Count the Lies

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Count the McCain Lies

John McCain may be trying to sell himself as a "maverick" and a "straight talker" who will tell the truth no matter the consequences, but independent, non-partisan watchdog groups aren't buying it. But, since he wrapped up his party's nomination, John McCain has offered more of the same false attacks and smears. To date, independent, nonpartisan fact checkers have published more than 50 fact checks debunking John McCain's lies and distortions.

To hold John McCain accountable to his own standard, the Democratic National Committee will count and chronicle the lies here on the McCainPedia's "Count the Lies" page.

175 Fact Checks

CNN: McCain’s Claim About Creeping Tax Hikes Is False. In a campaign speech Tuesday, October 28, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain accused Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, of being inconsistent on taxes.…The Verdict: False. What McCain is doing here, in part, is comparing apples and oranges. He compares two different aspects of Obama's tax plan as if they were the same. And Biden never said people making less than $150,000 are the "only" people who would get a tax cut under Obama's policies. [CNN, 10/29/08:] “Tiny” Ad Makes Large Error. Back in May, McCain made the claim in an address to the National Restaurant Association in Chicago. We rated that claim False. We examined it again in August when the ad first aired and again found the statement to be False. But the ad will be new to many viewers this week, so we are revisiting it here.McCain is distorting Obama's original comments…McCain twisted Obama's words when he claimed that Obama characterized the threat from Iran as tiny or insignificant. Obama never said that. ...This isn’t the first time Obama has talked about the grave threat posed by Iran. He has repeatedly characterized it as such during his campaign. Obama never said the threat from Iran was “tiny” or “insignificant,” only that the threat was tiny in comparison to the threat once posed by the Soviet Union. And if the McCain campaign was unclear on that point, it should have been clear after Obama's comment in May that "Iran is a grave threat." To continue to twist Obama's words, especially after that clarification, earns another False. [Politifact:]

McClatchy: McCain Wrong on World Series. What happened: "No one will delay the World Series game with an infomercial when I'm president," the Republican presidential nominee told a crowd Tuesday in Hershey, Pa… Why that's wrong: It's not unusual for World Series games to start after 8:30 p.m., and according to the Web site Politico, the Fox executive who's responsible for the Obama ad purchase said the infomercial was replacing only the pre-game show. "Our first pitch for the World Series is usually around 8:30 anyway, so we didn't push back the game. It was really just about suspending the pre-game, you know, Joe Buck," said the account executive, Joe Coppola. "That's all we did." The request to delay the game came from Major League Baseball. McCain himself was responsible for shifting the time of the National Football League's 2008 opening game ... Penalty: 15 yards for misleading the public about Obama and the World Series. [McClatchy, 10/29/08:]

AP FACT CHECK: McCain Misreads 2001 Obama Interview. "Republican John McCain is misreading seven-year-old comments by rival Barack Obama about 'redistributive change' to argue that the Democrat's tax policy is built on 'taking your money and giving it to someone else.' … Obama never said that, according to an audio file circulated by Naked Emperor News, a Web site with many postings critical of Obama. Fox News also posted a partial transcript of the interview. What Obama called a tragedy was the civil rights movement's focus on the court, rather than on 'political and community organizing activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change.' Obama did not define redistributive change in the interview, but he said one example of such change involves education, "how do we get more money into the schools and how do we actually create equal schools and equal educational opportunity… The interview on Chicago's WBEZ had nothing to do with taxes." [AP, 10/28/08:] Sarah Palin is "Pants on Fire" Wrong -- Barack Obama Would Not "Experiment With Socialism." "Sen. John McCain's campaign has seized on Sen. Barack Obama's offhand remark that he wants to "spread the wealth around" to allege Obama is a socialist. Even in the context of a heated presidential campaign, that's a remarkably incendiary accusation. It's become a standard part of the McCain campaign rhetoric, uttered by surrogates and candidates alike… So no, Obama's tax increase on those making more than $250,000 would not represent a transformation of the U.S. system of government. His desire to 'spread the wealth' through progressive taxation makes him no less a capitalist than McCain, or Lincoln. Palin's allegation that Obama wants to 'experiment with socialism' seems designed less to inform than to inflame. That's Pants on Fire wrong." [,] Even Toned Down "Experiment with Socialism" Socialism Charge Is Wrong. "The McCain campaign went from tiptoeing around allegations that Obama is a socialist, to outright calling him one. Sen. John McCain's campaign has seized on Sen. Barack Obama's offhand remark that he wants to 'spread the wealth around' to allege Obama is a socialist. So no, Obama's tax increase on those making more than $250,000 would not represent a transformation of the U.S. system of government. His desire to 'spread the wealth' through progressive taxation makes him no less a capitalist than McCain, or Lincoln. Palin's allegation that Obama wants to 'experiment with socialism' seems designed less to inform than to inflame." []

Fact McCain/RNC Ethics Ad Off the Mark. An ad released jointly by the McCain-Palin campaign and the RNC claims Obama "rewards his friends with your tax dollars" and calls his actions "unethical." Some of what the ad says is false or misleading. Here are the facts: The ad claims that Obama supporter and Chicago real estate developer Allison Davis received $20 million in taxpayer money. That's false. Davis didn't get this money. Instead, the federal grant went to the Chicago Housing Authority, replacing money it had already put forward for a mixed-income housing project on which Davis was a developer. The grant didn't go to Davis, nor did it help him pocket any additional funds. The ad says Obama gave Tony Rezko $14 million of taxpayer money. That's misleading." [, 10/27/08:] Felony cherry-picking - Obama is Not Soft on Crime. A recent attack mailer from the Republican Party of Florida calls Obama "Soft On Crime." "Barack Obama has consistently voted against tougher penalties for criminals -- including major offenses -- allowing criminals to remain on the streets," the mailer states. This mailer, like so many other mailers and TV ads, cherry-picks a few choice examples and conveniently ignores evidence that contradicts its conclusions. We'll review the four Obama positions highlighted by the mailer to back up its claim, and put Obama's position in a fuller context. We'll also examine Obama's fuller record on each front to show how the ad distorts its claims… In each case, the RPOF has taken selective votes or positions to prop up sensational headlines that are belied by a fuller examination of Obama's record. Similarly, the claim that Obama has "consistently voted against tougher penalties for criminals" -- when weighed against the entirety of Obama's record -- is untrue. We rule the ad's claim False. []

Washington Post Fact Checker Blog: Obama Tape “Says Pretty Much the Opposite of What the McCain Camp Says He Said. “In other words, Obama says pretty much the opposite of what the McCain camp says he said. Contrary to the spin put on his remarks by McCain economics adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin, he does not express ‘regret’ that the Supreme Court has not been more ‘radical.’ Nor does he describe the Court's refusal to take up economic redistribution questions as a ‘tragedy.’ He uses the word ‘tragedy’ to refer not to the Supreme Court, but to the civil rights movement… The McCain camp is wrong to suggest that the Illinois senator advocated an ‘wealth redistribution’ role for the Supreme Court in his 2001 interview.”

AP FACT CHECK: McCain Persists in Exaggerations and Misrepresentations. “A week from the presidential election, Republican John McCain is persisting in exaggerating and misrepresenting rival Barack Obama's tax and health-care plans…McCain's central claim - that people will be ‘forced’ into a new government-run plan under an Obama presidency - is not true. In fact, Obama broke with many Democrats and others who advocate universal coverage when he announced his plan would be mandatory only for children, and voluntary for everyone else. Obama would allow those who want to keep their current employer-based health insurance to do so. Rather than requiring everyone to purchase coverage, Obama's plan is designed to bring down costs - make insurance more affordable so as many people as possible would choose to buy it. In addition, under Obama's plan, employers would not be fined for not providing coverage. Instead, large employers - but not small businesses - would be required either to provide health insurance or contribute toward the cost of a public plan. McCain also accuses Obama of aiming to raise taxes on small businesses, which he says would cause them to cut jobs…In fact, Obama would raise taxes on small businesses making more than $250,000, but only about two percent of small businesses in the country fall into that category.” [AP, 10/27/08:] RNC Mailer “Beyond False. It’s Pants on Fire Wrong.” “Sometimes they make it easy on us fact-checkers. Take the new flier from the Republican National Committee landing in mailboxes in the hard-fought state of Virginia…To state the obvious, it's not fair to extrapolate from that comment the sentiment that ‘terrorists just need a good talking to.’ Iran, Cuba and Syria are indeed designated ‘state sponsors of terrorism’ by the U.S. State Department. But diplomacy with their leaders does not preclude confronting the countries in other ways, any more than summits with Soviet leaders kept Cold War-era presidents from engaging in the nuclear-arms race or competing with communism in Southeast Asia, Afghanistan and South America. On many occasions before and after that debate, Obama has spelled out that his diplomacy would not replace military options….Obama has arguably outhawked Sen. John McCain on that subject. McCain said in the second presidential debate that it was inappropriate for Obama to talk about launching cross-border raids into Pakistan because such talk "turns public opinion against us.’ …That's more than just a ‘good talking to.’ Examples abound of Obama pledging to take on terrorists militarily. This claim is beyond false. It's Pants on Fire wrong.” [1]

Five Ohio Papers: McCain 'Sweat Equity' ad one of best for misleading. RATING 3 on a scale from 0 (misleading) to 10 (truthful)."The ad should get a prize for the most effective use of small business owners in a misleading commercial…How about the "trillion dollars in new spending" by Obama? The McCain campaign apparently did its own calculations on the cost of Obama's programs. A more neutral calculation comes from the New American Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, Washington, D.C.- based think thank. The foundation analyzed the proposals Obama and McCain made at the national political conventions. The tab: Obama proposed $547 billion in annual spending increases and tax cuts. McCain proposed between $524 billion and $563 billion in annual spending increases and tax cuts. All Joe the Plumbers would have to agree that both figures represent a lot of money." [Dayton Daily News, 10/25/08:]

AP: Fact Check: Palin “Misrepresented” Biden comment on Obama. “Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin misrepresented to a campaign audience Thursday what her Democratic counterpart Joe Biden has said about Barack Obama's ability to handle a foreign crisis. ‘Sen. Obama's own running mate, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has informed us that a serious international crisis is certain if Obama is elected and that he is not ready to deal with it,’ Palin told thousands of supporters at a rally in this western Ohio city. That is not what Biden told fundraisers last weekend. Biden did say, ‘Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.’ And he asked his audience to be ready to display public support for Obama during such a crisis. But noting that President John Kennedy faced similar early foreign tests, Biden predicted Obama would fare well because he's ‘got steel in his spine.’” [AP, 10/23/08:] Despite McCain Claim, Barack Obama Did Not Announce He’s Choosing His Cabinet. “At a rally in Bensalem, Pa., John McCain accused Barack Obama of getting cocky. ‘We have 14 days to go. We're a few points down. The national media has written us off. Sen. Obama has announced that he's choosing his Cabinet,’ McCain said at the Oct. 21, 2008, event. The remark invokes a theme from the McCain campaign that Obama has gotten overly confident… The McCain comment is particularly silly because it's been widely reported that both campaigns have staffers planning a transition and exploring possible Cabinet choices. McCain's transition team is said to be headed by John F. Lehman Jr., a Navy secretary under President Reagan. William E. Timmons, a longtime Washington lobbyist, is also involved, according to an account in the New York Times… Has Obama ‘announced that he's choosing his Cabinet’? He definitely has not. What's happening is the usual transition planning that occurs with any presidential campaign in the final days before an election. We find McCain's claim to be False.” [,. 10/22/08:]

CNN: McCain’s Small Business Tax Claims “False;” Apply Tax Stats “In a Way That is Highly Unlikely to Match Reality.” “The Statement: Speaking during a campaign stop Monday, Oct. 20 in Belton, Missouri, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain criticized Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama's proposals on taxes. ‘The Obama tax increase would come at the worst possible time for America, and especially for small businesses like the one Joe dreams of owning,’ McCain said. ‘The small businesses Senator Obama would tax provide 16 million jobs in America.’ The Verdict: False. McCain uses an overly broad interpretation of the NFIB survey's figures — applying Obama's tax plan to those figures in a way that is highly unlikely to match reality.” [CNN, 10/21/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Three Pinocchios for McCain claim that Obama's tax cut is like welfare. "John McCain hammered his Democratic opponent over the weekend for 'phony tax cut' policies that will allegedly harm hard-working Americans such as his new-found friend, 'Joe the Plumber.' The Arizona senator claims that Obama has been going round the country promising to 'cut income taxes for 95 percent of Americans' at a time when 40 percent of Americans pay no income taxes. According to McCain, welfare payments for non-income tax paying Americans will inevitably mean higher taxes for 'folks like Joe.' Is the Republican presidential candidate telling the truth about Obama's tax plan? ... But the McCain claim his rival's current plan will force 'folks like Joe' to subsidize welfare checks to non-tax-payers does not stand up to serious scrutiny. The McCain campaign has erected a bogus straw man argument with its claim that Obama has promised "to cut income taxes for 95 percent of Americans." [Washington Post Fact Checker, 10/20/08:] McCain Claim That Obama Directed “An Arm of ACORN” Is False. “Here, we'll look at the allegation that in 1992, Obama directed Project Vote, ‘an arm of ACORN that also encouraged voter registration.’ This year, Project Vote and ACORN worked together on a nationwide voter registration drive aimed at low-income, minority and youth voters. They have worked together on other initiatives with left-leaning groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Organization for Women. But Project Vote and ACORN are separate organizations with different histories…Michael Slater, the current executive director of Project Vote, said the two organizations are separate. And in 1992, the two groups didn't really work together, he said…We also didn't find any evidence to indicate the two organizations had a relationship during the 1992 Illinois drive. A detailed article about Project Vote in Chicago magazine didn't mention ACORN. ACORN itself says Obama didn't work for them during that time…. Is it possible that ACORN and Project Vote were going about the same business in Illinois in 1992? Sure. Both groups have the stated goal of getting people to register to vote, especially low-income, minority and young voters. But we find no evidence that Obama's 1992 work was for ACORN. We rate McCain's claim False.” [, 10/19/08:] McCain calls Obama's Refundable Tax Credits "Welfare," But Calls His Own "Reform." "The McCain campaign has taken to denigrating some of Obama's tax proposals as 'welfare' rather than tax cuts. And it continues to mislead about who would see a tax increase. A new McCain-Palin Web ad characterizes Obama's proposed refundable tax credits as 'welfare.' But McCain himself proposes refundable tax credits, too, as part of his health care plan, and calls them 'reform.' The ad also says 'hard-working families' and 'seniors' would pay higher taxes. But - need we say this again? - that would be true only for the affluent few, not for the many." [, 10/17/08:]

