GOP criticizes Obama on earmarks

John McCain and Sarah Palin criticized Democrat Barack Obama over money he has requested for his home state of Illinois, though Alaska under Palin's leadership has sought 10 times more federal money per citizen for pet projects.

At a rally in swing state Missouri, the Republican presidential ticket accused Obama of requesting nearly $1billion in earmarks as a senator. The attack came after Obama's first direct criticism of Palin, using the topic of earmarks, special projects lawmakers seek for their districts.

“Frankly I was surprised that he would even raise the subject at all,” Palin said. “I thought he wouldn't want to go there.”

Obama has sought no earmarks this year. Last year, he sought $311million worth, about $25 for every Illinois resident. Alaska asked this year for earmarks totaling $198million, about $295 per citizen.

Palin has cut back on project requests, but Alaska is still the largest per-capita consumer of federal pet-project spending by far.

The governor ended her support of plans to build the notorious “Bridge to Nowhere” after Congress cut off its financing. A campaign ad released Monday credits Palin with stopping the bridge without mentioning she once supported it.

McCain doesn't seek pork projects and vows to end them as president.