A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Fact-Checking…’The View’?


We generally don’t take it upon ourselves to parse ABC’s morning gabfest. But we noticed that when the chat turned to Palin’s record on earmarks McCain got it wrong.

He was correct on one point: Palin vetoed $500 million in spending as governor. She axed over $230 million in state spending in 2007. And the Anchorage Daily News reported that she lopped off another $268 million in spending for 2008.

But then the ladies shot back with this:

Barbara Walters: She also took some earmark spending.
Joy Behar: A lot.
McCain: Well, not as governor she didn’t.

McCain’s wrong here. It’s true she scaled back the state’s federal spending requests within the last two years. But she didn’t eliminate them. She sent a letter on her gubernatorial stationery with $197 million in earmark requests, directly contradicting McCain’s statement. Palin writes:

Palin:In preparing these requests, the State has been mindful of congressional concerns about budget deficits and earmarks. Accordingly, the total number of requests has been reduced significantly from previous years. Approximately two-thirds of the requests involve programs that have been funded previously.

It’s clear Palin knew the gravy train was slowing (in large part because McCain was applying the brakes), but that didn’t stop her from sending the nearly $200 million request (nearly $300 per Alaskan, according to the 2006 Census Bureau population estimates). And we’ve already reported that Palin’s history with earmarks dates back to her time as mayor of Wasilla.

McCain would have been on more solid ground if he were informing his View-ership of his own earmark-busting record. The Arizona senator’s requests have amounted to a big, fat zero. But Palin’s still asking for pork by the barrel, even if the barrels have been downsized.

Correction: We originally wrote that “The View” was on in the afternoon. In fact, the show is on in the late mornings (in our market anyway). Also, we have corrected the amount of money requested per Alaskan, which amounts $300 per person, not $30.

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