Posts Tagged ‘McCain’

McCain’s lie about Obama’s Supreme Court vote

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

In the third presidential debate, John McCain said:

Sen. Obama voted against Justice Breyer and Justice Roberts on the grounds that they didn’t meet his ideological standards. That’s not the way we should judge these nominees. Elections have consequences. They should be judged on their qualifications. And so that’s what I will do.

Justice Stephen Breyer was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 1994, 7 years before Barack Obama was in the Senate. McCain’s lying when he says Obama voted against Breyer’s confirmation.

McCain’s lie about Lebanon

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

At the presidential debate on September 26, 2008, John McCain said:

Back in 1983, when I was a brand-new United States congressman, the one — the person I admired the most and still admire the most, Ronald Reagan, wanted to send Marines into Lebanon.

And I saw that, and I saw the situation, and I stood up, and I voted against that, because I was afraid that they couldn’t make peace in a place where 300 or 400 or several hundred Marines would make a difference. Tragically, I was right: Nearly 300 Marines lost their lives in the bombing of the barracks.

When McCain came to office, nearly 1800 Marines were already in Lebanon under a presidential order. President Reagan needed Congressional approval to keep the soldiers in Lebanon, and McCain voted against that approval. Shortly after the bill was signed into law (P.L. 98-119, Multinational Force in Lebanon Resolution) in October 2003, 220 Marines were killed in a suicide bombing. McCain did stand up to Reagan, but the bill was to keep the troops already in Lebanon there, not to send an additional hundreds of Marines. According to the Library of Congress:

President Reagan sent a force of Marines to Lebanon to participate in peacekeeping efforts in that country; while he did submit three reports to Congress under the Resolution, he did not cite Section 4(a)(1), and thus did not trigger the 60 day time limit. Over time the Marines came under increasing enemy fire and there were calls for withdrawal of U.S. forces. Congress, as part of a compromise with the President, passed Public Law 98-119 in October 1983 authorizing U.S. troops to remain in Lebanon for 18 months. This resolution was signed by the President, and was the first time a President had signed legislation invoking the War Powers Resolution.

While McCain is correct in saying that he stood up to Reagan, the president was acting unilaterally in sending the marines. The bill McCain voted against was to keep those soldiers in place. McCain’s lying when he claims to have voted against sending hundreds more. He’s exaggerating near the point of a lie how many Marines were killed in the bombing too — 220 is not “nearly 300″.

McCain’s makes up the make-up of Eisenhower’s pre-D-Day writings

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

At the presidential debate on September 26, 2008, John McCain said:

But there’s also the issue of responsibility. You’ve mentioned President Dwight David Eisenhower. President Eisenhower, on the night before the Normandy invasion, went into his room, and he wrote out two letters.

One of them was a letter congratulating the great members of the military and allies that had conducted and succeeded in the greatest invasion in history, still to this day, and forever.

And he wrote out another letter, and that was a letter of resignation from the United States Army for the failure of the landings at Normandy.

According to the National Archives, Eisenhower wrote only one letter, which they possess the original copy of. According to the original copy, it reads:

Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.

While General Eisenhower did pen a letter accepting responsibility, he never penned a letter of resignation, and there is no record of a second letter of congratulations written on the same day. McCain lied when he said otherwise.

McCain’s 100% almost lie

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

In response to a reporter with the Des Moins Register who asked him about his misleading ads, McCain stated:

I have always had 100% absolute truth and that’s been my life of putting my country first

This grammar is confusing, and makes it impossible to accurately say what is meant by McCain. Politico assumes McCain means he has always “told” 100% truth. If this is the case, it of course is a lie proven by clicking the large McCain in the menu on the right.

Unclear, +0 lies.

McCain’s lie about US corporate taxes

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

During the first presidential debate between McCain and Obama on September 27, Senator McCain said:

Right now, the United States of American business pays the second-highest business taxes in the world, 35 percent. Ireland pays 11 percent.

Now, if you’re a business person, and you can locate any place in the world, then, obviously, if you go to the country where it’s 11 percent tax versus 35 percent, you’re going to be able to create jobs, increase your business, make more investment, et cetera.

