Dubious Claims in Obama’s Ads Against McCain, Despite a Vow of Truth
"A radio advertisement running in Wisconsin and other contested states misleadingly reports that Mr. McCain “has stood in the way of” federal financing for stem cell research; Mr. McCain did once oppose such federally supported research but broke with President Bush to consistently support it starting in 2001 (his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, does not support it).
A commercial running here on Thursday morning highlighting Mr. McCain’s votes against incentives for alternative energy misleadingly asserts he supports tax breaks for “one source of energy: oil companies.” Mr. McCain’s proposed corporate tax break would cover all companies, including those developing new sources of power.
A new television advertisement playing in areas with high concentrations of elderly voters and emphasizing Mr. McCain’s support for President Bush’s failed plan for private Social Security accounts misleadingly implies Mr. McCain supported “cutting benefits in half” — an analysis of Mr. Bush’s plan that would have applied to upper-income Americans retiring in the year 2075.
A much criticized Spanish-language television advertisement wrongly links the views of Mr. McCain, who was a champion of the sweeping immigration overhaul pushed by Mr. Bush, to those of Rush Limbaugh, a harsh critic of the approach, and, frequently, of Mr. McCain.
The advertisement implies Mr. Limbaugh is one of Mr. McCain’s “Republican friends,” and quotes Mr. Limbaugh as calling Mexicans “stupid and unqualified.” Mr. Limbaugh has written that his quotes were taken out of context and that he was mocking the views of others.
In all, Mr. Obama has released at least five commercials that have been criticized as misleading or untruthful against Mr. McCain’s positions in the past two weeks. Mr. Obama drew complaints from many of the independent fact-checking groups and editorial writers who just two weeks ago were criticizing Mr. McCain for producing a large share of this year’s untruthful spots (“Pants on Fire,” the fact-checking Web site PolitiFact.com wrote of Mr. Obama’s advertisement invoking Mr. Limbaugh; “False!” FactCheck.org said of his commercial on Social Security.) "