Gov. Palin swings at Obama

She says leading a state is not just about voting, 'present.'

Posted: Friday, September 05, 2008

MINNEAPOLIS - Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Thursday blamed supporters of the Democratic presidential ticket for spreading "misinformation and flat-out lies" about her and her family.

But her spokeswoman said Obama's campaign was not responsible, even though a Palin fundraising letter named the Democratic ticket with the words: "The Obama-Biden Democrats have been vicious in their attacks directed toward me, my family and John McCain."

The Obama campaign has raised questions about Palin's qualifications based on her six years as mayor of Wasilla and less than two years as governor, but Obama himself has said her family should be off-limits. He also said he would fire any staffer who talks about it.

Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella said: "We appreciate the fact that he came out and condemned this kind of personal attack." Asked whether Palin thought Obama or his running mate, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, were personally responsible for the attacks mentioned in the letter, Comella said, "No."

Asked who was to blame, the spokeswoman said, "You want me to tick through all the stuff that's been ticking through all the blogs the past few days? What about the stuff that was on Daily Kos, that rumor that was spread?"

Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton said "the only 'flat-out lie' is this ridiculous claim, and it proves that John McCain has wasted no time in teaching Sarah Palin the ways of the Washington he's inhabited for the last 26 years."

Palin herself met with Republican governors Thursday and said afterward that leading a state means you have to make decisions and not just vote "present."

"We don't have a 'present' button as governor - we are expected to lead, we are expected to take action and not just vote 'present,"' said Palin, who is in her first term as Alaska's governor. "So there's a big difference, of course, between the executive and legislative branches and our experience."

Palin was referring to Obama's days in the Illinois Senate, when he voted "present" dozens of times among the thousands of votes he cast in his eight years there. The move is common among Illinois lawmakers, but has become a favorite Republican complaint about Obama.

The vice presidential candidate met with the governors on the morning after her speech to the Republican National Convention. In the days since her selection as John McCain's running mate was announced, questions have been raised about the 44-year-old governor's qualifications and experience, and it was revealed that her unmarried, 17-year-old daughter is five months pregnant.

In the fundraising letter issued Thursday, she cited "the Obama-Biden Democrats" and said the "misinformation and flat-out lies must be corrected."

Palin said Thursday that she has "a big job cut out in front of me running for vice president."

She did not take questions from reporters.

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