A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Making Ends Meet

Sen. Barack Obama has said several times that he has proposed cuts that pay for “every dime” of his spending proposals, a claim we’ve called “misleading.” The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center’s analysis, for one, found that “without substantial cuts in government spending” Obama’s plan – and McCain’s, too – “would substantially increase the national debt over the next ten years.”
Obama repeated his claim in his half-hour commercial that aired Wednesday night on major networks and cable television,

Obama Soft on Crime?

With a handful of days to go before Election Day, the Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania is going after Sen. Barack Obama with a mailer that claims the presidential nominee has “a record of being soft on crime.” Luckily, our fellow fact-checkers at PolitiFact.com are all over this one. According to PolitiFact, the mailer (also being distributed in Florida) “cherry-picks a few choice examples and conveniently ignores evidence that contradicts its conclusions.”
For example, the mailer says that Obama is “against tougher penalties for street gangs,”

Reckless Driving

The Obama-Biden campaign has released an ad as part of its “closing argument” to the American people. But we have a few factual objections to raise.

The ad is called “Rearview Mirror” and says that if you “wonder where John McCain would take the economy” just “look behind you,” alluding to the Bush administration. The ad even pictures President Bush’s face in the rearview mirror of a car.
But it touts some misleading claims Obama has dropped along the long campaign trail.

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,

DNC vs. McCain

Summary

The Democratic National Committee has produced two TV ads against McCain, hoping to soften him up while the party figures out who its own presidential nominee will be.

One ad shows selected portions of McCain’s comments that a 100-year U.S. presence in Iraq would be "fine with me." The ad uses dramatic images of war and violence, and omits any mention that McCain was speaking of a peaceful presence like that in Japan or Korea.

PAC-ing Heat

Summary

In their most recent TV ads Clinton and Obama attempt to convince Pennsylvania voters that the other is financed by lobbyists and special interests. Both ads miss the mark.

Clinton’s ad accuses Obama of insincerely promising to accept no money from PACs and current lobbyists for his presidential campaign. But she cites money he took years ago as a candidate for the Illinois state Senate and U.S. Senate, before he swore off such funds.

Taking Liberties in Philadelphia

Summary

Clinton and Obama both strained the facts at times during their debate in Philadelphia.

Clinton said "people died" in 1970s bombings by a radical group of which an Obama acquaintance was a member. In fact, the deaths were of three members of the Weather Underground itself, who died when their own bombs accidentally exploded.
Obama said, "I have never said that I don’t wear flag pins or refuse to wear flag pins." Actually,

Overseas Fundraising Legal?

Q: Is it legal for candidates to raise funds overseas for a presidential race?

A: Yes, but they can’t legally accept donations from individuals who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent U.S. residents.

Sunday Morning Missteps

Summary

The Republican presidential candidates debated – and sounded some more false notes:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney falsely claimed U.S. job growth had been nearly 17 times faster than Europe’s. Actually, European Union employment grew faster than that of the U.S. last year. Romney’s source for the information told FactCheck.org that he himself would no longer use the figures.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani accused Democratic candidates of "appeasement" toward Islamic terrorists.

Republican Candidates Debate

Summary

Ten Republican candidates for president debated at the Reagan Library in California, the first GOP debate of the 2008 campaign. Here and there we found stumbles, spin and exaggerations, just as we did at the Democratic debate a week earlier.

Giuliani claimed that adoptions shot up 65 to 70 percent while he was mayor. In fact, the net increase over his entire tenure was 17 percent.
Brownback hyped the medical potential of stem cells taken from adults and not embryos,