Facebook Twitter Tumblr Close Skip to main content
A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

False Claims About Palin

Readers have been filling up our inbox with questions regarding claims being made about McCain’s v.p. pick, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. We found many charges to be false or misleading. Palin didn’t cut funding for special needs education, for instance. Nor was she ever a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. See our article, “Sliming Palin,” for all the details.

Health Care Hyperbole

Obviously, Obama and McCain don’t see eye-to-eye on health care, and their plans are markedly different. But we’ve heard Obama misrepresenting some aspects of McCain’s proposal in stump speeches. On Aug. 21 in Chester, Va., he said:

Obama, Aug. 21: John McCain doesn’t have a health care plan other than to eliminate the tax deduction for employers for paying health care premiums. And in return, giving $5,000 tax credits to each individual family. Now, that sounds pretty good,

Maverick Misleads

Summary
McCain's campaign launched a TV ad touting his running mate, Palin, and offering a comparison to Obama. Some of its claims are off the mark:

It says Obama "gave big oil billions in subsidies and giveaways," citing his votes for a 2005 energy bill. But the bill slightly raised taxes on the oil industry overall.
The ad plucked a positive blurb about Palin from an Associated Press article that, in fact,

Not Pictured Here

 
Summary
An Obama ad features video of McCain walking toward the camera with a group of people in power suits, as the narrator says, "the lobbyists, running his low road campaign." None of the people pictured are lobbyists, however.
The ad also repeats a misleading claim that McCain favors "billions in tax breaks for big oil and drug companies." But McCain’s tax policy doesn’t target those industries. He calls for lowering the corporate tax rate for all companies.

Wind Power Puffery

Summary
A McCain ad shows pictures of wind-driven turbines while the narrator says: "Renewable energy to transform our economy, create jobs and energy independence, that's John McCain." But, in fact, his energy plan doesn't specify any new federal spending for renewable energy and says only that he'd "rationalize" existing tax credits to provide incentives. In the past, however, he's opposed extending such tax credits when paid for by tax increases elsewhere.
The ad also insinuates that Obama would bring "higher taxes"

Idealistic on Energy

Summary
Obama’s ad responding to McCain’s latest attacks on him includes the claim that his energy plan will "break the grip of foreign oil." We’re not sure what "break the grip" translates into in terms of cuts in U.S. oil imports, but we’re sure that Obama’s proposals don’t guarantee it.
Analysis
The Democrats’ presumed nominee Barack Obama is fighting back against the latest negative ad from rival John McCain with an ad that attacks McCain for,

Tax Tally Trickery

Summary
The McCain campaign and the Republican National Committee both claim that Obama has voted 94 times “for higher taxes.” We find that their count is padded. After looking at every one of the 94 votes that the RNC includes in its tally, we find:

Twenty-three were for measures that would have produced no tax increase at all; they were against proposed tax cuts.
Seven of the votes were in favor of measures that would have lowered taxes for many,

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.

Katrina Kerfuffle

Summary
McCain was asked by a New Orleans reporter why he voted twice against an independent commission to investigate the government’s failings before and after Hurricane Katrina, and he incorrectly stated that he had "voted for every investigation."
 
McCain actually voted twice, in 2005 and 2006, to defeat a Democratic amendment that would have set up an independent commission along the lines of the 9/11 Commission. At the time of the second vote,

Seating Florida’s and Michigan’s Delegates

Q: What’s going on with Florida’s and Michigan’s delegates to the Democratic convention?
A: The DNC rules committee will meet May 31 to come up with a solution to seating the delegates.