Five Ohio Papers: John McCain's "Ambition" Ad Offers Little Straight Talk. "RATING 2 on a scale from 0 (misleading) to 10 (truthful) ... For a candidate who likes to brag about the 'Straight Talk Express,' it would have been more accurate for McCain to say that Obama worked with 'ex-terrorist Bill Ayers' since their time together was spent on education and charity projects, not blowing up buildings. Ayers also hosted an event at his home for Obama in the 1990s when Obama first ran for office. It's fair to point out that Obama and Ayers had a relationship, but the ad suggests a kinship much stronger than the record indicates. As for the 'Congressional liberals' in the ad, they do bear part of the responsibility for the collapse of the housing industry and they're all Obama's political allies. The ad, however, tells just part of the story. There's plenty of responsibility to go around for the collapse of the housing industry, including big chunks that should be assigned to 'congressional conservatives' and a Republican White House. They seldom, if ever, met a sector of the economy they didn't want to deregulate." [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/17/08:]

Chicago Sun-Times: McCain Misleading Public in Role Ayers Played in Obama Political Career. "Obama said McCain--running ads featuring Ayers with Sarah Palin making him an issue on the stump--never said anything to his face. Ayers did not came up in the first two presidential debates. If McCain continues to insist that Obama launched his political career from Ayers' Hyde Park living room, he is misleading the public by overplaying the size and significance of Ayers' early support. Obama's campaign really was launched when he got the backing of then state Sen. Alice Palmer (D-Chicago), who wanted him to replace her as she was planning a run for Congress. Palmer's backing gave him entrée into local influential political circles." [Chicago Sun-Times, 10/15/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: McCain's Small Business Tax Claims Wrong. "John McCain made two assertions on corporate taxes, one that small businesses pay 50 percent of the taxes and the other that U.S. corporations are among the highest taxed in the world. Both are wrong. All corporate income taxes--including giant corporations and the smallest of businesses--account for only about 14 percent of federal revenues raised in the year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Most federal taxes are paid by individuals, while fees and other taxes make up the rest. While the official corporate tax is high, compared to other countries, there are so many loopholes in the code that many companies pay little or no taxes. The General Accounting Office reported recently that more than half of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes during the boom years of the late 1990s, and those that did were able to shelter much of their income, generally by claiming deductions and credits. The GAO report showed that 61 percent of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes from 1996 through 2000, a period of rapid economic growth and rising corporate profits. An estimated 94 percent of U.S. corporations reported tax liabilities amounting to less than 5 percent of their total income in 2000. Indeed, small corporations were more likely to avoid taxation than large ones, the GAO said." [Washington Post, 10/15/08:]

ABC News: Obama's Career Was Not Launched in Ayers' Home. "[McCain] made an attack, that his campaign has been making for weeks, saying that Obama's campaign was launched in the living room of William Ayers, of the Weather Underground. That's not true. Obama says his campaign was launched at a Ramada hotel, there were several coffees, right about that same time that summer one was held in Ayers' house, but it isn’t even clear it was specifically for Obama." [ABC News, 10/15/08]

Politifact: Small Businesses are Exempt From Health Care Fine. John McCain talked a lot about 'Joe the plumber' during the third presidential debate, saying Joe is an example of a small business owner who would not do well under Barack Obama's policies…But generally, Obama does not fine 'small businesses.' They are specifically exempt. We rate McCain's claim False." [Politifact, 10/15/08:] McCain "Off The Mark" On John Lewis Claim. "McCain was a bit off the mark when he said Obama did not repudiate the remarks of Democratic Rep. John Lewis. Obama did release a statement that said he 'did not believe' McCain 'or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies.'" [, 10/15/08:] McCain Repeats $42,000 Lie. "McCain has claimed yet again that Sen. Obama 'voted twice for a budget resolution to increase taxes on individuals making $42,000 a year.' As we’ve reported, a single taxpayer making more than $41,500 would have seen a tax increase, but a couple filing jointly would have seen no increase unless they made at least $83,000, and for a couple with two children the cut-off would have been $90,000. Regardless, the increase that Obama once supported as part of a Democratic budget bill is not part of his current tax plan." [, 10/15/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: McCain Misrepresents Biden Iraq Proposal. "McCain just mispoke in accusing Democratic running mate of wanting to divide Iraq into 'three countries.' Biden did propose a plan in 2006 to decentralize power in Iraq by giving control of a major region each to the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis. But his plan would maintain Iraq as a single country." [Washington Post, 10/15/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: McCain Exaggerated the Ayers Relationship. "McCain exaggerated the closeness of the relationship between Obama and former Weather Underground founder Bill Ayers in claiming that his rival had 'launched his political career' in Ayers' living room. It is true that Obama attended a coffee meeting at Ayers' home after he announced his intention to run for the state senate in September 1995. But according to Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, who has tracked Obama's political career closely, the Ayers' event was only one of a series of coffees in the Hyde Park community where he lived. The kickoff for Obama's Senate run came at a meeting in the Hyde Park Ramada Inn on Sept. 19, 1995." [Washington Post, 10/15/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: McCain Recycled False Tax Claim. "McCain just recycled a frequent claim, that Obama has voted to raise taxes on people making $42,000 a year. It's based on Obama's vote this year in support of a non-binding Democratic budget resolution that would allow the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2011 and 2013. Independent analysts have asserted this claim is misleading since the resolution did not actually call for raising taxes, but set budgetary targets based on the premise that the tax cuts would expire. Obama has separately promised that he would extend the Bush tax cuts for any family making less than $250,000." [Washington Post, 10/15/08:]

New York Times: McCain Distorts Obama Health Care Plan Again. "As in the second debate, Mr. McCain charged that small businesses would be fined under Mr. Obama's health plan if they did not pay for health coverage as mandated by the government. And Mr. Obama, again, corrected him by pointing out that his plan would exempt small businesses from the requirement that employers either provide coverage for their workers or pay into a fund to subsidize coverage for the low-income uninsured." [New York Times blog, 10/15/08:]

New York Times: McCain Falsely Says Obama Supports "Single Payer." "Mr. McCain said: 'Senator Obama wants to set up health care bureaucracies, take over the health care of America through -- as he said, his object is a single-payer system. If you like that -- you'll -- you would love Canada and England.' Mr. McCain was wrong in saying that Mr. Obama's proposal called for a single-payer system. Mr. Obama wants private insurers to continue in operation, but would subject them to strict federal regulation, so, for example, they could not deny coverage to people in poor health." [New York Times blog, 10/15/08:]

New York Times: McCain Distorts on His Own Judicial Picks. "When asked whether he would appoint someone to the Supreme Court who disagreed with him and supported Roe v. Wade, Mr. McCain said he would apply no 'litmus test' in his Supreme Court appointments and would make his decisions 'based on their qualifications.' But Mr. McCain has gone much further while seeking to shore up his standing with Christian conservatives that make up the Republican base, giving an expansive speech at Wake Forest this year about his judicial philosophy and pledging to nominate strict constructionist, conservative judges—in other words, those who would oppose Roe v. Wade." [New York Times blog, 10/15/08:]

New York Times: McCain Overstates Impact of Fannie and Freddie. "Senator McCain argued as the debate began, and as he repeatedly does on the campaign trail, that the blame for the financial meltdown lies with the mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were a unique hybrid–government-chartered but shareholder-owner—until they were forced into government conservatorships last month. 'The catalyst for this housing crisis was the Fannie and Freddie Mae (sic) that caused the subprime lending situation that now caused the housing market in America to collapse,' Mr. McCain said. Few analysts of the current crisis trace its roots to Fannie and Freddie, whatever their mistakes." [New York Times blog, 10/15/08:]

New York Times: McCain Distort on Repudiating Remarks. "Mr. McCain accused Mr. Obama of failing to repudiate recent remarks by Representative John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and legendary civil rights leader, who accused Mr. McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, of 'sowing the seeds of hatred and division' because of the insults hurled by some at their rallies about Mr. Obama. Mr. Lewis likened the pair to former Gov. George Wallace of Alabama ... The Obama campaign did quickly issue a statement repudiating the comparison to Wallace: 'Senator Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies.' The campaign, however, did add that it was appropriate for Mr. Lewis to criticize the 'hateful rhetoric' at Mr. McCain’s rallies." [New York Times blog, 10/15/08:]

ABC News: Small Businesses Would Not Pay a Fine. "McCain was wrong to state that small businessman 'Joe the Plumber' would end up paying a fine if he refused to provide his workers with health insurance under Barack Obama's health-care plan. Under the Obama plan, small businesses are exempted from a requirement imposed on large companies that they contribute to a national health fund if they fail to make 'a meaningful contribution' to their employees' health care costs." [ABC News Debate Live Blog, 10/15/08:]

ABC News: McCain Mortgage Plan is Not Similar to Hillary Clinton's. "During tonight's debate, McCain said that Hillary Clinton proposed the same kind of mortgage buy-up plan that he did. This is not true. While Clinton has proposed directly helping homeowners by having the government buy and resell mortgages that are in danger of foreclosure, her proposal would force financial institutions to take a loss. The McCain proposal, by contrast, is more generous to financial institutions and more costly for taxpayers." [ABC News Debate Live Blog, 10/15/08:]

ABC News: McCain Cannot Balance the Budget in Four Years. "But McCain is still saying he'd balance the budget within four years? This is silliness, and I think McCain knows it. I look forward to his campaign explaining how, exactly, he'll do this while extending the Bush tax cuts and funding bailouts." [ABC News Debate Live Blog, 10/15/08:]

AP: McCain's $700 Billion on Energy Claim Not True. McCAIN: "We have to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us very much." THE FACTS: This is a reference to U.S. spending on oil imports. McCain has repeatedly made this claim. But the figure is highly inflated and misleading. According to government agencies that track energy imports, the United States spent $246 billion in 2007 for all imported crude oil, a majority of it coming from friendly nations including neighboring Canada and Mexico. An additional $82 billion was spent on imported refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel and fuel oil. A majority of the refined products come from refineries in such friendly countries as the Netherlands, Canada, the United Kingdom, Trinidad-Tobago and the Virgin Islands." [AP, 10/15/08:]

AP: Experts Skeptical of McCain Mortgage Plan. McCAIN: "Now, we have allocated $750 billion. Let's take 300 of that billion and go in and buy those home loan mortgages and negotiate with those people in their homes, 11 million homes or more, so that they can afford to pay the mortgage, stay in their home." THE FACTS: Ordering the government to buy up bad mortgages to cut homeowners' monthly payments might sound good, but experts are skeptical. They say the plan McCain is promoting is unlikely to solve the housing crisis that's pushing the economy toward recession. One big problem: The vast majority of the toxic home loans that are clogging financial markets and freezing up credit have been repackaged into complex investments that the government would be hard-pressed to unravel and buy. And the government could end up paying far more than they would ever be worth. That could primarily help banks and lenders with taxpayer money." [AP, 10/15/08:]

Politifact: McCain's Aim Still Off on Tax Votes. "Sen. John McCain revived a claim against Barack Obama that he's made before — that Obama voted to raise taxes on people making $42,000 a year… But it's inaccurate to suggest votes on nonbinding budget resolutions, which don't have the force of law and don't include precise details on taxes or spending, are the same as votes on legislation that actually increases taxes. The resolutions would not change the tax code. Moreover, Obama as a candidate has proposed tax increases hit those couples $250,000 or more a year, or $200,000 for singles." [, 10/15/08:] Small Businesses Would be Exempt from Health Care Plan. "McCain said 'Joe the plumber' faced 'much higher taxes' under Obama's tax plan and would pay a fine under Obama's health care plan if he failed to provide coverage for his workers. But Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher would pay higher taxes only if the business he says he wants to buy puts his income over $200,000 a year, and his small business would be exempt from Obama’s requirement to provide coverage for workers." [, 10/16/08:] McCain Misrepresents Obama Health Care Intentions. "McCain claimed that Obama's real 'object' is a government-run, single-payer health insurance system like those in Canada or England. The McCain campaign points to a quote from five years ago, when Obama told a labor gathering that he was 'a proponent of a single-payer health care program.' But Obama has since qualified his enthusiasm for Canadian-style health care, and his current proposal is nothing like that." [, 10/16/08:] McCain Gets in Wrong on Imports. "McCain described Colombia as the 'largest agricultural importer of our products.' Actually, Canada imports the most U.S. farm products, and Colombia is far down the list." [, 10/16/08:]

