Friday, October 31, 2008

Barack Obama's Misleading Infomercial

Wednesday night, Barack Obama's infomercial offered the American people a nicely packaged product of misleading information. Check out the facts below:

JUST WORDS #1: Barack Obama Decries Record Deficits But Admits He Has No Interest In Reducing The Deficit

Barack Obama: "We were running a record deficit and our national debt had never been higher." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama: "I Do Not Make A Promise That We Can Reduce [The Budget Deficit] By 2013." "'I do not make a promise that we can reduce it by 2013 because I think it is important for us to make some critical investments right now in America's families,' Obama told reporters this week when asked if he'd match McCain's pledge." (Nedra Pickler, "Analysis: Obama Won't Try For McCain's Budget Goal," The Associated Press, 7/8/08)

· Chicago Tribune: Barack Obama Has "No Interest In Eliminating Deficit Spending." "Since winning the nomination, Obama reportedly has been moving toward the middle of the political spectrum. But on the budget, he still sounds left of center, with no interest in eliminating deficit spending." (Editorial, "Failure Of Nerve," Chicago Tribune, 7/8/08)

· The Associated Press: Barack Obama Not "Even Trying" To Balance The Budget And "Frankly Says He's Not Sure He'd Bring It Down At All In Four Years." "Barack Obama says John McCain's plan to balance the budget doesn't add up. Easy for him to say: It's not a goal he's even trying to reach. Not only does Obama say he won't eliminate the deficit in his first term, as McCain aims to do, he frankly says he's not sure he'd bring it down at all in four years, considering his own spending plans." (Nedra Pickler, "Analysis: Obama Won't Try For McCain's Budget Goal," The Associated Press, 7/8/08)

JUST WORDS #2: Barack Obama Talks About Leadership In The Financial Crisis But When The Crisis First Began, He Refused To Lead

Barack Obama: "But then a little over a month ago, the bottom fell out. What happened in the financial markets was the final verdict on eight years of failed policies. And we're now going through the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. A few weeks ago, we passed a financial rescue plan. It's a step in the right direction ... and as president, I'll ensure that you, the taxpayers, are paid back first. But we also need a rescue plan for the middle class ... starting with what we can do right now that will have an immediate effect." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· The Washington Times: "Obama Mum On Market Crisis." "Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama opted Friday not to divulge details of his recovery plan for the financial crisis after a morning meeting with his top economic advisers -- fearing it would stir Wall Street jitters." (S.A. Miller, "Obama Mum On Market Crisis," The Washington Times, 9/20/08)

· Barack Obama Did Not Make Calls To Round Up Votes For The Economic Recovery Package. ABC's JOHN BERMAN: "The McCain campaign has been hammering Obama suggesting he did not take a leading role in the financial negotiations." SEN. MCCAIN: "At first, he didn't want to get involved. Then, he was monitoring the situation." BERMAN: "Indeed, Obama aides say he did not make any calls to help round up votes." (ABC's "Good Morning America," 9/30/08)

· Barack Obama "Hinted That Had He Known Earlier The Deal Was Going Down To Defeat He Would Have Worked The Phones Even Harder." "Obama also hinted that had he known earlier the deal was going down to defeat he would have worked the phones even harder, especially given that some of those who voted no, were some of his early supporters." (Lee Cowan, "Obama Places No Blame, But..." MSNBC's "First Read" Blog,, Posted 9/30/08)

· Fox News' Major Garrett Reported That Barack Obama Would Not Take A Position On Whether Or Not He Supported Or Opposed The Government Rescue Of AIG. GARRETT: "On the biggest financial issue of the day, Barack Obama would not say if he supported or opposed the government-backed rescue of insurance giant AIG." BARACK OBAMA: "We don't know all the details of the arrangement with AIG and the Federal Reserve must ensure that plans protect the families that count on insurance." GARRETT: "Obama also wants taxpayers protected but executives and shareholders exposed but on the central question to intervene or not, Obama sidestepped. Advisers said lack of details forced caution. The larger political truth: advisors believe anxiety alone is enough to lift Obama in the polls. That is why on the trail, Obama doesn't talk about specifics of the moment but the nation's overall direction." (Fox News' "The Special Report," 9/17/08)

JUST WORDS #3: Barack Obama Says He'll Cut Taxes For Those Making Less Than $200,00 But Yesterday It Was Either $250,000 Or $150,000

