On America's Election HQ, Fox News contributor Michael Steele asserted that Sen. John McCain was "against the Bush tax cuts because it didn't address spending." While McCain now says he voted against the Bush tax cuts because they were not paired with spending cuts, it was not the reason he gave in 2001 on the floor of the Senate. McCain said, "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us, at the expense of middle-class Americans who most need tax relief."
Now that former Republican congressman Bob Barr has announced his candidacy for the Libertarian Party nomination for president, will NBC host Tim Russert invite Barr to be interviewed on Meet the Press, giving Barr the same platform to discuss his candidacy that Russert gave Ralph Nader?
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Dan Henninger said of Cindy McCain's refusal to release her tax returns: "I think it's a fairly marginal issue." But in a July 2004 editorial, the Journal asserted that it was "past time" for Sen. John Kerry's wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, to release her tax returns, stating, "Their assets should be disclosed to the voters so that they can assess whether there are any potential conflicts of interest."
Reuters reported that Sen. John McCain's campaign "is preparing to take $84 million in public funding after the Republican Party convention in September and he is challenging [Sen. Barack] Obama to stick by last year's pledge to use public money and its accompanying spending limits," but did not note that Federal Election Commission chairman David Mason has taken the position that McCain cannot opt out of public financing in the primary without FEC approval, as McCain has attempted to do, or that McCain could be breaking federal laws by exceeding spending limits within the public financing system for the primary.
In an online article, the Detroit Free Press reported of Sen. John McCain's May 6 town hall meeting at Oakland University: "As usual, McCain was candid and said things like fuel efficiency standards have to increase and the way to make the domestic automotive industry more competitive is to get other costs, like health care for autoworkers, under control." While the media routinely refer to McCain as a straight-talker who resists pandering, Media Matters for America has identified numerous instances in which McCain has promulgated falsehoods about himself and his opponents.
In an audio recording of an April 18, 2006, Pentagon meeting attended by several media military analysts, one of the attendees tells then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that he would "personally love" for Rumsfeld "to take the offensive, to just go out there and just crush these people so that when we go on, we're -- forgive me -- we're parroting, but it's what has to be said. It's what we believe in, or we would not be saying it." He adds: "And we'd love to be following our leader, as indeed you are. You are the leader. You are our guy." Will media outlets try to determine if they have hosted the speaker?
On Special Report, Carl Cameron reported that on the issue of immigration, Sen. John McCain "announced that if elected, in January he'll begin finalizing border security, then immediately launch the guest worker program and path to citizenship that many in his party oppose." But Cameron did not note that McCain's current position that border security must be addressed first is at odds with his prior assertion that border security could not be disaggregated from other aspects of comprehensive immigration reform without being rendered ineffective.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer did not challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham's claim that Sen. John McCain opposed President Bush's 2001 tax cuts because he "wanted a tax cut, a very healthy tax cut, but he wanted spending limitations." In fact, when he voted against the cuts in 2001, contrary to what he now says on the campaign trail, McCain made no mention of deficit concerns or of the absence of offsetting spending cuts.
In his Newsweek column, George Will falsely claimed that Social Security taxes are levied on household income. He had similarly falsely asserted on ABC's This Week that Sen. Barack Obama "wants to raise taxes on a lot of people, beginning with those earning about $100,000 a year, a household." In fact, Social Security taxes are levied based on individual income, and contrary to his assertion in Newsweek, a married couple with each spouse making less than $102,000 would not face a payroll tax increase if the income cap was raised, even if combined they made more than the current cap.
The AP reported that Sen. John McCain "said President Bush should not be held responsible for the much-criticized 'Mission Accomplished' banner five years ago," and that McCain said of the banner, "I thought it was wrong at the time." But the AP did not report comments McCain made "at the time" about the banner in a Fox News interview, in which host Neil Cavuto noted that "many argue the conflict [in Iraq] isn't over," to which McCain replied, "Then why was there a banner that said 'Mission Accomplished' on the aircraft carrier?"