A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Erratic Quotes

The Obama-Biden campaign has a new, unannounced ad that says McCain has been “erratic” in his response to the financial crisis:

The ad includes various critical quotes from editorials in the Washington Post, USA Today and Politico. We looked up the original articles, and all the quotes are in context.
But the ad also cites the August 15 Tax Policy Center report, with text on screen saying “nothing for the middle class.” Within the ad, the words do not appear in quotes,

Taxes, Bailouts, Court Fights and More

Looking for some weekend reading material? Well, the past week has been busy at FactCheck.org. If you haven’t checked out the main site recently, here are several new articles that we hadn’t yet told our Wire readers about:
Right Change Is Wrong
October 24, 2008
A conservative group misleads voters mightily on Obama’s tax plans for small businesses.
The Rifle Association’s ‘True Story’
October 23, 2008
A misleading NRA ad claims Obama voted “to deny citizens the right of self-protection.” 

More Health Care Exaggerations

Planned Parenthood is distributing a mailer in Ohio that criticizes Sen. John McCain’s health care plan. But it uses a bogus figure on what McCain’s plan would do to Ohioans’ taxes.
The mailer says, “I see struggling patients every day. That’s why I was so horrified when I read about John McCain’s proposed health care tax. Maybe he can afford a $2,800 tax, but his plan will really hurt a lot of people.”
Under McCain’s plan,

More Robo-Calls

Yesterday we wrote about a robo-call attack from the McCain campaign making much of Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers. Today, we’ll look at another robo-call (posted by Talking Points Memo late last week) that’s covering well-trodden ground. The subject is Obama’s record on born-alive legislation, which we’ve written about twice before.
The audio posted at TPM says that “Barack Obama and his Democrat allies in the Illinois Senate opposed a bill requiring doctors to care for babies born alive after surviving attempted abortions.”

Obama’s False Medicare Claim

Summary
In a TV ad and in speeches, Obama is making bogus claims that McCain plans to cut $880 billion from Medicare spending and to reduce benefits.

A TV spot says McCain’s plan requires "cuts in benefits, eligibility or both."
Obama said in a speech that McCain plans "cuts" that would force seniors to "pay more for your drugs, receive fewer services, and get lower quality care."
Update, Oct. 21: A second Obama ad claims that McCain’s plan would bring about a 22 percent cut in benefits,

Robo-attacks

Late last week Huffington Post broke the news that a massive robo-call campaign linking Obama and former Weather Underground activist Bill Ayers was targeting voters in numerous states, including Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Maine. Paid for by the McCain-Palin campaign and the Republican National Committee, the call tells listeners that “Barack Obama has worked closely with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose organization bombed the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, a judge’s home, and killed Americans.”
Is the caller really meaning to imply that Obama “worked closely”

Scaring, and Misleading, Seniors Again

In what is becoming a bit of a pattern, a group that backs Sen. Barack Obama is trying to convince senior citizens that Sen. John McCain would be their worst nightmare. The AFL-CIO is distributing a mailer that claims McCain is “turning his back on retirees,” by “privatizing Social Security, taxing health care benefits” and “cutting $1 trillion from Medicare.”
Talking Points Memo reports that the AFL-CIO is sending this flyer to retirees in Indiana, North Carolina and more traditional swing states.

Health Care Premium Costs

In last week’s final debate, Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama cited greatly different estimates for the average cost of health insurance, and a number of readers have asked us to sort it out.

Obama: By the way, the average policy costs about $12,000. …
McCain: The average cost of a health care insurance plan in America today is $5,800.

Both candidates were talking about the relative value of the $5,000 tax credit McCain wants to give to families and couples (individuals would get up to $2,500) to purchase health care policies.

Autism and Down Syndrome

Scores of readers have written in asking why Sen. John McCain had said several times during the debate that his running mate, Sarah Palin, knew about autism.
McCain: And, by the way, she also understands special-needs families. She understands that autism is on the rise, that we’ve got to find out what’s causing it, and we’ve got to reach out to these families, and help them, and give them the help they need as they raise these very special needs children.

Obama’s ‘Welfare’

Summary
The McCain campaign has taken to denigrating some of Obama’s tax proposals as "welfare" rather than tax cuts. And it continues to mislead about who would see a tax increase.

A new McCain-Palin Web ad characterizes Obama’s proposed refundable tax credits as "welfare." But McCain himself proposes refundable tax credits, too, as part of his health care plan, and calls them "reform."
The ad also says "hard-working families" and "seniors" would pay higher taxes.