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Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention

Published:

Attacks, praise stretch truth at GOP convention

By JIM KUHNHENN, Associated Press WriterWed Sep 3, 11:48 PM ET

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her Republican supporters held back little Wednesday as they issued dismissive attacks on Barack Obama and flattering praise on her credentials to be vice president. In some cases, the reproach and the praise stretched the truth.

Some examples:

PALIN: "I have protected the taxpayers by vetoing wasteful spending ... and championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere."

THE FACTS: As mayor of Wasilla, Palin hired a lobbyist and traveled to Washington annually to support earmarks for the town totaling $27 million. In her two years as governor, Alaska has requested nearly $750 million in special federal spending, by far the largest per-capita request in the nation. While Palin notes she rejected plans to build a $398 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport, that opposition came only after the plan was ridiculed nationally as a "bridge to nowhere."

PALIN: "There is much to like and admire about our opponent. But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform — not even in the state senate."

THE FACTS: Compared to McCain and his two decades in the Senate, Obama does have a more meager record. But he has worked with Republicans to pass legislation that expanded efforts to intercept illegal shipments of weapons of mass destruction and to help destroy conventional weapons stockpiles. The legislation became law last year. To demean that accomplishment would be to also demean the work of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a respected foreign policy voice in the Senate. In Illinois, he was the leader on two big, contentious measures in Illinois: studying racial profiling by police and requiring recordings of interrogations in potential death penalty cases. He also successfully co-sponsored major ethics reform legislation.

PALIN: "The Democratic nominee for president supports plans to raise income taxes, raise payroll taxes, raise investment income taxes, raise the death tax, raise business taxes, and increase the tax burden on the American people by hundreds of billions of dollars."

THE FACTS: The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that Obama's plan would increase after-tax income for middle-income taxpayers by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. McCain's plan, which cuts taxes across all income levels, would raise after tax-income for middle-income taxpayers by 3 percent, the center concluded.

Obama would provide $80 billion in tax breaks, mainly for poor workers and the elderly, including tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for minimum-wage workers and higher credits for larger families.

He also would raise income taxes, capital gains and dividend taxes on the wealthiest. He would raise payroll taxes on taxpayers with incomes above $250,000, and he would raise corporate taxes. Small businesses that make more than $250,000 a year would see taxes rise.

MCCAIN: "She's been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply ... She's responsible for 20 percent of the nation's energy supply. I'm entertained by the comparison and I hope we can keep making that comparison that running a political campaign is somehow comparable to being the executive of the largest state in America," he said in an interview with ABC News' Charles Gibson.

THE FACTS: McCain's phrasing exaggerates both claims. Palin is governor of a state that ranks second nationally in crude oil production, but she's no more "responsible" for that resource than President Bush was when he was governor of Texas, another oil-producing state. In fact, her primary power is the ability to tax oil, which she did in concert with the Alaska Legislature. And where Alaska is the largest state in America, McCain could as easily have called it the 47th largest state — by population.

MCCAIN: "She's the commander of the Alaska National Guard. ... She has been in charge, and she has had national security as one of her primary responsibilities," he said on ABC.

THE FACTS: While governors are in charge of their state guard units, that authority ends whenever those units are called to actual military service. When guard units are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, for example, they assume those duties under "federal status," which means they report to the Defense Department, not their governors. Alaska's national guard units have a total of about 4,200 personnel, among the smallest of state guard organizations.

FORMER ARKANSAS GOV. MIKE HUCKABEE: Palin "got more votes running for mayor of Wasilla, Alaska than Joe Biden got running for president of the United States."

THE FACTS: A whopper. Palin got 616 votes in the 1996 mayor's election, and got 909 in her 1999 re-election race, for a total of 1,525. Biden dropped out of the race after the Iowa caucuses, but he still got 76,165 votes in 23 states and the District of Columbia where he was on the ballot during the 2008 presidential primaries.

FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOV. MITT ROMNEY: "We need change, all right — change from a liberal Washington to a conservative Washington! We have a prescription for every American who wants change in Washington — throw out the big-government liberals, and elect John McCain and Sarah Palin."

THE FACTS: A Back-to-the-Future moment. George W. Bush, a "conservative" Republican, has been president for nearly eight years. And until last year, Republicans controlled Congress. Only since January 2007 have Democrats have been in charge of the House and Senate.

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Comments

1.
TenajComment by Tenaj - September 4, 2008, 7:19 am
Thank you AceKicka for posting the facts.
2.
Comment by Gentlespirit - September 4, 2008, 7:46 am
Than you so much AceKicka!!! :)
3.
Rick GComment by Rick G - September 4, 2008, 9:55 am
Sarah Palin is clearly not capable of running the US at this point in her political career. Her past accomplishments do not qualify her for the job. Vice Presidents are occasionally promoted to President during a term and their qualifications must be taken into consideration when voting for a ticket.
4.
jarasanComment by jarasan - September 4, 2008, 10:16 am
Nothing to twist, this writer is twisting and grasping for what are known as straws, here is something from jewishworld.com below: But one thing 1st. let me enlighten you on something, Alaska has the highest per capita but it is the largest state 750 MILLION is nothing for state this size, by comparison the District of Columbia is less than 600K people gets almost 6 BILLION dollars it is barely 50 square miles. This AP writer is a tool. He is practicing the lie of omission, the AP is in the tank for Barry and has a clear slant and agenda. Joe Biden averaged 3300 votes per state out of a possible 750,000 avg. per state, that is .01863% of the vote for each state, the pop. of her town was just under 5200 at the time of the 1999 election 1525/5200 or 30%. Lets see she got 30% Biden got .01863% who has the facts right?

Gov. Palin has spent much of her adult life dealing with matters long central to the Alaskan experience and now of surpassing importance to the nation as a whole - namely, energy security and how we can provide for it. Having managed her state's department responsible for oil and gas exploration and exploitation, having negotiated a long-delayed natural gas pipeline through Canada to the Lower 48 and having been married for nearly two decades to a blue-collar worker in Alaska's North Slope oil fields, she knows more about the subject than all three of the others on the two parties' tickets put together.
If Gov. Palin can bring to bear her insights into the need for expanded, yet environmentally sensitive drilling, including in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) - together with an appreciation of the need to introduce fuel-choice in our transportation sector, the object of the bipartisan Open Fuel Standard Act introduced in both the House and Senate shortly before the August recess - she will demonstrate unsurpassed leadership in what is, arguably, the single most important national security challenge of our time.
   â€¢
Napoleon is said to have declared that "Geography is destiny." That certainly is true of Gov. Palin. Her state is adjacent to Russia, a nation that has in recent years demonstrated a rising aggressiveness towards its neighbors. The targets are not just the relatively weak and formerly enslaved countries on its littoral like Georgia - the scene of a bloody invasion last month aimed at toppling the elected government there. Moscow has also conducted simulated strategic bombing runs with Soviet-era long-range, nuclear-capable aircraft. These offensive missions are designed to penetrate U.S. northern air defenses in a manner reminiscent of the most provocative of Kremlin behavior during the Cold War.
   â€¢
As it happens, the best of those defenses - including a squadron of America's state-of-the-art interceptors, the F-22 Raptor - are stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage. Governor Palin would not only be intimately familiar with that facilities' vital role in protecting U.S. territory. She would also appreciate its importance in the projection of American power in Asia and beyond as much of the nation's long-range transport aircraft supplying our military operations around the world transit through Elmendorf. Every Commander-in-Chief should have such insights.
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Speaking of geography, Alaskan territory is also along the trajectory of ballistic missiles launched eastward out of Stalinist North Korea. For that reason, among others, Alaska's Fort Greely was selected as the site for the principal U.S. ground-based defense against such missiles.
As that state's governor, Sarah Palin would know more by osmosis - if nothing else - about the necessity for U.S. anti-missile systems than either Messrs. Obama or Biden. In fact, the Democrats have reflexively opposed such defenses and promise to starve them of funds if elected. Opinion polls suggest that the support missile defense enjoys among Gov. Palin's Alaskans is shared by strong majorities of their countrymen elsewhere. Her judgment versus Sen. Biden's on the question of whether America should be protected against present and growing missile-delivered threats will be one of the highlights of the vice presidential nominees' debate.
   â€¢
At present, one can only infer Sarah Palin's grasp of the danger posed by today's principal enemy: adherents to the brutally repressive and seditious program the Islamists call Shariah, a program they seek to impose worldwide through violent means and "soft jihad" (including, Shariah-Compliant Finance, influence operations, subversive proselytizing and recruitment in our mosques, prisons and military, etc.) A tangible indicator of her views, however, is the enlistment of her eldest son, Track, on the anniversary of 9/11 last year and his imminent deployment to Iraq. His mother - like the loved ones of millions of other servicemen and women - has had to confront directly and personally the prospect of making the ultimate sacrifice for their country in the face of such evil.



