A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Maverick Misleads

Summary
McCain's campaign launched a TV ad touting his running mate, Palin, and offering a comparison to Obama. Some of its claims are off the mark:

It says Obama "gave big oil billions in subsidies and giveaways," citing his votes for a 2005 energy bill. But the bill slightly raised taxes on the oil industry overall.
The ad plucked a positive blurb about Palin from an Associated Press article that, in fact,

Hit the Brakes

Summary

A new Obama ad targeted to Michigan voters says McCain "refused to support loan guarantees for the auto industry."
That was true, but it’s not now – and it wasn’t when this ad was made. Yet the ad doesn’t mention McCain’s changed position on government support for the carmakers.

Analysis
The Obama campaign ad, "Revitalize," is running in Michigan, where the auto industry is on the ropes.

[TET ]
Obama for America Ad: "Revitalize"

GOP Convention Spin

Summary
Joe Lieberman and his former Senate colleague Fred Thompson both made misleading claims about Obama in their prime time GOP convention speeches on Tuesday. We’ve heard two of them before – many times.
 

Lieberman said Obama hadn’t "reached across party lines" to accomplish "anything significant," though Obama has teamed with GOP Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Lugar to pass laws enhancing government transparency and curtailing the proliferation of nuclear and conventional weapons.
Thompson repeated misleading claims about Obama’s tax program,

A New Stitch in a Bad Pattern

Summary
McCain's new ad puts another stitch in what we've called his pattern of deceit on Obama's tax plan. This one claims Obama and congressional Democrats plan to push forward "painful tax increases on working American families" and that they will bring about "years of deficits," "no balanced budgets" and "billions in new government spending."
The ad is plain wrong about higher taxes on working families. In fact, Obama's economic plan would produce a tax cut for the majority of American households,

FactChecking Obama

Summary
We checked the accuracy of Obama’s speech accepting the Democratic nomination, and noted the following:

Obama said he could “pay for every dime” of his spending and tax cut proposals “by closing corporate loopholes and tax havens.” That’s wrong – his proposed tax increases on upper-income individuals are key components of paying for his program, as well. And his plan, like McCain’s, would leave the U.S. facing big budget deficits, according to independent experts.

Context Included: Obama on Iran

Summary
McCain’s new ad, released on Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention, quotes Obama saying that Iran is a "tiny" country that "doesn’t pose a serious threat." It implies that he fails to see Iran’s threat to Israel.
The picture changes dramatically when Obama’s full quotes are considered:

Obama actually said of Iran, Cuba and Venezuela: "These countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union" (emphasis ours).
Likewise, he said those countries don’t pose a serious threat to the United States "the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us."

Obama and ‘Infanticide’

Summary
Anti-abortion activists accuse Obama of "supporting infanticide," and the National Right to Life Committee says he’s conducted a "four-year effort to cover up his full role in killing legislation to protect born-alive survivors of abortions." Obama says they’re "lying."
At issue is Obama’s opposition to Illinois legislation in 2001, 2002 and 2003 that would have defined any aborted fetus that showed signs of life as a "born alive infant" entitled to legal protection,

Reed Reality

Summary
An Obama ad in Georgia ties McCain to former Christian Coalition executive Ralph Reed and the Abramoff lobbying scandal. It doesn’t give a full picture.

The ad says that Reed "is now raising money for McCain’s campaign." But McCain has said, "I neither seek nor want his support."
It says McCain, as a committee chairman, "never even called Reed to testify" about Abramoff, which is true. But McCain’s public report embarrassed Reed and damaged him politically nonetheless.

Rezko Reality

Summary
On the defensive over the extent of multiple McCain homes, the GOP candidate strikes back. But his TV spot gives an oversimplified and misleading account of how Obama bought his own $1.6 million house in Chicago.
 

The ad says Chicago power broker Tony Rezko got "political favors" including "$14 million from taxpayers." But there’s no evidence of any connection to the Obama home purchase. The $14 million was to build apartments for low-income seniors.

Born in the U.S.A.

Summary
In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document’s authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is “fake.”
We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate.