Post Debate Update: 14 New Fact Checks
Added to the Count the Lies Counter
Washington, DC - The Democratic National Committee today updated the Count the Lies counter to reflect the 14 new fact checks published during and after last night's debate. Independent, non-partisan fact check organizations highlighted McCain's lies and exaggerations on everything from taxes and health care to the war in Iraq. McCain even claimed to have took part in a vote that occurred before he was even elected to Congress.
With these new articles, no fewer than 78 fact checks have been published debunking McCain campaign lies since he promised to run a respectful campaign in February. Visit www.democrats.org/CountTheLies to see the updated Count the Lies counter.
Washington Post Fact Checker blog: McCain "Seriously Misstated: Lebanon Vote. "McCain seriously mistated his vote concerning the marines in Lebanon. He said that when he went into Congress in 1983, he voted against deploying them in Beirut. The Marines went in Lebanon in 1982, before McCain came to Congress. The vote came up a year into their deployment, when the Marines had already suffered 54 casualties. What McCain voted against was a measure to invoke the War Powers Act and to authorize the deployment of U.S. Marines in Lebanon for an additional 18 months. The measure passed 270-161, with 26 other Republicans (including McCain) and 134 Democrats voting against it." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/ ]
FactCheck.org: McCain Voted for $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. He did propose some changes to the bill, but none that nixed the bear funding." [Fact Check.Org, 9/26/08]
Washington Post: McCain Repeats Lie That Obama Voted To Raise Taxes on Anyone Making More Than $42,000. "John McCain claimed that Obama voted in the Senate to raise taxes on anyone making more than $42,000 a year. This is misleading on several levels. The vote that McCain is talking about was a non-binding resolution on the budget that envisioned letting the Bush tax cuts to expire, as scheduled, in 2011. But these budget resolutions come up every year, and do not represent a vote for higher taxes in future years. In fact, Obama has said that he will continue the Bush tax cuts for middle and low-income taxpayers. He says that he will cut taxes for all but the wealthiest tax-payers." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/ ]
AP: McCain Repeats Troop Funding Lie. "MCCAIN: McCain said Obama voted to cut off money for the troops in Iraq. THE FACTS: Despite opposing the war, Obama has, with one exception, voted for Iraq troop financing. In 2007, he voted against a troop funding bill because it did not contain language calling for a troop withdrawal. The Illinois senator backed another bill that had such language - and money for the troops." [AP, 9/26/08: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PRESIDENTIAL_DEBATE_FACTCHECK?SITE=ILEDW&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT ]
ABC: McCain Falsely Invokes Eisenhower Letters. "Calling on President Eisenhower to deliver a lesson about accountability, Sen. John McCain invoked two letters authored by the 34th president the night before the Normandy invasion during Friday's presidential debate. One letter, McCain said, was authored in the event that the D-Day invasion was a success and the other, a resignation, in the event it was a failure. According to the National Archives, late on the afternoon of June 5, 1944, Eisenhower scribbled a note intended for release accepting responsibility for the decision to launch the invasion and taking full blame in the event the effort to create a beachhead on the Normandy coast failed. In the letter, Eisenhower takes responsibility but makes no mention of resignation." [ABC News, 9/26/08: http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/09/fact-check-mcca.html ]
Boston Globe: McCain Repeats False Claim on Funding For Troops. "McCain: 'And Senator Obama, who after promising not to vote to cut off funds for the troops, did the incredible thing of voting to cut off the funds for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.' Fact Check: Obama did vote against a 2007 spending bill that did not include language calling for withdrawing troops from Iraq, but then voted for the version that did. That version was vetoed by President Bush, though McCain does not say Bush cut off funding for the troops. Overall, Obama voted yes on at least 10 other war funding bills prior to the single no vote." [Boston Globe, 9/26/08: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/09/factcheck_asses.html ]
Boston Globe: McCain Lied About Alternate Fuel Votes. "McCain: 'I voted for alternate fuel all my time.… No one can be opposed to alternate energy, no one.' Fact Check: In his 26 years in Congress, McCain has voted against several bills and amendments calling for new investments in renewable energy, according to official Senate records. In March 2002, for example, McCain voted against an amendment to require utilities to generate 10 percent of electricity from renewable energy facilities by 2020." [Boston Globe, 9/26/08: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/09/factcheck_asses.html ]
