On The Live Desk, Karl Rove advanced a falsehood he put forth in a recent Wall Street Journal column by suggesting that President-elect Barack Obama had "trashed the [Bush] administration" for supporting a 2008 stimulus bill. In fact, in remarks that Rove misrepresented in the column, Obama criticized the Bush administration for funding "[a] trillion dollar war in Iraq" with "deficit spending" and for exhibiting "[a] complete disdain for pay-as-you-go budgeting," but he did not criticize the administration for supporting the 2008 stimulus bill.
In his Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove took quotes from President-elect Barack Obama out of context to falsely claim that Obama criticized the economic stimulus bill as "deficit spending" that represented "the 'disdain for pay-as-you-go budgeting' in Washington." In fact, Obama used those words in a March 2008 speech while discussing the "policies of the Bush Administration," which "threw the economy further out of balance."
In his Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove falsely claimed that Rep. Barney Frank "labeled" President George W. Bush's "proposals" for reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as "inane." In fact, Frank's remark came in response to Bush's assertion that "Congress needs to get [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] reformed" by passing Bush's "robust reform package" before Fannie and Freddie could expand their mortgage portfolios. The New York Times reported that in an interview, Frank "said that the president's comments were 'inane.' 'Tell the Republicans to stop blocking the bill,' Mr. Frank said.''
Numerous media figures have cited Japanese fiscal policy during the "lost decade" of the 1990s to criticize President-elect Barack Obama's plan to undertake a large-scale stimulus program. These media figures ignore evidence that, according to prominent economists, economic conditions were improving in Japan before the Japanese government temporarily abandoned stimulus spending in an attempt to reduce the deficit.
Again downplaying President-elect Barack Obama's victory, Karl Rove claimed on Today that the "call for change gave Barack Obama the presidency of the United States with 2.1 percent more than Al Gore got." In fact, in 2000, Gore received 48.38 percent of the popular vote, and according to unofficial election results posted on National Public Radio's website, Obama has received 52.7 percent of the popular vote, which is a difference of 4.32 percentage points.
Fox News hosts, reporters, and contributors have repeatedly provided or echoed the claims of only opponents of the Employee Free Choice Act, which would give workers the right to form or join a union if a majority of workers sign a card stating they want to unionize. Absent from numerous reports and discussions on Fox News is the argument made by proponents of EFCA that under the current system, employers often fire union supporters and pressure employees to vote against unionizing.
Several conservative commentators claim America is ideologically a "center-right" country, citing as evidence general election exit polls showing that 22 percent of respondents identify themselves as "liberal," 44 percent as "moderate" and 34 percent as "conservative." But political scientists dispute the reliability of voters' identification with political ideologies, and other polling has found that a strong majority favored the more progressive position on a number of issues.
Several media figures have claimed that President-elect Barack Obama won the election because he ran as a conservative and that notwithstanding Obama's victory, the United States is a conservative country. However, a poll conducted November 4-5 showed strong support for the progressive positions that Obama has articulated on the issues, rebutting the claim that the United States is a conservative country.
Karl Rove falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama's statement that "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" "was a deliberate slap at Governor [Sarah] Palin." In fact, Obama did not mention or refer to Palin in the comments immediately preceding his "lipstick" comment. Rove also falsely asserted, "The only time this word has intruded in recent months in the campaign was in her [Palin's] you know, self-deprecating remark at the convention"; in fact, McCain himself used the phrase "putting lipstick on a pig" in a public appearance on May 2.
In his Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove falsely asserted that, in contrast with Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. Barack Obama has "ratchet[ed] up his requests [for earmarks] each year he's been in the Senate." In fact, Obama has reportedly requested no earmarks in 2008, while Palin has reportedly requested at least $197 million in earmarks in 2008, which, according to The Seattle Times, amounts to "more, per person, than any other state." Indeed, on a per-capita basis, Palin has requested more than 10 times the amount of earmarks per year than Obama has.
Purporting to describe the response by Sen. Barack Obama's campaign to Sen. John McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate, a Fox News graphic stated: "Obama Campaign Disses Palin for Small Town Origins." In fact, the Obama campaign challenged Palin's experience, not her "small town origins."
During an interview with Sen. John McCain, Katie Couric did not challenge McCain's false claim that Sen. Joe Biden "said you had to break Iraq up into three different countries" as part of his Iraq plan. On America's Election HQ, Karl Rove falsely asserted that Biden's proposal for Iraq involved "unilaterally splitting up a sovereign nation," a statement that Chris Wallace echoed. In fact, Biden introduced a "five-point plan" to "[m]aintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis breathing room in their own regions." Further, Biden has made clear that he was not proposing that his plan be imposed on Iraq "unilaterally."
In a Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove claimed that "[Sen. John McCain] opposes tax increases and [Sen. Barack] Obama favors them." In fact, Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income families, and McCain's own chief economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, has reportedly said that it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes." Moreover, McCain himself recently suggested he would be open to raising Social Security payroll taxes.
Karl Rove falsely asserted in his Wall Street Journal column that Sen. Barack Obama has "flip-flop[ped]" on his Iraq policy with regards to leaving a residual U.S. force in Iraq and its mission. In fact, Obama has not "changed" or "shifted" his position on the existence and purpose of residual U.S. forces in Iraq.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Karl Rove stated that an ad for Barack Obama "says he was raised with 'values straight from the Kansas heartland,' though he grew up in Hawaii." But Obama does not suggest in the ad that he was raised in Kansas; rather, he explicitly notes his mother and grandparents "grew up" there. Rove also asserted that Obama claims in the ad "to have passed three bills, but fails to mention that two were in the Illinois state Senate." However, Obama does not suggest that the bills referenced in the ad were passed by the U.S. Senate, and the ad displays the years in which the bills were passed.