In short, America is only beginning to get to know Sarah Palin. As we do, she will have plenty of opportunities to illuminate her views on national security. One thing is already clear, though: By virtue of her home state and its unique role in America's energy, defense and power-projection and thanks to her own public sector service and that of her offspring in the U.S. Army, it is not only wrong but foolish to portray her as totally unprepared to contend with the epochal foreign and defense policy issues we are confronting.


If anything, Gov. Palin's personal story and qualities that are clearly resonating with millions of Americans across the political spectrum - her intelligence, scrappiness, integrity, common sense and deep-seated faith - when combined with her real-world experience in Alaska, suggest that she will prove to be better equipped than her rivals to deal with the dynamic and increasingly ominous national security challenges of our times.
5.
time*treatComment by time*treat - September 4, 2008, 7:07 pm
Neither VP choice has caused me to change who I expect to vote for ;-)
6.
Comment by chowchow - September 4, 2008, 7:47 pm
Thanks Acekicker for your enlightment. WTG
7.
kttrmComment by kttrm - September 4, 2008, 11:51 pm
THANKS ACE!!!!!!!!   ONCE AGAIN YOUR FACTS ARE IMPECCABLE!!!!
8.
Comment by Easymoney$ - September 28, 2008, 3:34 pm
Thank you jarasan for the truth for a change. My vote will cancel one for obama. Great Job!
9.
Comment by wiltay - September 28, 2008, 9:04 pm
This is all good and well, but what about all the jobs that have been lost under the Republican party. Republicans only care about the wealthy.
If I voted for McCain, it would be like shooting myself in the foot! He could care less about the poor, black, and working class people who are struggling from day-to-day. Obama can, because he's been there before. His mother was where we now are. He doesn't own seven houses and can't remember how many there are, nor does he support big oil and coporations who live off the little guy. If you do not make over at least $100,00 per year and you vote for McCain you are shooting yourself in the foot, and I don't know about you, but getting shot in the foot hurts, pretty bad. WAKE UP! America is supposed to be a democracy, not communist country! I have seen America become more and more like a communist country over the past eight years of the Bush Administration than I have ever dreamed of. America should help people, not hurt them. They have helped foreign countries over the past eight years and just let the American populations become, homeless, hungry, jobless, sickly, etc, etc., while stealing from the very tax paying people who have found themsleves in this situation. I'm with Obama, It IS TIME FOR A CHANGE! "We are headed in the wrong direction and our destination is destruction!"   McCain may be a nice
guy who fought in the military and served our country and I have a lot
respect for him and I appreciate what he has done, but it's time to be real. And the real deal is, I don't make $100,000 per year and I can't afford another four years of the Bush administration. I believe God is moving and Obama will win this election to deliver his people from the hardship the Bush administration has placed upon them. I pray for this every day. We need people in Washington who care about the poor, the handicapped, and the elderly. I have not seen that in eight years.
I work every day to make sure that Obama will win this election!

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