Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Off key in Music City

SUMMARY: In a town hall-style debate, McCain and Obama tangle in Nashville. We check their claims and find some truth and some stretching.

In their first town hall-style debate, John McCain and Barack Obama grabbed the microphones and strolled around the Nashville stage as they fielded questions from people in the audience and others who had submitted questions over the Internet. We've checked the following items so far:

• Obama repeated a misleading Democratic talking point that suggested oil companies are failing to drill for oil in 68-million acres. That suggests they're not trying and ignores the long time it takes to get approval to drill. We rated that one False .

• McCain was correct that he has broken with the Bush administration on global warming. He's been lauded as a leader on the issue. We rated his claim True .

• We found McCain was way off with his claim that Obama has voted to raise taxes 94 times. So far off, in fact, that we gave it a False .

• Obama was correct that earmarks account for only about $18-billion; that is less than 5 percent of this year's budget deficit. We gave that one a True .

• A year ago, we gave McCain a Half True for his claim that 50,000 people made their living off eBay. Now he says 1.3-million people do, so we raised our ruling to False .

• McCain loves to cite Obama's requests for political pork. In the Nashville town hall, McCain said Obama had "voted for" a $3-million overhead projector for a Chicago planetarium among the nearly $1-billion in pork he supported. We rated that one Mostly True .