Barack Obama is not a Muslim, and John McCain did not tell the television show "60 Minutes" he was a war criminal who intentionally bombed women and children in Vietnam.
Joe Biden is not planning to step aside in favor of Hillary Clinton as vice president, and Sarah Palin did not order books banned from the library when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.
But if you have spent any time browsing the Internet this year, you may have read rumors to the contrary.
All these stories - and more - are being e-mailed to friends and family and posted on blogs.
And they are all false.
Heard that Obama was really born in Kenya and thus not eligible to be president? Wrong.
Heard that Palin was a member of the Alaska Independence Party? Nope, she wasn't.
But these stories are potentially damaging to the presidential campaigns of Obama and McCain, Washington communications expert Ron Bonjean warned, so it is critical to rebut them as firmly as possible.
Roland S. Martin | Bio
CNN Political Analyst
Do you know what was so great about Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan? They were three of the biggest trash talkers in the history of the NBA, but they had the game to back it up.
Somebody should tell that to Gov. Sarah Palin.
Sen. John McCain's vice presidential running mate has been running around the country, firing up her - yes, her, and not necessarily McCain's - loyal supporters by blasting Sen. Barack Obama for "palling around with terrorists" and demanding that the American people know exactly when he learned of the past of 1960s radical William Ayers.
She has stoked the crowds by saying, "This is not a man who sees America the way that you and I see America." We all know what that is designed to do: Portray Obama as a foreigner who isn't as American as she. Or you. Or Joe Six-pack, the hockey mom, soccer mom, Wal-Mart mom, NASCAR dad and the other coded words she uses regularly.
But what is truly pathetic is that Palin talks tough, but is really scared of facing her own issues.
Vice President Dick Cheney will visit George Washington University Hospital on Wednesday after doctors discovered a recurrence of an abnormal heart rhythm, his spokeswoman said in a written statement.
Doctors discovered Wednesday that Cheney was "experiencing a recurrence of atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart," Megan Mitchell said.
He will undergo an outpatient procedure to restore his normal rhythm, she said.
Cheney canceled a Wednesday campaign event in Illinois for Marty Ozinga, a Republican nominee for a U.S. congressional seat.
AC360 Senior Producer
Are you ready? The third and final debate takes place tonight at Hofstra University in NY at 9pet. Anderson, Wolf and Campbell will be anchoring from NYC, joined by our panel of analysts, and our political correspondents will report from the actual debate venue.
The economy will undoubtedly take center stage, along w/other domestic issues, but we can expect some form of character attacks to occur-subtle or not. Obama has called McCain ‘erratic’ and ‘lurching’ as of late, and McCain has accused Obama of lying about his association with William Ayers. Will they stay on the issues or go for the jugular?
3 week to go till election day, and our newly released CNN poll of polls show Obama with an 8 point lead over McCain… 50% to 42%. 8% remain undecided and it’s those independent voters both candidates are targeting big time in the final stretch.
Our political unit reminded us of an interesting fact, which you may have noted if you were watching last night. In the year 2000, within the period of Oct 2-4th, our CNN poll showed Gore leading Bush 51% to 40% and we know who won THAT election. This brings me to the title of my buzzzzz this morning, it’s not over till it’s over and anything can happen yet!
I don’t envy whoever does make it to the Casa Blanca, particularly as the next President will come into office with the biggest deficit on record: $454,800,000,000. That’s a lot of zero’s at the end isn’t? and it’s expected to grow even further this year.
The Administration has committed more than $1 trillion to deal with the financial crisis: $700 b for banks and bad assets; $300 b to deal with mortgages; $200 b to back the Fannies; $123 b to bailout AIG; $29 b to help JPMC buy Bear Stearns. Plus, another stimulus package.
Let’s just say Obama or McCain are going to have their hands full, and then some. And so are we for that matter. I’m sure you are all looking forward to tonight’s final face-off, make sure you tune into CNN for this historic event! We’ll be waiting for you and see u then.
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CNN Senior National Editor
Probably not the product placement John McCain was looking for.
McCain is in New York, preparing for Wednesday’s final presidential debate. His Manhattan hotel happens to be next to the Ziegfeld Theatre, the site of Tuesday night’s premiere of Oliver Stone’s new biopic about President Bush, called “W."
McCain has tried to distance himself at times from the President on the campaign . But he left the hotel to attend a fundraiser just as the red carpet arrivals for the premiere were getting underway. People were already lined up next to signs like, “W: A Life Understood” for the inaugural showing, just as the candidate walked out of the hotel.
McCain's motorcade then passed directly in front of the main entrance to the theater, just ten feet from the red carpet itself. But he didn’t have any close calls with the celebrities.
CNN producer Peter Hamby, staying in the McCain hotel, saw Stone arrive outside his hotel room window. If McCain had any reaction, reporters weren’t able to see it.