Wednesday, October 08, 2008

McCain's 17 Debate Lies

In addition to playing a drinking game built around every time John McCain says "my friends" in a debate, another way to get very intoxicated very quickly is to take a swig every time this guy distorts the facts or flat-out lies.

McCain was at it again in Tuesday night's presidential debate and the Obama-Biden campaign gives us the rundown:

1. McCain Proposing New Housing Plan. McCain today said he had a new plan to allow the Treasury to purchase and restructure mortgages. The truth is that this is not a new proposal and is already part of the rescue plan that was signed into law. It was Obama, not McCain who called for this move two weeks ago.

2. McCain Tax Plan Is Better. McCain said, "It is my proposal not Senator Obama's" that will "take care of working families." The reality is that even the Heritage Foundation agrees Obama will provide a middle class tax cut that studies have found is three times larger than under McCain's plan. In contrast, the McCain plan's benefits would overwhelmingly go to the wealthiest Americans and would leave out 101 million middle class households.

3. McCain's Plan For Housing Crisis. McCain said, "We have got to give some trust and confidence back to America" to solve the housing crisis. But Politifact agrees that McCain was taken by surprise by the mortgage crisis and was "a latecomer" to the debate. He even said "I don't claim to be smart enough" to solve the housing crisis and newspapers have found that McCain "overstates" his past actions on housing regulation.

4. Ties To Fannie/Freddie. McCain talked about "Senator Obama and his cronies and friends in Washington" and blamed them for Fannie and Freddie, while news accounts have pointed out his "deeper" ties to the companies. His campaign manager Rick Davis fought against greater regulation for years, and then his firm was revealed to be taking $15,000 a month until this summer from Freddie Mac, after denying any recent ties.

5. McCain Will Make Health Care Affordable And Available. McCain said "We can do them all at once," talking about affordability and availability of health care, but he failed to mention that experts say his plan may require some to pay more or get less coverage, that millions would lose their employer-based coverage, and that even he has admitted that his plan will raise taxes on some.

6. Small Business Taxes. McCain said Obama's plan "will increase taxes on 50% of small business revenue," when the Washington Post found similar attacks "untrue," and studies show 97% of small business owners wouldn't see higher taxes under Obama's plan. said the attack used "a false and preposterously inflated figure."

7. Tax Cuts For The Wealthy. McCain said "I am not in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy." While he once said that the Bush tax cuts were "too tilted to the wealthy," now he wants to make them permanent.

8. 2005 Energy Bill. McCain attacked Obama for his vote for the 2005 energy bill, saying it had "billions for oil companies." The truth is that called this "an old canard" and a "false attack." The non-partisan Congressional Research Service said the bill actually raised taxes on the oil and gas industry.

9. 94 Votes For Higher Taxes…Again. McCain once again repeated the attack that Obama voted 94 times for higher taxes, calling it "his record." This attack has been debunked by the Associated Press, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, CNN, the New York Times and, among others.

10. Obama Record On Nuclear Power. McCain said, "Obama is opposed to that," when the reality is that this attack is "false" according to Obama supports nuclear as long as it's "clean and safe."

11. Health Coverage For Pre-Existing Conditions. McCain said his health care plan would let people cross state lines to get plans, suggesting it would improve care and not telling Americans that it would weaken patient protections and does nothing to require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. McCain's plan would create a situation the GOP chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners said would cause a "race to the bottom."

12. Higher Health Care Costs For Small Businesses. McCain attacked Obama's health care plan, suggesting that Obama will fine small businesses and make health care more expensive for them. ABC pointed out that he was "omitting key details about Obama's plan to mitigate costs" for health care for small businesses. McCain also omitted his record of voting repeatedly against tax credits for small businesses to help with health care costs and that the majority of members of the National Federation of Independent Businesses oppose his plan.

13. Judgment On Iraq. McCain said that he had "the judgment" to make national security decisions, ignoring his record of misguided statements during the course of the Iraq war. In 2005 he said the war would be over within 18 months. In 2003 he said "we will be welcomed as liberators," and that "we will win it easily."

14. Russia And Georgia. McCain said Obama "was wrong about Russia when they committed aggression against Georgia" when Obama had condemned Russia's actions and called for an immediate ceasefire.

15. Surge In Iraq. McCain again attacked Obama on the surge, when news accounts show that Obama "said at the time" that the increase "could improve security in certain neighborhoods but that it would not solve the long-term political strife." Meanwhile McCain said only 10,000 troops would do the job.

16. Negotiations. McCain attacked Obama on diplomatic engagement, but the Washington Post has said McCain is "distorting history when he suggests that Barack Obama is bucking American presidential tradition in expressing a willingness to meet with the leaders of countries hostile to the United States" and that McCain is "incorrect."

17. Somalia. McCain held up Somalia as an example of failed American foreign policy, saying "we ended up having to withdraw in humiliation." McCain ignored the amendment he introduced in 1993 to cut off funding for troops in Somalia.

Wow. There's a minimum of 17 drinks right there.