CNN: Obama Did Not Change His Position on Clean Coal. "Republican vice-presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin, in an interview taped Oct. 8 and aired Sunday, Oct. 12, on Fox News' Hannity's America, referred to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama's stance on offshore High drilling and 'clean-coal' technology. 'That was kind of perplexing last night, listening to Barack Obama's position all of a sudden saying 'yay' to clean coal and perhaps 'yay' to offshore,' she said. Palin said he's "so on record as having opposed" those technologies. Obama has voiced support for the development of clean-coal technology throughout his political career, starting in the Illinois State Senate and later in the U.S. Senate. He reiterated that stance during his Aug. 28 nomination acceptance speech and at the Oct. 7 debate that Palin references….The Verdict: False. Obama long has supported clean coal technology and more recently changed his stance on offshore oil drilling -- two months before the Oct. 7 debate referenced by Palin." [CNN, 10/15/08:]

Washington Post: Four Pinocchios for Palin's "Cleared of Any Legal Wrongdoing" Claim. "Sarah Palin has insisted that a formal investigation into the 'Troopergate' controversy in Alaska has exonerated her of 'unlawful or unethical' activity. The Republican vice-presidential pick has told critics to read the report by an investigator appointed by the State Legislative Council to determine whether she had abused her power as Alaska governor to push for the firing of a state trooper formerly married to her sister. But the report's finding that Palin breached the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act is very clear ... But it is the reverse of the truth to claim that she was cleared of 'any hint of any kind of unethical activity.'" [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 10/13/08:] Latest McCain Web Ad Is False, Malicious and "Pants on Fire Wrong." "This attack is false, but it's more than that – it's malicious. It unfairly tars not just Obama, but all the other prominent, well-respected Chicagoans who also volunteered their time to the foundation. They came from all walks of life and all political backgrounds, and there's ample evidence their mission was nothing more than improving ailing public schools in Chicago. Yet in the heat of a political campaign they have been accused of financing radicalism. That's Pants on Fire wrong." [, 10/11/08:]

Washington Post: Two Pinocchios For McCain Campaign's "Guilt by Association" Video. "A McCain campaign video released today hits the 'guilt by association' theme that has become a prominent part of GOP attacks on Barack Obama during the final weeks of an increasingly vituperative presidential election campaign. It baldly accuses the Illinois senator of 'lying' about his connection with Ayers, a former Weather Underground leader turned education professor. True or false? ... The McCain campaign is distorting the Obama-Ayers relationship, and exaggerating their closeness. There is no evidence that Obama has 'lied' about his dealings with Ayers." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 10/11/08:]

CNN Fact Check: Barack Obama Would Not Fine Businesses over Health Care. "At a campaign event Thursday, October 9, in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain criticized Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama's health-care plan. 'Under his plan, he will fine employers who don't offer health insurance to put their employees in government health care. He'll fine them,' McCain said. 'You know what that does? That costs jobs. That costs jobs for small business people in America.' McCain's suggestion that Obama's plan would impact small businesses is wrong. 'Small businesses will be exempt from this requirement,' Obama's Web site says. The Verdict: False. McCain calling the plan's payment a fine is at odds with his own Web site, which calls it a tax. Obama's campaign says small businesses would be exempt from the plan." [CNN, 10/10/08:]

CNN: McCain's Subprime Lending Attack is "Misleading," Takes Obama's Words Out of Context. "In a campaign speech Wednesday, October 8, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain questioned Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama's foresight on the role of the troubled subprime lending sector in the recent financial crisis. 'As recently as September of last year, he said that subprime loans had been — quote — a good idea,' McCain said. McCain is citing a statement Obama made during a September 17, 2007, speech in New York. While the words he quotes are technically accurate, McCain is taking them out of context from a statement that actually was criticizing abuses in the subprime sector ... The Verdict: Misleading. Obama did say subprime lending 'started off as a good idea,' but he was criticizing abuses in the sector. Based on his statements, he did not think they were a good idea last September, as McCain suggests." [, 10/8/08:]

Washington Post: Three Pinocchios for "Distorted" Pakistan Remark. "In last night's debate, Sen. John McCain repeated one of his regular complaints -- that Sen. Barack Obama said that he would strike targets inside Pakistan under certain conditions. McCain raises the issue to suggest that it is an example of Obama's inexperience in foreign affairs ... McCain has repeatedly mischaracterized Obama's statement to make a somewhat tendentious point: that Obama should not say he would 'attack Pakistan' because he should 'speak softly' about his plans. But Obama did not say that -- as has been noted by independent fact checkers many times -- and he merely articulated a policy that has been used by the current administration. THREE PINOCCHIOS: Significant factual errors." [Washington Post, 10/08/08:]

AP: McCain Overstates Impact of Drilling. "McCAIN: 'Oil drilling offshore now is vital so we can bridge the gap between imported oil ... and it will reduce the price of a barrel of oil. ... We've got to drill offshore and do it now.' THE FACTS: The government estimates that opening the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and eastern Gulf of Mexico to drilling 'will not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030.' Even then, it would only increase domestic oil production by 3 percent." [AP, 10/7/08:]

USA Today: McCain Repeats Exaggerated $700 Billion a Year Energy Claim. "The claim: Speaking about energy costs, McCain said: 'We've got to stop sending $700 billion a year to countries who don't like us that much.' The facts: McCain repeatedly makes this claim, which often has been criticized as exaggerated by non-partisan groups — including, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The United States spends about $536 billion a year on imported oil, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. But about one-third of that goes to close U.S. allies of Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom." [USA Today, 10/8/08:]

USA Today: McCain’s Claim that Obama Encouraged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Baseless. "The claim: 'With the encouragement of Sen. Obama and his cronies,' McCain said, government-sponsored mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were key drivers of the financial crisis — 'the match that started this forest fire.' ... The McCain campaign has produced no evidence, however, that Obama did favors for the corporations. In 2005, McCain co-sponsored a bill to step up regulation on Fannie and Freddie. Dodd and other Democrats voted against it in committee; it never came to a vote in the full Senate, so Obama did not vote on it." [USA Today, 10/8/08:]

CNN: McCain Claim That Obama Never Stood Up to His Own Party "False." "Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain said at the Oct. 7 presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee, that Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama has 'never taken on his leaders of his party on a single issue.' Verdict: False. While McCain is correct that Obama has supported the Democratic leadership almost all of the time, to say he's never differed with them is not true." [CNN, 10/7/08:] 94 Tax Votes? Not even close. "During the second presidential debate in Nashville, Tenn., McCain made the charge directly. 'Senator Obama has voted 94 times to either increase your taxes or against tax cuts. That's his record.' Ninety-four times? Not that we could find. But 94 still is awfully far away. The McCain campaign could easily claim that Obama has 'repeatedly' supported higher taxes according to his record in the Senate ... But by using such a precise number, the McCain campaign's charge carries a greater level of authority and credibility, which it really doesn't deserve. It's not merely that their count is wrong, but that they're misleading with their attempt at unsupported precision. We say False." [, 10/7/08:] McCain eBay Claim "Way Off." "That's way off. We hate to nitpick apparent misstatements, but this one's a doozy -- 1.3-million is the number of people worldwide who make some money off eBay, according to a 2006 A.C. Nielsen study. As of 2003, some 20,000 Americans made their living off eBay, company executive Jim Griffith told a Colorado newspaper at the time ... But it's not conceivable that the number of Americans making a living off eBay has climbed to 1.3-million. In 2005, the latest year for which statistics are available, just 724,000 Americans made money selling on eBay, according to a Nielsen study. But that includes many who made just a few bucks -- not a living ... This time, his number is more than a million higher, and not even conceivably true. McCain bought himself a False." [, 10/7/08:] McCain Misleads on 2005 Energy Bill. "McCain accused Obama of voting for a 'Bush and Cheney' energy bill that gave away billions to oil companies. McCain is referring to the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which Obama did in fact vote for. Sen. Clinton raised this same charge against Obama during the Democratic primaries. It was misleading then and it's equally misleading now. In fact, according to a Congressional Research Service report, more tax breaks were taken away from oil companies than were given. Overall, the Act resulted in a small net tax increase on the oil industry: Congressional Research Service: The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT05, P.L. 109-58) included several oil and gas tax incentives, providing about $2.6 billion of tax cuts for the oil and gas industry. In addition, EPACT05 provided for $2.9 billion of tax increases on the oil and gas industry, for a net tax increase on the industry of nearly $300 million over 11 years. The bill did contain $14.3 billion in tax breaks, but most of those went to electric utilities, and nuclear, and also to alternative fuels research and subsidies for energy-efficient cars, homes and buildings - not to the oil industry." [, 10/7/08:]

FactCheckorg: McCain Still Misleading on 94 Tax Votes Claim. "McCain said that Obama had voted 94 times for higher taxes or against tax cuts. He's getting warmer -- the first time we dinged him for this one, he said Obama voted 94 times to increase taxes, which is way off. This is still misleading, though. The real breakdown includes: 23 votes against tax cuts (which would have produced no increase in taxes); seven votes that would have lowered taxes for most people, but increased taxes on a few; 11 votes that would have increased taxes on those making over $1 million a year. The majority of the 94 votes (53 of them, including some of the above) were on budget measures, not tax bills, and would not have resulted in any tax change. Four other votes were non-binding motions related to conference report negotiations." [, 10/7/08:] Obama Health Care Plan Would Not Create Mandate For Small Businesses. "McCain said that Obama's health care plan would mandate that 'small businesses' provide coverage for their employees and would fine them if they failed to do so. Actually, Obama's health care plan, posted on his Web site, says: 'Small businesses will be exempt from this requirement.' McCain previously used this charge in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention." [, 10/7/08:] McCain Spending Claims Misleading. "McCain said that Obama has proposed $860 billion in new spending. That's based on a McCain campaign estimate of how much Obama's new proposals will cost, without figuring in any savings or reductions in spending. Any increase in funding and any created program counts as 'new spending' in this estimate, whether or not it is offset by decreases in spending elsewhere. A more traditional, and arguably more useful, measure of spending is how much a given candidate's proposals will increase the federal deficit. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget evaluated both candidates' proposals for both spending and saving. The group's president, Maya MacGuineas, told CNN that by 2013, Obama's major budget policies would add $286 billion to that year's deficit, while McCain's would add $211 billion." [, 10/7/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: McCain 94 Tax Hike Claim "Misleading." "Once again, McCain said that Obama raised taxes 94 times. This came up in the vice presidential debate, and it is a bogus charge., a non-partisan watchdog, has analyzed the charge. Of the 94, 23 of those votes were indeed votes against proposed tax cuts. Eleven of them were increases on families earning over $1 million to help fund programs such as Head Start and school nutrition. And 53 were on non-binding budget resolutions that foresaw allowing tax cuts to expire as scheduled. Such out-year projections are meaningless, since non-binding budgets are passed each year. ruled the claim misleading." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 10/7/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: McCain Health Care Tax Credit Claim "Only Part of the Story." "In outlining his tax policy, John McCain boasted that he would give all American families a $5,000 tax credit to allow them to go out and buy their own health insurance. This is true but it is only part of the story. The other part, which McCain rarely mentions on the campaign trail, is that the Republican candidate has also proposed taxing employer-provided health benefits, which will wipe out most of extra income from the tax credit." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 10/7/08:]

New York Times: McCain "Repeated Again his Misleading Attack" on 94 Tax Votes. "As for Mr. McCain, he repeated again his misleading attack that 'Senator Obama has voted 94 times to either increase your taxes or against tax cuts.' This comes from a tally that has been pushed by both the campaign and the Republican National Committee, but, a non-partisan group, conducted an analysis and found most of the votes were actually on non-binding budget measures or motions. Others would have actually increased taxes but only on those making more than $1 million a year. A handful would have actually lowered taxes for most but increased them for some corporations or wealthy individuals." [New York Times, 10/07/08:]

AP: McCain Claim About Sending $700 Billion to Countries That Don't Like Us Not True. "McCAIN: Said one way out of the financial crisis is to 'stop sending $700 billion a year to countries that don't like us.' THE FACTS: Although he didn't spell it out, he was referring -- as he has in the past -- to purchases of oil from countries hostile to the U.S. The figure is inflated and misleading. The U.S. is not spending nearly that much on oil imports and roughly one-third of what it does spend goes to friendly countries such as Canada, Mexico and Britain." [AP, 10/7/08:]

AP: McCain Claim about Fannie and Freddie Cronies Ignores his Own Connections. "McCAIN: Complained that Obama's 'cronies and friends' had received money from Fannie and Freddie. THE FACT: McCain has his own ties to the mortgage giants. Rick Davis, his campaign manager, has been a focus of attention because Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae paid him or his lobbying firm more than $2 million dating back to 2000." [AP, 10/7/08:]

AP: McCain Repeats Debunked Tax Increase Claim. "McCAIN: Said Obama had voted for tax increases '94 times.' THE FACTS: This inflated count, heard before, includes repetitive votes as well as votes to cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on the rich. An analysis by found that 23 of the votes were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all, seven were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many, 11 would have increased taxes on only those making more than $1 million a year." [AP, 10/7/08:]

First Read: McCain Overstates Obama on Pakistan. "McCain said: 'Sen. Obama likes to talk loudly. In fact, he wants to announce that he's going to attack Pakistan -- remarkable.' But this is what Obama said originally on August 1, 2007: 'There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf will not act, we will.' It's worth noting that Palin -- on at least two occasions -- seemed to back Obama on this issue." [MSNNC First Read, 10/7/08:]

