A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

McCain Mentions Us


It wasn’t exactly in a favorable light, per se.

On NPR’s “Morning Edition” today, anchor Steve Inskeep asked Sen. John McCain about balancing honor and winning in a campaign that Inskeep called “brutal.” In their conversation, Inskeep asked about a particular ad that we found to be “false”:

Inskeep: Have you come back to your advisers at any point and said, “That ad,” like for example the ad that ran with your name on it saying that Barack Obama supported comprehensive sex education for primary school students, something that FactCheck.org said was wrong. Have you ever gone to your staff and said, “Take that ad off, it’s not right”?

McCain: It was factually correct. It’s absolutely factually correct. And it is, and you can go on my Web site and you can see the exact language of the bill that Sen. Obama sponsored. But the point is if he had agreed to town hall meetings that I asked him to do all around the country like Jack Kennedy and Barry Goldwater had once agreed to do, the tenor of this campaign would be dramatically different. … I’m proud of the campaign we’re running. The ads are factually correct, and if someone named FactCheck.org or anybody else doesn’t agree with it, I respectfully disagree with their conclusion.

(You can listen to the interview here. This exchange begins at the 7 minute mark.)

For the record, Obama didn’t sponsor the bill, as McCain says. He wasn’t even a cosponsor. Yet the ad claimed that “Obama’s one accomplishment” in the realm of education was “legislation to teach ‘comprehensive sex education’ to kindergarteners.” That’s false. We pointed out several actual legislative accomplishments Obama has had in the area of education — bills he did sponsor or cosponsor.

Also, what Obama supported was “age-appropriate” sex ed for grades K-12, and that stipulation appears in the bill. The implication that he called for explicit sex ed for kindergarteners is also false. You can read the exact language of the bill from a link in our article on the ad as well.

The fact is, many of the ads from both camps have not been “factually correct.” If they were, our Web site would be empty.

We do appreciate the media mention, however.