In 2007, according to the IRS, corporate tax rates range from 15% to 39%. Companies with income above $18m fall in a bracket that pays 35%. But even assuming McCain was using the higher 39% bracket as his reference, despite citing the lower rate, there are a number of countries that have higher tax rates. Barbados has a 40% corporate tax rate, Guyana has a 45% corporate tax rate and India has a 40% corporate tax rate. (Those are just three examples.)

The Tax Foundation, a non-profit that focuses on tax plan analysis, does rank the US second in global taxes, but their figure limits the comparison to nations that belong to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, a group which only includes 30 countries. So McCain would have to ignore at least 162 countries from the UN to mean “the world” if he even used that oft-cited study as his reference point.

Additionally, Ireland’s lowest corporate tax rate is 12.5%, not 11%.

John McCain is lying, both in his ranking of the US as having the second highest corporate tax rate in the world, and about Ireland’s tax rate.

McCain’s lie about Admiral Mullen’s view about Obama’s Iraq Plan

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

During the first presidential debate between McCain and Obama on September 27:

MCCAIN: Admiral Mullen suggests that Senator Obama’s plan is dangerous for America.

OBAMA: That’s not the case.

MCCAIN: That’s what …

OBAMA: What he said was a precipitous…

MCCAIN: That’s what Admiral Mullen said.

Did Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, say Obama’s plan for withdrawal from Iraq was dangerous for America? The basis for McCain’s assertion was this interview on July 20 by Fox News:

WALLACE: But I’m asking you in the absence — forget about Obama. Forget about the politics. If I were to say to you, “Let’s set a time line of getting all of our combat troops out within two years,” what do you think would be the consequences of setting that kind of a time line?

MULLEN: I think the consequences could be very dangerous in that regard. I’m convinced at this point in time that coming — making reductions based on conditions on the ground are very important.

We’ve been able to do that. We’ve reduced five brigades in the last several months. And again, if conditions continue to improve, I would look to be able to make recommendations to President Bush in the fall to continue those reductions.

The context for the Wallace / Mullen interview was about Iraq’s security, not America’s. The question regarded the risks a time line would cause to Iraq and the US military. But McCain isn’t initially quoting Mullen, just drawing an inference from this interview, well outside lie territory.

But McCain then McCain says Mullen actually said Obama’s plan was dangerous to America. In that new context, McCain’s statement doesn’t hold up. 

When asked about a time line for withdrawal, Mullen said a plan with a fixed time frame could have “very dangerous” consequences. But Wallace’s question explicitly asks Mullen to ignore Obama and answer in a non-political sense. So there’s no way, without Mullen making a direct reference to Obama, that McCain could claim this was a statement about Obama’s plan or the explicit danger to America.

It’s no lie for McCain to say Mullen suggested Obama’s plan was dangerous, but it is a lie to say Mullen outright said it. He didn’t.

(Note: Obama’s reference to “precipitous” refers to a distinct quote from Mullen, and therefore not a lie.)

McCain’s lie about Obama’s nuclear plans

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

During the first presidential debate between McCain and Obama on September 27, McCain said:

Senator Obama opposes both storing and reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel.

But according to Obama’s energy plan, McCain is wrong:

In terms of waste storage, Barack Obama and Joe Biden do not believe that Yucca Mountain is a suitable site. They will lead federal efforts to look for safe, long?term disposal solutions based on objective, scientific analysis. In the meantime, they will develop requirements to ensure that the waste stored at current reactor sites is contained using the most advanced dry?cask storage technology available.

McCain’s lying - Obama supports plans for the storage of nuclear waste.

McCain lies about his CEO’s lobbying firm’s activity

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

From a McCain interview with John Harwood for CNBC on September 23, 2008, regarding the wall street crisis (video here):

HARWOOD: You mentioned cronyism and corruption on Wall Street and in Washington, and you’ve criticized Obama for self dealing here. How do you square that with the fact that your campaign manager, Rick Davis, was involved in some lobbying activities on behalf of Fannie Mae? And secondly, what specifically would you prevent, would you outlaw–what activity would you outlaw in Wall Street to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

McCAIN: And my campaign manager has stopped that, has had nothing to do with it since, and I’ll be glad to have his record examined by anybody who wants to look at it.

McCAIN: [...]

