Saturday, September 13, 2008

Palin, McCain contradict each other on spending

Palin, McCain contradict each other on spending
Carla Marinucci, SF Chronicle Political Writer
Saturday, September 13, 2008

In a televised interview Friday, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin defended her request for an estimated $200 million in federal projects from Congress - even as earlier in the day her GOP running mate John McCain insisted Palin had never sought money from Congress.

In a second ABC interview with Charlie Gibson, the GOP vice presidential candidate acknowledged that she has supported millions of dollars in congressional money - including the famed "Bridge to Nowhere" - to allow Alaska "to plug into ... along with every other state, a share of the federal budget in infrastructure."

But she said she and McCain would seek to reform that system.

She also told Gibson that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama probably regrets not naming Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to be his running mate - and dismissed as an "old wives' tale" reports that she had tried to ban books in public libraries.

McCain, for his part, faced an even tougher grilling on the usually friendly daytime show "The View," where hosts including Barbara Walters, Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg jabbed him on issues like abortion, his "maverick" record, separation of church and state, and his campaign attack ads.

Asked by Walters about Palin's statements that she would reform Washington, McCain insisted that she would "reform all of Washington, just like she did ... in Alaska. Earmark spending, which she vetoed half a billion dollars worth," said McCain.

When reminded by Walters that Palin took earmarks in Alaska, McCain said, "Not as governor she didn't."

"She took government out of the hands of the special interests," he said.

Independent analysts and the Web site of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, have both noted that under Palin's leadership as governor, Alaska has requested 31 earmarks worth nearly $200 million - an amount that taxpayer groups say places Alaska as the per capita leader on such fundraising.

McCain appeared a little riled when Behar aggressively challenged him on his latest campaign ads - one accusing Obama of supporting sex education for kindergartners and another suggesting sexism in the use of the phrase "putting lipstick on a pig."

"Those ads aren't true. They're lies," said Behar, as Walters noted that McCain himself used the lipstick phrase to describe Clinton's health care proposal.

"They're not lies," McCain said, adding that Obama "chooses his words very carefully ... this is a tough campaign. And he shouldn't have said it."

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Palin, McCain contradict each other on spending

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