AP: McCain Leaves Out Key Vote on 2005 Energy Bill. "MCCAIN: 'We had an energy bill before the United States Senate. It was festooned with Christmas tree ornaments. It had all kinds of breaks for the oil companies, I mean, billions of dollars worth. I voted against it; Senator Obama voted for it.' THE FACTS: Obama did vote for a 2005 energy bill supported by President Bush that included billions in subsidies for oil and natural gas production. McCain opposed the bill on grounds it included unnecessary tax breaks for the oil industry. Obama voted to strip the legislation of the oil and gas industry tax breaks. When that failed, he voted for the overall measure. Obama has said he supported the legislation because it provided money for renewable energy." [AP, 9/26/08: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PRESIDENTIAL_DEBATE_FACTCHECK?SITE=ILEDW&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT ]
AP: McCain Distorts on His Call to Fire SEC Chairman. "MCCAIN: 'I've been criticized because I called for the resignation of the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.' THE FACT: McCain did eventually call for the resignation of SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. But he first said that if he were president he would fire him, a step a president cannot take with the head of an independent regulatory agency. This is what McCain said on Sept. 18 during a rally in Iowa: 'The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the president and, in my view, has betrayed the public's trust. If I were president today, I would fire him.'" [AP, 9/26/08: http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/P/PRESIDENTIAL_DEBATE_FACTCHECK?SITE=ILEDW&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT ]
Washington Post: McCain Overstates Iraq Opposition. "John McCain correctly asserted that in 2003 he began to question the Iraq war strategy, which is correct. In November 2003, he criticized the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraq war, saying the United States should send at least 15,000 more troops or risk 'the most serious American defeat on the global stage since Vietnam.' But he has also made later, more rosy pronouncements. After visiting the Shorja market in Baghdad in April 2007, where he was protected by more than 100 soldiers, McCain said, 'Things are getting better in Iraq, and I am pleased with the progress that has been made.' Privately, according to a recent book by Bob Woodward, he was more critical, telling Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 'We may be about to lose the second war in my lifetime.'" [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/ ]
Washington Post: McCain Repeats Health Care "Canard." "John McCain raised an old Republican canard, repeated often in the primaries, when he claimed that Obama's health care plan would eventually turn the health care system over to the federal government. The Illinois senator proposes helping individuals purchase health insurance through a system of subsidies and tax credits. He is also in favor of mandatory health insurance for children. But he is not advocating a state-run health system, such as the one that exists in Britain and some European countries. Under the Obama plan, individuals will still be free to choose between different types of health insurance, and will be able to choose their own doctors." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/ ]
Washington Post: McCain Exaggerates Growth of Earmarks. "McCain, rebutting Obama's correct observation that earmarks are a small part of the budget, said, 'But the point is, that you see, I hear this all the time. It's only $18 billion. Do you know that it's tripled in the last five years? Do you know that it's gone completely out of control to the point where it corrupts people?' But while federal earmarks tripled in size from 1996 to 2005, they have actually dropped in recent years. According to the White House Office of Management and Budget, in fiscal year 2005 Congress inserted 13,492 earmarks totaling $18.9 billion for appropriations accounts. In fiscal year 2008, there were 11,524 earmarks totaling $16.5 billion for appropriations accounts." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/ ]
Washington Post: McCain "Kicked the Evening Off With a Wild Exaggeration" About Normandy. "John McCain kicked the evening off with a wild exaggeration by describing the allied invasion of Normandy as "the greatest invasion" in history. Such historical comparisons are always dangerous. In scale, the D-Day landings were far exceeded by Operation Barbarossa, the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union, in June 1941, and the Soviet invasion of Germany at the end of World War II.
A total of 326,000 allied troops took part in the initial D-day Landings in June 1944. By comparison, Hitler's sent an army of 4.5 million men into the Soviet Union in June 1941along a 1,800 mile front." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 9/26/08: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/ ]
Boston Globe: McCain Distorts on Surge Comments. "McCain: 'Senator Obama said the surge could not work, said it would increase sectarian violence, said it was doomed to failure.' Fact Check: Obama said at the time that the increase in roughly 30,000 US troops in Iraq could improve security in "certain neighborhoods" but that it would not solve the long term political strife between Iraq's ethnic and religious groups. "I don't think there's been any doubt that if we put U.S. troops in that, in the short term, we might see some improvement in certain neighborhoods," he said in March 2007. In a September 2007, speech Obama said "the stated purpose of the surge was to enable Iraq's leaders to reconcile. Our troops fight and die in the 120 degree heat to give Iraq's leaders space to agree, but they aren't filling it.'" [Boston Globe, 9/26/08: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/politicalintelligence/2008/09/factcheck_asses.html ]