A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

A Full Tank of Nonsense

Summary
McCain’s new ad accuses Obama of keeping gas prices high, all by himself. That’s absurd, and McCain knows it – he has said repeatedly that our current problems were "30 years in the making."
The ad also tells us that gas prices are high because "some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America." Not true. The federal government’s estimate is that if the moratorium on offshore drilling were lifted today, it would be 2030 before we’d see a noticeable effect on supply and prices.

Presidential Debate Dates

Q: When is the first real debate between John McCain and Barack Obama? I’m really looking forward to it.
A: Not until Sept. 26, as things stand. But McCain wants more debates starting sooner and Obama has said he’s open to the idea. So far the two haven’t agreed on any dates, though.

Questionable Quotes

Summary
Vets for Freedom, a group made up of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, launched a new ad this week that falsely attributes a quote to the Washington Post. The ad gives the impression that the Post was a critic of the surge in Iraq and is now admitting it was wrong. But the words the group uses are the views of the head of the CIA,

Unused Offshore Potential?

Q: Are the Democrats correct in stating that oil companies are leasing 68 million acres in the U.S. that are not being used?
A: Not exactly. More than 4,700 new holes are being drilled on current onshore leases.

Straining a Point

Summary
Obama released a national ad saying he would "fast-track alternatives" to imported oil. On closer examination, his proposal is to spend $150 billion over the coming decade on energy research. Ten years doesn't sound all that "fast" to us, and there's no guarantee that the research will result in less oil being imported.
Analysis
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign released the ad and said it would run on national cable TV networks starting July 17.

Average Campaign Contributions

Q: What is the average size of Obama’s contributions and what is the average size of McCain’s contributions?
A: We can’t calculate a precise average for either candidate, but we can say that persons giving less than $200 account for 47 percent of Obama’s donations and 26 percent of McCain’s.

AFL-CIO Falsely Attacks McCain

Summary

The AFL-CIO is attacking McCain with a TV spot saying he voted "against increasing health care benefits for veterans." Actually, he voted for increases in those benefits.
The labor federation points to McCain’s votes against Democratic proposals to increase funding. Those were defeated along party lines and were accompanied by alternative measures to increase benefits by smaller amounts, all of which passed unanimously or with near-unanimous majorities. McCain supported all of them.
The AFL-CIO also points to a McCain vote against a war spending supplemental appropriations measure from 2007 that included additional funding for veterans’

McCain’s Small-Business Bunk

Summary
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.

McCain’s Veteran Voting Record

Q: Does McCain have a perfect voting record according to veterans’ groups?
A: Well, the two groups McCain cited at a recent town hall event don’t even dole out ratings. He has received awards from those groups, however.

Viral Claims About Obama’s Tax Proposals

Q: Would Obama tax my profits if I sell my home? Would he tax my IRA? Would he tax my water?
A: No. A new e-mail being circulated about Obama's tax proposals is almost entirely false.