A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

More Money Doesn’t Guarantee Nomination

Q: Does the person with the most money ALWAYS win the presidential nomination?
A: No. The biggest money-raisers are beaten fairly regularly. Just ask Howard Dean.

Sliming Obama

Summary
If these two nasty e-mail messages are any indication, the 2008 presidential campaign is becoming a very dirty one.
One claims that Obama is "certainly a racist" by virtue of belonging to Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, which it says "will accept only black parishoners" and espouses a commitment to Africa. Actually, a white theology professor says he's been "welcomed enthusiastically" at the church, as have other non-blacks.
Another e-mail claims that Obama "is a Muslim,"

Why Only Two Major Parties?

Q: Why are there only two major parties in the U.S.?
A: The winner-take-all system in the U.S. favors two stable parties.

Giuliani Visits Mistress

Q: Did Giuliani break the law using city funds while visiting his mistress?
A: No. Reporters who broke the story didn’t suggest he acted illegally.                     

One-Two Punch for GOP

Summary

In the final debate before New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary election, five Republican candidates appeared on Fox News. We found no shortage of recycled bunk, and a new twist or two:

Huckabee repeated his claim to have made 94 tax cuts including the "first broad-based tax cut" in the history of Arkansas, though he actually signed tax bills that resulted in a net increase in taxes of $500 million.
Romney said his increases in "fees"

N.H. Debate: The Dems’ Turn

Summary
During the Democratic portion of the Jan. 5 New Hampshire debate:

Obama claimed we are "back where we started two years ago" in Iraq. Actually, all indicators of violence show dramatic improvement compared with two years ago.

Clinton repeated a misleading claim that the 2005 energy bill was "larded with all kinds of special interest breaks" for the oil industry. Actually, the bill resulted in a net increase in taxes on the oil industry,

N.H. Debate: The GOP Field

Summary
Republican and Democratic candidates participated in double-header debates in New Hampshire Jan. 5 in advance of the state's first-in-the-nation primary. Republicans were up first, and they got a little wild with their swings:

Romney claimed that the 47 million Americans who lack health care are not covered because they say "I'm not going to play. I'm just going to get free care paid for by everybody else." Experts say that very few who are offered insurance turn it down and that the uninsured get worse care.

Presidential Signing Statements

Q: Are presidential signing statements unconstitutional?
A: Probably not. But they don’t have much impact, either.

Huckabee’s Attack Ad Runs After All

 Summary
The ad Huckabee said he decided not to run has now appeared at least three times in Iowa anyway. It accuses Romney of being "dishonest" but shades the facts in the process.
Update, Jan. 4: The ad ran at least 10 times on four different stations in Davenport and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Huckabee campaign called those airings a mistake.
In another ad Huckabee claims to have signed the most broad-based tax cut in Arkansas history.

Obama’s Creative Clippings

Summary
Obama's ad touting his health care plan quotes phrases from newspaper articles and an editorial, but makes them sound more laudatory and authoritative than they actually are.

It attributes to The Washington Post a line saying Obama's plan would save families about $2,500. But the Post was citing the estimate of the Obama campaign and didn't analyze the purported savings independently.
It claims that "experts" say Obama's plan is "the best."