Barack Obama: "As president, here's what I'll do: Cut taxes for every working family making less than $200,000 a year." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· In July 2008, Barack Obama Said: "If You Make $250,000 A Year Or Less, We Will Not Raise Your Taxes. We Will Cut Your Taxes." (Barack Obama, Remarks, Powder Springs, GA, 7/8/08)

· Joe Biden: "Spreading the wealth was not--he was talking about is all of the tax breaks have gone to the very, very wealthy. For example you have right now, this year, under the old tax policy that was just -- that was put in by George Bush, people making an average 1.4 million a year, good people, decent people, patriotic -- they're going to get an $87 billion tax break. What we're saying is that $87 billion tax break doesn't need to go to people making an average of 1.4 million, it should go like it used to. It should go to middle class people -- people making under $150,000 a year." (Joe Biden, Interview With WNEP Scranton, 10/27/08)

· Obama-Biden Campaign Aides Said That Those Making Between $150,000 And $250,000 Will Actually Not See A Tax Increase Or A Tax Cut. "Biden aides say his comments were actually consistent with Obama's tax plan -- people under $150,000 get a cut, and people making up to $250,000 stay the same." (Mark Murray and Mike Memoli, "$150,000 Vs. $250,000," MSNBC's "First Read" Blog,, Posted 10/28/08)

JUST WORDS #4: Barack Obama Says That His Business Tax Plan Will Create Jobs Here But His Running-Mate Disagrees

Barack Obama: "Give businesses a tax credit for every new employee that they hire right here in the U.S. over the next two years ... and eliminate tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· The Washington Post: Barack Obama's Plan On Business Taxes "Would Make It Even Harder" For Corporations To Compete And Will Hurt Workers In The United States. "Barack Obama says that he would 'end tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas' and blasts John McCain for refusing to condemn such loopholes. But the offshoring issue is more complicated than Mr. Obama's rhetoric suggests. ... Mr. Obama's proposal would change the provision in which U.S.-based companies don't have to pay taxes on their earnings abroad until that income is 'repatriated' -- brought back into the United States, for example as dividend payments. ... Mr. Obama's suggested fix would make it even harder for them to compete abroad -- ultimately hurting workers and others here." (Editorial, "The Export Of Jobs," The Washington Post, 8/17/08)

· The Wall Street Journal Said Barack Obama's Proposal Penalizes Most American Companies That Have Subsidiaries Abroad With "A Big Tax Increase." "Under Mr. Obama's plan, 'patriot employers' qualify for a 1% tax credit on their profits. To finance this tax break, American companies with subsidiaries abroad would have to pay the U.S. corporate tax on profits earned abroad, rather than the corporate tax of the host country where they are earned. Since the U.S. corporate tax rate is 35%, while most of the world has a lower rate, this amounts to a big tax increase on earnings owned abroad." (Editorial, "Obama's 'Patriot' Act," The Wall Street Journal, 2/27/08)

· Joe Biden Acknowledged That Eliminating Tax Breaks For Corporations Won't Keep Jobs Here; That America Has To Make It "More Attractive" For Corporations To Operate Here. Biden: "I agree with everything that was said here. But the bottom line here is that eliminating the tax breaks is not going to keep jobs here in America. We've got to make it more attractive to have jobs here in America and for corporations to be here. You've got to take the burden off the corporations with a health care system that's universal, so we're not at a competitive disadvantage." (Sen. Joe Biden, Democrat Presidential Candidates Debate, Howard University, Washington, DC, 6/28/07)

JUST WORDS #5: Barack Obama Says He Will Help Small Businesses Even As He Proposes Higher Taxes That Will Kill Small Businesses

Barack Obama: "And just like after 9-11, we'll provide low-cost loans to help small businesses pay their workers and keep their doors open." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Obama-Biden Has Called For Higher Income Taxes, Social Security Taxes, Capital Gains And Dividend Taxes, And Corporate Taxes, As Well As "Massive New Domestic Spending." "Obama's transformation, if you go by his campaign so far, would mean higher income taxes, higher Social Security taxes, higher investment taxes, higher corporate taxes, massive new domestic spending, and a healthcare plan that perhaps could be the next step to a full-scale, single-payer system. Is that what most Americans want, someone who will fulfill a Democratic policy wish list?" (James Pethokoukis, "Barack Hussein Reagan? Ronald Wilson Obama?" U.S. News & World Report's "Capital Commerce" Blog, 2/12/08)

