A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Pigs and Pit Bulls

 The McCain camp has put out a Web ad painting Obama as “ready to smear.”

McCain ad, “Lipstick”
[Title: Sarah Palin on: Sarah Palin]
Palin: Do you know they say, the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick.
[Title: Barack Obama on: Sarah Palin]
Obama: But you know, you can put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.
[Title: Katie Couric on: This election]
Couric: One of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life.

Hit the Brakes

Summary

A new Obama ad targeted to Michigan voters says McCain "refused to support loan guarantees for the auto industry."
That was true, but it’s not now – and it wasn’t when this ad was made. Yet the ad doesn’t mention McCain’s changed position on government support for the carmakers.

Analysis
The Obama campaign ad, "Revitalize," is running in Michigan, where the auto industry is on the ropes.

[TET ]
Obama for America Ad: "Revitalize"

Obama and ‘Infanticide’

Summary
Anti-abortion activists accuse Obama of "supporting infanticide," and the National Right to Life Committee says he’s conducted a "four-year effort to cover up his full role in killing legislation to protect born-alive survivors of abortions." Obama says they’re "lying."
At issue is Obama’s opposition to Illinois legislation in 2001, 2002 and 2003 that would have defined any aborted fetus that showed signs of life as a "born alive infant" entitled to legal protection,

Born in the U.S.A.

Summary
In June, the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document’s authenticity. And recently, author Jerome Corsi, whose book attacks Obama, said in a TV interview that the birth certificate the campaign has is “fake.”
We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate.

Bluegrass Gasoline Blues

Summary
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is running an ad blaming his opponent for contributing to high gasoline prices in the state. We find that’s a big exaggeration. At most, prices are 12.1 cents per gallon higher as a result of the 1980 tax change that was favored by Democratic candidate Bruce Lunsford. That’s less than 3 percent of gas prices today, and actually less than the rise in general inflation since 1980.

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.

Obama Polishes His Resume

Summary
Obama has released his first post-primary ad, a 60-second spot that’s airing in 18 battleground states. In effect, "Country I Love" is Obama’s first ad of the general election campaign, and as such it invites scrutiny. (FactCheck will address McCain’s first general election ads in a separate article.) We don’t find this ad egregiously misleading, but it paints a picture of Obama’s accomplishments that could leave viewers with a misimpression or two.
 

Obama’s Inflated Health ‘Savings’

Summary

Obama says his health care plan will garner large savings – $120 billion a year, or $2,500 per family – with more than half coming from the use of electronic health records. And he says he’ll make that happen in his first term. We find his statements to be overly optimistic, misleading and, to some extent, contradicted by one of his own advisers. And it masks the true cost of his plan to cover millions of Americans who now have no health insurance.