“I know the governor of Alaska has been, you know, saying she is change,” Obama said at a town hall meeting here. “And that is great. She is a skillful politician. But when you [have] been taking all these earmarks when it is convenient and then suddenly you are the champion anti-earmark person.
“That is not change, come on,” Obama continued. “I mean, words mean something. You can’t just make stuff up. You can’t just make stuff up. We have a choice to make and the choice is clear.”
The comments were his harshest attack yet on Palin, who sought millions of dollars in earmarks as mayor of Wasilla but later began criticizing them as governor. The Obama campaign has been searching for an effective line of attack against Palin since she burst onto the national scene a week ago as John McCain’s running mate.
The McCain campaign issued a statement that accused Obama of distorting the Republicans' record on earmarks, and hit back at him for pursuing the spending requests as an Illinois senator.
"Barack Obama has requested the equivalent of $1 million in new pork barrel spending for every working day he's been in the U.S Senate, while John McCain has never once asked for an earmark, and Gov. Palin has vetoed hundreds of millions in government spending, including killing the infamous 'bridge to nowhere,'" spokesman Tucker Bounds said. "Just like so many other issues, Barack Obama is all talk, has no record to back it up and isn't ready to make change."
Obama also took on McCain’s inner circle Saturday, saying the presence of former lobbyists at the highest tier of his campaign makes him incapable of meeting his pledge to shut down special interest influence.
“Suddenly, he’s the change agent,” Obama said of McCain. “He says, ‘I’m going to tell those lobbyists that their days in Washington are over.’ Who’s he going to tell? Is he going to tell his campaign chairman who’s one of the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington? Is he going to tell all the folks who are running his campaign who are the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington?
“Who is it that he’s going to tell that change is coming?” Obama asked. “I mean, come on, they must think you’re stupid!”