A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Snubbing Wounded Troops?

Summary
A new McCain ad says Obama "made time to go to the gym, but canceled a visit with wounded troops. Seems the Pentagon wouldn't allow him to bring cameras."
McCain's facts are literally true, but his insinuation – that the visit was canceled because of the press ban or the desire for gym time – is false. In fact, Obama visited wounded troops earlier – without cameras or press – both in the U.S.

McCain’s Viagra Moment

Summary
Planned Parenthood is running a TV ad showing John McCain painfully groping for an answer to a reporter’s question: "It’s unfair that health insurance companies cover Viagra but not birth control. Do you have an opinion on that?"
McCain had good reason to be flustered. The premise of the reporter’s question is a myth. We couldn’t find any data that show a disparity between health insurance companies that cover Viagra and those that cover birth control.

The Truth on Troop Support?

Summary
The McCain campaign is running a TV ad attacking Obama with statements that are literally true but paint an incomplete picture.
It says he "voted against funding our troops." He did – exactly once. Obama cast at least 10 votes for war-funding bills before voting against one last year, after Bush vetoed a version that contained a date for withdrawal from Iraq.
It says he "hasn’t been to Iraq for years." He was headed there at the time the ad was released,

A Full Tank of Nonsense

Summary
McCain’s new ad accuses Obama of keeping gas prices high, all by himself. That’s absurd, and McCain knows it – he has said repeatedly that our current problems were "30 years in the making."
The ad also tells us that gas prices are high because "some in Washington are still saying no to drilling in America." Not true. The federal government’s estimate is that if the moratorium on offshore drilling were lifted today, it would be 2030 before we’d see a noticeable effect on supply and prices.

Questionable Quotes

Summary
Vets for Freedom, a group made up of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, launched a new ad this week that falsely attributes a quote to the Washington Post. The ad gives the impression that the Post was a critic of the surge in Iraq and is now admitting it was wrong. But the words the group uses are the views of the head of the CIA,

Straining a Point

Summary
Obama released a national ad saying he would "fast-track alternatives" to imported oil. On closer examination, his proposal is to spend $150 billion over the coming decade on energy research. Ten years doesn't sound all that "fast" to us, and there's no guarantee that the research will result in less oil being imported.
Analysis
Sen. Barack Obama's campaign released the ad and said it would run on national cable TV networks starting July 17.

AFL-CIO Falsely Attacks McCain

Summary

The AFL-CIO is attacking McCain with a TV spot saying he voted "against increasing health care benefits for veterans." Actually, he voted for increases in those benefits.
The labor federation points to McCain’s votes against Democratic proposals to increase funding. Those were defeated along party lines and were accompanied by alternative measures to increase benefits by smaller amounts, all of which passed unanimously or with near-unanimous majorities. McCain supported all of them.
The AFL-CIO also points to a McCain vote against a war spending supplemental appropriations measure from 2007 that included additional funding for veterans’

McCain’s Small-Business Bunk

Summary
McCain has repeatedly claimed that Obama would raise tax rates for 23 million small-business owners. It’s a false and preposterously inflated figure.
We find that the overwhelming majority of those small-business owners would see no increase, because they earn too little to be affected. Obama’s tax proposal would raise rates only on couples making more than $250,000 or singles earning more than $200,000.
McCain argues that Obama’s proposed increase is a job-killer. He has a point.

A False Accusation About Energy

Summary
A new ad from the Republican National Committee claims Barack Obama proposes "no new solutions" for the energy and climate crises. In fact, the Illinois senator has proposed $150 billion in spending over 10 years for biofuels, plug-in hybrids, low-emission coal plants and the rapid commercialization of other new, clean energy technologies. The ad also recycles the misleading claim that Obama has said "no" to nuclear. Obama said he is open to nuclear if it is clean and safe.

Errors en Espanol

Summary
McCain’s new radio ad, in Spanish, aims to show Florida would benefit from the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, which he supports. But every number in the ad is wrong, except one, a prediction of job gains taken from a group favoring the trade deal. And even that number is rounded upward so generously as to flunk third-grade arithmetic.
Analysis
Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee for president, is a longtime advocate of free trade.