Report: Palin Did Not Visit Iraq
By Anne E. Kornblut
WASILLA, Alaska — Aides to Gov. Sarah Palin are scrambling to explain details of her only trip outside North America — which, according to a new report, did not include Iraq, as the McCain-Palin campaign had initially claimed.
Palin made an official visit to see Alaskan troops in Kuwait in July of 2007. There, she made a stop at a border crossing with Iraq, but did not actually visit the country, according to a new report in the Boston Globe.
Earlier, McCain aides had said that Palin visited Iraq, and expressed indignation at questions about her slim foreign travel.
The campaign also said she had been to Ireland; that turned out to have been a refueling stop.
In her ABC interview, Palin said she had also been to Canada and to Mexico, where her advisers said she went on vacation.
Obama aides described the new revisions to Palin’s account as part of a growing pattern of deception. “The McCain campaign said Governor Palin opposed the Bridge to Nowhere, but now we know she supported it. They said she didn’t seek earmarks, but now we know she hired a lobbyist to get millions in pork for her town and her state. They said she visited Iraq, but today we learned that she only stopped at the border. Americans are starting to wonder, is there anything the McCain campaign isn’t lying about?” Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor asked in a statement e-mailed to reporters.
A short time later, the Obama campaign circulated a new Bloomberg story that questions whether the McCain campaign has been sending out false crowd estimates.
On two occasions since Palin joined the ticket, McCain aides have cited law enforcement sources in claiming enormous crowds — but law enforcement officials interviewed by Bloomberg denied having given such estimates.