SPECIAL REPORT

Lies To Nowhere

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"Lies To Nowhere"

lies37.jpgFrom the day he nominated Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) to be his vice presidential running mate, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and his campaign advisers have been repeating the lie that Palin opposed the infamous Bridge to Nowhere. (In fact, Palin repeatedly expressed strong support for the project.) ThinkProgress has been keeping track of these lies and compiled them here. Please let us know if we’ve missed any, and you can comment on this document here.

JOHN McCAIN

“And we’ve had a bridge to nowhere. $233 million dollar bridge in Alaska, which I’m glad, happy to say this governor stood up against.” [Rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, 10/9/08]

“I’m proud of her record as opposing–including the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska.” [CNN, 9/16/08]

“The fact is that Gov. Palin learned that earmarks are bad and she did say, we don’t need our bridge to nowhere, and we will pay for it ourselves if we need it. I mean, that is just a fact.” [WWBT, 9/8/08]

“And as governor of Alaska, Governor Sarah Palin said ‘We don’t need a bridge to nowhere and if we do, we’ll build it ourselves.’ That’s the kind of person — leader — we have.” [Press conference in Cedarsburg, WI, 9/5/08]

“Look, we couldn’t get the ‘bridge to nowhere’ out, although we tried. … Yeah, the pork barrel project, $233 million bridge in Alaska to an island with 50 people on it. She, as governor, stood up and said, we don’t need it, and if we need it, we’ll pay for it ourselves.” [Fox News, 8/31/08]

“You know, I tried to stop the $233 million bridge to nowhere in Alaska. She got it done! She stopped it! (Cheers, applause.) You know what she said? She said, we don’t need that money from Washington. If we’re going to need a bridge, we’ll build it ourselves. That’s Governor Sarah Palin!” [Rally in O'Fallon, MO, 8/31/08]

SARAH PALIN

“I killed the Bridge to Nowhere.” [Hannity & Colmes, 9/18/08]

“And that infamous Bridge to Nowhere, I did tell Congress, “Thanks, but no thanks” — if we wanted a bridge up there we were going to build it ourselves.” [Rally in Golden, CO, 9/15/08]

“I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ on that bridge to nowhere.” [Rally in Carson City, NV, 9/13/08]

“I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ for that bridge to nowhere.” [Rally in Fairfax, VA, 9/10/08]

“I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ for that bridge to nowhere.” [Rally in Lancaster, PA, 9/9/08]

“I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks’ for that bridge to nowhere.” [Rally in Lebanon, OH, 9/9/08]

“I told Congress thanks but no thanks for that bridge to nowhere. If the state wanted to build a bridge we would built it ourselves.” [Rally in Lee's Summit, MO, 9/8/08]

“I championed reform of earmark spending by Congress, and I told the Congress thanks but no thanks on that ‘Bridge to Nowhere.” [Rally in Albuquerque, NM, 9/6/08]

“I told the Congress ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ for that Bridge to Nowhere.” [GOP Convention, 9/3/08]

“And as the senator said, I told the Congress thanks but no thanks for that bridge to nowhere. If our state wanted to build a bridge, we would build it ourselves.” [Rally in O'Fallon, MO, 8/31/08]

“And I championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress — I told Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that bridge to nowhere.” [Nomination speech, 8/29/08]

CAMPAIGN ADS

“She stopped the Bridge to Nowhere.” [9/8/08]

CAMPAIGN SURROGATES

Carly Fiorina: “The facts are that Sarah Palin rejected the money for the bridge to nowhere.” [ABC's This Week, 9/14/08]

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA): “I think the proof, the proof is in the pudding, and the fact is Sarah Palin, when she was governor of Alaska, rejected the monies that came from Washington to construct the Bridge to Nowhere. She has said repeatedly that Alaska did not need that money, did not that bridge, and if they ever need that bridge, they will build it themselves.” [MSNBC, 9/12/08]

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK): “Here’s the point to take away: The ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ in Alaska got killed because of Sarah Palin.” [The Politico, 9/10/08]

McCain Campaign Memo: “Governor Palin consistently opposed the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ once she was in office and officially stopped it.” [McCain Campaign Memo, 9/10/08]

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC): “Mrs. Palin also killed the infamous Bridge to Nowhere in her own state.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/10/08]

“She did tell Uncle Sam that we could keep our money on that Bridge to Nowhere even though the money ultimately ended up in Alaska.” [Fox News, 9/10/08]

Spokesman Mike Duhaime: “She killed it. There’s no — that is an indisputable fact.” [MSNBC, 9/9/08]

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty: “Every action she took once elected as governor, officially, her budgets, her comments, her legislative proposals all were in the direction of killing the project. So, any action she took as governor was to kill the project.” [MSNBC, 9/9/08]

Palin Spokesman Ben Porritt: “Governor Palin killed the bridge to nowhere, period.” [Christian Science Monitor, 9/8/08]

Spokesman Tucker Bounds: “And she was the one that drove the nail in the coffin that killed the Bridge to Nowhere.” [MSNBC, 9/8/08]

Spokesman Brian Rogers: “After taking office and examining the project closely, Governor Palin consistently opposed funding the ‘Bridge to Nowhere’ and ultimately canceled the wasteful project.” [Memo, 9/8/08]

Campaign Manager Rick Davis: “Congress didn’t beat back the ‘bridge to nowhere.’ … That funding was in the grant, and she said, ‘I’m not spending that money.’ And what they did — they took a $500 million bridge and she turned it into a $2 million ferry. And that’s what she did on her own without any help from anybody else.” [Fox News Sunday, 9/7/08]

Cindy McCain: “My husband always wanted someone that would think like he did, in terms of approaching the issues in a tough way and not afraid to say to you, ‘No, we don’t want that Bridge to Nowhere. We’ll pay for it if we want it.’” [The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 9/3/08]

Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL): “Everyone wants to be more introduced to this fantastic governor who gets up to go moose hunting, who defeated a legend in her own party to become the governor of that state, who’s taken on wasteful Washington spending and told Washington what they could do with their Bridge to Nowhere.” [MSNBC, 9/3/08]

Senior Adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer: “In Washington, Mr. McCain spoke out against the ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ a $400 million waste of the taxpayers’ money that led to an island with a few dozen residents. In Juneau, Alaska, Ms. Palin made sure the bridge went nowhere, canceling the earmark.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/2/08]

Pfotenhauer: “She refused the $400 million bridge to nowhere that people like Senator Obama and Senator Biden, you know, supported.” [CNN, 8/31/08]

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “She has done things that Barack Obama would never dream of. To go in her state and say, I’m not going to build a bridge to nowhere.” [ABC's This Week, 8/31/08]

Spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker: “She vetoed the bridge to nowhere earmark.” [8/30/08]

Hazelbaker: “Gov. Palin has spent her time in office shaking up government in Alaska and actually achieving results — whether it’s taking on corruption, passing ethics reform or stopping wasteful spending and the ‘bridge to nowhere.’” [Chicago Tribune, 8/30/08]


FACT CHECKS

Anchorage Daily News
Politifact
USA Today
Associated Press
The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow
Fox News’s Chris Wallace
The New Republic
Wall Street Journal
CNN.com
NPR