· Obama-Biden Will Increase Capital Gains And Dividend Taxes. Obama Economic Advisors Jason Furman and Austan Goolsbee: "The top capital-gains rate for families making more than $250,000 would return to 20% ... The tax rate on dividends would also be 20% for families making more than $250,000, rather than returning to the ordinary income rate." (Jason Furman and Austan Goolsbee, Op-Ed, "The Obama Tax Plan," The Wall Street Journal, 8/14/08)

· Tax Policy Center: Obama-Biden Would Raise Taxes On One Out Of Every Three Senior Households. "Even though Senator Obama's plan eliminates individual income taxes for seniors with incomes less than $50,000, his plan would raise taxes for almost 10 million senior households, over a third of the total (not shown in table). On average, seniors would face a tax increase of about 2 percent of income." (Burman et al., "A Preliminary Analysis of the 2008 Presidential Candidates' Tax Plans," The Tax Policy Center, 6/11/08)

· Obama-Biden Would Raise Income Taxes. Obama: "[I] would roll back the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000." (Sen. Barack Obama, CNN Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Manchester, NH, 6/3/07)

· U.S. Department Of Treasury: Small Business Owners "Are Frequently Subject To The Highest Individual Income Tax Rates." ("Topics Related To The President's Tax Relief," U.S. Department Of Treasury,, May 2008)

· Obama-Biden Would Raise Social Security Taxes. "Obama's proposal ... would impose social security taxes on income above $250,000 per year. He would continue to exempt income between $102,000 and $250,000 from social security taxes." (Teddy Davis, Sunlen Miller, and Gregory Wallace, "Obama Kisses Billions Goodbye," ABC News' "Political Radar" Blog,, 6/18/08)

JUST WORDS #6: Barack Obama Talks About Pension Security While Democrats In Congress Propose Rules To Eliminate 401(K)s

Barack Obama: "You earned your pension. You earned it. It wasn't a gift. You gave up wages so that money could be set aside for your retirement. Time and time again, what we're seeing is companies who owe their workers retirements, pensions shedding those obligations. When you make a commitment to workers at a company, those aren't idle promises. Those are promises that should have the force of law." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· The Wall Street Journal: "Lawmakers Have Been Suggesting They May Look At Policy Changes To 401(k)s . In Coming Months." "In the past 12 months, more than a half-trillion dollars have 'evaporated' from 401(k) plans as a result of turmoil in the financial markets, said U.S. Rep. George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. ... Lawmakers have been suggesting they may look at policy changes to 401(k)s -- the tax-advantaged plans that are the most widely used retirement vehicle -- in coming months. Miller made it clear he sees flaws in the 401(k) model. About $3 trillion is invested in the plans, the majority of it placed in equity mutual funds that track the stock market. Miller said the 401(k) approach is a policy 'not well devised' for changes in the market. He said the plans were meant to be savings vehicles, not primary retirement plans." (Jennifer Levitz, "Amid Deep Los ses, Congress Examines 401(k)s," The Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire," 10/7/08)

· Among The Changes To The 401(K) System That Were Proposed At A Recent Congressional Hearing, "Chief Among Them Was Eliminating $80 Billion In Tax Savings For Higher-Income People Enrolled In 401(K) Retirement Savings Plans." "A wide range of sweeping changes to the 401(k) system were proposed Tuesday at a hearing on how the market crisis has devastated retirement savings plans. Chief among them was eliminating $80 billion in tax savings for higher-income people enrolled in 401(k) retirement savings plans. This was suggested by the chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor. 'With respect to the 401(k), it appears to be a plan that is not really well-devised for the changes in the market,' Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., said. 'We've invested $80 billion into subsidizing this activity,' he said, referring to tax breaks allowed for 401(k) contributions and savings. With savings rates going down, 'what do we have to start to thi nk about in Congress of whether or not we want to continue and invest that $80 billion for a policy that is not generating what we ... say it should?' Mr. Miller said." (Sara Hansard, "Congress Mulls Major 401(k) Changes," Investment News, 10/7/08)

· At An October 2008 Hearing, Education And Labor Committee Chairman Rep. George Miller (D-CA) Asked: "What Do We Have To Start To Think About In Congress Of Whether or Not We Want To Continue And Invest That $80 Billion For A Policy That's Not Generating What We Now Say It Should?" "But I think the key point raised by Dr. Ghilarducci, and Mr. Orszag I'm going to direct this to you, is that we've invested $80 billion a year into subsidizing this activity, which originally I thought was sort of a savings plan. And now its' become a retirement plan. I don't know when it changed, but now everybody is told that that's their retirement supplement. And again, it appears that while we've lamented all the time the savings rate isn't going up for the investment of this $80 billion, in fact, it's probably going down or appears to have been on a downward trend for a number of years. What's the policy? I mean, what do we have to start to think about in Congress of whether or not we want to continue and invest that $80 billion for a policy that's not generating what we now say it should?" (U.S. House Committee On Education And Labor, Hearing, 10/7/08)