In Washington, I still think that it was the special interest money that went–and Fannie and Freddie money that went, and everybody was involved in this–not everybody, but certainly Senator Obama got next amount of money, except for the two Democratic chairman. His vice presidential search team was headed by Mr. Johnson, and…

HARWOOD: And your campaign manager?

McCAIN: And my campaign manager has stopped that, has had nothing to do
with it since, and I’ll be glad to have his record examined by anybody who
wants to look at it.

The media has generally interpreted McCain’s point to be that Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign CEO, has been untouched by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac money since working for his campaign. But McCain wasn’t very specific about when Davis had stopped - only that he had stopped.

But according to a recent Roll Call article the lobbyist firm that Davis owns, Davis Manafort,  is still a lobbying firm employed by Freddie Mac. Davis himself is not a lobbyist, but as an owner he has financial interest in the firm and it’s activities.

McCain’s lying when he says his campaign’s CEO, Davis, “has stopped” any involvement with Freddie Mac. Regardless of whether McCain meant Davis stopped at the beginning of the campaign, or just any time in the past, the lobbying firm Davis owns continues to draw the same $15k / month it has commanded since “late 2005.”

McCain caught in 2 car almost-lies

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

If someone says two mutually exclusive things, one of them must be untrue.

Back in 2007, McCain made some remarks referring to his daughter’s new Prius:

…when a College of Charleston student asks Mr. McCain, a 71-year-old Republican from Arizona, what he personally is doing to reduce greenhouse gases, he offers that he bought one of those eco-trendy cars for his 22-year-old daughter, Meghan.

“What’s it called, a Purr-ess? Pryuss? Peer-uss?”

“Prius,” someone calls out.

“Yeah, Py-russ,” the candidate clarifies.

“No, Prius.”

“O.K., Prius, Prius,” Mr. McCain says like a chastened schoolboy. “I ought to know the name of it; I paid for it.”

But American automakers are upset that McCain would buy a Japanese hybrid over an American alternative. McCain responded to a direct question on the issue:

“Actually, I think she bought it”

There has been lots of coverage on the reported flip-flop. We don’t have the records of who actually purchased the car, but one of these must be true and one must be a lie. According to the rules, if a lie is corrected, it is not counted against their tally. There is some wiggle room for McCain too: “i think” is a subjective term, and one of the two statements falls outside our window of tracking lies (before the conventions). For all these reasons, this will rest in the “almost lie” category.

Related, on September 7, 2008 McCain said to WXYZ,

I’ve bought american literally all my life and I’m proud.

Newsweek reports that he and Cindy have 13 cars registered in their name, and not all are American:

But the rest of his fleet is not all-American. There’s a 2005 Volkswagen convertible in the garage along with a 2001 Honda sedan…Cindy McCain’s name is on 11 vehicles, though not the one she actually drives. That car, a Lexus, is registered to her family’s beer-distributor business and is outfitted with personalized plates that read MS BUD.

UAW President Ron Gettelfinger is pretty upset, along with many others in Detroit.

But is it a lie? The one car he does have registered in his name is a GM made 2004 Cadillac CTS. The others are in Cindy’s name. Therefore this could actually be true, and we’ll note it as an almost-lie.

tip via Jim

John McCain’s lie about Obama’s free trade stance

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

During a September 15, 2008 interview Jorge Ramos for Univision, John McCain said:

“So, the point is, I’m for free trade and opening these markets, and improving the lives of the people of Mexico and our hemisphere, so they don’t have to come to the United States of America. Senator Obama wants to close those markets, he is against every, literally every free trade agreement.”

On June 26, 2006 Senator Obama voted for the United States-Oman Free Trade Agreement

On May 23, 2008 in Miami Obama said:

“Like Central America’s bishops, I opposed CAFTA [the Central American Free Trade Agreement] because the needs of workers were not adequately addressed. I supported the Peru Free Trade Agreement because there were binding labor and environmental provisions. That’s the kind of trade we need – trade that lifts up workers, not just a corporate bottom line.”

We don’t dispute that Obama’s support of “free trade” is very different than McCain’s, but Senator McCain’s assertion that Obama is literally against every free trade agreement is clearly a lie.

McCain literally lies about Obama’s literal tenure

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

On September 16 at a rally in Tampa, John McCain said:

My friends, earmarking and the pork-barreling goes on - it’s gonna stop. 

