Thursday, October 16, 2008

Presidential Debate - the facts, just the facts

FactChecking Debate No. 3
Sorting out fact and fiction in the presidential candidates' final debate.
Spin and hype were apparent, once again, at the third and final debate between McCain and Obama:
  • McCain claimed the liberal group ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history ... maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” In fact, a Republican prosecutor said of the first and biggest ACORN fraud case: “[T]his scheme was not intended to permit illegal voting.” He said $8-an-hour workers turned in made-up voter registration forms rather than doing what ACORN paid them to do.
  • McCain said “Joe the plumber” faced “much higher taxes” under Obama’s tax plan and would pay a fine under Obama’s health care plan if he failed to provide coverage for his workers. But Ohio plumber Joe Wurzelbacher would pay higher taxes only if the business he says he wants to buy puts his income over $200,000 a year, and his small business would be exempt from Obama’s requirement to provide coverage for workers.
  • Obama repeated a dubious claim that his health care plan will cut the average family’s premiums by $2,500 a year. Experts have found that figure to be overly optimistic.
  • McCain claimed that Obama’s real “object” is a government-run, single-payer health insurance system like those in Canada or England. The McCain campaign points to a quote from five years ago, when Obama told a labor gathering that he was “a proponent of a single-payer health care program.” But Obama has since qualified his enthusiasm for Canadian-style health care, and his current proposal is nothing like that.
  • Obama incorrectly claimed all of McCain’s ads had been “negative.” That was true for one recent week, but not over the entire campaign. And at times Obama has run a higher percentage of attack ads than McCain.

  • McCain described Colombia as the "largest agricultural importer of our products." Actually, Canada imports the most U.S. farm products, and Colombia is far down the list.
  • Obama strained to portray himself as willing to break ranks with fellow Democrats. His prime example was his vote for a bill that was supported by 18 Democrats and opposed by 26. Congressional Quarterly rates him as voting with his party 97 percent of the time since becoming a U.S. senator.
For details on these and other misleading claims, please read on to the Analysis section.

Note: This is a summary only. The full article with analysis, images and citations may be viewed on our Web site:

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Suzie said...

Thanks. I keep missing the debates. I cant seem to stay awake past 8:30pm anymore.

Mo and The Purries said...

Columbia, Canada... same thing. I mean, one if full of drug lords, the other is full of hockey moms with lipstick. Not much difference, eh?

EG CameraGirl said...

I don't know how you can stand all this hype for sooooo long. Canada just went through a 37-day campaign for prime minister and members of parliament and that was quite enough. In the end, reason did not win out. I hope the U.S. electorate does way better. ;-)

Putz said...

you are much too fair to mccain...quit being so neutral sometimes....where is your fire????

Hootin' Anni said...

LOVE your sky photos...all of them! Such gorgeous fall foliage.

You know what I think? I have watched all three debates faithfully, I've watched the VP debates...

I'm just wondering how on earth the media and the microphones happen to be there at the right place and the right time to actually film and record some of the Joe the Plumber questions on Obama's campaign rally speech? Co-winky dink? Then, during the debate last night, McCain bringing up profusely his stand and thoughts on 'being rich Joe Plummer' etc, etc, etc,. Just the fact that he made sure he brought it up last night makes me skeptical...was this a set up job? Did the Republicans send our dear Plumber dude out there on Obama's campaign for these questions directed to Mr. O ---and then pay off the media to film this? many times after a campaign speech do they actually record/film questions afterward? ---I only recall that they show [at a distance] Obama shaking hands with his followers? It's a set up job. [I don't trust this as far as I can throw it!]

Hootin' Anni said...

VP debate...just one debate. Sorry, typo.

Marilyn said...

I am so tired of the whole mess... but I love how neutral you've managed to say. By the end of the debate I wanted to smack McCain and I never felt that way before. He was just getting on my nerves.... and yeah, compared to me, Joe the plumber IS rich.

Anonymous said...

Good one, Mary. I LOVE and I have been passing along the link to that site ever snce I discovered it.

Maria's Space said...

Putting everything else aside...I love that Joe the Plumber's name is actually Sam.