Huffpost Politics
Jed Lewison Headshot

Both Candidates Made Misstatements, But McCain's Were By A Mile

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I've put together a summary of the misstatements of fact in last night's debate as tracked by FactCheck.org.

The bottom-line is that while Obama did make a few mistakes, none were outright fabrications, and even when wrong, he was fairly close to being accurate.

McCain, on the other hand, delivered several whoppers that weren't even close to the truth.

First, Obama's misstatements:

  • Denied voting for a budget plan that called for a tax increase on people making $42K. He did vote for a budget resolution with such a recommendation, but even if it had passed, it would have not have had the force of law. Moreover, he does not support such a tax increase in his current plan.
  • Claimed Iraq has a $79 billion surplus, but that figure is outdated and the actually number is now closer to $60 billion.
  • Claimed 95% of "the American people" would see a tax cut under his plan when he should have said "95% of American families with children."
  • Claimed McCain's health care plan would levy taxes against employers on health care premiums when McCain would actually be taxing individuals.

Second, McCain misstatements:

  • Denied Kissinger called for meetings with Iran without conditions, when Kissinger had made such a call.
  • Claimed Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen had criticized Obama's troop withdrawal plan when Mullen had not.
  • Claimed earmarks had tripled in the last five years when they have actually decreased.
  • Claimed U.S. pays $700 billion per year to buy oil from hostile nations when the actual figure is at most $359 billion.
  • Claimed Obama would hand the health care system to the federal government, which is false.
  • Claimed Dwight Eisenhower had penned a letter offering his resignation if Normandy had failed, but that didn't happen.

Basically, when Obama erred, he was saying 2 + 2 = 4.01. When McCain erred, he was saying 2 + 2 = 4,000,001.