First Read: McCain's Claims About Tax Hike Votes "An Exaggeration." "McCain just said that Obama has voted to raise taxes 94 times. As fact-checkers have constantly pointed out, that is an exaggeration. Per -- 23 votes were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all; they were against proposed tax cuts. -- 7 were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many, while raising them on a relative few, either corporations or affluent individuals. -- 11 votes the GOP is counting would have increased taxes on those making more than $1 million a year – in order to fund programs such as Head Start and school nutrition programs, or veterans' health care. -- The GOP sometimes counted two, three and even four votes on the same measure. We found their tally included a total of 17 votes on seven measures, effectively padding their total by 10. -- The majority of the 94 votes -– 53 of them, including some mentioned above –- were on budget measures, not tax bills, and would not have resulted in any tax change. Four other votes were non-binding motions related to conference report negotiations." [MSNNC First Read, 10/7/08:]

CNN: McCain Claims on Obama Tax Hike Voting Record "Misleading." "Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain said at the Oct. 7 presidential debate in Nashville, Tennessee, that Democratic opponent Sen. Barack Obama 'has voted 94 times to either increase your taxes or against tax cuts. That's his record.' ... Misleading. McCain's summary ignores the fact that some of the votes were for measures to lower taxes for many Americans, while increasing them for a much smaller number of taxpayers. A nonpartisan examination also finds that the 94 total includes multiple votes on the same measures and budget votes that would not directly lead to higher taxes." [CNN, 10/7/08:]

Washington Post: McCain Spot Distorts Obama Comment About Military. "This John McCain ad blatantly distorts Barack Obama's words in an effort to paint him as callous about the role of the U.S. military. The commercial truncates a comment that Obama made to a voter in New Hampshire in August 2007. According to the Associated Press, the senator from Illinois brought up Afghanistan when asked whether he would withdraw troops from Iraq to fight terrorism elsewhere: 'We've got to get the job done there, and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there.' In short, Obama was saying he wanted to avoid just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, not that this was all that American troops were doing. His meaning was the opposite of what is portrayed in this spot." [Washington Post, 10/7/08:] McCain Afghanistan Ad "Recycles a Misleading" Charge and "Misrepresents" Obama's Votes. "A McCain-Palin ad calls Obama 'dishonorable,' while distorting his words and votes on troop funding. It accuses him of saying 'our troops in Afghanistan' are just bombing villages and killing civilians. What Obama said, in context, was a criticism of U.S. military strategy, and not of American troops. It accuses Obama and 'Congressional liberals' of voting repeatedly to cut off funding for troops, 'increasing the risk on their lives.' In fact, the votes were for bringing the troops home, cutting off funding only if the president failed to comply. The McCain-Palin campaign released the ad, titled 'Dangerous,' and said it would be televised nationally. It recycles a misleading, 14-month-old charge that Sen. Barack Obama disrespected U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan by accusing them of 'just air-raiding villages and killing civilians.' It also misrepresents votes in favor of withdrawing troops from Iraq as being votes 'increasing the risk on their lives.'" [, 10/6/08:]

CNN Calls Palin Claim about Palling Around With Terrorists "False." "The New York Times article cited by Palin concluded that 'the two men do not appear to have been close. Nor has Mr. Obama ever expressed sympathy for the radical views and actions of Mr. Ayers.' Other publications, including the Washington Post, Time magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, The New Yorker and The New Republic, have said that their reporting doesn't support the idea that Obama and Ayers had a close relationship. The McCain campaign did not respond Saturday to a request for elaboration on Palin's use of the plural 'terrorists.' Verdict: False. There is no indication that Ayers and Obama are now 'palling around,' or that they have had an ongoing relationship in the past three years. Also, there is nothing to suggest that Ayers is now involved in terrorist activity or that other Obama associates are." [, 10/5/08:]

Five Ohio Papers: "Tax Cutter" Ad Repeats Exaggerated Claims, Gets 0 out of 10 on Truthfulness Scale. "RATING: 0 on a scale from 0 (misleading) to 10 (truthful) ... ANALYSIS: During Thursday's vice presidential debate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin repeated the exaggeration that Sen. Obama voted 94 times to increase taxes. According to, the total includes seven votes that would have lowered taxes for many, while raising them on corporations or affluent individuals; 23 votes were against tax cuts; and 17 came on seven different bills. A closer look reveals Obama has consistently voted to restore higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers, but not on low- or middle-income workers. Over the next decade, Obama's spending plan would result in a national debt $1.2 trillion smaller than under Republican Sen. John McCain's plan, according to the Tax Policy Center." [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 10/4/08:]

New York Times: Palin Health Care Claim "Inaccurate On Several Levels." "Ms. Palin castigated Mr. Obama's health care plan as one that would be mandate a 'universal government-run' system in which health care is 'taken over' by the federal government. This is inaccurate on several levels. Mr. Obama's proposal includes an option for people to choose a new public plan with benefits similar to what members of Congress and other federal employees currently have. It also includes an expansion of Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program, but it is not at all exclusively government-run. Mr. Obama's plan also only mandates that children, not adults, have coverage. [New York Times, 10/2/08:] Palin Health Care Claim "False." "Palin said that Obama's plan would be 'government run' and would mandate health care. The first claim is false, as we've said before. Obama's plan would increase the offerings of publicly funded health care, but would not replace or remove private insurance, or require people to enroll in a public plan. The second claim leaves out important information. Obama's plan would mandate health coverage for children, but not for adults." [, 10/2/08:] Obama's Plan Does Not Call For Government-Run Health Care. "At the vice presidential debate in St. Louis, Mo., Sarah Palin defended John McCain's health care plan and criticized Barack Obama's. Obama has a plan 'to mandate health care coverage and have a universal government run program,' Palin said. 'And unless you're pleased with the way the federal government has been running anything lately, I don't think that it's going to be real pleasing for Americans to consider health care being taken over by the feds.' Problem is, Obama's plan keeps the free-market health care system intact, particularly employer-based insurance. It is not a goverment-run program and is very different from the health care systems run by the government in some European countries ... So Palin is mostly wrong about Obama's plan having a mandate; it only has one for children. He would like it to be universal at some point. She also emphasized that Obama proposes government-run health care, a statement that is completely inaccurate." [, 10/2/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Palin Claim That Biden Supported McCain Policies "Flatly False." "Sarah Palin just asserted that Sen. Joseph Biden backed John McCain's military policies until this presidential race. That is flatly false. Biden was an outspoken opponent of President Bush's troop increases in Iraq as soon as Bush announced them after the 2006 elections. As Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, he led the most heated hearings before the troops were actually deployed." [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 10/02/08:] Palin Repeats "Old Canard" About Energy Bill. "Palin threw out an old canard when she criticized Obama for voting for the 2005 Energy bill, saying, 'that's what gave those oil companies those big tax breaks.' It's a false attack Clinton used against Obama in the primary and McCain himself has hurled. It's true that the bill gave some tax breaks to oil companies, but it also took away others. And according to the Congressional Research Service, the bill created a slight net increase in taxes for the oil industry." [, 10/2/08:]

AP: Despite Claiming to Have "Taken On" the Oil Industry, Palin on Same Side As American Petroleum Institute, Big Oil on Key Issues. "PALIN: Claimed she has taken on the oil industry as Alaska governor. THE FACTS: Palin pushed to impose a windfall profits tax on oil companies and distributed the proceeds to the state's citizens to offset rising energy costs. However, she has also sided with the industry on a number of issues. She sued the Interior Department over its designation of polar bears as an endangered species. That puts her on the same side as the American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry's chief trade association. She also supports the industry's desire to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge -- a position at odds with McCain." [AP, 10/02/08:]

AP: Palin Exaggerates Pipeline Claim. "PALIN: Said Alaska is 'building a nearly $40 billion natural gas pipeline, which is North America's largest and most expensive infrastructure project ever to flow those sources of energy into hungry markets.' THE FACTS: Not quite. Construction is at least six years away. So far the state has only awarded a license to Trans Canada Corp., that comes with $500 million in seed money in exchange for commitments toward a lengthy and costly process to getting a federal certificate. At an August news conference after the state Legislature approved the license, Palin said, 'It's not a done deal.'" [AP, 10/02/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Palin Overstates Impact of Increased Oil Production. "Gov. Palin suggested that the nearly $700 billion the U.S. spends a year on imported oil could be replaced by domestic sources. took estimates from various government agencies to conclude that crude oil production could be increased at most between 1 and 3 million barrels per day, on top of the 5 million barrels a year already produced domestically. The United States currently consumes about 20 million barrels annually, so an expansion of domestic drilling would make barely a dent in that amount unless consumption also is reduced." [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 10/02/08:]

ABC News: Palin "Got Her Facts Wrong" on Homeowner Protections. "Sarah Palin got her facts wrong in Thursday's debate with Joe Biden when discussing where John McCain stands on new protections for homeowners facing foreclosures. The Alaska governor incorrectly made it sound like McCain supports giving bankruptcy judges the power to rewrite mortgage payment terms on first homes. He doesn't." [ABC News, 10/03/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Palin Falsely Says Troops are Now at Pre-Surge Levels. "Gov. Sarah Palin was erroneous when she claimed U.S. troop levels in Iraq are now at 'pre-surge' levels. When President Bush announced last month that he would withdraw an additional 8,000 U.S. troops over the coming months, he committed to leaving at least 138,000 troops in the country at the end of his presidency, 3,000 more than there were before the troop increases known now as 'the surge.'" [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 10/02/08:]

CNN: Palin Surge Claim "False." "During the vice-presidential debate in St. Louis on Thursday, Oct. 2, Republican nominee Gov. Sarah Palin criticized Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama's opposition to the military 'surge' in Iraq and said, 'The surge worked. Barack Obama still can't admit the surge works.' ... The Verdict: False. Obama has said the surge 'succeeded beyond our wildest dreams' from a military perspective." [CNN Political Ticker, 10/2/08:] Obama Did Not Vote Against Troop Funding. "Palin repeated the claim that Obama 'voted against funding our troops.' The claim refers to a single 2007 vote against a war funding bill. Obama voted for a version of the bill that included language calling for withdrawing troops from Iraq. President Bush vetoed it. (McCain supported that veto, but didn't call it 'vetoing support for our troops.') What Obama voted against was the same bill without withdrawal language. And he had voted yes on at least 10 other war funding bills prior to that single 2007 no vote." [, 10/2/08:]

AP: Palin Claim About Troop Levels in Iraq "Not Correct." "PALIN: Said the United States has reduced its troop level in Iraq to a number below where it was when the troop increase began in early 2007. THE FACTS: Not correct. The Pentagon says there are currently 152,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, about 17,000 more than there were before the 2007 military buildup began. PALIN: 'Two years ago, remember, it was John McCain who pushed so hard with the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform measures. He sounded that warning bell.' THE FACTS: Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska led an effort in 2005 to tighten regulation on the mortgage underwriters -- McCain joined as a co-sponsor a year later. The legislation was never taken up by the full Senate, then under Republican control." [AP, 10/02/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Palin Tax Hike Claims "Untrue." "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin signaled early she would go after Barack Obama all night on the charge that he had voted 94 times to either raise taxes or fight against tax cuts. Fact, a non-partisan watchdog, has analyzed the charge. Of the 94, 23 of those votes were indeed votes against proposed tax cuts. Eleven of them were increases on families earning over $1 million to help fund programs such as Head Start and school nutrition. And 53 were on non-binding budget resolutions that foresaw allowing tax cuts to expire as scheduled. Such out-year projections are meaningless, since non-binding budgets are passed each year. ruled the claim misleading. On another point, Palin said a tax hike that hits earners over $250,000 would hit 'millions of small businesses.' That is untrue. The vast majority of small businesses barely break even and do not pay the top tax brackets. To get that figure, Republicans count affluent taxpayers who claim some income from some small business income as 'small businessmen.'" [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 10/02/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Palin Repeats False Tax Hike for Families Making $42,000 Claim. "Sarah Palin repeated John McCain's claim that Barack Obama voted to increase taxes for every American earning more than $42,000 a year. This is a considerable stretch. Obama voted for a non-binding budget resolution that laid down general budgetary guidelines based on the assumption that the Bush tax cuts will expire, as scheduled, in 2011. The budget resolution did not represent a vote to raise taxes. Obama has said that he is in favor of continuing the Bush tax cuts for all but the wealthiest Americans." [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 10/02/08:] Palin Got Troop Levels "Wrong." "Palin got her numbers wrong on troop levels when she said that troops were now down to 'pre-surge' levels. The surge was announced in January 2007, at which point there were 132,000 troops in Iraq according to the Brookings Institute Iraq Index. As of September 2008, that number was 146,000. President Bush recently announced that another 8,000 would be coming home by February of next year. But that would still be 6,000 more than when the surge began." [, 10/2/08:] Palin Repeats "Several False Claims" on Taxes. "Palin repeated several false claims about Obama's tax policies. Obama did not in fact vote to increase taxes on "families" making as little as $42,000 per year. What Obama actually voted for was a budget resolution that called for returning the 25 percent tax bracket to its pre-Bush tax cut level of 28 percent. That could have affected an individual with no children making as little as $42,000. But a couple would have had to earn $83,000 to be affected and a family of four at least $90,000. Palin also repeated the exaggeration that Obama voted 94 times to increase taxes. That number includes seven votes that would have lowered some taxes, 23 that were against tax cuts, and 17 that came on just seven different bills. And finally, it's false that Biden and Obama voted for 'the largest tax increase in history.' Palin is referring here to the Democrats' 2008 budget proposal, which would indeed have resulted in about $217 billion in higher taxes over two years. That's a significant increase. But measured as a percentage of GDP, the yardstick that most economists prefer, the 2008 budget proposal would have been the third-largest since 1968, and it's not even in the top 10 since 1940." [, 10/2/08:]

