A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Michelle Obama’s Room Service?

Q: Did Michelle Obama spend $450 on room service?
A: No. The claim is a total fabrication, and the sources that publicized it have retracted the story.

A License to Kill

Summary
An upstart group calling itself the "National Republican Trust PAC" mixes a pile of false claims and the image of 9/11 mastermind Mohammed Atta to create one of the sleaziest false TV ads of the campaign.

The spot falsely claims Obama has a "plan" to issue driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. In fact, Obama has said quite specifically, "I am not proposing that that’s what we do."
The ad implies such licenses would enable terrorist attacks.

A Spam Metamorphosis

We’ve seen a lot of misleading spam this season claiming Sen. Barack Obama is guilty of one or all of the following:

He won’t place his hand over his heart for the national anthem.
He refuses to wear a flag pin.
He replaced the American flag on his campaign plane with his campaign logo.
He has listened to Rev. Jeremiah Wright say offensive remarks such as “God damn America.”

Now the claims have appeared in an ad from the conservative group Our Country Deserves Better PAC.

“Tiny’s” Back…

The McCain-Palin campaign announced today that it will release “its latest television ad” called “Tiny.” But it’s not the campaign’s newest ad – not by a long shot. The ad was announced and aired in August when it was also described as the campaign’s “latest television ad.”

In a press release, the campaign claims the ad was released in light of comments reportedly made by French President Nicolas Sarkozy describing Sen. Barack Obama’s position on Iran as “utterly immature”

‘Unethical?’

Summary
An ad released jointly by the McCain-Palin campaign and the RNC claims Obama "rewards his friends with your tax dollars" and calls his actions "unethical." Some of what the ad says is false or misleading. Here are the facts:

The ad claims that Obama supporter and Chicago real estate developer Allison Davis received $20 million in taxpayer money. That’s false. Davis didn’t get this money. Instead, the federal grant went to the Chicago Housing Authority,

Berg Gets Sunk

Readers have been champing at the bit to know our view of the lawsuit brought against Obama by a Philadelphia Hillary supporter, which alleges that the candidate is not a natural-born U.S. citizen. (We know —this again?) Of course only a judge is qualified to legally determine the validity of a suit, so we’ve held off on opining, though we’ve certainly put forth our findings on various aspects of the claim. But we stress that there are no such qualification requirements to bring a suit.

Spread the Tax Hooey!

Summary

Republicans are misrepresenting Obama's tax proposals right down to the bitter end. New radio ads from the McCain campaign and a TV spot from the pro-Republican group Let Freedom Ring are targeting voters nationwide with some of the same tax deceptions we've been hearing all fall, rolled in a bundle and flung through the airwaves. One of the radio ads features Hank Williams Jr., the other Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. But new packaging doesn't make the charges any less false. 

A Little Ditty ‘Bout Taxes and Trade

The Obama-Biden campaign has released a radio ad in Indiana featuring favorite native son John Mellencamp. In the ad, Mellencamp says, “John McCain will keep giving tax breaks to companies shipping American jobs overseas.”
Mellencamp is referring to an aspect of the tax code that allows companies to skirt paying U.S. corporate taxes on profits they make overseas and leave overseas. But economists have consistently said this tax provision isn’t a major reason jobs are being sent abroad.

Right Change Is Wrong

Summary

A conservative group called RightChange.com has spent $3 million running ads that largely criticize Obama and his tax plans. They’re false: 

Two ads say Obama would tax "small businesses" at a rate of "62 percent." He wouldn’t. That number is an inflated estimate of the very top tax rate, and it doesn’t represent what Obama has proposed.
That false figure includes an increased Social Security tax rate that Obama doesn’t support, plus the state income tax rate paid by people making more than a million dollars a year in California.

Erratic Quotes

The Obama-Biden campaign has a new, unannounced ad that says McCain has been “erratic” in his response to the financial crisis:

The ad includes various critical quotes from editorials in the Washington Post, USA Today and Politico. We looked up the original articles, and all the quotes are in context.
But the ad also cites the August 15 Tax Policy Center report, with text on screen saying “nothing for the middle class.” Within the ad, the words do not appear in quotes,