In a new ad, Obama says, “I don’t take money from oil companies.” Technically, that’s true, since a law that has been on the books for more than a century prohibits corporations from giving money directly to any federal candidate. But that doesn’t distinguish Obama from his rivals in the race.
In this second of our “Court Watch” series, we return to what’s become a racially charged campaign in Wisconsin to replace Louis Butler, the only black justice on the state Supreme Court, with a white, business-backed lower court judge, Mike Gableman. We look at two ads that attack Butler and find both to be misleading.
Q: Did 10 percent of Hillary’s votes come from "Limbaugh Democrats" in the Ohio and Texas primaries?
A: According to exit polls, she didn’t get that many of her votes from Republicans, and it’s hard to know how many of those she did get were the result of Rush Limbaugh’s exhortations.
Q: Are Barack Obama and Dick Cheney cousins?
A: Yep. But they are quite distant relatives.
Some of the hardest fought campaigns in 2008 will be to determine who sits on the highest courts in a number of states, courts where the stakes can be billions of dollars for corporations and insurance companies; millions in fees for trial lawyers; compensation for those who have been injured by negligence; or the liberty of individuals who have been convicted, rightly or wrongly, of crimes. In the past, some of those who would be state supreme court judges,
A widely-seen ad pushes a White House-backed bill that would make it easier for the government to wiretap Americans. It also would give retroactive legal immunity to telecom companies that cooperated with Bush’s secret, post-9/11 warrantless wiretapping program. Sponsored by Defense of Democracies, a group with GOP connections, the ad takes the House to task for not passing the bill, as the Senate has. The ad appeals to fear, with its image of Osama bin Laden and similar ploys. But we find that it also makes several misleading claims.
In separate, 30-minute question-and-answer sessions sponsored by The Politico and a Washington, D.C., television station, Obama and Clinton for the most part stuck to the facts – or, often, to statements that were matters of judgment and thus out of our bailiwick. But, our mission being to point out the diminutive distortions as well as the big, fat slabs of baloney, we bring you flubs we found in last night’s non-debate:
Q: Did Bill Clinton say, "We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans"?
A: Yes, but that's a snippet of his full quote, and it's used unfairly to make Clinton seem to dismiss all rights of ordinary Americans.
In last night's debate, held days before Tuesday's Republican primary in the Sunshine State, the remaining GOP candidates came up with a few new factual distortions and repeated several old ones. Among them:
McCain said he had won the Republican vote in both the South Carolina and New Hampshire primaries, where independent voters also participate. One exit poll showed him narrowly prevailing with Republicans in New Hampshire, while another didn’t. And the same poll that favored him in that state had him losing the GOP vote to Huckabee in South Carolina.
In one of the liveliest debates of the 2008 presidential campaign, the three top Democrats slugged it out in Myrtle Beach, S.C. We noted some low blows:
Clinton falsely accused Obama of saying he "really liked the ideas of the Republicans" including private Social Security accounts and deficit spending. Not true. The entire 49-minute interview to which she refers contains no endorsement of private Social Security accounts or deficit spending, and Obama specifically scorned GOP calls for tax cuts.