A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

McCain’s $6.8 Billion Boast

McCain repeated a questionable boast when he said, “I saved the taxpayers $6.8 billion” by reining in a defense contract.
As we mentioned in our analysis of the first debate, there is more to the story. McCain certainly did lead a fight to kill the contract, and the effort ended in prison sentences for defense contractors. The contract is still up in the air, however, and questions have been raised about the role McCain played in helping a Boeing rival secure the new contract.

Obama Still Wrong about $79 Billion Figure

Again tonight Obama said that the U.S. was paying too much for the war in Iraq, while the Iraqis have a “$79 billion surplus.”
As we’ve pointed out when Obama said it on the campaign trail, when he repeated it at the last debate, and even when Biden mentioned the figure in the vice presidential debate, that number is wrong. The Iraqis actually “have” $29.4 billion in the bank. The Government Accountability Office projected in August that Iraq’s 2008 budget surplus could range anywhere from $38.2 billion to $50.3 billion,

Obama’s Brother in Kenya

Q: Is Obama’s brother really dirt poor in Kenya and living on a dollar a day?
A: CNN tracked down George Obama, and he said that he was "brought up well" and "live[s] well now."

2005 Energy Bill Deja Vu

Palin threw out an old canard when she criticized Obama for voting for the 2005 Energy bill, saying, “that’s what gave those oil companies those big tax breaks.”
It’s a false attack Clinton used against Obama in the primary and McCain himself has hurled. It’s true that the bill gave some tax breaks to oil companies, but it also took away others. And according to the Congressional Research Service, the bill created a slight net increase in taxes for the oil industry.

Troop Levels Off

Palin got her numbers wrong on troop levels when she said that troops were now down to “pre-surge” levels. The surge was announced in January 2007, at which point there were 132,000 troops in Iraq according to the Brookings Institute Iraq Index. As of September 2008, that number was 146,000. President Bush recently announced that another 8,000 would be coming home by February of next year. But that would still be 6,000 more than when the surge began.

Obama’s Trade Trickery

Summary
An Obama-Biden ad ties McCain to the closing of a plant in Pennsylvania. Its assertions are misleading and false:

The ad says McCain "sold … out" workers whose factory closed. But there was nothing McCain, or anyone could have done. The factory was making parts for televisions that are becoming obsolete. The company in question has called the ad "misleading."
It implies jobs were sent to China by saying that workers were paid to "disassemble the plant and ship the equipment to China"

McCain’s War Injuries and Computers

Q: Is McCain unable to use a computer because of war injuries?
A: He can type. But using a keyboard for long periods is uncomfortable for him. He says he’s been an “illiterate” on a computer. But he says now he’s learning to use the Internet.

Under FactCheck’s Hood: A Note on Methodology for our Palin – 20% Energy Piece

Last Friday, we pointed out that a Palin-McCain talking point stating that Alaska “produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy” was false. The actual figure was 3.5 percent.
Within the story, we allowed (several times) that Palin and McCain may have misspoken and meant to say “oil” instead of “energy,” or “production” instead of “supply.” We ran the calculations and found that they were still off. Keeping with our standards of transparency and accountability,

Population of Wasilla

Q: What was the population of Wasilla, Alaska, when Sarah Palin was mayor?
A: When she took office, it was about 5,000. The population has been growing since.

Energetically Wrong

Summary
Palin claims Alaska "produces nearly 20 percent of the U.S. domestic supply of energy." That’s not true.
Alaska did produce 14 percent of all the oil from U.S. wells last year, but that’s a far cry from all the "energy" produced in the U.S.
Alaska’s share of domestic energy production was 3.5 percent, according to the official figures kept by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
And if by "supply" Palin meant all the energy consumed in the U.S.,