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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Mayberry Misleads on Medicare

Would the sheriff of Mayberry mislead you about Medicare? Alas, yes.
In a new TV spot from the Obama administration, actor Andy Griffith, famous for his 1960s portrayal of the top law enforcement official in the fictional town of Mayberry, N.C., touts benefits of the new health care law. Griffith tells his fellow senior citizens, "like always, we’ll have our guaranteed [Medicare] benefits." But the truth is that the new law is guaranteed to result in benefit cuts for one class of Medicare beneficiaries —

Arizona and Florida Senate Races, Plus Government Spending

In episode 22 of FactCheck Radio, we look at an ad attacking Sen. John McCain in the Arizona Republican Senate primary, a spot falsely claiming Florida Gov. Charlie Crist supports the new federal health care law, and a whopper of a statement by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

For more on the stories discussed in this episode, see:
Hayworth’s Misleading Attack on Immigration   July 28
Rubio Misfires on Crist’s Health Care Shift  July 29
Geithner’s GDP Whopper 

Rubio Misfires on Crist’s Health Care Shift

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s position on the new federal health care law has shifted, but not as much as Marco Rubio’s latest ad says.

In the highly competitive race for the U.S. Senate, Rubio — the presumptive GOP nominee — released an ad July 22 titled “The People,” which claims: “Charlie Crist now says he supports Obamacare.” That’s not true.
The Rubio campaign cites a July 20 Wall Street Journal article describing how Crist has tempered his positions since deciding to drop out of the Republican primary and run in the general election as an independent.

Hayworth’s Misleading Attack on Immigration

J.D. Hayworth — who is seeking to unseat Sen. John McCain of Arizona in the Aug. 24 Republican primary — makes illegal immigration the subject of his first TV buy. The ad attacks the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 for potentially …

Martinez Attacks Denish Over ‘Waste’

Republican Susana Martinez bashes her opponent, Democrat Diane Denish, over unemployment, the state jet and a Christmas card in her latest ad in New Mexico’s gubernatorial campaign. While some of the accusations contain grains of truth, the ad presents little evidence to back up its broad charge that Denish, who is currently the state’s lieutenant governor, and retiring Gov. Bill Richardson "wasted millions."

The spot, which began airing July 22, opens with a shot of Richardson and Denish,

Geithner’s GDP Whopper

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner made a false claim about the size of government spending being proposed by the Obama administration.
On NBC’s "Meet the Press" July 25, he said the president is proposing spending "as a share of our economy" that is "lower" than it was during the Bush administration and "comparable" to what it was under Ronald Reagan. Neither claim is true.
The administration’s own estimates project spending next year that is higher as a percentage of the economy than in any year since the end of World War II.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of July 20-July 26

This week, according to readers, we picked on Democrats too much and didn’t pick on the media enough.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

Sunday Replay

This week’s Replay starts off with a dust-up about Fox News’ handling of – what else? – the Shirley Sherrod story. We also found misleading statements about unemployment and New Jersey’s budget.
 Dean: Fox ‘Absolutely Racist’
On "Fox News Sunday," former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean accused Fox News Channel of an "absolutely racist" action by playing the now-famous edited clip of Shirley Sherrod’s remarks. Host Chris Wallace indignantly countered by saying Fox News didn’t play the clip until after officials in the Obama administration forced Sherrod to quit her job.

Nevada Blame Game

Republican Sharron Angle’s latest attack ad gets the facts about Nevada’s miserable economy right, but invites a questionable conclusion.

The ad is called "Please Stop," and it mocks Democratic Sen. Harry Reid’s campaign slogan of "no one can do more" for Nevada. In the ad, Angle concedes that Reid "has done more for Nevada," but she doesn’t mean it in a good way. The ad, which began airing July 21, gets the basic facts right:

Angle says in her ad,

Colorado PAC Attacks

Democratic candidates in Colorado’s Senate primary are attacking each other’s acceptance of PAC money — but one is being misleading, while the other fails to tell the full story.
First out of the box was Andrew Romanoff, accusing incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet of taking "nearly a million dollars from Washington special interests," including "big banks" and "big oil."

That’s true as far as it goes. By "special interests," Romanoff is referring to political action committees. And it’s true that Bennet had raised $1.3 million from PACs for his election through the end of June –