Ignoring his numerous falsehoods, Detroit Free Press reported that at a town hall meeting, "[a]s usual, McCain was candid"

››› ››› MATT GERTZ

In an online article, the Detroit Free Press reported of Sen. John McCain's May 6 town hall meeting at Oakland University: "As usual, McCain was candid and said things like fuel efficiency standards have to increase and the way to make the domestic automotive industry more competitive is to get other costs, like health care for autoworkers, under control." While the media routinely refer to McCain as a straight-talker who resists pandering, Media Matters for America has identified numerous instances in which McCain has promulgated falsehoods about himself and his opponents.

In a May 7 article published on the website of the Detroit Free Press, staff writers Kathleen Gray and Emelia Askari reported of Sen. John McCain's May 6 town hall meeting at Oakland University: "As usual, McCain was candid and said things like fuel efficiency standards have to increase and the way to make the domestic automotive industry more competitive is to get other costs, like health care for autoworkers, under control." While the media routinely refer to McCain as a straight-talker who resists pandering, Media Matters for America has identified numerous instances during the campaign in which McCain has not, in fact, been "candid," including on the topic of health care.

The article was subsequently replaced on the Free Press website with another article by Gray and Askari that also discussed McCain's appearance at Oakland University but did not use the word "candid." The subsequent article was published in the May 8 print edition of the Free Press. The version of the article stating that "[a]s usual, McCain was candid" remains available in the Nexis news database.

During his campaign, McCain has falsely suggested that Sen. Barack Obama had said that Al Qaeda is not currently in Iraq; falsely suggested that Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton support a "big-government takeover of health care"; falsely suggested that Obama has only "in the last few days" proposed that a "strike force" remain in Iraq after the United States withdraws most troops; falsely claimed that Obama "approve[d]" of a meeting between former President Jimmy Carter and Hamas leader Khaled Meshal; falsely claimed that Clinton and Obama "want to raise your taxes"; and falsely suggested that Obama "once suggested bombing our ally, Pakistan." McCain also falsely asserted that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, his rival in the Republican presidential race at the time, "disparage[d] the service and courage of an American hero" with his statement that former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) is "probably the last person I would have wanted to have write a letter for me."

McCain has also repeatedly claimed that he voted against President Bush's tax cuts because they weren't paired with spending cuts -- a different reason from the one he gave in 2001 when he voted against the tax cuts; falsely claimed during the campaign that he called for Donald Rumsfeld's resignation as defense secretary; repeatedly made the admittedly false claim that Iran is training Al Qaeda; and after telling The Wall Street Journal in late 2005 that he knows "a lot less about economics" than "military and foreign policy issues," suggested he had not said this when confronted with the quote in a debate question.

From the original version of the May 7 Free Press article:

McCain encountered a mostly friendly crowd of several hundred people at Oakland University in Rochester, who didn't ask about slave trade or child pornography or religious freedom.

Their questions were more about everyday life in Michigan: fuel efficiency standards, environmental protections, and the loss of jobs in the state.

As usual, McCain was candid and said things like fuel efficiency standards have to increase and the way to make the domestic automotive industry more competitive is to get other costs, like health care for autoworkers, under control.

"One of the problems that the Big 3 automakers has is.increased costs that have been negotiated over the years that puts them at a competitive disadvantage," he said. "But now there is a recognition that we have to reduce those costs dramatically and put the domestic auto industry on a much more level playing field with foreign manufacturers."

While Gary Tibbetts, a 68-year-old retired research engineer for General Motors, wasn't particularly happy with the answer to his question about CAFÉ standards, he said he appreciated McCain's honesty.

"We have an honest disagreement, but I'm still a McCain supporter," Tibbetts said.

Show/Publication
Detroit Free Press
Stories/Interests
John McCain, 2008 Elections
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.