A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Obama’s ‘Economic Advisers’

Q: Are three former Fannie Mae executives "economic advisers" to Obama?
A: No, claims made in a chain e-mail are false. Jim Johnson advised on non-economic matters but quit after a week. Franklin Raines says he took a "couple of calls" but was never an adviser. We find no evidence Tim Howard ever had a connection to the Obama campaign.

Obama’s Connection to Raines

Before the McCain-Palin campaign tried to link Sen. Barack Obama with political heavyweights in Chicago, the campaign claimed that Obama was being advised on the economy by Franklin Raines, former Fannie Mae CEO.
In an ad titled “Advice,” the McCain campaign makes the claim that “Obama has no background in economics.” Then it asks the question, “Who advises him?” The answer, according to the ad: “The Post says it’s Franklin Raines, for ‘advice on mortgage and housing policy.’

Biden, FDR and the Invention of Television

In a sit-down interview with CBS Evening News’ Katie Couric that aired Sept. 22, Sen. Joe Biden tried to make a historical comparison between political leadership during the trying economic times of today and yesterday. But he got some of his history wrong. Biden told Couric: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed.”

There are several things wrong with that statement.

NRA Targets Obama

Summary
A National Rifle Association advertising campaign distorts Obama's position on gun control beyond recognition.
The NRA is circulating printed material and running TV ads making unsubstantiated claims that Obama plans to ban use of firearms for home defense, ban possession and manufacture of handguns, close 90 percent of gun shops and ban hunting ammunition.
Much of what the NRA passes off as Obama's "10 Point Plan to 'Change' the Second Amendment" is actually contrary to what he has said throughout his campaign: that he "respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms"

Did Palin Sell a Jet on eBay?

Q: Did Sarah Palin sell the Alaska governor's jet on eBay?
A: The jet was placed on eBay for sale, but it wasn't purchased from the site. The plane was eventually sold through an aircraft broker to businessman Larry Reynolds for less than the asking price and the original cost.

Distorting McCain’s Remarks

Summary
Obama’s campaign is running a TV ad in Indiana that asks the question: "How can John McCain fix the economy, when he doesn’t think it’s broken?" But the ad uses quotes from McCain that are old and taken out of context:

The ad shows McCain saying, "I don’t believe we’re headed into a recession." But McCain said that in January, and he also acknowledged at the time that the American economy was in "a rough patch."

Obama in Berlin

Q: Did 200,000 people show up in Berlin for food, beer and a free concert and not to hear Obama’s speech?
A: It’s possible that some people were there for those reasons, but there’s no way of knowing for sure. The lead singer of one of the bands says that Obama was definitely the main attraction.

No Flag on Obama’s Plane?

Q: Did Obama replace the U.S. flag on the tail of his campaign plane with his campaign symbol?
A: Yes. Obama’s newly designed campaign plane features the campaign’s logo on the tail. However, an image of the U.S. flag appears on the side of the plane.

McCain Links Castro With Obama

Summary
The McCain campaign has been running an under-the-radar Web ad that shows photos of Fidel Castro and Barack Obama, and says, "Fidel Castro thinks he is ‘the most advanced candidate.’ "
In fact, the quote comes from an article by Castro that was largely critical of Obama. Castro also complained that Obama views the Cuban revolution as "anti-democratic" and that Obama makes the "exact same" arguments used by U.S. administrations "to justify their crimes against our country."

McCain and Public Financing

Q: Did John McCain borrow money using public financing as collateral?
A: Lawyers for McCain and Fidelity & Trust Bank say he did not. The DNC says he did and should not have been allowed to withdraw from public financing during the primaries. The Federal Election Commission may have the final word.