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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Obama’s Connection to Raines

Before the McCain-Palin campaign tried to link Sen. Barack Obama with political heavyweights in Chicago, the campaign claimed that Obama was being advised on the economy by Franklin Raines, former Fannie Mae CEO.
In an ad titled “Advice,” the McCain campaign makes the claim that “Obama has no background in economics.” Then it asks the question, “Who advises him?” The answer, according to the ad: “The Post says it’s Franklin Raines, for ‘advice on mortgage and housing policy.’

Biden, FDR and the Invention of Television

In a sit-down interview with CBS Evening News’ Katie Couric that aired Sept. 22, Sen. Joe Biden tried to make a historical comparison between political leadership during the trying economic times of today and yesterday. But he got some of his history wrong. Biden told Couric: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed.”

There are several things wrong with that statement.

Biden’s “Patriotic Act”

 A recent McCain-Palin ad titled “Patriotic Act” puts a new twist on some old false claims, then adds a misleading implication, just for good measure. Here’s the ad:

We can start with a list of what the ad does get right:

Joe Biden did indeed say that paying taxes is patriotic.

Actually, that’s pretty much the whole list. The rest of the ad is mostly malarkey, starting with the implication that Biden called it patriotic for most Americans to pay taxes.

Health Care and Handguns

What do these two things have in common? Not much, except that we published two stories on the topics Monday evening at FactCheck.org.
First, we looked at an Obama-Biden ad that took McCain’s words on his health care plan and banking regulation out of context:
Out of Context on Health Care
September 22, 2008
Then, we debunked various claims the NRA has been making in fliers and TV ads about Obama’s stance on gun control:
NRA Targets Obama
September 22,

Chicago Cronies

Have you seen that McCain-Palin ad linking Obama to scary, corrupt Chicago powerbrokers? Well, it’s pretty misleading. Outright false in its implication in fact. See our article on FactCheck.org for more on where the ad goes wrong:
Guilt and Associations
September 22, 2008 

Happy Fall!

 It’s officially here today. Or it was as of 15:43 GMT (that’s 11:43 a.m., if you’re on the East Coast). While you were (we hope) enjoying the last weekend of summer, we here at FactCheck.org were still on the case. On Friday over at our main site, we wrote all about Barack Obama and John McCain’s dueling Spanish ads. Turns out they can mislead in two different languages.
And if you were working late on Friday,

Just the Facts, Home(page) Makeover

We’ve given our Just the Facts! page a bit of a face lift. Be sure to check it out. And don’t forget to tune in every Friday for Emi Kolawole’s weekly vidcast. This week Emi covers school funding, energy policy, Jerome Corsi and war wounds. There’s even some time left over to talk about Sarah Palin and respect.

And while you’re at it, check out our new Hot Topics page. There you’ll find answers to the questions we’re being asked most frequently.

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),

McCain and the 1967 Forrestal Fire

There is a nasty claim making the rounds in virulently anti-McCain circles, accusing him of responsibility for the terrible 1967 disaster aboard the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal. That claim is bunk, and we said so in our Sept. 5 Ask FactCheck item, “Did McCain crash five planes?” Now we are saying so again – even more emphatically – based on additional research.
Among the new details: We question McCain’s widely accepted story that it was his own A-4 Skyhawk that was first hit by the errant missile that touched off the disaster.