A New York Times article about possible attacks against Sen. Barack Obama in the general election reported that Sen. John McCain's aides said "their first line of attack would be to portray [Obama] as a liberal, and they have already begun pointing to a rating in The National Journal, based on his votes, of Mr. Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate." But among the "liberal" positions Obama took to earn the distinction of "most liberal senator in 2007" were his votes to implement the bipartisan 9-11 Commission's homeland security recommendations, provide more children with health insurance, expand federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and maintain a federal minimum wage.
Various media figures and reports have helped perpetuate the myth of Sen. John McCain as a straight-talking maverick who is feared by lobbyists and representatives of special interests. But McCain's campaign reportedly has more current and former lobbyists on staff or as advisers and more current and former lobbyist fundraising bundlers than any other candidate.
On Hannity & Colmes, National Review's Rich Lowry aired a clip of Sen. John McCain falsely asserting that Sen. Barack Obama said he's "going to bomb a country that is a sovereign nation," a distortion of Obama's statement about Pakistan that McCain has repeatedly made. Lowry then echoed McCain by saying that Obama "detailed his willingness to bomb suspected terrorist cells in Pakistan." In fact, Obama said: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will."
While discussing a New York Times article about Sen. John McCain's relationship with a telecommunications lobbyist, CBS Early Show host Harry Smith did not challenge McCain campaign manager Rick Davis when Davis asserted that McCain "is probably most feared by every lobbyist in this town of Washington"; he did not note that Davis is a registered lobbyist who, the Times reported, "represented companies" before McCain's committee.
In a USA Today article reporting on Sen. John McCain's "critique" of Sen. Barack Obama, Susan Page wrote that McCain was "ridiculing comments Obama has made" and quoted without challenge McCain's false assertion that Obama "once suggested bombing our ally, Pakistan." In fact, in an August 2007 speech, Obama stated: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will."
The Wall Street Journal and washingtonpost.com's The Trail both quoted Sen. John McCain's false assertion that Sen. Barack Obama "once suggested bombing our ally, Pakistan." McClatchy Newspapers -- apparently quoting from the prepared text of McCain's January 19 speech -- reported that McCain said Obama "once suggested invading our ally, Pakistan." In fact, in an August 2007 speech, Obama stated: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will."
Responding to Chris Matthews' question, "[W]ill Barack Obama's oratorical ability on the lectern in front of big rooms continue to be his winning edge?" The New York Times' David Brooks said: "Yes, but he's got to get away from colleges. Go visit a factory for once." In fact, Obama delivered what his campaign called a "major economic policy address" at a Wisconsin General Motors factory a few days before Brooks made his comment.
A Wall Street Journal article about a hypothetical general election matchup between Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama asserted that "Mr. McCain might enter a race versus Mr. Obama with an advantage among Hispanic voters." However, recent polls have found that significantly more Hispanics would vote for Obama than McCain in a head-to-head contest.
A Wall Street Journal article asserted that "[w]hile Sen. [John] McCain has shifted his emphasis, talking more now about 'securing the border first,' he remains committed to the broad strokes of his original approach [on immigration reform]." And the Washington Post editorial board wrote that McCain has made "what amounts to only a mild shift in emphasis in his longstanding position." However, McCain's current position -- that the borders must be secured before other reforms can be addressed -- is a reversal of his prior position; McCain previously argued that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective. Moreover, he now says that he would not support his own legislation if it came up for a vote in the Senate.