A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

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.
 

Clinton and the Popular Vote

Q: Did Clinton win the popular vote?
A: Obama won more votes unless you count Michigan, where he wasn’t on the ballot.

Nonsense in New Mexico

Rep. Steve Pearce’s campaign and an independent anti-abortion group both have attacked Rep. Heather Wilson in the hotly contested race to be the Republican nominee for an open New Mexico Senate seat. But Pearce and the group run afoul of the facts. A mailer from Pearce claims that Wilson “voted for cloning that would create human embryos specifically to be destroyed for scientific research.” Actually, she voted to make it illegal to clone humans for reproductive purposes; the bill did not address embryos to be used for research, as anti-abortion groups wanted. It’s simply false to say she voted for som

Garden State Growth

Summary
The presidential candidates aren't the only ones with election woes. New Jersey's Democratic Senate primary is slated for June 3, and both incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg and his challenger, U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews, are letting loose:

An Andrews ad claims an editorial described Lautenberg as "doing nothing" in the midst of rising oil and food prices. The editorial actually hauls the entire New Jersey congressional delegation– including Andrews – on the carpet for not bringing enough of New Jersey residents'

Gunning for Obama

A mailer sent from Clinton’s campaign to the homes of selected Indiana voters just before the Democratic primary goes after Obama for allegedly shifting his position on guns to suit his audience. The mailer’s not outright wrong in any of its statements. But the facts muddy the picture.

Running on Fumes

Summary
Late-inning ads by both Clinton and Obama in the run-up to the Democratic primaries in Indiana and North Carolina focus on Clinton’s gas tax holiday proposal. But the ads are also misleading.

Clinton’s ad claims motorists would save $8 billion during her summer "holiday," not mentioning that no economists agree with her. She herself didn’t name one when asked in a weekend tv interview.

Obama’s ad accuses Clinton of "pandering" to voters, then ticks through the elements of his plan —

Giving Till They’re Blue?

Summary

It’s not uncommon for GOP candidates to accuse each other of not being Republican enough. But the fight is ordinarily over issues, such as tax cuts. In Pennsylvania, two House candidates are instead attacking each other for sending money behind enemy lines. The ads they’ve launched provide a good lesson in how politicians can mislead voters even with accurate numbers.

Chris Hackett accuses his opponent of having "a long history of supporting liberal Democrats."

Obama’s Oil Spill

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.

Giving Hillary Credit for SCHIP

One of Clinton’s signature claims has come under fire from political foes, quoted by the Boston Globe, who say she doesn’t deserve credit for expanding federal health insurance for millions of children. We review the record and conclude that she deserves plenty of credit, both for the passage of the SCHIP legislation and for pushing outreach efforts to translate the law into reality.

Hillary’s Adventures Abroad

Summary
On March 6 Hillary Clinton claimed that, unlike Barack Obama, she and likely Republican nominee John McCain have "cross[ed] the commander-in-chief threshold." In a CNN interview the day before, Clinton had listed five foreign policy accomplishments. We can’t determine how much behind-the-scenes work Clinton did while first lady, and she certainly took an active interest in foreign policy when her husband was president. Moreover, her time as first lady plus her longer Senate career do give Clinton more foreign policy experience than Obama.