Sunday, September 14, 2008

McCaskill Goes After Palin on Earmarks, Abortion

In an aggressive ABC Sunday morning interview, Sen. Claire McCaskill labels Sarah Palin "The Queen of Earmarks," and says the Republican presidential ticket wants to jail some women for having abortions.

Sen. Claire McCaskill criticized Sarah Plain for requesting "hundreds of millions of dollars" in earmarks and suggested that a McCain administration would attempt to jail some women for having abortions, in a tough interview on ABC's This Week Sunday.

Missouri's junior Senator accused Palin has taken more federal earmarks per person "than any Governor in the history of the planet. "While John McCain was making fun of DNA earmarks for bears, she was asking for a DNA earmark for seals, almost at the identical moment," McCaskill said.

"She just requested this year George, she requested hundreds of millions of dollars of earmarks for Alaska. She took the money for the bridge to nowhere. She hired lobbyists to get earmarks. This is a woman who has been lobbying for earmarks, received earmarks, as a mayor, as a Governor," McCaskill went on. "You've got to be honest about the facts. Sarah Palin has been an earmark queen in Alaska. That's the facts."

According to, while it's true Palin has scaled back Alaska's earmark requests, within the last two years, in 2006, she requested $197 million dollars in earmarks. It's also been widely reported that after Palin began criticizing the Bridge to Nowhere, she still accepted non-earmarked money that could have been used for the bridge. She then used that money for other state transportation purposes.

McCain surrogate Carly Fiorina, appearing with McCaskill, noted that Barack Obama has requested almost $ 1 billion dollars in earmarks "during his very short term in the U.S. Senate." Fiorina would not acknowledge that Palin did in fact keep money related to the Bridge to Nowhere, while McCaskill dodged a question about whether Hillary Clinton would have been a smarter selection as Obama's running mate.

McCaskill quickly noted that earlier this summer, Palin called Clinton "a whiner." She also said that when McCain had the opportunity to call out sexism against Clinton earlier in the year, he failed to do so. "When John McCain was asked a question at a forum, someone said, how do we stop the b****," McCaskill recalled. "And John McCain laughed." Fiorina said Obama made a critical strategic error by not choosing Clinton.

McCaskill also signaled that questions about John McCain's age are fair game. "Other people talk about his melanoma, we're talking about a reality here that we have to face. This is someone who's going to be one heartbeat away from the presidency. All of us know it," McCaskill said. Fiorina replied that raising questions about McCain's age is "disrespectful in the extreme." "This is ageism," Fiorina said, adding that the strategy showed "desperation."

The line of attack that will most likely raise the most eyebrows was McCaskill's assertions about what the McCain-Palin ticket would do on the issue of abortion. "This is a ticket that wants to put women in prison for having an abortion after they've been raped," McCaskill said.

"John McCain proudly states he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade," McCaskill added later.

The KY3 Political Notebook could not find a statement made by John McCain advocating the jailing of women for having an abortion. Abortion opponents are usually vague about the punishments for those who have, perform or assist an abortion. In reality, the power of a McCain administration to affect the issue of abortion would be limited to his appointments to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court did, at some point, overturn Roe v. Wade, that decision would give states more authority in writing abortion laws. While some would surely impose restrictions, others would not. And none of those laws or penalities would be written by John McCain.

Finally, McCaskill accused McCain running an ad "full of lies." "John McCain has not told the truth about Sarah Palin. He's run an ad that is terribly distorted and full of lies," McCaskill said. "When women figure out that John McCain has run an ad saying that when Barack Obama wanted to give education to kindergartners about how to avoid sexual predators, that in fact, they ran an ad that said he wanted to give them sex education," she said.

It's true that the words "comprehensive sex education," appeared in the bill the ad referred to, but Obama does not support explicit sex education for kindergartners. According to, the bill would have allowed "age appropriate material and a no-questions-asked opt out policy for parents." But Obama was never even a co-sponsor of this bill -- and the bill never left the Senate. The bill also included "sex education" on information that would help students recognize "inappropriate touching, sexual assault and rape."


Matt said...

Shame on you Senator McCaskill- if you can be shamed. You are a political bombthrower with a proclivity for over the top statements. You've clearly risen to a level higher than your character can permit. If Obama would have chosen you as his running mate, I would have voted for him to get you out of Missouri.

2012 isn't far away Madam Senator. Maybe after your term is up you can join your true constituency, or the Daily Kos.

boyd said...

Why is it that abortion is so important to memopauseal women? I have been pretty happy with Claire's voting record however the way she chases a camera is getting boring. What is she wanting next?

Paul Seale said...

age appropriate material and a no-questions-asked opt out policy for parents

Nice spin.

So the advertisement is true.

Obama did vote for the bill, which did include sex ed for kindergartners.

Kinda interesting how facts are made to be smears when it comes to Obama, but smears are made to be facts for McCain and Palin.

Anonymous said...

Obama votes for a bill that will help protect Kindergartners from sexual predators and McCain thinks that protecting Kindergartners from sexual predators is a waste of time and misleads Americans by running a television advertisement. Sounds like the leader I want in DC!

boyd said...

Obama wants to expand the nanny state. Why not have all parents surrender their children to the teachers unions at birth or better yet just abort them so we wouldn't have this problem. That bill is a great example of the state assuming the role of parenting.

Paul Seale said...


That is not what the bill in question says.

In fact if you dig a little bit into the bill in question it makes explicit instructions for grades five through twelve when dealing with alchol and drugs.

Another factiod not mentioned in this post, but can be found with a little digging is that one of the bill's original sponsors rethought the age issue and worked toward reupping the age issue and sought to push the requirement back to sixth grade. The revised floor bill never came up for a floor vote.

Please see here.

This is what is important to me on this issue, truthfully. Obama should have seen the problems and voted against such a policy, but instead decided to rubber stamp it. Fortunately, the bill never passed.

At the same time, however, Obama should be held accountable for his vote on the matter.

As I have said before, kind of interesting how Palin's time and tenure as Mayor is being looked over with a fine tooth comb while after two years of "vetting" we still rarely hear anything about Obama's past.