New York Times: Palin's Small Business Tax Hike Claim Overstated. Ms. Palin said "millions of small businesses" would pay higher taxes under Mr. Obama's tax plan, pointing to the increases for "those making $250,000 a year or more." Mr. Obama's plan would affect couples making more than $250,000 or singles making more than $200,000. Many small-business owners actually pay taxes as individuals, not as corporations. But cited a projection by the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center that 663,608 taxpayers with business income would fall into the top two tax brackets in 2009 and, therefore, be affected by the Obama tax plan. Not all of these, however, would be properly considered "small business owners." Some are simply those who get income in from real-estate partnerships or other investment arrangements. In other words, the actual number of small businessmen who would be affected by Obama tax plan is likely even smaller than that number, not "millions." [New York Times, 10/2/08:]

New York Times: Palin Increased Wasilla Sales Tax. "Governor Palin said she reduced taxes when she was mayor of Wasilla, from 1996 to 2002. The city did eliminate property taxes, but she also pushed through a half-cent sales tax increase to pay for a $15 million sports complex. That increase followed a 2-cent sales tax initiated by her predecessor that helped the city expand its police force and pay for other new services. Ms. Palin also said she eliminated a business inventory tax. She did, and that move is credited with bringing many large chain stores to Wasilla." [New York Times, 10/2/08:]

New York Times: On Taxes, Palin "Made Claims About Senator Obama's Policies That Are Not Correct." "In addressing the issues of taxes, Governor Palin has made claims about Senator Obama’s policies that are not correct. She revived, for example, an accusation that he and Mr. Biden voted 'for the largest tax increases in U.S. history' and also charged that he would raise taxes 'for those families making only $42,000 a year.' Mr. Obama voted twice this year in favor of a budget resolution that would have allowed the tax cuts that President Bush pushed through Congress in 2001 and 2003 to expire at the end of 2010, as the original law mandated. But that, by the definition of the Congressional Budget Office and other tax experts, does not constitute a tax increase. The resolution, if not accompanied by other tax changes, envisages an increase in taxes for an individual earning $42,000 a year who has no dependents and owns no real estate. But it would not apply to a family. Indeed, estimates are that a family of four making as much as $90,000 would not see a tax increase." [New York Times, 10/2/08:]

AP: Palin Repeats "Dubious Count" of Tax Votes. "PALIN: Said of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama: '94 times he voted to increase taxes or not support a tax reduction.' THE FACTS: The dubious count includes repetitive votes as well as votes to cut taxes for the middle class while raising them on the rich. An analysis by found that 23 of the votes were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all, seven were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many, 11 would have increased taxes on only those making more than $1 million a year." [AP, 10/02/08:]

New York Times: Palin's Claim About McCain on Fannie and Freddie Not Accurate. "Gov. Sarah Palin boasted that Mr. McCain 'sounded that warning bell' about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, echoing some of Mr. McCain's recent comments in which he portrayed himself as being on the vanguard in warning about the impending financial crisis. Ms. Palin was referring to Mr. McCain's decision in 2006 to sign on as a co-sponsor of a Senate bill that would have overhauled regulations governing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But the legislation was introduced more than 16 months earlier and the debate over the issue had been going on for some time. He also only added his name after an oversight agency issued a lengthy report condemning practices at Fannie Mae." [New York Times, 10/2/08:]

Politico: McCain's "100 Percent Absolute Truth" Claim Absolutely False. "John McCain told the Des Moines Register this week that he always tells '100 percent absolute truth,' even in campaign ads. There's one big problem with that bold statement: it's just not true. McCain has made a number of statements -- in paid ads and on the campaign trail -- that simply cannot be described as 100 percent accurate. Some aren't even close." [Politico, 10/02/08:] McCain's "False" Clean Coal Claims are "Not True." "The McCain-Palin campaign is airing radio ads in four states claiming that the Obama-Biden ticket 'oppose[s] clean coal.' That's false: Obama's energy plan, which he began promoting well over a year ago, calls for investing in 'low emissions coal plants' and creating '5 'first-of-a-kind' commercial scale coal-fired plants with carbon capture and sequestration.' His position in support of clean coal has been clear. The ad's claim rests solely on a remark Biden made when questioned while shaking hands on a rope line in Ohio. Biden said, 'We're not supporting clean coal.' The campaign says he meant something else entirely. Regardless, it's Obama's energy plan that the ticket is running on." [, 9/30/08:]

CNN: McCain Spending Claim "Misleading." "This hour we are taking on the issue of spending. Like taxes when you start talking about billions and trillions of dollars, its easy to get confused. So let's take a listen to the charge from John McCain yesterday in Columbus, Ohio. 'It shouldn't be surprising that Senator Obama isn't interested in protecting your tax dollars. Senator Obama has proposed more than $860 billion in new spending.' Nearly $1 trillion in new spending? That's a lot of money. Is it true? Well, you really have to break down the statement. Let's take a look at a key word in McCain's statement. He said Obama proposed more than $860 billion in new spending. The key word being 'new.' Not 'spending with cuts in other areas,' but new spending. The McCain campaign simply added up the costs of programs Obama has talked about. But the Obama campaign told us some of the programs will be paid for in cuts in other areas. They called the McCain figure 'totally ludicrous.' Now, we also checked with the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, and that nonpartisan group, agreed, saying McCain's statement was misleading and taken out of context. And listen to this. The group actually found that in the end the candidates would have about the same impact on the federal budget. The projection by the year 2013, Obama would be adding $286 billion to the deficit. McCain, $211 billion. So back to the original charge and the question: Is McCain right in saying that Obama would propose $860 billion in new spending? Well, the truth squad says -- no. The statement is misleading." [CNN American Morning, 9/30/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker blog: McCain "Seriously Misstated" Lebanon Vote. "McCain seriously misstated his vote concerning the marines in Lebanon. He said that when he went into Congress in 1983, he voted against deploying them in Beirut. The Marines went in Lebanon in 1982, before McCain came to Congress. The vote came up a year into their deployment, when the Marines had already suffered 54 casualties. What McCain voted against was a measure to invoke the War Powers Act and to authorize the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon for an additional 18 months. The measure passed 270-161, with 26 other Republicans (including McCain) and 134 Democrats voting against it." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08:] McCain Voted for $3 million to study the DNA of bears. "We’ve heard that one before. McCain's been playing it for laughs since 2003. The study in question was done by the U.S. Geological Survey, and it relied in part on federal appropriations. Readers (and politicians) may disagree on whether a noninvasive study of grizzly bear population and habitat is a waste of money. McCain clearly thinks it is -- but on the other hand, he never moved to get rid of the earmark. In fact, he voted for the bill that made appropriations for the study. He did propose some changes to the bill, but none that nixed the bear funding." [Fact Check.Org, 9/26/08]

Washington Post: McCain Repeats Lie That Obama Voted To Raise Taxes on Anyone Making More Than $42,000. "John McCain claimed that Obama voted in the Senate to raise taxes on anyone making more than $42,000 a year. This is misleading on several levels. The vote that McCain is talking about was a non-binding resolution on the budget that envisioned letting the Bush tax cuts to expire, as scheduled, in 2011. But these budget resolutions come up every year, and do not represent a vote for higher taxes in future years. In fact, Obama has said that he will continue the Bush tax cuts for middle and low-income taxpayers. He says that he will cut taxes for all but the wealthiest tax-payers." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08:]

AP: McCain Repeats Troop Funding Lie. MCCAIN: McCain said Obama voted to cut off money for the troops in Iraq. THE FACTS: Despite opposing the war, Obama has, with one exception, voted for Iraq troop financing. In 2007, he voted against a troop funding bill because it did not contain language calling for a troop withdrawal. The Illinois senator backed another bill that had such language - and money for the troops." [AP, 9/26/08:]

ABC: McCain Falsely Invokes Eisenhower Letters. "Calling on President Eisenhower to deliver a lesson about accountability, Sen. John McCain invoked two letters authored by the 34th president the night before the Normandy invasion during Friday's presidential debate. One letter, McCain said, was authored in the event that the D-Day invasion was a success and the other, a resignation, in the event it was a failure. According to the National Archives, late on the afternoon of June 5, 1944, Eisenhower scribbled a note intended for release accepting responsibility for the decision to launch the invasion and taking full blame in the event the effort to create a beachhead on the Normandy coast failed. In the letter, Eisenhower takes responsibility but makes no mention of resignation." [ABC News, 9/26/08:]

Boston Globe: McCain Repeats False Claim on Funding For Troops. "McCain: 'And Senator Obama, who after promising not to vote to cut off funds for the troops, did the incredible thing of voting to cut off the funds for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.' Fact Check: Obama did vote against a 2007 spending bill that did not include language calling for withdrawing troops from Iraq, but then voted for the version that did. That version was vetoed by President Bush, though McCain does not say Bush cut off funding for the troops. Overall, Obama voted yes on at least 10 other war funding bills prior to the single no vote." [Boston Globe, 9/26/08:]

Boston Globe: McCain Lied About Alternate Fuel Votes. "McCain: 'I voted for alternate fuel all my time. ... No one can be opposed to alternate energy, no one.' Fact Check: In his 26 years in Congress, McCain has voted against several bills and amendments calling for new investments in renewable energy, according to official Senate records. In March 2002, for example, McCain voted against an amendment to require utilities to generate 10 percent of electricity from renewable energy facilities by 2020." [Boston Globe, 9/26/08:]

AP: McCain Leaves Out Key Vote on 2005 Energy Bill. MCCAIN: "We had an energy bill before the United States Senate. It was festooned with Christmas tree ornaments. It had all kinds of breaks for the oil companies, I mean, billions of dollars worth. I voted against it; Senator Obama voted for it." THE FACTS: Obama did vote for a 2005 energy bill supported by President Bush that included billions in subsidies for oil and natural gas production. McCain opposed the bill on grounds it included unnecessary tax breaks for the oil industry. Obama voted to strip the legislation of the oil and gas industry tax breaks. When that failed, he voted for the overall measure. Obama has said he supported the legislation because it provided money for renewable energy. [AP, 9/26/08:]

AP: McCain Distorts on His Call to Fire SEC Chairman. MCCAIN: "I've been criticized because I called for the resignation of the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission." THE FACT: McCain did eventually call for the resignation of SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. But he first said that if he were president he would fire him, a step a president cannot take with the head of an independent regulatory agency. This is what McCain said on Sept. 18 during a rally in Iowa: "The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president and, in my view, has betrayed the public's trust. If I were president today, I would fire him." [AP, 9/26/08:]

Washington Post: McCain Overstates Iraq Opposition. John McCain correctly asserted that in 2003 he began to question the Iraq war strategy, which is correct. In November 2003, he criticized the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraq war, saying the United States should send at least 15,000 more troops or risk "the most serious American defeat on the global stage since Vietnam." But he has also made later, more rosy pronouncements. After visiting the Shorja market in Baghdad in April 2007, where he was protected by more than 100 soldiers, McCain said, "Things are getting better in Iraq, and I am pleased with the progress that has been made." Privately, according to a recent book by Bob Woodward, he was more critical, telling Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, "We may be about to lose the second war in my lifetime." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08:]

Washington Post: McCain Repeats Health Care "Canard." "John McCain raised an old Republican canard, repeated often in the primaries, when he claimed that Obama's health care plan would eventually turn the health care system over to the federal government. The Illinois senator proposes helping individuals purchase health insurance through a system of subsidies and tax credits. He is also in favor of mandatory health insurance for children. But he is not advocating a state-run health system, such as the one that exists in Britain and some European countries. Under the Obama plan, individuals will still be free to choose between different types of health insurance, and will be able to choose their own doctors." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08:]

Washington Post: McCain Exaggerates Growth of Earmarks. McCain, rebutting Obama's correct observation that earmarks are a small part of the budget, said, "But the point is, that you see, I hear this all the time. It's only $18 billion. Do you know that it's tripled in the last five years? Do you know that it's gone completely out of control to the point where it corrupts people?" But while federal earmarks tripled in size from 1996 to 2005, they have actually dropped in recent years. According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, in fiscal year 2005 Congress inserted 13,492 earmarks totaling $18.9 billion for appropriations accounts. In fiscal year 2008, there were 11,524 earmarks totaling $16.5 billion for appropriations accounts." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08:]

Washington Post: McCain "Kicked the Evening Off With a Wild Exaggeration" About Normandy. "John McCain kicked the evening off with a wild exaggeration by describing the allied invasion of Normandy as 'the greatest invasion' in history. Such historical comparisons are always dangerous. In scale, the D-Day landings were far exceeded by Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union, in June 1941, and the Soviet invasion of Germany at the end of World War II. A total of 326,000 allied troops took part in the initial D-day Landings in June 1944. By comparison, Hitler's sent an army of 4.5 million men into the Soviet Union in June 1941 along a 1,800 mile front.” [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08:]

Boston Globe: McCain Distorts on Surge Comments. "McCain: 'Senator Obama said the surge could not work, said it would increase sectarian violence, said it was doomed to failure.' Fact Check: Obama said at the time that the increase in roughly 30,000 US troops in Iraq could improve security in 'certain neighborhoods' but that it would not solve the long term political strife between Iraq's ethnic and religious groups. 'I don't think there's been any doubt that if we put U.S. troops in that, in the short term, we might see some improvement in certain neighborhoods,' he said in March 2007. In a September 2007, speech Obama said 'the stated purpose of the surge was to enable Iraq's leaders to reconcile. Our troops fight and die in the 120 degree heat to give Iraq's leaders space to agree, but they aren't filling it.'" [Boston Globe, 9/26/08:]

