A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

False Claims About Palin

Readers have been filling up our inbox with questions regarding claims being made about McCain’s v.p. pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. We found many charges to be false or misleading. Palin didn’t cut funding for special needs education, for instance. Nor was she ever a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. See our article, “Sliming Palin,” for all the details.

Obama’s Iraqi Accounting Oversight

Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly conducted a sit-down interview with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama that is airing in four installments. (Parts three and four of the interview will air tonight and tomorrow night.)
The first segment was broadcast Thursday, and we noticed an accounting error on Obama’s part. When speaking about how much the U.S. is spending in Iraq, Obama added, “They’ve got $79 billion,” alluding to Iraq’s financial deposits and budget surplus. But that’s false.

Original Mavericks, Old Bunk

A new McCain ad, “Original Mavericks,” repeats the claim that Gov. Sarah Palin “stopped the Bridge to Nowhere” last year.

We’re here to tell you that no matter how many times she and McCain say it, it’s still misleading. We refer you to our story of last week, GOP Convention Spin, Part II, in which we explain: Congress actually knocked out the earmark for the bridge, which was projected to cost $398 million. The state instead received funds that weren’t designated for specific projects.

Health Care Hyperbole

Obviously, Obama and McCain don’t see eye-to-eye on health care, and their plans are markedly different. But we’ve heard Obama misrepresenting some aspects of McCain’s proposal in stump speeches. On Aug. 21 in Chester, Va., he said:

Obama, Aug. 21: John McCain doesn’t have a health care plan other than to eliminate the tax deduction for employers for paying health care premiums. And in return, giving $5,000 tax credits to each individual family. Now, that sounds pretty good,

Welcome to The Wire!

Welcome to The FactCheck Wire. It’s our way of bringing you shorter posts on the latest political bunk. We’ll continue to publish articles, special reports and vidcasts at our Webby Award-winning site, www.FactCheck.org. But now you can also stop by The Wire, Wire.FactCheck.org, for brief reports on who’s recycling old, misleading claims in new, misleading ways or for the latest on discredited chain e-mails that are circulating with new (and equally bogus) references. When the candidates try to distill complicated issues into deceptive sound bites,

Sliming Palin

Summary

We’ve been flooded for the past few days with queries about dubious Internet postings and mass e-mail messages making claims about McCain’s running mate, Gov. Palin. We find that many are completely false, or misleading.

Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn’t cut it at all. In fact, she increased funding and signed a bill that will triple per-pupil funding over three years for special needs students with high-cost requirements.

Picture of Palin Is a Fake

Q: Is that a real photo of Sarah Palin holding a rifle and wearing a bikini? 
A: It's a fake — Palin's head on the body of a woman who posed for it 2004 as a joke. We have the full story of how this image was created and spread like a virus, fooling many.

McCain’s Position on Abortion

Q: Does McCain want to ban "all" abortions?
A: He has said he favors a Constitutional amendment that would outlaw abortion. He would allow exceptions in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at stake.

FactChecking McCain

Summary
We checked the accuracy of McCain’s speech accepting the Republican nomination and noted the following:

McCain claimed that Obama’s health care plan would "force small businesses to cut jobs" and would put "a bureaucrat … between you and your doctor." In fact, the plan exempts small businesses, and those who have insurance now could keep the coverage they have.
McCain attacked Obama for voting for "corporate welfare" for oil companies. In fact, the bill Obama voted for raised taxes on oil companies by $300 million over 11 years while providing $5.8 billion in subsidies for renewable energy,

McCain’s Plane Crashes

Q: Did McCain crash five planes? Did he cause the 1967 Forrestal fire?
A: No. Chain e-mails and Internet postings that make that claim are mistaken. One crash was found to be his fault, but the Navy commended his piloting skills.