· Rep. Miller: "I Think What We Are Seeing Is That After 25 Years Of 401K Plans That They Are A Big Failure In Terms Of Providing An Adequate Retirement For Middle Class Americans." (Jeff Mitchell, "Miller Says Government Must Next Turn Its Attention To Propping Up Sagging 401K And Pension Plans,", 10/8/08)

JUST WORDS #7: Barack Obama Says The American People Aren't "Looking For A Handout" But Proposes A New Welfare System

Barack Obama: "Americans -- they don't expect government to solve all their problems. They're not looking for a handout. If they're able and willing to work, they should be able to find a job that pays a living wage. They should be able to retire with some dignity and some respect." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· The Wall Street Journal Calls Obama's Numerous Refundable Tax Credits "Tens Of Billions Of Dollars In Government Handouts." "For the Obama Democrats, a tax cut is no longer letting you keep more of what you earn. In their lexicon, a tax cut includes tens of billions of dollars in government handouts that are disguised by the phrase 'tax credit.'" (Editorial, "Obama's 95% Illusion," The Wall Street Journal, 10/13/08)

· New York Post: "[O]bama's 'Tax Cuts' Really Amount To A Sizable Expansion Of Welfare." "In truth, as The Wall Street Journal detailed yesterday, nearly all of those 'cuts' actually come in the form of 'refundable tax credits,' by which the government in effect writes a check to those who meet certain criteria - even if they don't pay taxes in the first place. In other words, Obama's 'tax cuts' really amount to a sizable expansion of welfare. That leaves American taxpayers to foot the bill - both directly, and through the lost economic opportunity that's sure to follow Obama's promised tax hikes on income, dividends and capital gains." (Editorial, "Ready, Set ... Spend!" New York Post, 10/14/08)

· Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "[T]he One-Third Of All American Working Families Who Pay No Income Taxes Now Will Receive A Government Check Under The Obama Plan. And That Number Could Rise To About 44 Percent Under Obama's Proposal." "The 'tax-cut plan' of Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama is anything but. In fact, it's nothing more than another liberaled-up wealth-transference program that, in the 'old days,' was known as welfare. ... Just as troubling, however, is this little factoid: Even the one-third of all American working families who pay no income taxes now will receive a government check under the Obama plan. And that number could rise to about 44 percent under Obama's proposal." (Editorial, "Obama's Tax Cut: New Welfare Deal," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 10/14/08)

JUST WORDS #8: Barack Obama Says His $150 Billion Fund Will Lead To Energy Independence But "There's No Guarantee That The Research Will Result In Less Oil Being Imported"

Barack Obama: "As president, I'll use companies like McKinstry as a model for the nation. I'll invest $15 billion dollars a year in energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy -- like wind, solar and bio-fuels -- creating five million clean energy jobs over the next decade -- jobs that pay well and can never be outsourced." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· FactCheck.Org: "On closer examination, his proposal is to spend $150 billion over the coming decade on energy research. Ten years doesn't sound all that 'fast' to us, and there's no guarantee that the research will result in less oil being imported. ... We do object to implying that a decade-long program, which in all probability could not even begin until sometime in late 2009, is a 'fast track' to anything." (FactCheck.Org, "Straining A Point,", 7/17/08)

JUST WORDS #9: Barack Obama Says We Need To Tap The Very Same Domestic Sources Of Energy He Opposes Tapping

Barack Obama: "And to further reduce our demand for foreign oil, I'll tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology and expand domestic production of oil." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama Opposes Offshore Drilling. OBAMA: "This is not real. I know it's tempting. The polls say the majority of Americans think that's one of the ways we're going to solve this problem, but it's not real." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Campaign Event, Springfield, MO, 7/30/08)

