federal government was going to come through with the money. So it was time to look elsewhere.

She did continue to say that there should be some sort of an access, and that is why the Democrats have called this ad a lie. They've used the L word, Jon. Fifty-eight days before the elections, and the Obama campaign is accusing the McCainiacs of lying about this "bridge to nowhere" issue.

But Sarah Palin can point to a number of things that she did and said that made it very clear that in the end, she was against it. You can't dispute that. She ultimately told legislators in Alaska, "It's not coming." But there was a time, before she was governor, as a candidate, where she spoke favorably about it. Now, she didn't ask for the bridge, nor did she ask for the money. It's very important to understand in earmark discussions, Jon, governors and state officials don't ask for federal money. That's done by senators and congressmen. So when people say, "Sarah Palin asked for earmark money or pork," it's just inaccurate. It's done by members of Congress.

SCOTT: Carl Cameron reporting live with the McCain campaign. Carl, thank you.

Posted In
Economy, Budget, Elections
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Carl Cameron, Sarah Palin
Show/Publication
Studio B
Stories/Interests
2008 Elections
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