A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Vets for Freedom Exercise Freedom to Mislead


The right-leaning Vets for Freedom, in an effort to drum up support for a resolution heralding “the strategic success of the troop surge in Iraq,” released this ad Oct. 1 in California. The ad, which criticizes Sen. Barack Obama, represents a $2.2 million buy – the largest statewide airtime purchase by the organization to date:

But the ad is off on claims we’ve already addressed, and it’s misleading on a few new ones.

It claims that Obama “skipped 45 percent of Senate votes.” It cites a Washington Post vote analysis, which now shows that Obama has missed 46.3 percent of Senate votes (303 votes) since January 2007. But that’s still significantly less than the 64.1 percent of votes McCain has missed (420 votes). The ad lets that fact slide by without a mention.

The Vets for Freedom ad tells viewers to call Obama and ask him to support Senate Resolution 636, which is currently in the Senate Armed Services Committee, where John McCain is the ranking member. The bill has not moved since it was introduced in July. So Obama, who does not sit on the Armed Services Committee, hasn’t had a chance to vote for or against the bill, and won’t until it makes its way to the Senate floor. It’s also worth noting that Obama said in early September that the surge succeeded beyond his “wildest dreams” and “in ways that nobody anticipated.”

The ad goes on to charge that Obama “did manage to show up to vote against emergency funding for our troops,” a misleading line of attack we reported on before.