· Joe Biden Said That He And Barack Obama Don't Support Clean Coal And Believe In "No Coal Plants Here In America." PERSON: "Senator, Senator, wind and solar are flourishing here in Ohio, so why are you supporting clean coal?" BIDEN: "Say ... I didn't hear what you said." PERSON: "Wind and solar are flourishing here in Ohio, so why are you supporting clean coal?" BIDEN: "We're not supporting 'clean coal.' Guess what. China's building two every week. Two dirty coal plants. And it's polluting the United States. It's causing people to die." PERSON: "So will you support wind and solar?" BIDEN: "Absolutely. Before anybody did. The first guy to introduce a global warming bill was me, 22 years ago. The first guy to support solar energy was me, 26 years ago. It came out of Delaware. But guess what. China is gonna burn three hundred years of bad coal unless we figure out how to clean their coal up. Because it's going to ruin your lungs and t here's nothing we can do about it. No coal plants here in America. Build them, if they're going to build them over there make 'em clean because they're killing you." (Joe Biden, Remarks, Maumee, OH, 9/17/08)

JUST WORDS #10: Barack Obama Says His Spending Proposals Are All Paid For But According To Independent Sources, Barack Obama Can Not Account For All His New Spending

Barack Obama: "That's why, for my energy plan, my economic plan and the other proposals you'll hear tonight, I've offered spending cuts above and beyond their cost. I'll also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that don't work ... and making the ones we do need work better and cost less." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· ABC News: Barack Obama Can Not "Pay For Every Dime" Of New Spending He Has Proposed. "Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said during Friday's presidential debate that he would 'pay for every dime' of his spending. But according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, 'without substantial cuts in government spending' Obama's plan -- and McCain's, too --'would substantially increase the national debt over the next ten years.' The Tax Policy Center has estimated that Obama's proposed tax policies would increase the debt by $3.5 trillion over ten years." ("Fact Check: 'Pay for Every Dime'? Not Quite," ABC News' "Political Radar" Blog,, Posted 9/26/08)

· PolitiFact Discredits Barack Obama's Claim That His Proposals Are Paid For; Says His Rhetoric Is "Disingenuous." "Until he fleshes out his economic plan considerably more, it's disingenuous to go around claiming his proposals are 'paid for.' And that claim is even more suspect considering that his proposals would leave a larger deficit than would the tax laws currently on the books. We find his claim to be Barely True." ("'Paid For' Without Real Money," St. Petersburg Times' ",", 6/16/08)

· Los Angeles Times: Barack Obama "Has Not Identified New Revenue Sources Or Spending Cuts To Pay For Some Of" His Proposals. "The Obama campaign responds that tax cuts, once enacted, are usually renewed and do not expire. Therefore, they say, Obama can legitimately claim to be recouping money for other purposes by scaling back the tax cuts. Obama has not identified new revenue sources or spending cuts to pay for some of what he wants to do." (Peter Nicholas, "Adding Up The Cost Of Obama's Agenda," Los Angeles Times, 7/8/08)

JUST WORDS #11: Barack Obama Talks About Reforming Education But He Has No Record

Barack Obama: "Now is not the time for small plans - now is the time to finally meet our moral obligation - to provide every child a world class education. I'll invest in early childhood education. I'll recruit an army of new teachers, and pay them higher salaries, and give them more support. And in exchange I'll ask for higher standards and more accountability." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· "In His Eight Years In The State Senate And Two Years In The U.S. Senate, Mr. Obama Hasn't Made A Significant Mark On Education Policy." ("Obama's Annenberg Stint Informs White House Bid," Education Week, 3/7/07)

· The Washington Post: Barack Obama "Elusive" On School Accountability. "Mr. Obama, as the New York Times' David Brooks recently observed, has promised dozens of crowd-pleasing programs but has been elusive on such thorny issues as teacher tenure and school accountability." (Editorial, "Focus On School Reform," The Washington Post, 7/7/08)

· Chicago Tribune's Steve Chapman: "Obama Is The Staunch Defender Of The Existing Public School Monopoly." "On the subject of elementary and secondary education, the two seem to have gotten their roles completely mixed up. Obama is the staunch defender of the existing public school monopoly, and he's allergic to anything that subverts it. John McCain, on the other hand, went before the NAACP last week to argue for something new and daring." (Steve Chapman, Op-Ed, "Change: A Matter Of Convenience," Chicago Tribune, 7/20/08)

JUST WORDS #12: Barack Obama Says His Health Care Plan Will Save Families $2,500 But There Is "Zero Credible Evidence" For That

Barack Obama: "That's why my health care plan includes improving information technology, requires coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions ... and lowers health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 dollars a year. And you can keep your same coverage and your same doctor." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama's Pledge To Lower Health Care Premiums By $2,500 In His First Term "Is A Matter Of Considerable Dispute" Among Experts. "In speech after speech, Senator Barack Obama has pledged that he will lower the country's health care costs enough to 'bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical family.' Moreover, Mr. Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has promised that his health plan will be in place 'by the end of my first term as president of the United States.' Whether Mr. Obama can deliver is a matter of considerable dispute among health analysts and economists." (Kevin Sack, "Obstacles For Obama In Meeting Health Care Goal," The New York Times, 7/23/08)