Washington Post: Three Pinocchios for "Working the Refs" with Non-Denial Denial." "McCain spokesmen have tried to discredit the newspaper's reporting with the argument that it is 'in the tank' for Obama, a charge that it frequently uses against journalists who cross the campaign. The attacks fail to address the substantive points raised by The Times and other news organizations. The McCain campaign responded to the latest batch of reports with a classic non-denial denial: It furiously rebutted something that was never alleged. A McCain blog entry by spokesman Michael Goldfarb said that the New York Times had made a 'demonstrably false' allegation, charging that 'Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month.' In fact, the newspaper reports pointed out that the payments were to Davis' firm, rather than Davis himself, and that Davis is not receiving a salary from his company while working for McCain. The reports also noted that Davis remains a partner in Davis Manafort, and stands to benefit over the long term from its success. Davis' close ties with McCain were cited as the primary reason for payment of the retainer by Freddie Mac to Davis Manafort...Rather than discuss Davis' relationship with the failed mortgage giants, the McCain campaign is relying on the tried-and-tested campaign technique known as 'working the refs.' The McCain camp has accused The Times of a 'willful disregard for the truth,' but has been unable to demonstrate factual errors in the newspaper's reporting of the Davis-Freddie Mac relationship." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/25/08:]

CNN: McCain Claim on Response to Economic Crisis "Misleading." "At a town hall meeting Monday, September 22, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain hit his Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama, on the financial crisis. 'Sen. Obama has declined to put forth a plan of his own,' McCain said. 'In a time of crisis, when leadership is needed, Sen. Obama has simply not provided it.' The Facts: Obama has said several times since the recent Wall Street meltdown that, in meeting with top economists, he was encouraged to not roll out a specific plan for fear of overly politicizing work of the Congress on a government bailout of financial firms. He has, however, offered ideas for the plan -- including limiting pay for executives of businesses that are bailed out by the government and making sure the effort includes a specific plan for the money to be repaid. Verdict: Misleading. Obama has voiced specific ideas about the bailout plan and McCain's campaign has taken a 'wait and see' stance similar to Obama's." [CNN, 9/22/08:]

CNN: McCain Claim on Obama's Tax Cuts Voting Record "Misleading." "The effort to convince voters that Sen. Barack Obama would support higher taxes is a central part of Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. McCain and the Republican National Committee have repeatedly cited 94 alleged votes by Obama to bolster their argument., a non-partisan project of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, pieced through records to determine just what these 94 votes were... Annenberg says a close look at the record reveals that Obama has 'voted consistently to restore higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers but not on middle- or low-income workers.' Verdict: Misleading. McCain's summary ignores the fact that some of the votes were for measures to lower taxes for many Americans, while increasing them for a much smaller number of taxpayers. A nonpartisan examination also finds that the 94 total includes multiple votes on the same measures and budget votes that would not directly lead to higher taxes." [CNN, 9/21/08:] John McCain's Nuclear Power Claim is "False." "At a town hall meeting Wednesday in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sen. John McCain repeated a standard line from his stump speech in support of nuclear power, telling voters that it's 'clean and it's safe and we can recycle -- excuse me -- reprocess and we can store. My opponent is against nuclear power...' The Facts: Sen. Barack Obama tells crowds that his policy "as president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology and find ways to safely harness nuclear power.' The Obama-Biden New Energy for America plan, posted on the Obama Web site in June, has a bullet-point section involving diversification of energy sources entitled 'safe and secure nuclear energy. ... Verdict: False." [, 9/19/08:] McCain Ad Repeats False Tax Cut Charge on Tax Cuts. "The McCain-Palin campaign has released a new ad that once again distorts Obama's tax plans. The ad claims Obama will raise taxes on electricity. He hasn't proposed any such tax. Obama does support a cap-and-trade policy that would raise the costs of electricity, but so does McCain. It falsely claims he would tax home heating oil. Actually, Obama proposed a rebate of up to $1,000 per family to defray increased heating oil costs, funded by what he calls a windfall profits tax on oil companies. The ad claims that Obama will tax 'life savings.' In fact, he would increase capital gains and dividends taxes only for couples earning more than $250,000 per year, or singles making $200,000. For the rest, taxes on investments would remain unchanged." [, 9/18/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Two Pinocchios for "Particularly Dubious" Franklin Raines Lie. "An already nasty presidential election campaign is getting nastier. The meltdown on Wall Street has touched off frantic attempts by both the McCain and Obama camps to secure political advantage and indulge in guilt by association. Over the last 24 hours, both campaigns have issued video press releases (let's not call them ads until they actually air somewhere) attempting to show that the other side's "advisers" are somehow responsible for the crisis. The latest McCain attack is particularly dubious... The McCain campaign is clearly exaggerating wildly in attempting to depict Howell Raines as a close adviser to Obama on 'housing and mortgage policy.' If we are to believe Raines, he did have a couple of telephone conversations with someone in the Obama campaign. But that hardly makes him an adviser to the candidate himself--and certainly not in the way depicted in the McCain video release." [Washington Post, 9/19/08:]

AP Report: McCain knew Raines did not advise the Obama campaign. "Obama's campaign says Raines is not an Obama adviser and that McCain's campaign knows it because Raines said so in an e-mail earlier this week to Carly Fiorina, a top McCain adviser. Obama's campaign provided The Associated Press with a copy of the e-mail. 'Carly: Is this true?' Raines asks above a forwarded note informing him that Fiorina was on television saying he was an Obama housing adviser. 'I am not an adviser to the Obama campaign. Frank.' Obama's campaign says Fiorina did not respond." [AP, 9/19/08:]

ABC News: McCain's Newfound Regulatory Zeal A "Conversion of Convenience." WRIGHT: Senator McCain appears to have changed his tune on regulation in a fundamental way. Today on the stump, he's a champion of reigning in Wall Street with tough regulations. MCCAIN: We're going to put an end to the reckless conduct, corruption and greed that have caused a crisis on Wall Street. WRIGHT: But for more than 25 years in the Senate, McCain has fashioned himself as a champion of smaller government, less regulation. MCCAIN: I am less government, less regulation, lower taxes, et cetera. WRIGHT: In the mid 1990s, he supported a measure to ban all new government regulations. McCain supported legislation a decade ago that broke down the firewalls between commercial and investment banks and insurance companies -- the very rules companies like AIG exploited to get in the current mess. And as recently as March of this year, after the collapse of Bear Stearns, McCain was all for deregulating Wall Street…. GEORGE WILL: When the deregulation was the wave through Washington, he surfed that wave. Now it's not, and the populist inside John McCain is out. WRIGHT: Today, the Wall Street Journal accused McCain of selling out his free market ideals. Said today's top editorial -- 'denouncing greed and Wall Street, isn't a growth agenda.' WILL: It's a conversion of convenience, some will say." [ABC News, 9/17/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: McCain Claim On Taxes "Misleading." The McCain campaign has accused Obama of planning to raise taxes on middle-income families, despite a campaign pledge to reduce taxes for most Americans. The McCainites point to a non-binding Senate budget resolution supported by Obama that assumes that the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 will expire as scheduled by the beginning of 2011. Is it fair to cite this vote as evidence of Obama's "history" as a tax-hiker? ... John McCain can point to non-binding Senate votes by his rival that include the assumption that the Bush tax cuts will expire as scheduled. But it is misleading for him to claim that Obama has voted to raise taxes on people making as low as $42,000 a year. [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/17/08:]

AP Fact Check: McCain-Palin Energy Claims Exaggerated, "Some Wildly So." "Palin and the McCain campaign repeatedly have claimed her status as governor of an energy-producing state as a national security credential, most recently in the interview with ABC News anchor Charles Gibson. But Palin has been sloppy in how she states her argument that Alaska is a major player in the energy market. In the interview, she claimed the state 'produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy.' McCain, too, has said Palin is 'in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply.' More recently, Palin modified her claim to '20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of oil and gas.' THE FACTS: The statements are exaggerated, some wildly so, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration." [Associated Press, 9/16/08:]

Description: CNN debunks McCain lies

Posted: September 16, 2008

URL: YouTube

CNN Debunks McCain Claims on protecting kids from Sexual Predators, Energy Policy, The Bridge To Nowhere, Earmark Spending, And Governor Palin’s Foreign Travel. [CNN, 9/16/08]

Washington Post Fact Checker Blog: "The Woman Touted by John McCain as the Most Knowledgeable Person in America on Energy Issues has been Having a Lot of Trouble Getting Her Basic Energy Statistics Straight." "The woman touted by John McCain as the most knowledgeable person in America on energy issues has been having a lot of trouble getting her basic energy statistics straight. Last week, Sarah Palin told Charlie Gibson of ABC News that her state, Alaska, produced 'nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy.' Yesterday, she told a campaign rally in Golden, Colorado, that she had been responsible for overseeing 'nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of oil and gas.' Both claims are way off." [Washington Post, 9/16/08:]

New York Times: What's Spanish for 'Lies'? McCain Immigration Ad "A Gross Distortion." "Senator John McCain's truth-deficient campaign hit another low last Friday with a fraudulent new ad, this time about immigration. The ad, in Spanish, accuses Senator Barack Obama and his Congressional allies of killing immigration reform. It's a gross distortion." [New York Times, 9/15/08:]

Salon: New McCain Ad Is False In Any Language. "It turns out John McCain can lie in Spanish, too. McCain's campaign is running a Spanish-language TV ad in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico that blames Barack Obama for the failure last year of a sweeping immigration reform bill. 'Obama and his Congressional allies say they are on the side of immigrants. But are they?' the ad asks. 'The press reports that their efforts were 'poison pills' that made immigration reform fail.' ... Obama may not have been as involved in drafting the immigration legislation as McCain once was (though McCain was on the campaign trail for most of 2007, and wasn't as involved as he once was, either). And yes, he may have backed some amendments that supporters disliked. But it was McCain who abandoned his own legislation after the Republican base rose up against it, and it was McCain (and the White House) who were unable to convince allies on their side of the aisle to change their minds about the bill. Blaming Obama for the failure of immigration reform is simply wrong, no matter what language you do it in." [Salon, 9/15/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: 4 Pinocchios for McCain Earmark Claim. "John McCain is trying to claim that black is white when he argues that his running mate, Sarah Palin, has not accepted earmarks as Governor of Alaska. While it is true that she has sought fewer earmarks than her predecessor, Governor Frank Murkowski, Alaska still leads the nation in terms of per capita spending on earmarks, according to Citizens Against Government Waste. ...I will give Governor Palin a pass this week, to mark her inaugural media outing. Four Pinocchios for McCain for his clumsy attempt to rewrite history." [Washington Post, 9/13/08:] McCain Energy Claim "Not true. Not even close." Palin says Alaska supplies 20 percent of U.S. energy. Not true. Not even close. "Palin claims Alaska 'produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy.' That's not true.... It's simply untrue that Alaska produces anything close to 20 percent of the U.S. 'energy supply,' a term that is generally defined as energy consumed. That category includes power produced in the U.S. by nuclear, coal, hydroelectric dams and other means -- as well as all the oil imported into the country. ...Sen. John McCain has also has used this inflated, incorrect figure. On Sept. 3, McCain told ABC News' Gibson: 'McCain: Well, I think Americans are going to be very, very, very pleased. This is a very dynamic person. [Palin's] been governor of our largest state, in charge of 20 percent of America's energy supply.' McCain repeated the false figure more recently, in a September 11 interview with Portland, Maine, news station WCSH6." [, 9/12/08:]

Bloomberg: McCain Campaign Misleading on Crowd Sizes. "McCain aide Kimmie Lipscomb told reporters on Sept. 10 that an outdoor rally in Fairfax City, Virginia, drew 23,000 people, attributing the crowd estimate to a fire marshal. Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it. Wilson, in an interview, said the fire department does not monitor attendance at outdoor events...The campaign attributed that estimate, and several that followed, to U.S. Secret Service figures, based on the number of people who passed through magnetometers. 'We didn't provide any numbers to the campaign,' said Malcolm Wiley, a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service. Wiley said he would not confirm or dispute the numbers the McCain campaign has given to reporters." [Bloomberg, 9/13/08:]

New York Times: "Disrespectful" Ad Resorts to "Dubious Disregard for the Facts. "The advertisement is the latest in a number that resort to a dubious disregard for the facts. The nonpartisan political analysis group has already criticized 'Disrespectful' as 'particularly egregious,' saying that it 'goes down new paths of deception,' and is 'peddling false quotes.' Even the title is troublesome. 'Disrespectful' is one of those words that is loaded with racial and class connotations that many people consider offensive." [New York Times, 9/13/08:] McCain Ad "Less Than Honest" About use of With its latest ad, released Sept. 10, the McCain-Palin campaign has altered our message in a fashion we consider less than honest. The ad strives to convey the message that said "completely false" attacks on Sarah Palin had come from Sen. Barack Obama. We said no such thing. We have yet to dispute any claim from the Obama campaign about Palin. They call the ad "Fact Check." It says "the attacks on Gov. Palin have been called 'completely false' ... 'misleading.' " On screen is a still photo of a grim-faced Obama. Our words are accurately quoted, but they had nothing to do with Obama. [2] A McCain-Palin TV ad accuses Obama of being "disrespectful" of Palin, but it distorts quotes to make the case. "The new McCain-Palin ad 'Lashing Out' begins like an earlier ad we criticized, with its reference to Barack Obama's celebrity, but then goes down new paths of deception. It takes quotes from news organizations and uses them out of context in an effort to portray Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, as unfairly attacking Sarah Palin and making sexist remarks. We've long been a critic of candidates (Obama included) usurping the credibility of independent news organizations and peddling false quotes, and this ad is particularly egregious." [, 9/11/08:]

