Sean Hannity falsely asserted that former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines is "a chief economic adviser" to Sen. Barack Obama. A McCain campaign ad claims that Raines "advises" Obama -- a claim that Raines and the Obama campaign have denied -- but even that ad did not claim that Raines is a "chief" adviser.
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On the September 23 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity falsely claimed that former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines is "a chief economic adviser" to Sen. Barack Obama. The McCain campaign has released an ad citing a July 16 Washington Post article for the claim that Raines "advises" Obama, a claim that both Raines and the Obama campaign have denied. However, not even the McCain ad claimed that Raines is a "chief" adviser.
Moreover, according to a September 19 Washington Post Fact Checker post by Michael Dobbs, the McCain campaign's basis for its claim was the Post article's statement that Raines had "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters." Dobbs wrote that Anita Huslin, who authored the July 16 Post article, told him that Raines "said that he had gotten a couple of calls from the Obama campaign." Dobbs concluded:
The McCain campaign is clearly exaggerating wildly in attempting to depict Franklin Raines as a close adviser to Obama on "housing and mortgage policy." If we are to believe Raines, he did have a couple of telephone conversations with someone in the Obama campaign. But that hardly makes him an adviser to the candidate himself -- and certainly not in the way depicted in the McCain video release.
From the September 23 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
HANNITY: I only got time for a short segment. I want to get this in. This is important, because, you know, Bill Clinton said in the campaign, during the nominating process, that Obama played the race card against him and that he planned to play the race card against him.
Now, you know, Greta [Van Susteren, Fox News host] has an interview coming up after us here on Hannity & Colmes. Now, the McCain campaign came out with an ad. Jim Johnson and Frank Raines are two guys that worked at Fannie Mae, the heart of this entire --
BERNARD GOLDBERG [Fox News contributor]: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Right.
HANNITY: -- you know, issue going on Wall Street. This guy, Raines, in six years, made $90 million. And because the campaign of McCain brought up the fact that he's a chief economic adviser, some are saying, "Well, that's not fair," that's -- Dukakis is the one that brought up that that's, you know, like Willie Horton.
GOLDBERG: Dukakis -- Dukakis said it was like Willie Horton. And you know what? Liberals see the Willie Horton ad, and they see a black guy. Conservatives see the Willie Horton ad, and they see a criminal.
In this particular case, Raines was one of the guys that ran the company into the ground. Was it Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?
HANNITY: It was Fannie Mae, and it was $90 million that he made.
GOLDBERG: Yeah, he ran --
GOLDBERG: He ran it into the ground, so to do an ad and show a black man, and to call that a Willie Horton thing -- this is what I'm talking about. Race is way too sensitive to fool around with it like this.