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"Comment is free, but facts are sacred." -- C.P. Scott, editor Manchester Guardian, 1921


Our goal is to shed as much light as possible on controversial claims and counter-claims involving important national issues and the records of the various presidential candidates. More »

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Campaign 2008
[Barney Frank talks 'bundling' on Colbert Report]

The Trail

Barney Frank talks 'bundling' on Colbert Report

On the "Colbert Report," last night, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) made the case for a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. "If the Founding Fathers were really worried about mortgage bundling or ATM fees wouldn't they have said so in the Constitution?" asked "Colbert Report" host Stephen Colbert asked. 10:16 AM ET | More »

Archive: Barack Obama

Farewell Edition

The Fact Checker is shutting up shop on the last day of the 2008 election campaign. For this farewell edition, he selects a few of his favorite bloopers and howlers from the long, winding campaign trail.

Posted on November 3, 2008 at 09:55 AM ET | Comments (34)

Obama's Spending Cuts

Promises to cut government spending are pretty much worthless unless accompanied by convincing explanations of how precisely they will be implemented. Obama has failed this basic test.

Posted on October 31, 2008 at 07:39 PM ET | Comments (25)

John McCain's 'Trick or Treat'?

The McCain camp has come up with a new villain to scare away votes from Barack Obama on the eve of Halloween: a professor of Middle East studies at Columbia University. Boo!

Posted on October 30, 2008 at 06:13 PM ET | Comments (120)

John McCain and the Middle Class

Barack Obama claims that the McCain tax plan will do nothing for "100 million American families." Where does he get his figures from?

Posted on October 28, 2008 at 07:09 PM ET | Comments (48)

Obama's Redistribution 'Bombshell'

The McCain campaign is attempting to paint Barack Obama as a "Socialist" on the basis of a 2001 interview in which he spoke positively about "the redistribution of wealth." But the quotes have been somewhat garbled.

Posted on October 27, 2008 at 04:56 PM ET | Comments (97)

Is Obama Guilty of 'Infanticide'?

Sarah Palin has accused Barack Obama of wanting to withhold medical treatment from children born alive as the result of bungled abortions. Obama says pro-lifers have "lied" about his record. The Fact Checker adjudicates.

Posted on October 24, 2008 at 04:47 PM ET | Comments (119)

McCain, Obama, Biden, and JFK

The McCain camp has seized on an unguarded comment by Joe Biden to reintroduce the experience argument into the closing days of the presidential campaign. What do Obama and McCain have to learn from JFK and the Cuban missile crisis?

Posted on October 23, 2008 at 04:26 PM ET | Comments (28)

Just a Four-Letter Word?

John McCain has twisted the meaning of Obama quotes by the addition of a seemingly innocuous, four-letter word. The Illinois senator never said that William Ayers was "just" a guy in his neighborhood.

Posted on October 22, 2008 at 01:52 PM ET | Comments (61)

Obama Scares Seniors

Barack Obama is trying to convince American retirees that their Medicare benefits will be slashed under a McCain administration. He is relying on some highly selective quotes.

Posted on October 21, 2008 at 02:03 PM ET | Comments (91)

Fighting for Joe the Plumber

John McCain claims that "Joe the Plumber" will end up subsidizing non-taxpayers under the Obama tax plan. It is a classic straw man argument.

Posted on October 20, 2008 at 04:14 PM ET | Comments (72)

Obama Misleads on Colombia

Barack Obama justified his opposition to a free trade agreement with Colombia by citing the murders of trade union activists. He failed to note that the murder rate has come down significantly over the last few years.

Posted on October 17, 2008 at 03:06 PM ET | Comments (111)

Final Presidential Debate Fact Check

Join the Fact Checker and Friends for live truth squadding of the final presidential debate from Hofstra University.

Posted on October 15, 2008 at 08:12 PM ET | Comments (321)

'Jobs, Baby, Jobs'

The Obama and McCain campaigns have provided widely different estimates about the cost of a new Obama job creation plan. The Fact Checker adjudicates.

Posted on October 14, 2008 at 05:44 PM ET | Comments (87)

Did Obama "lie" about Ayers?

The McCain campaign claims that Barack Obama "lied" about his relationship with the former Weather Underground leader Bill Ayers. It would be more accurate to say that he "told the truth slowly."