· A Health Policy Professor At The University Of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Said The Savings In The Obama Plan Are "Wishful Thinking." "Jonathan B. Oberlander, who teaches health policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, called it wishful thinking. 'Do they have the potential to generate significant savings in the long run?' Dr. Oberlander asked. 'Yes. Do I believe they will produce substantial savings in the short run that can be used to finance Obama's plan? No.'" (Kevin Sack, "Obstacles For Obama In Meeting Health Care Goal," The New York Times, 7/23/08)

· M.I.T.'s Jonathan Gruber Said That There Is "Zero Credible Evidence" That The Obama Plan Will Save The Average Family On The Costs Of Insurance Premiums. "Experts also are skeptical of both [Obama and Clinton's] claims that their plans will reduce the cost of insurance for the typical family by $2,000 or more. 'I know zero credible evidence to support that conclusion,' says M.I.T's Jonathan Gruber." ( Website,, Accessed 6/9/08)

· Factcheck.Org: Barack Obama's Claim That His Plan Will Cut Insurance Premium Costs By $2,500 Is "A Bit Of Misleading Math." "That's a bit of misleading math. It assumes individual Americans will share in all of the savings for the health care system, which includes insurance companies, the government and health care providers. Obama claims families will save $2,500 under his plan, but they won't see at least some of those savings directly in the form of lower premiums. And they may not see them indirectly either." (Factcheck.Org,, Accessed 6/16/08)

JUST WORDS #13: Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) Says Barack Obama Was A Clear Leader In The Illinois State Legislature But He Voted "Present" Nearly 130 Times

Senator Dick Durbin: "Here's a person who as a state legislator was a clear leader in Springfield on so many important issues that really made a difference. Came to Washington, had an impact as soon as he arrived." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama Voted "Present" Nearly 130 Times When He Was A State Senator. "In the end, Mr. Obama chose neither to vote for nor against the bill. He voted "present," effectively sidestepping the issue, an option he invoked nearly 130 times as a state senator." (Raymond Hernandez And Christopher Drew, "It's Not Just 'Ayes' And 'Nays': Obama's Votes In Illinois Echo," The New York Times, 12/20/07)

· Hillary Clinton: Barack Obama's State Senate "Present Votes" Demonstrated An Unwillingness To "Draw A Lot Of Political Heat." CLINTON: "And, you know, this is kind of like the 'present' vote thing, because the Chicago Tribune, his hometown paper, said that all those 'present' votes was taking a pass. It was for political reasons. Well, when you come up with a universal health care plan and you don't have any wiggle room left, you know that you're going to draw a lot of political heat." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, CNN Democrat Presidential Debate, Myrtle Beach, SC, 1/21/08)

JUST WORDS #14: Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) Says Barack Obama Went Up Against His Own Party But The Ethics Bill Was Hardly A Test Of Party Loyalty

Senator Claire McCaskill: "He's changed the rules in Washington. Gone are the free gifts from lobbyist, gone are the fancy airplane rides for nothing. He did that. Now, it wasn't easy. He had to work across party lines. More importantly, he had to fight senior members of the Senate who liked it just fine the way it was." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Joining 82 Other Senators, Barack Obama Voted For The 2007 Lobbying And Ethics Reform Legislation. "Reid, D-Nev., motion to concur in the House amendment to the bill that would overhaul congressional lobbying and ethics rules for members and their staffs and require the disclosure of 'bundled' campaign contributions that exceed $15,000 in a six-month period. Former senators would have to wait two years before becoming lobbyists." (S. 1, CQ Vote #294: Motion Agreed To 83-14: R 34-14; D 47-0; I 2-0, 8/2/07, Obama Voted Yea)

· Ethics Bill "Hardly A Test Of Party Loyalty." "Worth noting, also, is that Obama gave his supposed collaboration with McCain as an example of how he had worked 'against party loyalty ... for the good of America,' in the words used by Warren in his question. In fact, the measure that became law was sponsored by Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and a bipartisan list of 16 others. ... But in the end the bill was hardly a test of party loyalty." ("Saddleback Bloggers,", 8/18/08)

