FactCheck: Misleading campaign ads

July 2, 2008 7:29:11 PM PDT
As Senator Barack Obama (D) Ill., attempts to define himself to American voters a FactCheck reveals he's over stepped and so has Senator John McCain (R) AZ., in his attempt to portray Obama.

Barack Obama is delivering a message a day. Monday it was patriotism, yesterday it was religion and Wednesday's message was public service.

In Colorado Springs, Barack Obama urged young people to do what they could for their country and he talked about his own experience in public service.

"Through service I found a community that embraced me," said Obama.

There is a reason Obama is talking up the values of public service, religion, and patriotism this week, going into the Fourth of July, says San Francisco State University political scientist Robert Smith Ph.D.

"He knows that in the fall there will be ads, there will be innuendos about him not really being one of us," said Professor Smith.

Smith believes Obama is defining himself before the attack ads start in earnest.

"This will come from Reverend Wright, this will come from his wife's remarks, this will come his refusal to wear the flag lapel for a long period of time," said Smith.

Obama's latest ad is entitled "Dignity."

"He worked his way through college and Harvard Law, turned down big money offers and helped lift neighborhoods stung by job loss," said the Obama ad.

Factcheck: It's accurate, sort of. After college Barack Obama did work as a community organizer, but did he work his way through college and Harvard law school? That's not accurate. According to his book and a campaign spokesman, during college and law school Obama had just two jobs, both of them summer jobs. He got through college and law school on students loans and whatever assistance his family provided.

McCain's new ad, which is playing only on the web, seeks to portray Obama as the Dr. No of clean energy, innovation, and nuclear power.

"In this campaign John McCain is offering the same old gimmicks," said Obama in McCain's ad.

Factcheck: The ad inaccurately, describes Obama as being opposed to McCain's $300 million prize for development of an inexpensive electric car. In fact, Obama's criticism of McCain's idea is that it didn't go far enough. Obama proposed spending $150 billion over 10 years to develop a variety of new energy technologies.

And finally on Wednesday, McCain's campaign named former Karl Rove protégé, Steve Schmidt, to be in charge of the campaigns day to day operations and strategy.

Last time ABC7's Mark Matthews talked with him, he was Governor Schwarzenegger's campaign manager and asked him, "What impact an unpopular president and an unpopular war, would have on the governor's race?" He repeatedly ignored the question.

"What Gov. Schwarzenegger is focused on in the race today you know between Phil Angeledies is talking about nutritional standards in school," said Steve Schmidt, a Republican campaign strategist.

Schmidt never did give us a straight answer.

Now Schmidt is in charge of the "Straight Talk Express." As Charles Dudley Warner observed, politics makes strange bedfellows.

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