A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

McCain Ad “Promise”: Promises Same Falsehood

The McCain-Palin campaign released a new ad called “Promise,” which the campaign says will air nationally. But it contains a whopper we’ve addressed a few times:

The ad claims Sen. Barack Obama “voted to cut off funding for our troops.” But a McCain campaign press release announcing the ad cites the same vote we addressed in an earlier article on this misleading claim. The fact is, while it’s true Obama voted against a GOP-backed troop funding bill once,

Home Foreclosures and Voting

Q: Are the Republicans really trying to keep people from voting whose homes are in foreclosure?

A: Republicans deny they have any such plans, and a voting rights group says those with homes in foreclosure can’t be barred from the polls anyway.

Obama’s Legislative Record

Q: How many times did Obama vote 'present' as a state senator?
A:  He did so 129 times, which represents a little more than 3 percent of his total votes.

Stretching with Biden

Summary

Biden proved once again that it doesn’t take outright falsehoods to create a skewed impression of one’s opponent. We found in a Sept. 15 speech that:

Biden used partial quotes to support his charge that McCain wouldn’t help "small borrowers" suffering in the mortgage crisis but would "fight for those that lost their … real estate investments." In fact, McCain’s full quote said he would also fight for those who "lost their jobs" and "savings,"

Fact-Checking…’The View’?

We generally don’t take it upon ourselves to parse ABC’s morning gabfest. But we noticed that when the chat turned to Palin’s record on earmarks McCain got it wrong.
He was correct on one point: Palin vetoed $500 million in spending as governor. She axed over $230 million in state spending in 2007. And the Anchorage Daily News reported that she lopped off another $268 million in spending for 2008.
But then the ladies shot back with this:

Barbara Walters: She also took some earmark spending.

Off Base on Sex Ed

Summary
A McCain-Palin campaign ad claims Obama’s "one accomplishment" in the area of education was "legislation to teach comprehensive sex education’ to kindergarteners." But the claim is simply false, and it dates back to Alan Keyes’ failed race against Obama for an open Senate seat in 2004.
Obama, contrary to the ad’s insinuation, does not support explicit sex education for kindergarteners. And the bill, which would have allowed only "age appropriate" material and a no-questions-asked opt-out policy for parents,

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,

McCain’s First Marriage

Q: Did John McCain cheat on his first wife?
A: He courted his current wife, Cindy, for months before divorcing Carol Shepp in 1980. He recently called the breakup of his first marriage "my greatest moral failure." But Shepp has been quoted as saying "we are still friends."

McCain’s Anecdote

Q: Did McCain lift his cross-in-the-sand anecdote from Solzhenitsyn’s "Gulag Archipelago"?
A: There’s no such story in "Archipelago." There is a somewhat similar story attributed to Solzhenitsyn, which we’ve traced back to Rev. Billy Graham by way of former Richard Nixon aide Charles Colson. But that’s not proof that McCain’s story isn’t true.

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.