Fox News on-air graphic misquoted Obama as saying "McCain hasn't been a sidekick, he's been a maverick"

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

Moments after Sen. Barack Obama stated that Sen. John McCain "hasn't been a maverick, he's been a sidekick," Fox News displayed the following text for 51 seconds: "Obama: McCain isn't a maverick, he's a sidekick." Immediately after airing that text, it was changed to read: "Obama: McCain hasn't been a sidekick, he's been a maverick." The misquoted text aired for 51 seconds, and at no point did Fox News correct it or re-air the accurate text.

During the October 31 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, while broadcasting Sen. Barack Obama's speech that day in Des Moines, Iowa, Fox News aired on-screen text that misquoted Obama, falsely asserting that he called Sen. John McCain "a maverick." In fact, Obama said of McCain, "I mean, he hasn't been a maverick, he's been a sidekick."

Obama stated: "But when it comes to the economy, when it comes to the central issue of this election, the plain truth is that John McCain has stood with President Bush every step of the way. I mean, he hasn't been a maverick, he's been a sidekick." Moments later, Fox News displayed the following text for 51 seconds: "Obama: McCain isn't a maverick, he's a sidekick." Immediately after airing that text, it was changed to read: "Obama: McCain hasn't been a sidekick, he's been a maverick." The misquoted text also aired for 51 seconds, and at no point did Fox News correct it or re-air the accurate text.

Fox screengrab 1

Fox screengrab 2

From the October 31 edition of Fox News' Happening Now:

OBAMA: We need more civility in Washington. I don't disagree with John McCain on everything. I respect his occasional displays of independence. But when it comes to the economy, when it comes to the central issue of this election, the plain truth is that John McCain has stood with President Bush every step of the way. I mean, he hasn't been a maverick, he's been a sidekick.

When it comes to the economy, he's voted for Bush tax cuts to the wealthy -- didn't need and weren't even asking for -- and that he himself once said didn't make sense. He's voted for the Bush budgets that have taken us from surplus to half a trillion dollar deficit and loaded up about $4 or $5 trillion in extra debt for the next generation.

He's called for less regulation 20 times, 21 times just this year. Those are the facts. And now, after 21 months and three debates, John McCain has still not been able to tell the American people a single major thing he'd do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy -- not one. I challenge you. You've seen some of the ads. If you can -- if anybody here can name a single thing that John McCain says that he'd do differently from George Bush when it comes to the economy, I'd be interested.

CROWD: Nothing.

OBAMA: He spends all this time talking about me in not very flattering terms.

Now, John McCain says we can't spend the next four years waiting for our luck to change and he's right about that, but all of you understand that the biggest gamble we can take is embracing the same old Bush-McCain policies that have not worked and expect a different result. We've got to do something different.

When John McCain wants to give a $700,000 tax cut to the average fortune 500 CEO, that's not change. It's not change when he wants to give $200 billion to the biggest corporations, $4 billion to the oil companies. ExxonMobil announced that it had made $14 billion in profits just last quarter -- broke its own record from the previous quarter when it made 12 billion. He wants to give more tax breaks -- $300 billion to the same Wall Street banks that got us into this mess. That's not change.

It's not change when he comes up with a tax plan that doesn't give a penny of relief to more than one hundred middle -- 100 million middle-class Americans. We've tried it John McCain's way, we've tried it George Bush's way. Deep down, John McCain knows that, which is why his campaign said if we keep on talking about the economy, we're going to lose. Well, that's why I keep on talking about the economy.

So he doesn't want to talk about the thing that is most important to the American people, and so he has spent the last few weeks of the campaign calling me every name in the book.

Posted In
Government
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Show/Publication
Happening Now
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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