· The Wall Street Journal's John Fund: "On A Relatively Minor Ethics Bill," Barack Obama Declined To Work With John McCain In Favor Of "Signing Onto The Democratic Leadership's Ethics Bill." "Mr. McCain said he had 'a long list' and provided specifics from global warming to runaway spending under a Republican Congress. Barack Obama offered only one answer: 'Well, I'll give you an example that in fact I worked with John McCain on," Mr. Obama said, 'and that was the issue of campaign ethics reform and finance reform.' ... While it's true he briefly teamed up with Mr. McCain on rewriting a Congressional ethics bill, their alliance didn't last long. Back in February 2006, Mr. Obama wrote to Mr. McCain that he was declining to join a bipartisan task force and was instead signing onto the Democratic leadership's ethics bill. Mr. McCain responded with a harsh note accusing Mr. Obama of retreating into 'self-interested partisan posturing.' ... In the end, both men found a way to kiss and make up, and both found reasons to oppose the final ethics bill. But Mr. Obama is now the one citing work on a relatively minor ethics bill as an example of his unself-interested pursuit of the national good. The actual history isn't so clear and draws an unfortunate contrast with Mr. McCain's well-known independence from party orthodoxy. A shortage of examples of him breaking with his party's line remains one of Mr. Obama's big vulnerabilities." (John Fund, Op-Ed, "Obama's Self-Profile In Courage," The Wall Street Journal's "Political Dairy," 8/18/08)

JUST WORDS #15: Senator Joe Biden Says Barack Obama Reached Across And Led On An Effort That Was Hardly A Test Of Leadership

Barack Obama: "He came in, not only reached out, but reached across the aisle to Dick Lugar, one of the leading guys in America for the past 20 years on arms control, to keep loose nukes out of the hands of terrorists." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama Co-Sponsored Legislation To Authorize "The President To Establish A Program To Provide Assistance To Friendly Foreign Countries For Proliferation Detection And Interdiction Activities And For Developing Complementary Capabilities (Program)" That Was Incorporated Into Another Bill That Passed By Unanimous Consent. (S. 2566, Introduced 4/6/06)

· The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder: "Working with Dick Lugar on loose nukes was a good thing, and an example of Obama's willingness to write legislation [with] Republicans, but it didn't piss off liberals. (Who's in favor of looser nukes?)" (Marc Ambinder, "Obama's Bipartisanship," The Atlantic, 6/26/08)

JUST WORDS #16: Barack Obama Says He Will Expand The Military But An Adviser He Is Selling Access To Is Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) Who Proposes Cutting Defense Spending By 25%

Barack Obama: "As president, I will rebuild our military to meet 21st century challenges." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· U.S. Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) Proposed A 25 Percent Cut In Military Spending To Fund A New Stimulus Package. "After the November election, Democrats will push for a second economic stimulus package that includes money for the states' stalled infrastructure projects, along with help paying for healthcare expenses, food stamps and extended unemployment benefits, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said Thursday. In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay." (Steve Urbon, "Frank Envisions Post-Election Stimulus From Democrats," Standard-Times, 10/24/08)

· Barack Obama's Campaign Offered Up A Reception With Rep. Barney Frank To Donors For $1,000. "Aides to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) scheduled pricey luncheons, roundtables, readings, V.I.P. receptions, dinners and policy dinners with campaign officials and advisers, offering donors a taste of his potential administration. ... An e-mailed October 'national schedule of upcoming events across the country for Obama/Biden' was provided to Politico by one of the recipients. Among the offerings: ... --Reception in Palm Springs, Calif., with Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee -- $1,000 or $250." (Mike Allen, "Obama Donors Get Access To Top Advisers," Politico,, 10/ 29/08)

JUST WORDS #17: Barack Obama Says He Wants Tough Diplomacy With Iran But Would Meet With Ahmadinejad Without Precondition

Barack Obama: "I will renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama Would Unconditionally Meet With The Leaders Of State Sponsors Of Terror "Without Precondition" Like Ahmadinejad. QUESTION: "[W]ould you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?"... OBAMA: "I would." (CNN/YouTube Democrat Presidential Candidate Debate, Charleston, SC, 7/23/07)

· The Wall Street Journal: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy "Could Strengthen Mr. Ahmadinejad." "Middle East experts said Obama's strategy holds potential pitfalls. In Iran, they said, Sen. Obama could strengthen Mr. Ahmadinejad if as U.S. president he moves too quickly to hold direct talks with Tehran's leader." (Jay Solomon, "Obama's Foreign-Policy Pledge Sparks Criticism from Rivals," Wall Street Journal, 3/26/08)

