Posts Tagged ‘’

McCain campaign’s taxing lie about Obama’s energy plans

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

From McCain’s ad titled “Patriot”:

Obama and Biden voted to raise taxes on working American making just $42,000.

Higher taxes on seniors and their life savings.

Higher taxes on your electric bills.

There are two questionable statements here.

There is no call in Obama’s tax plan to tax life savings, but Obama does have a plan to raise capital gain taxes. The proposal would impact the tax rate on investment accounts, including 401(k) and 403(b) accounts. For families with incomes above $250k, their capital gain tax would raise from 15% to no more than 20%.

Do investment accounts count as “life savings?” We’d call this close, but not a definitive lie though it’s dubious at best to consider an investment, which bears inherent risk, as savings when savings implies no inherent risk.

But McCain’s reference to high electric bill taxes has no basis. They base their claim on an interview with the San Antonio Express-News on February 19, 2008:

GUERRA: Have you considered other funding sources, say taxing emerging energy forms, for example, say a penny per kilowatt hour on wind energy?

OBAMA: Well, that’s clean energy, and we want to drive down the cost of that, not raise it. We need to give them subsidies so they can start developing that. What we ought to tax is dirty energy, like coal and, to a lesser extent, natural gas.

Obama suggested a tax on “dirty energy”, but did not call for any electricity tax. (Neither his formal energy plan or tax plan make reference of any tax for either energy production or consumption, though there is a call for a windfall profit tax which would include oil companies.)

McCain’s campaign is lying when they switch Obama’s conditional statement about taxing energy producers, as a call for taxes on electricity consumption.

McCain campaign’s lie about Obama’s advisers

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

From a John McCain’s ad titled “advice”:

“Obama has no background in economics. Who advises him? The Post says it’s Franklin Raines, for “advice on mortgage and housing policy.”

McCain’s source for the Raines reference is a Washington Post profile of Raines that said:

He has shaved eight points off his golf handicap, taken a corner office in Steve Case’s D.C. conglomeration of finance, entertainment and health-care companies and more recently, taken calls from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters.

But Raines is not a present adviser. In fact, he advised the McCain camp days before they ran the ad that he was not an adviser.

“Carly: Is this true?” Raines asks above a forwarded note informing him that Fiorina was on television saying he was an Obama housing adviser. “I am not an adviser to the Obama campaign. Frank.”

While he may have given advice to the Obama campaign (though even that is disputed and being clarified), McCain’s campaign is lying when they say Raines is presently an adviser to the Obama campaign. He’s not.

McCain’s campaign to detention for lying in their ‘education’ ad

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

From a John McCain ad titled “Education”:

Obama’s one accomplishment?
Legislation to teach ‘comprehensive sex education’ to kindergarteners.
Learning about sex before learning to read?
Barack Obama.
Wrong on education. Wrong for your family. 

There are 3 2 lies at work here.

First, Obama’s list of accomplishments is indisputably greater that 1, as the ad contends. Winning the nomination for the Democratic ticket would certainly count, as would his legislative successes (most commonly cited examples accomplishments here and here) in the Senate. Though the ad was titled “education” we missed the now-obvious link between “one accomplishment” and education. Obama’s campaign has proffered a list of the Illinois senator’s education-related achievements, but the McCain campaign’s ad could argue that “accomplishment” is a title Obama’s education-related work doesn’t deserve. As a subjective statement, it’s neither objectively true or untrue.

Secondly Firstly, Obama was not a sponsor of the bill. The bill’s record, including it’s sponsors, is available here. It’s very gracious, but false, to give credit to someone for a bill they neither authored nor sponsored.

Thirdly Secondly, the bill did not pass. It was not Obama’s accomplishment, because he didn’t sponsor the bill. But it wasn’t anyone’s accomplishment because the bill did not pass at all.

McCain’s claim that Obama wanted to teach kids about sex before reading is even questionable, though we wouldn’t call it a lie. When Obama was asked on this issue in 2004 in a debate with Alan Keyes, Obama said:

We have a existing law that mandates sex education in the schools. We want to make sure that it’s medically accurate and age-appropriate.Now, I’ll give you an example, because I have a six-year-old daughter and a three-year-old daughter, and one of the things my wife and I talked to our daughter about is the possibility of somebody touching them inappropriately, and what that might mean. 

And that was included specifically in the law, so that kindergarteners are able to exercise some possible protection against abuse, because I have family members as well as friends who suffered abuse at that age. So, that’s the kind of stuff that I was talking about in that piece of legislation.

McCain’s camp should head to detention for those three two lies. Calling an unpassed bill from the state senate in Illinois that Obama didn’t write his only accomplishment is untrue.

Update: We are tracking lies through refutable statements, thus any number of lies wrapped into a single instance qualifies as one lie, for now. Should this practice become commonplace, we may adjust the rules to reflect the fairest lie tallies. is wearing a liar’s lipstick

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

The official McCcain campaign released a remarkably misleading video this week. The text “Barack Obama on: Sarah Palin” appears, then is followed by the following quote from Obama:

You can put lipstick on a pig; it’s still a pig.

Full Video (NOTE: The original video has been taken down, but here’s a mirror)

The full quote of Obama’s text is:

“John McCain says he’s about change too, so I guess his angle is, “Watch Out, George Bush. Except for economic policy, healthcare policy, tax policy, education policy, foreign policy, and Karl Rove style politics, we’re really going to shake things up in washington. That’s not change. That’s just calling something the same thing something different. But you know you cant, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig”

Full video

Marc Ambinder of the Atlantic expands that both Obama and John Mccain are fond of this phrase. Mccain in 2007 on Hillary Clinton:

McCain criticized Democratic contenders for offering what he called costly universal health-care proposals that require too much government regulation. While he said he had not studied Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s plan, he said it was “eerily reminiscent” of the failed plan she offered as first lady in the 1990s.

“I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig,” he said of her proposal.

So the McCain campaign took a knock Obama used against McCain, lifted a phrase from it, and then lied about it’s context. Obama said the words, no one is disputing that. But the clear and overwhelming lie was manipulating Obama’s statement about McCain into a sexist comment about Palin. Clearly +1 for the red camp.

Update: Obama’s Response

Help evaluate and research "lie leads"

All lie leads >