A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Did Clinton Darken Obama’s Skin?

Obama supporters on the Internet are agitated over the apparent darkening of Obama’s image in a Clinton attack ad.Our video team took a look. Our conclusions: The Obama frames from the ad do appear darker than other video of Obama from the same event. However, the YouTube copy of the ad, on which the bloggers base their conclusions, is darker overall than other copies of the ad. We obtained a digital recording of the ad as it actually appeared on a Texas TV station, and it is lighter.

Misleading Ads in Texas

Summary
The American Leadership Project, an independent group raising large donations to support Clinton, is running two ads in Texas praising her health care plan. One misrepresents what FactCheck.org said about her plan. Another plucks a positive phrase, movie review-style, from a decidedly mixed analysis.
The first ad says FactCheck.org said that "Hillary Clinton’s healthcare plan would help every American get affordable, quality health care" while Obama’s plan would leave millions without coverage. What we actually said is that Clinton’s plan also "would leave out a million people or perhaps more."

More NAFTA Nonsense

Barack Obama’s campaign is distributing a mailer in Ohio that plays upon anti-NAFTA feelings in the Buckeye State. But the flier is misleading: Obama is quoted as saying that “one million jobs have been lost because of NAFTA, including nearly 50,000 jobs here in Ohio.” But those figures are highly questionable and from an anti-NAFTA source. Other economic studies have concluded the trade deal resulted in much smaller job losses or even a small net gain.

The Facts About ‘NAFTA-Gate’

Clinton’s spokesman says a newly surfaced memo proves that Obama’s campaign issued false denials about sending a private message to Canadian officials to disregard his criticisms of NAFTA. The Obama camp says it’s all a misunderstanding, and the Canadian embassy in Washington says it regrets the whole thing.

‘Dump Dennis?’

Former Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich is now fighting to hold onto his House seat in Cleveland, Ohio. He’s the target of a tough attack ad that says he “gives a lot of speeches” but “doesn’t get much done.” But the ad is a textbook example of deceptive political advertising – it uses dramatic-sounding numbers that, put into context, aren’t such a big deal after all

Oil and Gas Company Tax Breaks

Q: What kind of tax breaks does the U.S. give to oil companies and to corporations that send jobs overseas?
A: Companies with overseas subsidiaries can keep their income untaxed by the IRS if they don’t transfer that revenue back to the U.S. Oil and gas companies received tax breaks and subsidies from a 2005 energy bill, but the bill led to a net tax increase for them.

Fear and False Claims

A widely-seen ad pushes a White House-backed bill that would make it easier for the government to wiretap Americans. It also would give retroactive legal immunity to telecom companies that cooperated with Bush’s secret, post-9/11 warrantless wiretapping program. Sponsored by Defense of Democracies, a group with GOP connections, the ad takes the House to task for not passing the bill, as the Senate has. The ad appeals to fear, with its image of Osama bin Laden and similar ploys. But we find that it also makes several misleading claims.

Cleveland Clinkers

The Clinton-Obama showdown debate in Cleveland produced several false, twisted or dubious claims, most of which we’ve heard and debunked before. Both Obama and Clinton claimed their health care plans would cut costs more than the other’s, and that experts back them up on that. But experts we talked to said the plans are too similar to predict which would save more, and two experts said neither plan can save nearly as much as the candidates claim.

Clinton Edits ‘The Truth’

Hillary Clinton, stung by an Obama mailer that painted her as a supporter of the North American Free Trade agreement, is responding in kind with a barrage of postcards saying, “Ohio needs to know the truth about Obama’s position on Protecting American Workers and NAFTA.” But the mailer gives less than the whole truth.

Obama Mailings ‘False’?

Clinton said “every Democrat should be outraged” at two “false” mailers that Obama sent to voters in Ohio. We find that a mailer criticizing her position on trade is indeed misleading. One that attacks her health care plan we have previously described as straining the facts, though not exactly “false.”