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Factchecking the candidates at the Saddleback forum


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Saddleback Bloopers

Obama makes misleading claims about ethics legislation and abortion at a church-sponsored forum. McCain exaggerates his tax-cut proposals.

Brooks Jackson | Factcheck.org


At a nationally televised forum at a mega-church in Southern California, we found these misrepresentations:

Obama claimed that "I worked with John McCain" on ethics legislation. In fact, the two worked together for barely a week, after which McCain accused Obama of "partisan posturing" and added, "I won't make the same mistake again." McCain later voted against the ethics bill that Obama supported, stating that it was written by Democrats with "no input" from Republicans.

Obama wrongly claimed that abortions "have not gone down" under President Bush. In fact, the abortion rate has gone down 9 percent, and the annual total has declined by more than 100,000.

McCain exaggerated the extent of his proposals to cut taxes. He incorrectly claimed he would give a "tax credit" of $7,000 per child, which would be seven times as high as the current credit. His actual proposal would gradually increase the current $3,500 exemption, which benefits high-bracket taxpayers most...


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