Five Ohio Papers: McCain 'maverick' ad inconsistent with facts. Palin was originally for the Alaskan "Bridge to Nowhere" while running for governor -- before she was against spending federal money to build it. She opposed the bridge only after it had become an embarrassment to the state and after $233 million in federal money earmarked for the bridge was diverted to other transportation projects in Alaska. In six of his 25 years in Congress, McCain voted for spending bills that included 12,763 pork-barrel earmarks worth more than $144.4 billion, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. Campaign finance reports also show Palin received significant support from oil industry executives, lobbyists or their wives during her 2006 election as governor and 2002 race for lieutenant governor. Her husband, Todd, is an oil fields production operator. [3]

Wall Street Journal Headline: "Record Contradicts Palin's 'Bridge' Claims." "The Bridge to Nowhere argument isn't going much of anywhere. Despite significant evidence to the contrary, the McCain campaign continues to assert that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin told the federal government 'thanks but no thanks' to the now-famous bridge to an island in her home state... But Gov. Palin's claim comes with a serious caveat. She endorsed the multimillion dollar project during her gubernatorial race in 2006. And while she did take part in stopping the project after it became a national scandal, she did not return the federal money. She just allocated it elsewhere." [Wall Street Journal, 9/9/08]

Chicago Tribune Blog: "The McCain-Palin Campaign Keeps Up the Misleading Line That She Was the Main Palyer in Taking Out the Bridge." "Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin keeps saying she stopped the infamous 'Bridge to Nowhere' in an attempt to burnish her credentials as a pork-fighting reformer. And reporters keep pointing out that her claim is exaggerated. Still, the McCain-Palin campaign keeps up the misleading line that she was the main player in taking out the bridge. And still reporters keep shedding light on the inexactness, to put it politely, of that claim. One of the latest journalistic efforts to separate fact from fiction comes from PolitFact, a service of the St. Pete Times and CQ. Yet, the McCain campaign has cut a TV ad that pushes the line that Palin stopped the bridge. It's as if they've decided to go with that first two parts of that famous Lincoln quote: 'You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time...'" [Chicago Tribune Blog, 9/9/08] Congress Had All But Killed Bridge to Nowhere When Palin Killed It, Was Sharp Turnaround From Position During Gubernatorial Campaign. "Palin may have said "Thanks, but no thanks" on the Bridge to Nowhere, though not until Congress had pretty much killed it already. But that was a sharp turnaround from the position she took during her gubernatorial campaign, and the town where she was mayor received lots of earmarks during her tenure." [, 9/4/08]

Politifact: Palin's Stance On "The Bridge To Nowhere" Is "A Full Flop." Politfact, a service of CQ and the St. Petersburg Times wrote, "McCain said Palin has 'stopped government from wasting taxpayers' money on things they don't want or need. And when we in Congress decided to build a bridge in Alaska to nowhere for $233-million of yours, she said, we don't want it. If we need it, we'll build our own in Alaska. She's the one that stood up to them.' Nevermind that Alaska didn't give the money back. It spent the money on other transportation projects. The context of Palin's and McCain's recent statements suggest Palin flagged the so-called Bridge to Nowhere project as wasteful spending. But that's not the tune she was singing when she was running for governor, particularly not when she was standing before the Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce asking for their vote. And so, we rate Palin's position a Full Flop." [Politifact]

AP FACT CHECK: Palin's Broader Story on the Bridge to Nowhere is "Misleading," Her Self-Description as a Champion of Earmark Reform "Is Harder to Square With the Facts." "Palin did abandon plans to build the nearly $400 million bridge from Ketchikan to an island with 50 residents and an airport. But she made her decision after the project had become an embarrassment to the state, after federal dollars for the project were pulled back and diverted to other uses in Alaska, and after she had appeared to support the bridge during her campaign for governor. McCain and Palin together have told a broader story about the bridge that is misleading. She is portrayed as a crusader for the thrifty use of tax dollars who turned down an offer from Washington to build an expensive bridge of little value to the state. 'I told the Congress 'thanks but no thanks' for that Bridge to Nowhere,' she said in her convention speech last week. That's not what she told Alaskans when she announced a year ago that she was ordering state transportation officials to ditch the project. Her explanation then was that it would be fruitless to try to persuade Congress to come up with the money... Her self-description as a leader who 'championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress' is harder to square with the facts." [AP, 9/8/08]

USA Today Adwatch Headline: "A Disconnect on Palin's Bridge Claim." "It's the claim that Palin 'stopped the 'Bridge to Nowhere' that sparked the dispute. The reference is to a proposed bridge to a remote Alaskan community that would have cost the U.S. government more than $200 million. Palin has said repeatedly that she told the federal government: 'Thanks, but no thanks.' As a candidate for governor, however, Palin supported the bridge." [USA Today, 9/8/08]

Anchorage Daily News Headline: "Palin Touts Stance on 'Bridge to Nowhere,' Doesn't Note Flip Flop." "When John McCain introduced Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate Friday, her reputation as a tough-minded budget-cutter was front and center. 'I told Congress, thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere,' Palin told the cheering McCain crowd, referring to Ketchikan's Gravina Island bridge. But Palin was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it. The Alaska governor campaigned in 2006 on a build-the-bridge platform, telling Ketchikan residents she felt their pain when politicians called them 'nowhere.' They're still feeling pain today in Ketchikan, over Palin's subsequent decision to use the bridge funds for other projects -- and over the timing of her announcement, which they say came in a pre-dawn press release that seemed aimed at national news deadlines. 'I think that's when the campaign for national office began,' said Ketchikan Mayor Bob Weinstein on Saturday." [Anchorage Daily News, 8/31/08]

Daily News Miner: Palin Supported Bridge to Nowhere, Later Kept the Money -- "That Was Hardly 'Thanks, But No Thanks.'" "In her introductory speech Friday as McCain's running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin picked up on the Ketchikan bridge that was never built as a symbol of bad federal policy... That is not how Palin described her position on the Gravina Island bridge when she ran for governor in 2006. On Oct. 22, 2006, the Anchorage Daily News asked Palin and the other candidates, 'Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Arm and Gravina Island bridges?' Her response: 'Yes. I would like to see Alaska's infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later. The window is now — while our congressional delegation is in a strong position to assist.' Palin's support of the earmark for the bridge was applauded by the late Lew Williams Jr., the retired Ketchikan Daily News publisher who wrote columns on the topic... The money was not sent back to the federal government, but spent on other projects. That was hardly 'Thanks but no thanks.'" [Daily News Miner, 8/31/08]

TIME: "Palin Has Continued to Repeat the Already Exposed Lie" About Her Opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere. "Palin has continued to repeat the already exposed lie that she said, 'No, thanks,' to the famous 'bridge to nowhere' (McCain's favorite example of wasteful federal spending). In fact, she said, 'Yes, please,' until this project became a symbol and political albatross." [TIME Magazine, 9/9/08]

AP: Palin Supported Bridge, Later Abandoned Project But Used the Federal Money for Other Alaska Projects. "Palin voiced support for the bridge during her campaign to become Alaska's governor, although she was critical of the size, and later abandoned plans for the project. She used the federal dollars for other projects in Alaska." [AP, 9/9/08]

Washington Post's Kurtz: Palin's Assertion on Bridge to Nowhere a "Whopper." "The senator from Arizona has made a crusade of battling pork-barrel 'earmarks,' but the whopper here is the assertion that Palin opposed her state's notorious Bridge to Nowhere. She endorsed the remote project while running for governor in 2006, claimed to be an opponent only after Congress killed its funding the next year, and has used the $223 million provided for it for other state ventures." [Washington Post, Kurtz Column, 9/9/08]

New York Times: Ad on Sex Education Distorts Obama Policy. "The commercial also asserts that a sex-education bill introduced in Illinois, which Mr. Obama did not sponsor and which never became law, is his "one accomplishment" in the field of education. Both sets of accusations, however, seriously distort the record... It is a misstatement of the bill's purpose, therefore, to maintain, as the McCain campaign advertisement does, that Mr. Obama favored conventional sex education as a policy for 5-year-olds. Under the Illinois proposal, "medically accurate" education about more complicated topics, including intercourse, contraception and homosexuality, would have been reserved for older students in higher grades. The advertisement, then, also misrepresents what the bill meant by "comprehensive." The instruction the bill required was comprehensive in that it called for a curriculum that went from kindergarten and through high school, not in the sense that kindergarteners would have been fully exposed to the entire gamut of sex-related issues. [New York Times, 9/11/08:]

Washington Post: Three Pinocchios for Education Ads. Nobody expects television ads to be fair and objective analyses of public policy. Almost by definition, the ads are partisan sales pitches, designed to promote one political brand while running down the rival brand. But they should not misrepresent the record of the other side and should clearly distinguish quotes from non-partisan news sources from standard political rhetoric. The McCain "education" ad fails this test. [Washington Post, 9/10/08:]

AP: McCain Campaign's Charge That Obama Voted Against Troop Funding Is "Misleading." "The ad's most inflammatory charge — that Obama voted against troop funding in Iraq and Afghanistan — is misleading. The Illinois senator consistently voted to fund the troops once elected to the Senate, a point Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton made during the primaries when questioning whether his anti-war rhetoric was reflected in his actions." [AP, 7/18/08] McCain Campaign's Attack On Obama's 2007 Supplemental Vote Is "Oversimplified To The Point Of Being Seriously Misleading." The Annenberg Public Policy Center's wrote, "Prior to the sole 2007 vote cited by the McCain campaign as justification for this ad, Obama voted for all war-funding bills that had come before the Senate since 2005, when he was sworn in. So did all other Senate Democrats, except for a few absences. As recently as April 2007, Obama voted in favor of funding U.S. troops again, but this time Democrats added a non-binding call to withdraw them from Iraq. McCain (who was absent for the vote) urged the president to veto that funding measure, because of the withdrawal language. President Bush did veto it, and McCain applauded Bush's veto. Based on those facts, it would be literally true to say that 'McCain urged a veto of funding for our troops.' But that would be oversimplified to the point of being seriously misleading, which is exactly the problem with McCain's ad. Furthermore, by saying that 'John McCain has always supported our troops,' the ad insinuates that Obama doesn't. But funding a war and supporting troops are not necessarily the same thing. If they were, we'd reiterate our point above, that both men expressed a willingness to see a war-funding bill killed unless it met their conditions. For the record, here are Obama's votes in favor of war funding bills. We count 10 votes on five separate measures." [, 7/22/08] Troops Ad Based on "False" Insinuation. "McCain's facts are literally true, but his insinuation - that the visit was canceled because of the press ban or the desire for gym time - is false. In fact, Obama visited wounded troops earlier - without cameras or press - both in the U.S. and Iraq." [Fact, 7/28/08:]

Washington Post Fact Checker: McCain Campaign Attacks on Obama Tax Plan "Overblown," "Wrong," and "Greatly Exaggerated." "The McCain camp is attempting to persuade Americans that their taxes will increase dramatically with Barack Obama as president. The presumptive Republican nominee has repeatedly said that Obama would enact 'the largest tax increase since the Second World War.' A surrogate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, insists that Obama has not proposed 'a single tax cut' and wants to 'raise every tax in the book.' ... The claim that Obama will 'enact' the largest tax increase since World War II is also overblown. The Bush tax cuts will expire automatically at the end of 2010, so it is hardly a question of 'enacting' a new tax increase. ... Carly Fiorina is wrong to claim that Obama has proposed no tax cuts and wants to raise 'every tax in the book.' John McCain is on more solid ground when he claims that Americans from many different backgrounds could be affected by a rise in capital gains taxes, but he has greatly exaggerated the adverse impact." [Washington Post, 6/11/08]

Politifact: McCain's Statement That Obama's Tax Plan Would Raise Taxes Is "False." Politifact reported, "So calling it a tax increase might not be considered fair. There's no disputing that taxes will rise, but the question of who's responsible for that tax increase is another matter entirely. At PolitiFact, we've concluded, as have others, that it's unfair to call Obama's plan a tax increase merely because it doesn't change existing tax law to keep rates low. We think about it this way: The reason taxes will increase is because of tax policy signed into law not by Obama, but by somebody else... the more recent data — combined with the fact that Obama's proposal does not constitute a tax increase in the traditional sense, since some taxes would be lower under his plan than they would under current law — persuades us to classify McCain's statement as False." [Politifact, 6/11/08] McCain's Claim That Obama Would Raise Tax Rates For 23 Million Small-Business Owners Is "A False And Preposterously Inflated Figure." "McCain has repeatedly claimed that Obama would raise tax rates for 23 million small-business owners. It's a false and preposterously inflated figure. We find that the overwhelming majority of those small-business owners would see no increase, because they earn too little to be affected. Obama's tax proposal would raise rates only on couples making more than $250,000 or singles earning more than $200,000. McCain argues that Obama's proposed increase is a job-killer. He has a point. It's true that increasing taxes on those at the top would leave them less money for other purposes, including investment and hiring in the case of business owners. But the number of business owners who would see their rates go up would be only a small fraction of what McCain says. Many would see their taxes go down." [, 7/14/08]

Independent Economists At The Tax Policy Center Came To The Conclusion That Obama's Tax Plan Offers A Net Tax Cut—Which Holtz-Eakin Has Repeatedly Used To Claim Obama's Plan Is "Fiscally Irresponsible." Michael Scherer of Time wrote, "So I want to make a few things clear. First, the Obama campaign calculates that its tax plan offers a net tax revenue reduction over ten years, if the health plan is included. Second, independent economists at the Tax Policy Center come to the same conclusion. Third, Holtz-Eakin has repeatedly, and quite seriously, invoked the net-tax-cut calculations of Obama to make the argument that the Democrat has a fiscally irresponsible economic plan." [TIME Magazine, 7/30/08]

