"And 100 percent, John, of your ads . . . 100 percent of them have been negative."
Barack Obama on Wednesday, October 15th, 2008 in a debate in Hempstead, N.Y.
No, McCain's ads haven't all been negative
(Published Oct. 15, 2008)
One of the more pointed exchanges between Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain in the third and final debate on Oct. 15, 2008, was over the topic of negative ads.
Here’s how one exchange went:
Obama: "And 100 percent, John, of your ads — 100 percent of them have been negative."
McCain: "It’s not true."
Obama: "It absolutely is true."
(You can find the exchange on the YouTube version about 26:30 into the debate.)
Obama appears to be cherry-picking the ads run during a single week — from Sept. 28 to Oct. 4 — during which the Wisconsin Advertising Project found "nearly all" of McCain’s ads were negative. That week, they found that 34 percent of Obama’s ads were negative.
But McCain has aired many, many ads that were not negative. If you look at a report from the same organization on Sept. 17, they found that in the week after the conventions, for example, Obama aired a higher percentage of negative ads than did McCain (76 percent to 56 percent).
In all, the Wisconsin Advertising Project has found that 73 percent of McCain’s ads have been negative, to date. That's far short of 100 percent. (It also found 61 percent of Obama’s ads have been negative.)
That’s up for both parties from the 2004 election, when 64 percent of George Bush’s ads were negative, compared to 34 percent of John Kerry’s.
So Obama might be right for one week, but he is way off for the overall campaign, when McCain's negative ads accounted for 73 percent. That's so far off that we find it Pants on Fire wrong.
Published: Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
Subjects: Candidate Biography
Wisconsin Advertising Project,
Over $15 million spent in presidential TV
advertising since conclusion of conventions , Sept. 17, 2008
Wisconsin Advertising Project,
Pres. TV advertising spending continues to grow;
Over $28 million spent from September 28-October 4 , Oct. 8, 2008
Talking Points Memo, McCain Campaign's Ad Spending Now Nearly 100 Percent Devoted To Attack Ads , by Greg Sargent, Oct. 3, 2008
We want to hear your suggestions and comments.
For tips or comments on our Obameter and our GOP-Pledge-O-Meter promise databases, please e-mail the Obameter. If you are commenting on a specific promise, please include the wording of the promise.For comments about our Truth-O-Meter or Flip-O-Meter items, please e-mail the Truth-O-Meter. We’re especially interested in seeing any chain e-mails you receive that you would like us to check out. If you send us a comment, we'll assume you don't mind us publishing it unless you tell us otherwise.
Keep up to date with Politifact:
- Sign up for our e-mail (about once a week)
- Put a free PolitiFact widget on your blog or Web page
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Truth-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on GOP Pledge-O-Meter items
- Subscribe to our RSS feeds on Obameter items
- Advertise on PolitiFact
- Shop the PolitiFact store for T-shirts, hats and other PolitiFact swag