A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Obama’s Stem Cell Spinning

Summary
An Obama-Biden radio ad hammers McCain for being opposed to stem cell research. Not true. Meanwhile two spots from the McCain-Palin campaign, together with the Republican National Committee, describe McCain’s support for the research; they’re largely accurate.
By saying that "John McCain has stood in the way – he’s opposed stem cell research," the Obama ad seriously misstates the view that McCain has held on this issue since 2001, when he began backing embryonic stem cell research,

Not Coming Clean on Coal

Summary
The McCain-Palin campaign is airing radio ads in four states claiming that the Obama-Biden ticket "oppose[s] clean coal." That's false:

Obama's energy plan, which he began promoting well over a year ago, calls for investing in "low emissions coal plants" and creating "5 'first-of-a-kind' commercial scale coal-fired plants with carbon capture and sequestration." His position in support of clean coal has been clear.
The ad's claim rests solely on a remark Biden made when questioned while shaking hands on a rope line in Ohio.

But That’s Not the Campaign’s Position

The two new articles we posted today at FactCheck.org have a common theme: saying the other candidate for president doesn’t support something he actual does.
Check out the full articles to see how radio ads on clean coal and stem cell research are false:
Not Coming Clean on Coal
September 30, 2008 
A McCain-Palin ad claims the Obama-Biden ticket opposes clean coal. Not true.
Obama’s Stem Cell Spinning
September 30, 2008
His radio ad is wrong: McCain still supports federal funding for stem cell research.

McCain Ad “Promise”: Promises Same Falsehood

The McCain-Palin campaign released a new ad called “Promise,” which the campaign says will air nationally. But it contains a whopper we’ve addressed a few times:

The ad claims Sen. Barack Obama “voted to cut off funding for our troops.” But a McCain campaign press release announcing the ad cites the same vote we addressed in an earlier article on this misleading claim. The fact is, while it’s true Obama voted against a GOP-backed troop funding bill once,

FactChecking Debate No. 1

Summary
McCain and Obama contradicted each other repeatedly during their first debate, and each volunteered some factual misstatements as well. Here’s how we sort them out:

Obama said McCain adviser Henry Kissinger backs talks with Iran “without preconditions,” but McCain disputed that. In fact, Kissinger did recently call for “high level” talks with Iran starting at the secretary of state level and said, “I do not believe that we can make conditions.” After the debate the McCain campaign issued a statement quoting Kissinger as saying he didn’t favor presidential talks with Iran.

Chummy with Chavez?

If it’s loud, profanity-laced, anti-American vitriol from a foreign leader you’re looking for, Hugo Chavez is your man. And a new McCain-Palin ad, running in Florida, tries to make it appear that Obama would begin cuddling up to the Venezuelan leader first thing after testing out his Oval Office desk chair. According to the McCain-Palin campaign, the ad is running in Florida. Here it is in English, but there’s a Spanish version as well.

The facts cited by the announcer in this ad are all correct.

Obama’s Trade Trickery

Summary
An Obama-Biden ad ties McCain to the closing of a plant in Pennsylvania. Its assertions are misleading and false:

The ad says McCain "sold … out" workers whose factory closed. But there was nothing McCain, or anyone could have done. The factory was making parts for televisions that are becoming obsolete. The company in question has called the ad "misleading."
It implies jobs were sent to China by saying that workers were paid to "disassemble the plant and ship the equipment to China"

McCain: $3 million to study the DNA of bears?

We’ve heard that one before.
McCain’s been playing it for laughs since 2003. The study in question was done by the U.S. Geological Survey, and it relied in part on federal appropriations. Readers (and politicians) may disagree on whether a noninvasive study of grizzly bear population and habitat is a waste of money. McCain clearly thinks it is — but on the other hand, he never moved to get rid of the earmark. In fact, he voted for the bill that made appropriations for the study.

The Whoppers of 2008

Summary
Normally we post a “Whoppers” compilation the week before Election Day. This time we’ve already seen such a large number of twisted facts, misleading claims and outright falsehoods that we are doing that now.
It’s not just Sarah Palin’s claim about killing the bridge project that she had supported until it became a national laughingstock and Congress turned against it. That’s just the whopper that got the attention of many news organizations earlier this month.

Credit Where it Isn’t Due

The McCain-Palin campaign is running a series of upbeat ads designed to appeal to workers in three states (Michigan, Ohio, and New Mexico – for some reason the New Mexico ad isn’t on McCain’s YouTube channel, but it sounds pretty much like the Ohio one). Sometimes even upbeat ads need a little tweaking.

Here’s the Michigan ad. In this one, McCain says that “John McCain and his congressional allies” have a plan for Michigan, including “loans to upgrade assembly lines.”