Posted on October 10, 2008 at 04:48 PM ET | Comments (880)

Nashville Presidential Debate part II

More glitches and misstatements from the presidential debate. Obama misfires on health savings; McCain twists his rival's health care plan.

Posted on October 8, 2008 at 01:42 PM ET | Comments (14)

Second Presidential Debate: Nashville

Join the Fact Checker and friends for live coverage of tonight's presidential debate from Nashville.

Posted on October 7, 2008 at 05:02 PM ET | Comments (199)

Vice Presidential Debate: St Louis

The Fact Checker and Friends truth-squad the vice presidential debate from St. Louis. Join us on-line.

Posted on October 2, 2008 at 07:35 PM ET | Comments (149)

Obama's 'Trillion Dollar' Spending Plan

The GOP says Obama will add to the deficit with a $1 trillion spending plan. It depends on who is doing the counting.

Posted on October 1, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (55)

The Art of Meaningless Spin

In post-debate spin, both candidates are accusing the other of failing to use words like "middle class" or "victory." So what?

Posted on September 29, 2008 at 11:35 AM ET | Comments (25)

Read my lips...No new coal plants!

Joe Biden says that no new coal plants will be built in America under a Democratic administration. He is at odds with the top of his ticket.

Posted on September 24, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (49)

NRA Misfires against Obama

The National Rifle Association claims that Obama would like to take away the "guns and ammo" most commonly used by hunters, and impose a huge new tax on gun owners. Baloney.

Posted on September 23, 2008 at 10:32 AM ET | Comments (151)

Obama misleads on Social Security

Barack Obama has distorted John McCain's position on Social Security reform -- just as McCain has twisted Obama's words on raising taxes.

Posted on September 22, 2008 at 10:54 AM ET | Comments (93)

Obama's Fannie Mae 'Connection'

The McCain campaign is attempting to link Barack Obama to the mortgage crisis by claiming that he received advice on housing and mortgages from the former head of Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines. The evidence for the Obama-Raines link is pretty flimsy.

Posted on September 19, 2008 at 10:24 AM ET | Comments (1387)

McCain, Obama Mislead on Immigration

Both John McCain and Barack Obama have made misleading statements on immigration reform in an attempt to win support from Hispanic-Americans.

Posted on September 19, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (91)

Did Obama author the stimulus package?

Barack Obama claims that his economic stimulus plan "formed the basis" one the package eventually adopted by Congress and the White House. He is greatly exaggerating his role.

Posted on September 18, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (59)

Taxing Promises

The McCain campaign has repeatedly accused Barack Obama of planning to raise taxes on middle-income families. The claim is based on flimsy evidence.

Posted on September 17, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (90)

Obama Confuses his Verb Tenses

An Obama campaign ad claims that top McCain advisers "lobby" for special interests. The Democratic presidential candidate is grammatically challenged.

Posted on September 15, 2008 at 12:02 PM ET | Comments (193)

Spreading dirt on Palin--and Obama

Three pinocchios for a McCain campaign ad claiming that Barack Obama has "air-dropped a mini-army" of opposition researchers into Alaska in an attempt to "destroy" Sarah Palin.

Posted on September 12, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (101)

McCain attacks on education

John McCain says that Obama's only accomplishment in education policy is passing a sex education bill for kindergartners. That is a gross distortion.

Posted on September 10, 2008 at 12:15 PM ET | Comments (184)

Convention Edition

The Fact Checker is back, with a look at some of the more questionable claims aired at the Democratic and Republican conventions.

Posted on September 7, 2008 at 09:20 AM ET | Comments (57)

Lieberman Misleads on Obama's Record

The Fact Checker is away. In the interim, we bring you the best of PolitiFact, a fact-checking project from the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly. The Statement Obama voted "to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield." --Joe Lieberman on Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008 in St....

Posted on September 2, 2008 at 11:57 PM ET | Comments (414)

What the President Didn't Know

Both Obama and McCain have pointed to JFK's handling of the Cuban missile crisis to emphasize their own readiness for the commander-in-chief position. But history has become confused with myth.

Posted on June 23, 2008 at 12:45 PM ET | Comments (56)

Obama Reneges on Public Financing

Barack Obama promised to "aggressively pursue" an agreement on public financing with John McCain. He has gone back on his word.

Posted on June 20, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (238)

The great flag pin debate

Barack Obama is rarely seen without a flag pin these days. John McCain almost never wears one. We examine the great flag pin controversy.

