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Palin defends U-turn on Bridge to Nowhere

Sept. 12, 2008 at 5:30 PM

WASILLA, Alaska, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin defended her change of heart on the "Bridge to Nowhere" during an interview on ABC News.

Palin's one-on-one interview with veteran newsman Charles Gibson is her first since she became Republican presidential nominee John McCain's running mate. The interview was conducted in three sessions and is being aired this week and next on a number of ABC shows.

The bridge, originally estimated to cost almost $400 million, would have connected Ketchikan to Gravina Island, which has 50 residents and the Ketchikan airport. Palin dropped her support after the project became a symbol of congressional earmarks.

Alaska kept the money originally earmarked for the bridge, using it for other projects.

"I was for infrastructure being built in the state. And it's not inappropriate for a mayor or for a governor to request and to work with their Congress and their congressmen, their congresswomen, to plug into the federal budget along with every other state a share of the federal budget for infrastructure," she told Gibson.

Palin also defended the $27 million Wasilla, an Anchorage suburb, received in federal aid while she was mayor.

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