A movie about Sarah Palin’s controversial run as the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate premiered in Washington on Thursday, days after she denounced its portrayal of her.
“Game Change” dramatizes the race for the White House in which Palin, then a little known governor of Alaska, was picked as the running mate of Senator John McCain in the general election that he ultimately lost to Democrat Barack Obama.
Palin proved a huge hit with the Republican base four years ago but she was soon widely mocked for several major gaffes and seen as a deeply-polarizing figure who alienated many voters during a closely-fought campaign.
She labeled the film, which includes a scene depicting her as almost having a nervous breakdown as she prepares for a vice presidential debate, a “false narrative” of the 2008 race and said she won’t be watching.
“I’m not going to see the movie, neither is the good Senator John McCain,” Palin told Fox News.
“We’ve discussed this and realized that Hollywood lies are Hollywood lies,” she said, claiming that the way she was portrayed in the movie amounted to propaganda for President Obama ahead of a US general election on November 6.
“They’re going to do what they can to drum up the money and their machine, and their machine happens to be a very pro-leftist, pro-Barack Obama machine there at HBO that created this movie.”
The film, which stars Julianne Moore as Palin and Ed Harris as McCain, will be screened on HBO Television on Saturday.
Palin resigned as Alaska governor in 2009 but her undoubted chutzpah has seen her forge a lucrative media career as an author, television pundit and public speaker. She remains a high-profile figure in the Republican Party and she has not ruled out running for office again.
McCain has also dismissed the film, saying it is inaccurate.
“It’s based on a book that is full of unattributed quotes, things that absolutely never happened… of course, it can’t be accurate,” McCain told CBS News.
But aides to McCain, including his then-chief strategist Steve Schmidt who assisted the film’s producers, have stood behind it.
“Ten weeks of the campaign are condensed into a two-hour movie. But it tells the truth of the campaign. That is the story of what happened,” Schmidt told the Los Angeles Times.
Although “Game Change” is based on a book of the same name, the film is dedicated to the McCain-Palin ticket and ignores the contest between Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, which was discussed at length in the book.
The film’s stars and executive producer Tom Hanks attended a premiere Thursday at The Newseum, a museum dedicated to journalism and the media in Washington.
Outside the venue, as A-listers gathered inside, Palin supporters handed out flyers that hit the film as a “false narrative” and a “fictionalized” account of the former Alaska governor’s role in the campaign.