Posted on June 17, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Was Obama ever a Muslim?

The creator of the infamous 1988 "Willie Horton" ad against Dukakis has turned his sights on Obama. We examine his claim that Obama was brought up as a Muslim in Indonesia.

Posted on June 13, 2008 at 09:00 AM ET | Comments (425)

Barack Obama vs Lou Dobbs

According to Barack Obama, Lou Dobbs and Rush Limbaugh are partly responsible for a "doubling" of hate crimes against Latinos last year. His stats are all wrong.

Posted on June 4, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (91)

Obama and Auschwitz, Part II

Barack Obama has made his "Americans liberated Auschwitz" claim more than once. He is not the only presidential candidate to twist the history of World War II.

Posted on May 28, 2008 at 12:05 PM ET | Comments (193)

Where in the world is Auschwitz?

Barack Obama claims that his uncle helped to liberate Auschwitz. If that is true, he must have been serving in the Soviet Army in World War II.

Posted on May 27, 2008 at 04:03 PM ET | Comments (290)

Barack in Wonderland

Barack Obama takes a lesson from Lewis Carroll to wriggle out of a meeting with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His words mean what he wants them to mean.

Posted on May 22, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (58)

McCain, Obama, and Kissing Dictators

John McCain has slammed Barack Obama for being willing to meet with foreign tyrants. But American presidents have a long tradition of shaking hands with mass murderers.

Posted on May 21, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (94)

Did he really say that?

Republican leaders are accusing Barack Obama of calling Israel a "constant wound" in U.S. foreign policy. They have twisted the senator's words.

Posted on May 13, 2008 at 11:28 AM ET | Comments (147)

Gas Tax Wars

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have twisted the facts in competing ads on the proposed "gas tax holiday."

Posted on May 6, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (78)

Guilt by Association

Despite decrying the practice of "guilt by association," John McCain has been using the tactic a lot on the campaign trail recently. The Fact Checker looks at his rhetoric.

Posted on May 1, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

A holiday from gas prices?

John McCain and Hillary Clinton are calling for a "gas tax holiday." Barack Obama calls the idea a "short-term quick fix" that won't help consumers. Who is right?

Posted on April 29, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Tracking the Fund-Raisers

Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have claimed new fundraising records recently. It is very difficult to verify their claims.

Posted on April 25, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (55)

Dr. Obama and Dr. McCain

Barack Obama and John McCain both believe there is good evidence of a link between autism and childhood vaccines. The medical establishment says otherwise.

Posted on April 22, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (60)

Pennsylvania Democratic Debate

The big fight from Philly! Join in a live Fact Check of tonight's Democratic Debate from Pennsylvania.

Posted on April 16, 2008 at 08:02 PM ET | Comments (0)

Obama's Rezko Connection

Barack Obama says he has "no recollection" of meeting with a controversial British billionaire barred from entering the U.S. It is a case of "he said, she said."

Posted on April 16, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Pot and the Kettle

The Clinton campaign is accusing Barack Obama of airing a "misleading" TV ad in Pennsylvania. But just how accurate is the Clinton response?

Posted on April 11, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (121)

Still no light at the end of the tunnel

A rare Geppetto checkmark to General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker for acknowledging that there is still no "light at the end of the tunnel" in Iraq. The three remaining presidential candidates have been less honest about the flaws in their own Iraqi exit strategies.

Posted on April 9, 2008 at 01:55 PM ET | Comments (30)

McCain's '100-year war'

Barack Obama continues to claim on the campaign trail that John McCain wants to fight a 100-year war in Iraq. Both he and Hillary Clinton have twisted McCain's words.

Posted on April 2, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (162)

Professor Obama?

The Clinton campaign says that Barack Obama has been misusing the title of "former law professor." A former Princeton professor investigates.

Posted on April 1, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama's 'Camelot connection'

Barack Obama has suggested that he is the mythical offspring of the Kennedys and the American civil rights movement. There are some problems with his version of history.

Posted on March 31, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

What did he hear--and when did he hear it?

Was Barack Obama present in church when the Rev. Jeremiah Wright delivered his most incendiary sermons? The Fact Checker investigates.

Posted on March 19, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (161)

Truth-telling on Iraq

Back from a short vacation, the Fact Checker awards a rare Geppetto checkmark, celebrating the dictum that "a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth."

