A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

The Rifle Association’s ‘True Story’

Summary
The National Rifle Association’s misleading attacks on Obama continue. A new ad shows a terrified woman grabbing a gun after an intruder smashes his way into her home. It accuses Obama of voting repeatedly for a measure that would "make you the criminal" in such cases, and voting to "deny citizens the right of self-protection."
The NRA says the incident depicted is "a true story." Not quite.

The actual 2003 burglary didn’t involve a woman,

We Rebut American Progress Action Fund’s Rebuttal

We posted the following update to our Oct. 20 article, “Obama’s False Medicare Claim”

Update, Oct. 21: The Center for American Progress Action Fund issued a rebuttal to this article, claiming our analysis is “flawed,” that this article “relies solely on the denials of McCain senior policy adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin” and that we failed to conduct a “thorough analysis of the implications” of McCain’s health care proposals.
We disagree.

Obama’s False Medicare Claim

Summary
In a TV ad and in speeches, Obama is making bogus claims that McCain plans to cut $880 billion from Medicare spending and to reduce benefits.

A TV spot says McCain’s plan requires "cuts in benefits, eligibility or both."
Obama said in a speech that McCain plans "cuts" that would force seniors to "pay more for your drugs, receive fewer services, and get lower quality care."
Update, Oct. 21: A second Obama ad claims that McCain’s plan would bring about a 22 percent cut in benefits,

Obama’s ‘Welfare’

Summary
The McCain campaign has taken to denigrating some of Obama’s tax proposals as "welfare" rather than tax cuts. And it continues to mislead about who would see a tax increase.

A new McCain-Palin Web ad characterizes Obama’s proposed refundable tax credits as "welfare." But McCain himself proposes refundable tax credits, too, as part of his health care plan, and calls them "reform."
The ad also says "hard-working families" and "seniors" would pay higher taxes.

McCain found at fault in 1960 Navy plane crash

We have updated our Ask FactCheck item on John McCain’s flying career to note new information uncovered by the Los Angeles Times. The newspaper found records of a Navy investigation into the crash of John McCain’s aircraft while he was in flight training in 1960. McCain and others have written that the plane went down in Corpus Christi Bay when the engine quit, but Navy investigators concluded that the engine was still running when the plane hit the water,

FactChecking Debate No. 2

Summary

McCain and Obama debated for the second time, in Nashville. We noted some misleading statements and mangled facts:

McCain proposed to write down the amount owed by over-mortgaged homeowners and claimed the idea as his own: “It’s my proposal, it’s not Sen. Obama’s proposal, it’s not President Bush’s proposal.” But the idea isn’t new. Obama had endorsed something similar two weeks earlier, and authority for the treasury secretary to grant such relief was included in the recently passed $700 billion financial rescue package.

Sadly, Mostly True

Summary
On the eve of their second presidential debate, McCain and Obama released TV ads accusing one another of untruthful attacks. Both are essentially accurate, though each tells only half the story.
McCain’s ad cites Obama spots that have falsely accused him of supporting a 50 percent cut in Social Security benefits, that twisted his words about deregulating health insurance markets and that falsely accused him of opposing stem-cell research.
Obama’s ad says McCain is resorting to "smears that have been proven false."

Big Spender?

McCain once again attacked Obama for proposing new spending, putting the figure at more than $860 billion. But at the same time, McCain himself began the debate by proposing a new spending program, to buy up troubled mortgages directly from homeowners and replace them with 30-year loans guaranteed by the government. McCain’s campaign e-mailed reporters with the following cost estimate:

McCain press release: The direct cost of this plan would be roughly $300 billion because the purchase of mortgages would relieve homeowners of “negative equity”

FactChecking Biden-Palin Debate

Summary
Biden and Palin debated, and both mangled some facts.

Palin mistakenly claimed that troop levels in Iraq had returned to “pre-surge” levels. Levels are gradually coming down but current plans would have levels higher than pre-surge numbers through early next year, at least.
Palin repeated a false claim that Obama once voted in favor of higher taxes on “families” making as little as $42,000 a year. He did not. The budget bill in question called for an increase only on singles making that amount,

More Social Security Spin

Summary
An Obama-Biden TV ad once again twists McCain’s position on Social Security.

It claims he backed a "plan to risk your Social Security in the stock market." In fact, the plan McCain endorsed in 2005 would have been voluntary, and workers could have put only one-third of their Social Security pension fund taxes into private accounts.

The new ad also asks viewers to imagine "your future retirement benefits" invested in Lehman Brothers, AIG or Merrill Lynch,