ABC uncritically aired McCain's false suggestion he received 2007 "ranking" from National Journal

››› ››› KATHLEEN HENEHAN

On World News, Ron Claiborne uncritically aired Sen. John McCain's assertion that "Senator [Barack] Obama had, according to the National Journal, the most liberal senator in the Senate. I have a very high ranking on the conservative side." In fact, according to the National Journal, McCain "did not vote frequently enough in 2007 to draw a composite score."

During a report on the February 14 edition of World News, ABC's Ron Claiborne uncritically aired Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain's (AZ) assertion that "Senator [Barack] Obama [D-IL] had, according to the National Journal, the most liberal senator in the Senate. I have a very high ranking on the conservative side." In fact, according to the National Journal report that ranked Obama the "most liberal senator," McCain "did not vote frequently enough in 2007 to draw a composite score."

As Media Matters for America has documented, among the votes Obama took that purportedly earned him National Journal's "most liberal senator" label were those to implement the 9-11 Commission's homeland security recommendations, provide more children with health insurance, expand federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, and maintain a federal minimum wage. National Journal has admitted a flaw in the publication's previous rating of then-Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. John Kerry (MA) as the "most liberal senator" in 2003.

From the February 14 edition of ABC's World News with Charles Gibson:

CLAIBORNE: McCain is one of five senators who got no earmarks for his state. He seemed to save his harshest attack for Obama.

McCAIN [video clip]: Senator Obama had, according to the National Journal, the most liberal senator in the Senate. I have a very high ranking on the conservative side.

MATTHEW DOWD (ABC News political contributor): He knows that right now Barack Obama is the hardest candidate for him to beat in November.

CLAIBORNE: Campaigning in Wisconsin, Mike Huckabee scoffed at the Romney endorsement. He called it the "great big 'me, too' crowd coming together" again.

Network/Outlet
ABC
Show/Publication
ABC World News Tonight
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, John McCain, 2008 Elections
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