Posted on March 13, 2008 at 01:25 PM ET | Comments (30)

'NAFTA-gate', Part II

The Clinton campaign is attempting to transform a Canadian diplomat's memo into "NAFTA-gate." The Fact Checker looks behind the spin.

Posted on March 4, 2008 at 11:46 AM ET | Comments (84)

Obama parses his words

After four days of non-denial denials, the Obama campaign now acknowledges a conversation over NAFTA with a senior Canadian diplomat. Has Obama been upfront about the 1993 trade agreement?

Posted on March 3, 2008 at 11:35 AM ET | Comments (0)

Readers Fact Check Dem Debate

Readers submitted dozens of tips on items to truth squad in Tuesday night's Democratic debate. The Fact Checker follows up.

Posted on February 28, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (74)

Democratic Debate Feb. 26, 2008

Join the Fact Checker, diplomatic reporter Glenn Kessler, and researcher Alice Crites for live truth squadding of tonight's MSNBC debate from Cleveland, Ohio.

Posted on February 26, 2008 at 08:15 PM ET | Comments (115)

Feuding over NAFTA

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are both guilty of distortions and factual errors in the debate over NAFTA.

Posted on February 26, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (50)

Obama vs Clinton

Both candidates made some factual errors, but no huge mistakes, in last night's Democratic debate from Austin, Texas.

Posted on February 21, 2008 at 10:51 PM ET | Comments (0)

Bombs Away!

Macho alert! John McCain suggested changing the Beach Boys song "Barbara Ann" to "Bomb, bomb, Iran." But he is blasting Barack Obama for talking about bombing al Qaeda targets in Pakistan.

Posted on February 21, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Obama 'pledge'

Barack Obama claims that he never promised to accept public financing in the general election if the GOP candidate does the same. We look at the record.

Posted on February 20, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (164)

Obama's 'Weatherman' Connection

A spate of blog postings and newspaper articles are linking Barack Obama to a former member of the radical Weathermen group. Is this a case of guilt by association?

Posted on February 19, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (343)

Obama's 'backroom deal'?

Hillary Clinton has accused Obama of cutting a secret deal with a major campaign contributor. But she has failed to produce evidence to support her claim.

Posted on February 14, 2008 at 06:40 PM ET | Comments (398)

Measuring the "Obama effect"

Barack Obama claims that he has helped "double" voter turnout in the early primary states. We examine the "Obama effect."

Posted on February 13, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (147)

Will Puerto Rico decide everything?

Several media pundits are predicting that the Democratic presidential race could be decided by the "winner takes all" Puerto Rican primary. We look at the facts.

Posted on February 11, 2008 at 03:58 PM ET | Comments (40)

Who has the most delegates?

Most news organizations are reporting that Clinton is leading in the delegate count. The Obama campaign claims that Obama is ahead. Who is right?

Posted on February 7, 2008 at 05:55 PM ET | Comments (96)

Obama's voting record on abortion

E-mails from NOW leaders are attacking Obama for lack of consistency on abortion. We examine the record.

Posted on February 6, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (60)

Hillary vs Barack on Meeting Dictators

She claims that he would meet with dictators "without precondition." He claims that she is following the discredited "Bush-Cheney" doctrine of refusing to talk to your enemies. Who is right?

Posted on February 4, 2008 at 11:30 AM ET | Comments (27)

Democratic Debate, Jan. 31, 2008

Did Hillary Clinton negotiate an open border agreement with Macedonia? The Fact Checker and friends truth squad last night's Democratic debate from Hollywood.

Posted on January 31, 2008 at 06:03 PM ET | Comments (104)

Partial Quote Alert!

The art of the partial quote is alive and well in the 2008 presidential campaign. The Fact Checker digs up some recent examples of an old advertising trick.

Posted on January 29, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama and Health Care

Clinton catches Obama in an inconsistency on his advocacy of a single-payer health insurance system, similar to the Canadian system.

Posted on January 24, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (52)

Clinton vs Obama on CNN

Clinton and Obama got into a slanging match during the South Carolina Democratic Debate over their records. We look at Obama's ties with a "slum landlord" and Clinton's work for Walmart.

Posted on January 23, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Bill the Attack Dog

We adjudicate the dispute between Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Has the former president been twisting the facts?

Posted on January 22, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (123)

Barack Obama's 'neighborhood'

Clinton supporter Robert Johnson has now apologized to Obama for bringing up the candidate's past drug use. Previous statements by the Clinton campaign on this issue must now be considered "inoperative."

