The Clinton-Obama showdown debate in Cleveland produced several false, twisted or dubious claims, most of which we’ve heard and debunked before. Both Obama and Clinton claimed their health care plans would cut costs more than the other’s, and that experts back them up on that. But experts we talked to said the plans are too similar to predict which would save more, and two experts said neither plan can save nearly as much as the candidates claim.
Hillary Clinton, stung by an Obama mailer that painted her as a supporter of the North American Free Trade agreement, is responding in kind with a barrage of postcards saying, “Ohio needs to know the truth about Obama’s position on Protecting American Workers and NAFTA.” But the mailer gives less than the whole truth.
Clinton said “every Democrat should be outraged” at two “false” mailers that Obama sent to voters in Ohio. We find that a mailer criticizing her position on trade is indeed misleading. One that attacks her health care plan we have previously described as straining the facts, though not exactly “false.”
The most recent Obama-Clinton debate drew little blood, but we noted a few factual claims that could use correcting or clarifying: Clinton wrongly implied that Obama had little or no accomplishments to his credit. Obama recited a list of achievements at both the state and federal level, which we found to be accurate.
In television ads, Clinton’s campaign says her health care plan is the only one that will provide universal coverage, while Obama says his plan will cover all Americans, too. We find: Obama is being misleading when he says his proposal would “cover everyone.” It would make coverage available to all, but experts we consulted estimate that 15 million to 26 million wouldn’t take it up unless required to do so.
In separate, 30-minute question-and-answer sessions sponsored by The Politico and a Washington, D.C., television station, Obama and Clinton for the most part stuck to the facts – or, often, to statements that were matters of judgment and thus out of our bailiwick. But, our mission being to point out the diminutive distortions as well as the big, fat slabs of baloney, we bring you flubs we found in last night’s non-debate:
Ron Paul doesn’t have much of a chance of winning the Republican nomination, but he persists with his well-funded campaign and even talks of turning it into a permanent “Revolution” that will continue far beyond 2008. We’ve given his statements little attention until now. But here we look at some of his more outlandish claims.
Q: Did Bill Clinton say, "We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans"? A: Yes, but that's a snippet of his full quote, […]
Summary The Democratic National Committee proposes to spend unlimited amounts of money to "tell the real story" about John McCain before Republicans can "start smearing" the eventual Democratic nominee. But […]
A direct-mail piece sent to voters by the Clinton campaign twists Obama’s words and gives a false picture of his proposals: It says he “wants to raise Social Security taxes by a trillion dollars,” a big distortion. Obama has said a “good option” would be to apply Social Security payroll taxes to incomes over $97,500 a year, but that would only affect taxes paid by 6.5 percent of individuals and couples. And he hasn’t formally proposed such a move anyway.