· The Washington Post: European Officials "Increasingly Concerned That Sen. Barack Obama's Campaign Pledge To Begin Direct Talks ... Could Potentially Rupture U.S. Relations With Key European Allies." (Glenn Kessler, "Europe Fears Obama Might Undercut Progress With Iran," The Washington Post, 6/22/08)

JUST WORDS #18: Barack Obama Says He Will Focus On Afghanistan But He Did Not Focus On Afghanistan When In The United States Senate

Barack Obama: "And I will refocus our efforts on finishing the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· Barack Obama Has Served As Chairman Of The Subcommittee On European Affairs From 2007 -- 2008. (U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Website,, Accessed 2/15/08)

· As Chairman Of The Subcommittee On European Affairs, Barack Obama Could Have Held Hearings On The Role Of NATO In Afghanistan. "[A]mbassador John Ritch, who served for two decades as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's senior staffer on European affairs and East-West relations...[P]oints out that as subcommittee chair, Obama could have examined a wide variety of urgent matters, from the role of NATO in Afghanistan and Iraq to European energy policy and European responses to climate change..." (Joe Conason, "Obama's European Problem,", 12/29/07)

· Barack Obama: "I became Chairman of this committee at the beginning of this campaign, at the beginning of 2007. So it is true that we haven't had oversight hearings on Afghanistan." (MSNBC Democratic Presidential Debate, 2/27/08)

· Hillary Clinton Criticized Barack Obama For Not Holding Hearings As European Affairs Subcommittee Chairman. Sen. Clinton: "But I also have heard Senator Obama refer continually to Afghanistan, and he references being on the Foreign Relations Committee. He chairs the Subcommittee on Europe. It has jurisdiction over NATO. NATO is critical to our mission in Afghanistan. He's held not one substantive hearing to do oversight, to figure out what we can do to actually have a stronger presence with NATO in Afghanistan." (Sen. Clinton, NBC Democrat Presidential Debate, Cleveland, OH, 2/26/08)

JUST WORDS #19: Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) Says Barack Obama -- Who Has An Extreme Partisan Record -- Could Bring Bipartisanship To Washington

Governor Bill Richardson: "That he's a man that can heal this country, that can bring bipartisanship." (Obama For America, "American Stories And American Solutions" Ad, 10/29/08)

· The Associated Press: "None" Of Barack Obama's Touted Bipartisan Efforts Paced Him "At Odds With The Leaders Of His Own Party Or Gave Significant Offense To Outside Interest Groups With Democrats." (David Espo, "Bipartisanship Marks McCain's Senate Tenure," Associated Press, 7/2/08)

· NPR's Juan Williams: Barack Obama "Doesn't Have The Record" Of Bipartisanship That John McCain Has. NPR'S JUAN WILLIAMS: "You think about everything from campaign finance to immigration and on, and there's John McCain working across party lines. Senator Obama doesn't have a record. Now, he can make the claim and he can hold himself up as pure and trying to reach to a new generation of post partisan politics, but he has to do so largely based on rhetoric and wishful thinking because he doesn't have the record." (Fox News' "Special Report With Brit Hume," 5/7/08)

· The Washington Post's Richard Cohen: "There Is Scant Evidence The Illinois Senator Takes Positions That Challenge His Base Or Otherwise Threaten Him Politically." (Richard Cohen, Op-Ed, "McCain's Core Advantage," The Washington Post, 6/24/08)

· Politico's Jonathan Martin: "He's Pretty Much A Conventional Liberal On The Issues And Has Few Examples Of Breaking With His Own Party, So How Does Obama Try To Pull Off Being 'Post-Partisan?'" (Jonathan Martin, "Obama's Third Way: It's All In The Tone," Politico, 6/30/08)

· Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK): "His Record Does Not Reflect Working In A Bipartisan Fashion." "Boren, the lone Democrat in Oklahoma's congressional delegate, said that while Obama has talked about working with Republicans, 'unfortunately, his record does not reflect working in a bipartisan fashion.'" (Tim Talley, "Okla. Dem Calls Obama Liberal, Declines To Endorse," The Associated Press, 6/10/08)

· "The Record Shows Obama To Be A Fairly Doctrinaire Liberal Democrat..." (Editorial, "Obama's Rhetoric Soars, But What Does His Record Suggest?" USA Today, 1/28/08)

· In 2007, Obama Voted With The Democrat Party 97 Percent Of The Time. (Congressional Quarterly Website,, Accessed 3/3/08)
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