Posted on January 18, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (62)

Clinton vs Obama on Iraq

Clinton has accused Obama of "inconsistency" on his opposition to the Iraq War. We examine the record.

Posted on January 16, 2008 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (74)

Democratic Debate Las Vegas

Live truth squadding ofthe Democratic debate from Las Vegas.

Posted on January 15, 2008 at 05:59 PM ET | Comments (33)

Why We Got it Wrong

The prose candidate won. The Fact Checker asks why the media (FC included) were all wrong.

Posted on January 9, 2008 at 10:43 AM ET | Comments (66)

Poetry versus Prose

The Fact Checker shares his impressions from four days on the road in New Hampshire. The Poetry party is beating the Prose party.

Posted on January 8, 2008 at 10:53 AM ET | Comments (26)

Obama and Iraq

5:10 p.m. I just came from a Bill Clinton town hall meeting in Peterborough. The news nugget out of the meeting was his attack on Barack Obama for alleged inconsistency over the Iraq war. The former president reminded his audience that Obama had made a big deal out of a...

Posted on January 7, 2008 at 05:10 PM ET | Comments (50)

NH: One Day to Go

One day to the New Hampshire primary. The Fact Checker is on the road, following the candidates.

Posted on January 6, 2008 at 10:36 AM ET | Comments (0)

Saint Anselm College Presidential Debates

Join the Fact Checker for live truth squadding of the Republican and Democratic debates from Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire.

Posted on January 5, 2008 at 10:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

The 2007 Pinocchio Awards

The Fact Checker announces the 2007 Pinocchio Awards and a special Geppetto prize for truth-telling.

Posted on December 31, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (80)

Obama vs Clinton on Foreign Policy

Clinton and Obama are feuding over who has the most support from the Democratic Party foreign policy establishment. We name names.

Posted on December 27, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (83)

The Fibs of 2007

Nominations are now open for the "Top Ten Fibs of 2007" and the "2007 Geppetto Award."

Posted on December 24, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

True But False

What do Barack Obama, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and Jesus have in common? A) They attended madrassas. B) They are "spirit brothers."

Posted on December 19, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (52)

Most Revealing Fibs: Barack Obama

Trailing behind Hillary Clinton among African-American voters, Obama is repeating the false claim that more "young black men" are in prison than in college.

Posted on December 14, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (25)

Clinton vs Obama: The 'Fact Check' War

The Clinton and Obama campaigns have issued competing "Fact Checks" on Iran. The Fact Checker fact checks the "fact checkers".

Posted on December 6, 2007 at 08:00 AM ET | Comments (17)

Obama Tells a Fib

Obama claims that George Bush never left the country prior to his election as president. That is false.

Posted on November 28, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (92)

Grace and Candor Under Pressure

Giuliani, Clinton, and Obama receive Geppetto checkmarks from the Fact Checker for statements that combine honesty with memorability.

Posted on November 26, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (17)

Clinton vs. Obama on Health Care

Both Clinton and Obama have claimed that their health care plans will provide "universal coverage" to all Americans. We point out the gaps in their proposals.

Posted on November 19, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama Blurs Definition of 'Combat Troops'

Barack Obama has promised to withdraw all U.S. combat troops from Iraq. But he has also said that he might send troops back into the country to fight al-Qaeda and "stop genocidal violence." Is he trying to have it both ways?

Posted on November 14, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (28)

Obama Nabbed by the Patriot Police

Viral e-mails have become a new hazard for presidential candidates in the Internet Age. Barack Obama is a favorite target. The Fact Checker follows the electronic trail.

Posted on November 2, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (148)

Fact Checking the Fact Checker

The Fact Checker adjudicates the case of Obama and Edwards vs "federal lobbyists." Is FC a "shill" for the Clinton campaign?

Posted on October 29, 2007 at 08:50 AM ET | Comments (0)

Obama, Edwards, and the Lobbying Industry

There are numerous loopholes in the anti-lobbyist campaigns launched by Barack Obama and John Edwards. Do they deserve Pinocchios?

Posted on October 22, 2007 at 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Young Black Males Headed for Extinction?

Both John Edwards and Barack Obama say young black men in this country are at serious risk. Do their statistics measure up?

Posted on October 3, 2007 at 06:00 AM ET | Comments (30)

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