Annenberg Political Fact Check: Claim That Obama "Promises More Taxes On Small Business, Seniors, Your Life Savings, Your Family" Is "Simply Not True For The Vast Majority Of Viewers Who Will See It." "The TV ad also says that Obama 'promises more taxes on small business, seniors, your life savings, your family.' This statement is simply not true for the vast majority of viewers who will see it. Obama, in fact, promises to deliver a $1,000 tax cut for families making up to $150,000 a year, and he says he would increase income tax rates, capital gains tax rates and taxes on dividends only for those with family incomes over $250,000 a year, or for single taxpayers making over $200,000." [, 8/8/08]

Washington Post: McCain's Attack On The Obama Tax Plan "Crosses The Line From Reasonable Argument To Unacceptably Misleading." "Barack Obama and John McCain have important differences on tax policy. These are fair game for campaign ads, and no one expects 30-second spots to be suffused with nuance. But Mr. McCain's latest attack on the Obama tax plan crosses the line from reasonable argument to unacceptably misleading." [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/10/08]

Washington Post: McCain's TV Ad States That Obama Has A Plan To Raise Electricity Taxes; "The Short Answer: There Isn't One. Long Answer: Both McCain And Obama Would Make Electricity Derived From Fossil Fuels More Expensive." "The few campaign watchers who aren't transfixed by the images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) new attack ad aimed at Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), might be asking themselves right now, 'What's this about an Obama electricity tax?' Short answer: there isn't one. Long answer: both McCain and Obama would make electricity derived from fossil fuels more expensive, since they're both committed to setting mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions through a cap and trade system. In fact, they would raise energy costs by the same amount over the next 12 years, since they have identical short-term emissions goals." [Washington Post, 7/30/08]

Annenberg Political Fact Check: McCain's Ad Is "False" In Its Claims Obama Will Raise Taxes On Electricity. "McCain's new ad claims that Obama 'says he'll raise taxes on electricity.' That's false. Obama says no such thing. McCain relies on a single quote from Obama who once -- and only once so far as we can find -- suggested taxing 'dirty energy,' including coal and natural gas. That was in response to a reporter's suggestion that a tax on wind power could fund education. Obama isn't proposing any new tax on electricity or 'dirty energy' as part of his platform, and he never has. It's true that a coal/gas tax would raise electric rates, but so would a cap-and-trade program to restrict carbon emissions. Cap-and-trade is an idea that both McCain and Obama support, in different forms. Neither candidate characterizes cap-and-trade as a 'tax.'" [, 7/30/08]

Cincinnati Enquirer: McCain's Ad, on A "Truthful" Scale From "0" to "10," Gets A "0." "HOW TRUTHFUL? 0 on a scale from 0 (misleading) to 10 (truthful)" "The McCain ad's claim that Obama says 'he'll raise taxes on electricity' is based on an interview Obama gave to a San Antonio newspaper in February in which he said 'what we ought to tax is a dirty energy like coal, and, to a lesser extent, natural gas.' According to the Obama campaign, what Obama was referring to in the interview was his proposal for a cap-and-trade mechanism that would set a limit on greenhouse gas emissions, allowing entities to buy and sell rights to emit. If that is the case, McCain is criticizing Obama for a proposal that he, too, supports." [Cincinnati Enquirer, 7/31/08]

New York Times: Charge That Obama Voted 94 Times For "Higher Taxes" Is "False." "McCain's false charges have been more frequent: that Mr. Obama opposes 'innovation' on energy policy; that he voted 94 times for 'higher taxes'; and that Mr. Obama is personally responsible for rising gasoline prices." [Editorial, New York Times, 7/30/08]

Annenberg Political Fact Check: In Repeating Their "Misleading" And "Inflated 94-Vote Figure," The McCain Campaign "Falsely Impl[ies] That Obama Has Pushed Indiscriminately To Raise Taxes For Nearly Everybody." "Republicans claim Obama 'voted 94 times for higher taxes.' But their count is inflated and misleading. ... [B]y repeating their inflated 94-vote figure, the McCain campaign and the GOP falsely imply that Obama has pushed indiscriminately to raise taxes for nearly everybody. A closer look reveals that he's voted consistently to restore higher tax rates on upper-income taxpayers but not on middle- or low-income workers. That's consistent with what he's said he'd do as president, which is to raise taxes only on those making more than $250,000 a year." [, 7/3/08]

Annenberg Political Fact Check: The McCain Attack That Obama Has Voted To Increase Taxes On Those Earning $32,000 Is "Wrong" And "Not True." As noted, "The McCain campaign claims that Obama voted to raise income taxes on individuals who earn as little as $32,000 per year. That's wrong...[and]...not true." In fact, as also noted, Barack Obama's "tax plan would provide a tax cut of $502 for a non-married taxpayer earning $35,000." [, 7/8/08]

Annenberg Political Fact Check: Claim That Obama Would Have Raised Taxes On "Families" Making $42,000 Is "Simply False." "A Spanish-language radio ad claims the measure Obama supported would have raised taxes on 'families' making $42,000, which is simply false. Even a single mother with one child would have been able to make $58,650 without being affected. A family of four with income up to $90,000 would not have been affected." [, 8/8/08]

Washington Post: McCain's Attack On Obama For Voting To "Raise Taxes On People Making Just $42,000" Is "Unacceptably Misleading." "Barack Obama and John McCain have important differences on tax policy. These are fair game for campaign ads, and no one expects 30-second spots to be suffused with nuance. But Mr. McCain's latest attack on the Obama tax plan crosses the line from reasonable argument to unacceptably misleading. 'Obama voted to raise taxes on people making just $42,000,' the announcer warns. The basis for this statement is the senator's vote for the fiscal 2009 budget resolution, a nonbinding blueprint that assumed that all the Bush tax cuts would expire as scheduled. However, Mr. Obama has repeatedly said he wants to extend the Bush tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year. If anything, he has lavished too much in tax breaks on the middle class, proposing an expensive $1,000-per-family additional tax credit and, last weekend, piling on top of that an immediate, presumably one-time, $1,000-per-family rebate for energy costs." [Editorial, Washington Post, 8/10/08]

Washington Post Fact Checker: 2 Pinocchios for McCain Claim That Iran Is Training al-Qaida. "There is no reason to doubt the statements by U.S. generals that some of the weapons and munitions used by Sunni extremists in Iraq can be traced back to Iran. Odierno's statement about movements of 'a small number' of al Qaeda personnel through Iran to Iraq also seems quite credible. But it is a big stretch to conclude from these statements that Iran is providing organized support for al Qaeda in Iraq." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 3/20/08]

Washington Post Fact Checker: 3 Pinocchios for Verb Tense Defense of Comments About Drawing Down Troops to Pre-Surge Levels. "McCain insists that he did not make a mistake, in verb tenses or any other way. 'I said we had drawn down,' he told reporters today. 'I said we have drawn down and we have drawn down three of the five brigades. We have drawn down three of the five brigades. We have drawn down the marines. The rest will be home the end of July. That's just facts, the facts as I stated them.' ...For the record, those are NOT the facts as he 'stated them.' What he said was that U.S. forces had "drawn down to pre-surge levels...Prior to the conference call, I was inclined to give McCain a maximum of two Pinocchios for his misstatement about troop levels in Iraq. Everybody misspeaks once in a while. But the attempt by the McCain media machine to spin the mistake as a simple matter of 'verb tenses' is an insult to our intelligence. Pointing to Obama's recent misstatement about his uncle liberating Auschwitz, Scheunemann says that all candidates should be held to the "same standard." I agree. Three Pinocchios." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 5/3/08:] McCain's Spending Plans Don't Add Up. According to the non-partisan, "McCain's big promise is that he can balance the budget while extending Bush's tax cuts and adding a few of his own. He likes to leave the impression that this can be done painlessly, for example, by eliminating "wasteful" spending in the form of "earmarks" that lawmakers like to tuck into spending bills to finance home-state projects. We found that not only is this theory full of holes, it's not even McCain's actual plan." [, 5/13/08]

Washington Post Fact Checker: 4 Pinocchios for McCain's "Fantasy" Plan to Balance Budgets by Cutting Earmarks. "McCain's talk about eliminating $100 billion a year in earmarks is largely fantasy. His advisers are now promoting a more realistic plan of eliminating $100 billion in overall spending. But it is difficult to take even that promise very seriously given the fact that the senator refuses to identify exactly which projects he will be cut. To use a phrase coined by George H.W. Bush, this is 'voodoo economics,' based more on wishful thinking than on hard data or carefully considered policy proposals." [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 5/23/08] McCain's Largest Tax Increase Charge "Wrong" and "Misleading." According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center's "By the measure most economists prefer, McCain is wrong in his claim that Sens. Clinton and Obama want to implement "the single largest tax increase since the Second World War;"... At a more basic level, it's misleading to tag Clinton and Obama for something that was scheduled during the Bush administration - the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which by law will occur at the end of 2010." [, 5/14/08]

Fact Check: McCain's Plan Would Result In Employers, Particularly Small Businesses, Dropping Coverage. According to, "McCain's plan to tax workers on the value of their employer-provided health care plans and provide tax credits would encourage some employers, mainly small businesses, to drop health benefits, say experts, and the proposal could eventually eliminate job-based insurance altogether." Director of the health research and education program at the Employee Benefit Research Institute Paul Fronstin "says a tax credit plan like McCain's likely would mean the end of employer-sponsored health care." [, "McCain's $5,000 Promise, 5/1/08]

Washington Post Fact Checker Blog: Claim that Special Interests Haven't Given Me "Any Money" is "Patently False." "His claim that he is the only presidential candidate not to receive money from 'special interests' is patently false. I was tempted to award four Pinocchios, but I am subtracting one because it is an old quote. Let me know if McCain has repeated the claim recently." [Fact Checker, Washington Post, 2/29/08] McCain Claim to Have Supported Every Katrina Investigation "Is False." "McCain was asked by a New Orleansreporter why he voted twice against an independent commission to investigate the government's failings before and after Hurricane Katrina, and he incorrectly stated that he had "voted for every investigation. McCain actually voted twice, in 2005 and 2006, to defeat a Democratic amendment that would have set up an independent commission along the lines of the 9/11 Commission. At the time of the second vote, members of both parties were complaining that the White House was refusing requests by Senate investigators for information...McCain's statement that he 'supported every investigation' is false. The record shows McCain lined up with his party as it circled the wagons to defend the Bush administration against a more aggressive probe of what went wrong before and after Katrina." [, 6/5/08] McCain Voted for MontanaEarmark he Mocks. "Despite the fun McCain had ridiculing the bear project on the Senate floor, he didn't actually try to remove it from the bill. He did introduce several amendments, including three to reduce funding for projects he considered wasteful or harmful, but none removing the grizzly bear project appropriations. And despite his criticisms, he voted ( ) in favor of the final bill." [, 11/20/07]

Non-Partisan Analysis Says 25 Percent of McCain's Tax Plan goes to Households Earning More than $2.8 Million Annually. "Both John McCain and Barack Obama promise to cut taxes for the majority of Americans. But an Obama administration would redistribute income toward lower- and middle-class households, while a McCain White House would steer the bulk of the benefits to the wealthiest families, according to a nonpartisan analysis of the still-evolving tax plans of the presidential candidates. [Wall Street Journal, 6/12/08] McCain Gas Tax Holiday Will Not Drive Prices Down; Would "Give Federal Funds To Oil Refineries." "But economists say that the proposal is unlikely to actually lower the price of gasoline. McCain's plan would essentially give federal funds to oil refineries... But the nonpartisan American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials estimates ( ) that the total savings for the average American motorist works out to about $28; for a two-car household, that would be $54. That's IF prices actually dropped 18.4 cents per gallon. However, there's every indication that they wouldn't. Here's why: According to the basic principles of supply and demand, cutting the price of an item causes people to buy more of it. That's why stores put items on sale. But when something is priced too low, consumers will buy it faster than it can be manufactured, which leads to shortages. [, 5/2/08] McCain's Spending Plans Don't Add Up. According to the non-partisan, "McCain's big promise is that he can balance the budget while extending Bush's tax cuts and adding a few of his own. He likes to leave the impression that this can be done painlessly, for example, by eliminating 'wasteful' spending in the form of 'earmarks' that lawmakers like to tuck into spending bills to finance home-state projects. We found that not only is this theory full of holes, it's not even McCain's actual plan." [, 5/13/08]

Washington Post Fact Checker: 4 Pinocchios for McCain's "Fantasy" Plan to Balance Budgets by Cutting Earmarks. "McCain's talk about eliminating $100 billion a year in earmarks is largely fantasy. His advisers are now promoting a more realistic plan of eliminating $100 billion in overall spending. But it is difficult to take even that promise very seriously given the fact that the senator refuses to identify exactly which projects he will be cut. To use a phrase coined by George H.W. Bush, this is 'voodoo economics,' based more on wishful thinking than on hard data or carefully considered policy proposals." [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 5/23/08] McCain's Largest Tax Increase Charge "Wrong" and "Misleading." According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center's "By the measure most economists prefer, McCain is wrong in his claim that Sens. Clinton and Obama want to implement 'the single largest tax increase since the Second World War;'... At a more basic level, it's misleading to tag Clinton and Obama for something that was scheduled during the Bush administration - the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which by law will occur at the end of 2010." [, 5/14/08]