Posted by Curt on 29 April, 2008 at 7:51 pm. 21 comments already!


FactCheck does a good job dissecting the two new DNC ads that target John McCain. The first one:

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FactCheck notes that this whole ad clearly implies that if McCain is elected we will be at war in Iraq for decades to come. Of course they cut off the most relevant part of what McCain said:

Maybe a hundred. … We’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea for 50 years or so. That would be fine with me, as long as Americans, as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. It’s fine with me and I hope it would be fine with you if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world.

“As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.” Peace time. And no mention in the ad of this context. Shocked?

FactCheck notes that Howard Dean said recently that they don’t mean anything by it. Just that they don’t think we should be in Iraq for a 100 years either way. He also stated that no one believes our troops could stay in Iraq for a 100 years without someone attacking them.

Tell that to Japan and Germany.


Dean is correct in one sense. His ad doesn’t say in so many words that McCain is “going to be at war for a hundred years.” But by juxtaposing McCain’s words with dramatic, violent images of war, it clearly leaves that impression.

It’s one thing to argue, as Dean does, that McCain’s position is a recipe for continued violence and bloodshed, whatever his stated intent. But it is another thing to misrepresent that intent. The ad twists the sense of McCain’s words by showing images of war, when he was really talking about a peaceful troop presence. Imagine how different the ad would seem if it showed images of, say, American troops walking the streets of Tokyo or Seoul and had included what McCain said about “Americans … not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed.”

The second video below:

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While McCain says “a lot of jobs have been created,” the ad shows a graphic that states, “1.8 million jobs lost.” McCain is correct and the ad is wrong. Total nonfarm employment was nearly 5.4 million higher last month than it was when President Bush took office in January 2001, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the standard measure of jobs, and it means 5.4 million have been created.

The DNC defends its claim of “jobs lost” by pointing to the total number of persons who were without jobs in March. That figure is 1.8 million higher than it was when Bush was sworn in. But it doesn’t mean that many jobs were lost, it means that the job gain didn’t keep pace with the number of persons who are seeking work. The ad would have been correct to say that there are “1.8 million more unemployed.” That stark statistic doesn’t contradict McCain’s statement that lots of jobs were created, however. It means not enough were created to satisfy the need.

They also note that gas prices are NOT up 200 percent, rather 139. The DNC accomplishes this math by using a start date of Dec 3, 2001….long after Bush took office. Since the day he took office its 139 percent. A bit of fudging going on there.

The ad also doesn’t put into context the unemployment rate. While it did rise from 4.2% to 5.1% since Bush took office, McCain is completely right that unemployment is low with an average rate of 5.6% since 1948.

Expect to see much more of this kind of fudging, skewing, and omitting in the months to come as the General heats up.

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