A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Stretching with Biden

Summary

Biden proved once again that it doesn’t take outright falsehoods to create a skewed impression of one’s opponent. We found in a Sept. 15 speech that:

Biden used partial quotes to support his charge that McCain wouldn’t help "small borrowers" suffering in the mortgage crisis but would "fight for those that lost their … real estate investments." In fact, McCain’s full quote said he would also fight for those who "lost their jobs" and "savings,"

There He Goes Again

Summary
The McCain-Palin campaign has released a new ad that once again distorts Obama’s tax plans.

The ad claims Obama will raise taxes on electricity. He hasn’t proposed any such tax. Obama does support a cap-and-trade policy that would raise the costs of electricity, but so does McCain.

It falsely claims he would tax home heating oil. Actually, Obama proposed a rebate of up to $1,000 per family to defray increased heating oil costs,

Corsi’s Dull Hatchet

Summary
Despite its place near the top of The New York Times’ nonfiction bestseller list, where it has been riding high for the past six weeks, Jerome Corsi’s "The Obama Nation" is not a reliable source of facts about Obama. Corsi cites opinion columns and unsourced, anonymous blogs as if they were evidence of factual claims. Where he does cite legitimate news sources, he frequently distorts the facts. In some cases, Corsi simply ignores readily accessible information when it conflicts with his arguments.

Energetically Wrong

Summary
Palin claims Alaska "produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy." That’s not true.
Alaska did produce 14 percent of all the oil from U.S. wells last year, but that’s a far cry from all the "energy" produced in the U.S.
Alaska’s share of domestic energy production was 3.5 percent, according to the official figures kept by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
And if by "supply" Palin meant all the energy consumed in the U.S.,

School Funding Misleads

Summary
A new Obama-Biden ad includes misleading claims about McCain and education spending:

It says McCain "voted to cut education funding" and lists five votes. But one was a vote for increased education funding, although for fewer dollars than what Democrats may have wanted. And three others were votes against additional funding, not votes for funding cuts.
The ad says that "McCain’s economic plan gives $200 billion more to special interests while taking money away from public schools."

Belittling Palin?

Summary
The McCain-Palin campaign has released a new TV ad that distorts quotes from the Obama campaign. It takes words out of context to make it sound as though the Democratic ticket is belittling Palin:

The ad says "they said she was doing ‘what she was told.’ " But the Obama adviser who’s being quoted didn’t accuse Palin of meekly following orders. What he actually said is that she made a false claim about Obama’s legislative record and added,

McCain-Palin Distorts Our Finding

Summary
A McCain-Palin ad has FactCheck.org calling Obama’s attacks on Palin "completely false" and "misleading." That’s what we said, but it wasn’t about Obama.
Our article criticized anonymous e-mail falsehoods and bogus claims about Palin posted around the Internet. We have no evidence that any of the claims we found to be false came from the Obama campaign.
The McCain-Palin ad also twists a quote from a Wall Street Journal columnist. He said the Obama camp had sent a team to Alaska to "dig into her record and background."

Off Base on Sex Ed

Summary
A McCain-Palin campaign ad claims Obama’s "one accomplishment" in the area of education was "legislation to teach comprehensive sex education’ to kindergarteners." But the claim is simply false, and it dates back to Alan Keyes’ failed race against Obama for an open Senate seat in 2004.
Obama, contrary to the ad’s insinuation, does not support explicit sex education for kindergarteners. And the bill, which would have allowed only "age appropriate" material and a no-questions-asked opt-out policy for parents,

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.

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,