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Democratic National Committee: John McCain vs. the Fact Checkers - New McCainpedia Feature Highlights McCain Distortions

Democratic National Committee: John McCain vs. the Fact Checkers - New McCainpedia Feature Highlights McCain Distortions

WASHINGTON, June 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following release was issued today by the Democratic National Committee:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080519/DNCLOGO )

John McCain may be trying to sell himself as a "maverick" and a "straight talker" who will tell the truth no matter the consequences, but independent, non-partisan watchdog groups aren't buying it. Since Senator McCain wrapped up his Party's nomination, hardly a week has passed without at least one non-partisan fact checker criticizing McCain for distorting his record on something. McCain has consistently mischaracterized his record on the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, tax cuts, the budget, earmarks and health care reform.

To help keep track of all the distortions, the Democratic National Committee today launched a new feature on McCainpedia called "John McCain vs. the Fact Checkers." The new page summarizes the findings of the leading independent fact check groups, organizes them by issue and provides links to the full report. It is the latest effort to put facts about John McCain's real record directly in the hands of the voters.

"Keeping track of John McCain's growing list of distortions just got a little easier," said DNC Communications Director Karen Finney. "John McCain's rhetoric about his so-called 'straight talk' masks a disturbing pattern of misrepresenting key facts about his own record. This new tool will help voters see the real record behind McCain's misleading rhetoric so they can see for themselves all the reasons why John McCain is the wrong choice for America's future."

Last month, the DNC launched McCainpedia, the latest in a series of powerful and groundbreaking online tools designed to further engage the American people in the political process during this election by providing greater access to information. McCainpedia is an electronic encyclopedia that provides the opportunity for anyone, anywhere to review the raw facts and research of John McCain's record and then use it or share it in any way they choose.

To view the new "John McCain vs. the Fact Checkers" feature on McCainpedia, click here: http://www.mccainpedia.org/index.php/John_McCain_vs._the_Fact_Checkers.

John McCain vs. the Fact Checkers On Iraq:

Washington Post Fact Checker: 3 Pinocchios for Verb Tense Defense of Comments About Drawing Down Troops to Pre-Surge Levels. "McCain insists that he did not make a mistake, in verb tenses or any other way. 'I said we had drawn down,' he told reporters today. 'I said we have drawn down and we have drawn down three of the five brigades. We have drawn down three of the five brigades. We have drawn down the marines. The rest will be home the end of July. That's just facts, the facts as I stated them.' ...For the record, those are NOT the facts as he 'stated them.' What he said was that U.S. forces had 'drawn down to pre-surge levels'...Prior to the conference call, I was inclined to give McCain a maximum of two Pinocchios for his misstatement about troop levels in Iraq. Everybody misspeaks once in a while. But the attempt by the McCain media machine to spin the mistake as a simple matter of 'verb tenses' is an insult to our intelligence. Pointing to Obama's recent misstatement about his uncle liberating Auschwitz, Scheunemann says that all candidates should be held to the 'same standard.' I agree. Three Pinocchios." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 5/3008: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/05/mccain_the_surge_and... tens.html]

Washington Post Fact Checker: 2 Pinocchios for McCain Claim That Iran Is Training al-Qaida. "There is no reason to doubt the statements by U.S. generals that some of the weapons and munitions used by Sunni extremists in Iraq can be traced back to Iran. Odierno's statement about movements of 'a small number' of al Qaeda personnel through Iran to Iraq also seems quite credible. But it is a big stretch to conclude from these statements that Iran is providing organized support for al Qaeda in Iraq." [Washington Post Fact Checker blog, 3/20/08: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/03/mccains_foreign_poli... fe.html]

On Balanced Budgets:

FactCheck.org: McCain's Spending Plans Don't Add Up. According to the non-partisan FactCheck.org, "McCain's big promise is that he can balance the budget while extending Bush's tax cuts and adding a few of his own. He likes to leave the impression that this can be done painlessly, for example, by eliminating 'wasteful' spending in the form of 'earmarks' that lawmakers like to tuck into spending bills to finance home-state projects. We found that not only is this theory full of holes, it's not even McCain's actual plan." [FactCheck.org, 5/13/08: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/the_budget_according_to_mccain_p.... html]

Washington Post Fact Checker: 4 Pinocchios for McCain's "Fantasy" Plan to Balance Budgets by Cutting Earmarks. "McCain's talk about eliminating $100 billion a year in earmarks is largely fantasy. His advisers are now promoting a more realistic plan of eliminating $100 billion in overall spending. But it is difficult to take even that promise very seriously given the fact that the senator refuses to identify exactly which projects he will be cut. To use a phrase coined by George H.W. Bush, this is 'voodoo economics,' based more on wishful thinking than on hard data or carefully considered policy proposals." [Washington Post Fact Checker Blog, 5/23/08: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/05/mccains_fantasy_war_... mark.html]

On Tax Cuts:

Washington Post Fact Checker: 2 Pinocchios for Fiorina and McCain Tax Claims. "The McCain camp is attempting to persuade Americans that their taxes will increase dramatically with Barack Obama as president. The presumptive Republican nominee has repeatedly said that Obama would enact 'the largest tax increase since the Second World War.' A surrogate, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, insists that Obama has not proposed 'a single tax cut' and wants to 'raise every tax in the book'... Carly Fiorina is wrong to claim that Obama has proposed no tax cuts and wants to raise 'every tax in the book.' John McCain is on more solid ground when he claims that Americans from many different backgrounds could be affected by a rise in capital gains taxes, but he has greatly exaggerated the adverse impact." [Washington Post, Fact Checker blog, 6/11/08: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/06/mccain_vs_obama_on_t... tml]

FactCheck.org: McCain's Claim That Tax Cuts Increase Revenue Is "Highly Misleading." Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain has said that the major tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 have "increased revenues." He also said that tax cuts in general increase revenues. That's highly misleading. In fact, the last half-dozen years have shown us that we can't have both lower taxes and fatter government coffers. The Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury Department, the Joint Committee on Taxation, the White House's Council of Economic Advisers and a former Bush administration economist all say that tax cuts lead to revenues that are lower than they otherwise would have been -- even if they spur some economic growth. And federal revenues actually declined at the beginning of this decade before rebounding. The growth in the past three years that McCain refers to brings revenues back in line with the 40-year historical average as a percentage of gross domestic product." [Fact Check.Org, 6/11/2008]

FactCheck.org: McCain's Largest Tax Increase Charge "Wrong" and "Misleading." According to the Annenberg Public Policy Center's Factcheck.org: "By the measure most economists prefer, McCain is wrong in his claim that Sens. Clinton and Obama want to implement 'the single largest tax increase since the Second World War;'... At a more basic level, it's misleading to tag Clinton and Obama for something that was scheduled during the Bush administration -- the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which by law will occur at the end of 2010." [Factcheck.org, 5/14/2008, http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/the_budget_according_to_mccain_p... .html]

On Health Care:

Fact Check: McCain's Plan Would Result In Employers, Particularly Small Businesses, Dropping Coverage. According to Factcheck.org, "McCain's plan to tax workers on the value of their employer-provided health care plans and provide tax credits would encourage some employers, mainly small businesses, to drop health benefits, say experts, and the proposal could eventually eliminate job-based insurance altogether." Director of the health research and education program at the Employee Benefit Research Institute Paul Fronstin "says a tax credit plan like McCain's likely would mean the end of employer-sponsored health care." [Factcheck.org, "McCain's $5,000 Promise, 5/1/2008, http://www.factcheck.org/mccains_5000_promise.html]

On Special Interests Influencing His Campaign:

Washington Post Fact Checker Blog: Claim that Special Interests Haven't Given Me "Any Money" is "Patently False." "His claim that he is the only presidential candidate not to receive money from 'special interests' is patently false. I was tempted to award four Pinocchios, but I am subtracting one because it is an old quote. Let me know if McCain has repeated the claim recently." [Fact Checker, Washington Post, 2/29/08, http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/02/pinocchios_for_john_... .html]

On Hurricane Katrina:

FactCheck.org: McCain Claim to Have Supported Every Katrina Investigation "Is False." "McCain was asked by a New Orleans reporter why he voted twice against an independent commission to investigate the government's failings before and after Hurricane Katrina, and he incorrectly stated that he had 'voted for every investigation.' McCain actually voted twice, in 2005 and 2006, to defeat a Democratic amendment that would have set up an independent commission along the lines of the 9/11 Commission. At the time of the second vote, members of both parties were complaining that the White House was refusing requests by Senate investigators for information...McCain's statement that he 'supported every investigation' is false. The record shows McCain lined up with his party as it circled the wagons to defend the Bush administration against a more aggressive probe of what went wrong before and after Katrina." [FactCheck.org, 6/5/08: http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/katrina_kerfuffle.html]

On Earmarks:

FactCheck.org: McCain Voted for Montana Earmark He Mocks. "Despite the fun McCain had ridiculing the bear project on the Senate floor, he didn't actually try to remove it from the bill. He did introduce several amendments, including three to reduce funding for projects he considered wasteful or harmful, but none removing the grizzly bear project appropriations. And despite his criticisms, he voted in favor of the final bill." [Factcheck.org, 11/20/07: http://www.factcheck.org/outrageous_exaggerations.html]

CQ's Politi-Fact: McCain's Pork Claims "False." Reviewing McCain's claims on pork-barrel spending, the CQ's Politi-Fact found, "[T]he narrow Washington definition of 'earmark' is less important than the impression McCain has left. It appears he was seeking pork barrel projects for Arizona, which puts a few blemishes on an otherwise pure record against pork. And so while we find there is no question that McCain has been a leading congressional voice against pork, these three examples conflict with his bold claim. So we find that claim False." [http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/273/]

Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee, http://www.democrats.org/.

This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

Democratic National Committee

CONTACT: Damien LaVera of the Democratic National Committee,

Web Site: http://www.democrats.org/

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