I have never asked for a single earmark pork-barrel project for my state of Arizona. Senator Obama, has asked for $932 million in earmarks, literally $1 million for every day that he’s been in office.

Obama took office January 4, 2005. As of today, he’s been in office 1352 days, during which congress did business 892 days (including 268 non-legislative-period days). This according to the Library of Congress’ calendar for 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005 (a tabulated count of in-session days is here). That would mean Obama requested either $1352m, $892m or $624m, none of which are the $932 figure he did actually request. 

As for McCain other unequivicable statement - that he “never asked for a single earmark pork-barrel project for my state of Arizona”. Because McCain said “pork-barrel”, which is a subjective term, there’s no definite lie.

McCain didn’t have to say “literally”, which offers literally no wiggle room. But he did, thus McCain is literally lying when he tells us that Obama has asked for literally $1 million a day.

McCain’s energetic lie about Obama’s energy plans

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

On September 16 at a rally in Tampa, John McCain said:

“We need to achieve energy independence And my friends, it’s all of the above. It’s wind and tide and solar and natural gas and automobiles with flex fuel and hydrogen and batteries. And my friends, it also means nuclear power and drill offshore. My opponent opposes nuclear power and he opposes drilling offshore. And my friends you can’t get there from here. And my friends, it also means nuclear power and drill offshore.”

Obama’s formal policy could be interpreted to state he’s against expanding nuclear, but he isn’t against it. According to Barack Obama’s energy plan:

“Nuclear power represents more than 70 percent of our noncarbon generated electricity. It is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power as an option. However, before an expansion of nuclear power is considered, key issues must be addressed including: security of nuclear fuel and waste, waste storage, and proliferation.”

As we noted before in Palin’s false claim Obama was against energy production, Obama offers conditional support for offshore drilling:

“My interest is in making sure we’ve got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices,” Obama said in an interview with The Palm Beach Post during a tour of Florida.

“If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage — I don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t get something done,” Obama told the newspaper.

McCain’s deceiving about Palin’s earmark requesting and receiving

Friday, September 12th, 2008

From an interview of John McCain on the View:

Behar: What is [Palin] going to reform specifically, Senator?

McCain: Well, first of all, earmark spending which she vetoed a half a billion dollars worth in the state of Alasksa.

Behar: She also took some earmarks [muffled].McCain: No, not as governor she didn’t.

From the Alaska Daily News on December 10, 2007:

The Palin administration, citing a need to improve the state’s credibility, plans to ask Alaska’s congressional delegation for far fewer earmarks in the coming year.

“We really want to skinny it down,” said Karen Rehfeld, Gov. Sarah Palin’s budget chief.

Rehfeld recently wrote a memo to all state commissioners telling them that to “enhance the state’s credibility,” federal earmark requests for money should be only for the most compelling needs.

Rehfeld said she believes the state government annually made more than 100 earmark requests of the congressional delegation in previous years. She said the request for this year, the first under Palin, was for more than 50 earmarks.

From the LA Times:

But under her leadership, the state of Alaska has requested 31 earmarks worth $197.8 million in next year’s federal budget, according to the website of Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), the former chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

You can view Alaska’s 2008 earmarks at the Office of Management and Budget’s listing of earmarks in 2008 Appropriations Bills.

McCain hopes we’ll buy this lie, even if an Ebay buyer didn’t really buy that plane

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

According to John McCain, on the trail in Wisconsin:

You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor and sold it on eBay — made a profit.

In fact, the luxury jet was sold through a private broker for a $500k loss. According to the Anchorage Daily News’ story from August 20, 2007:

The state paid about $2.6 million for the jet — about half a million more than Reynolds would pay.

Though there are technically two lies, since the plane neither sold on Ebay or was sold for a profit, we’ll consider this a two-for-one special.

McCain’s financial reckoning a wreck

Sunday, September 7th, 2008


McCain said oil imports send “$700 billion a year to countries that don’t like us very much.” But the U.S. is on track to import a total of only $536 billion worth of oil at current prices, and close to a third of that comes from Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Sure McCain’s only 25% wrong on his estimation at a most generous count. But given he’s managing to insult some of our closet allies at the same time, this is an especially notable falsehood.

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