A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactChecking the North Carolina Senate Race

The North Carolina Senate race pits incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan against Republican challenger Thom Tillis. While the two campaigns have aggressively attacked each another, they’ve had a lot of help from outside supporters as well.

A Guide to the New Hampshire Debates

The remaining Republican presidential candidates meet Jan. 7 for a prime-time ABC News/Yahoo!/WMUR-TV debate at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. Less than 12 hours later, they meet again for an NBC News/Facebook debate on “Meet the Press.”
Here are some possible lines of attack to expect, based on what the candidates, their campaigns and their surrogates have been saying lately.
‘Timid vs. Bold’
A major storyline heading into New Hampshire has been former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s stepped-up attacks on former Massachusetts Gov.

Attacks Against Gingrich: How Accurate?

Summary
A pro-Romney group is savaging Newt Gingrich with TV ads and mailers to Iowa Republicans. Gingrich dismisses the attacks as “lies.” We find that some of the claims from Restore Our Future are indeed distorted, false or misleading. But several are also right on target.

A TV spot makes a distorted claim that Gingrich co-sponsored a bill containing money for a United Nations program “supporting China’s brutal one-child policy.” The truth is that bill specifically prohibited the use of funds for “involuntary sterilization or abortion,” or “the coercion of any person to accept family planning services.” The funding in question was a small part of a much larger bill which died before ever coming up for a vote.

Oversimplifying the Fiscal Crisis

It’s finger-pointing time again, with each candidates blaming the other for the financial crisis. McCain called Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the “catalyst” for the crisis and blamed Obama for failing to sign on to a bill to rein in the FMs. Obama countered that it’s a culture of deregulation and lack of oversight that caused the problem.
We’ve been here before. Both candidates have a point: Democrats really have fought regulation of the FMs and McCain has in fact been in favor of deregulation.

McCain in the vanguard of mortgage reform?

Sarah Palin says that McCain sounded the alarm on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago. Our colleagues at PolitiFact questioned that claim, calling it “barely true.” Palin’s referring to a bill that would have increased oversight on Fannie and Freddie. McCain signed onto that bill as a cosponsor, but PolitiFact says it wouldn’t have lessened the current economic crisis. And in our recent article about assigning blame for the economic crisis, we add that by the time McCain added his name to the bill,

McCain’s cloudy crystal ball

Confused about whether John McCain really predicted the fall of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac? We don’t blame you. The McCain-Palin campaign says he did, and as proof, they point to a 2006 speech in which McCain exhorts his colleagues to vote for legislation he cosponsored, legislation that would have regulated the misbehaving mortgage giants. The Obama campaign says he did not and point out that McCain said in 2007 that he didn’t see the crisis coming.

Freddie, Fannie and Barack – Corrected

Turns out, our initial post “Freddie, Fannie and Barack” was erroneous. We’ve struck out the incorrect sections from our earlier post.
We said originally that Obama was the fourth largest recipient of donations from troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. That’s wrong. Our post was drawn from data from the Center for Responsive Politics’ Web site, OpenSecrets.org. But the data we used were incomplete.
We talked to a spokesperson from the Center for Responsive Politics who told us that looking at all election cycles since 1989 (the first year for which CRP has data),

Freddie, Fannie and Barack

Update, Sept. 19: Portions of this post were based on incomplete data. We have struck through the incorrect sections. Please see here for our corrected account. We apologize for the inconvenience.
In a Sept. 16 stump speech in Vienna, Ohio, Republican presidential nominee John McCain went after Barack Obama, his Democratic counterpart, charging that Obama can’t possibly hope to change Washington. After all, McCain said, Obama is a big part of the problem.