Paul Begala Rips MSM, Republican Operative For Flat-out Lying About Palin's Record

Paul Begala goes to town on GOP media consultant Alex Castellanos for peddling blatant falsehoods about Sarah Palin's "reformer" record, specifically

Paul Begala goes to town on GOP media consultant Alex Castellanos for peddling blatant falsehoods about Sarah Palin's "reformer" record, specifically her phantom opposition to the "Bridge to Nowhere," which she not only supported, but for which hired a Abramoff crony to secure the earmark.

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ALEX CASTELLANOS: The amazing thing about Sarah Palin is when she became governor she actually stood up and said no.

BEGALA: That's not true.

CASTELLANOS: She took a strong stand. That is rare and that never happened.

BEGALA: That's just not true. You know, John, the facts matter. There's lots of things that are debatable who is more qualified or less experienced or more this or more passionate, whatever. It is a fact that she campaigned and supported that bridge to nowhere. It is a fact that she hired lobbyists to get earmarks. It is a fact that as governor she lobbies for earmarks. Her state is essentially a welfare state taking money from the federal government... This is the problem. We have this false debate when we ought to have at least agreed upon facts.

Begala couldn't be more spot on here: Facts are facts. Opinions can be debated, but facts are concrete and can't simply be spun away. It seems to me that this is the crux of the McCain strategy: take an unknown hockey mom from Alaska, tell everyone she's a reformer, lie about her record in order to convince people of it, then keep her sequestered from the press when they start asking questions. Are the American people really dumb enough to fall for it?

Full transcript below the fold:

ROBERTS: Paul, there's a lot of controversy about whether or not she supported the bridge to nowhere. We pulled some sound from a 2006 debate in which she appears to at least give tacit approval to it. Let's listen to what she said.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. SARAH PALIN, VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I'm not going to stand in the way of progress that our congressional delegation and the position of strength that they have right now. They're making those efforts for the state of Alaska to build up our infrastructure. I would not get in the way of progress -- this project or other projects that they are working so hard on.


↓ Story continues below ↓

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROBERTS: That would appear, Paul, to end any argument over whether or not she supported the bridge initially. But why can't Barack Obama make that point stick?

PAUL BEGALA, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Because the press won't do its job, John. I criticized Barack Obama when he hasn't been tough enough. Barack's job is to run against John McCain, right. Don't shoot the monkey when you can shoot for the organ grinder. His job is not to focus on number two but number one. But it is the media's job when a politician flat out lies like she's doing on this bridge to nowhere so call her on it. Or this matter of earmarks where she's attacking Barack Obama for having earmarks, when she was the mayor of little Wasilla, Alaska, 6,000 people, she hired a lobbyist who was connected to Jack Abramoff, who is a criminal and they brought home $27 million in earmarks. She carried so much pork home she got trichinosis. But we in the media are letting her tell lies about her record.

ROBERTS: Hey, OK. We got to let Alex respond to that. Flat out lies, Alex?

ALEX CASTELLANOS, CNN POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Let's be a little gentle. Look, every elected official in this country works under the system we have, which is you try to get a little bit of your tax money back. You just don't want to leave it all in Washington. The amazing thing about Sarah Palin is when she became governor she actually stood up and said no. And she made it -

BEGALA: That's not true.

CASTELLANOS: She took a strong stand. That is rare and that never happened.

ROBERTS: All right.

BEGALA: That's just not true. You know, John, the facts matter. There's lots of things that are debatable who is more qualified or less experienced or more this or more passionate, whatever. It is a fact that she campaigned and supported that bridge to nowhere. It is a fact that she hired lobbyists to get earmarks. It is a fact that as governor she lobbies for earmarks. Her state is essentially a welfare state taking money from the federal government.

ROBERTS: We still have 56 days to talk about this back and forth.

BEGALA: This is the problem. We have this false debate when we ought to have at least agreed upon facts.

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