October 17th, 2008
08:00 AM ET

McCain, Obama and nothing but the truth

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/art.mccainobama.jpg]Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Whether you like Obama, McCain, or haven’t yet made up your mind, the facts are telling us one irrefutable thing: You better watch these guys like a hawk, because they are both flinging out half-truths, misleading statements, and downright falsehoods like a cashier caught with his hand in the drawer. 

I’m not kidding.  I know a lot of you adore these fellows, and simply can not stand hearing them accused of such double-dealing, but I’ve been on fact-check duty for months now, and let me tell you, the landscape is not pretty.  In the final debate, my eyes nearly rolled out of my skull as over and over again they each presented arguments that have been repeatedly denounced by non-partisan, expert analysts.

On healthcare, the economy, their voting records, energy policy, and who is going too negative, they both blanketed the evening with misleading, confusing, and incorrect statements. 

Everyone makes mistakes.  Sometimes, even in the midst of fact-checking, journalists get things wrong.  So in the heat of a tough election, I think reporters can often be too hard on politicians who make ill-considered, impromptu remarks.  Too often, we tear them to pieces over understandable lapses of memory, or stumbles in politically sensitive minefields.   

But these candidates seem to be doing something quite different.  They appear to be willingly trying to lead voters down a primrose path to the election, with facts that just are not facts at all.  Happens every election you say?  Yes, I’m afraid that’s the tragedy of it.  I just keep hoping somehow, someday, I’ll run into an election where it doesn’t happen.

Maybe the person we elect, whichever man it is, will be an excellent leader.  Maybe this is just what it takes to win the White House. 

But if you think these gentlemen are even close to telling you the truth, and nothing but the truth, think again.

Filed under: Barack Obama • John McCain • Raw Politics • Tom Foreman
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