CNN Election Center yet to report McCain's claim that he "voted to condemn" the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terror group is false

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

On July 9, CNN Election Center uncritically aired Sen. John McCain's false claim that he "voted to condemn" the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization "when a amendment was on the floor of the United States Senate" -- the Kyl-Lieberman amendment. However, a July 10 CNN.com blog post reported that "McCain was in New York instead of being in the Senate chamber for the vote in question. The McCain campaign admits the error." But CNN Election Center has yet to report that the McCain campaign has admitted that McCain's assertion was false.

As Media Matters for America documented, on the July 9 edition of CNN Election Center, anchor Campbell Brown uncritically aired Sen. John McCain's false claim that he "voted to condemn" the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization "when a amendment was on the floor of the United States Senate." In fact, McCain did not vote on the amendment to which he was referring, the Kyl-Lieberman amendment. In an entry posted on CNN.com's Political Ticker blog at 5:30 p.m. ET on July 10*, Evan Glass and Kerith McFadden wrote that "McCain was in New York instead of being in the Senate chamber for the vote in question. The McCain campaign admits the error but points to their candidate's tough stance against the country President Bush once grouped into the 'axis of evil.' " Yet while CNN.com reported that the McCain campaign has admitted its error, the July 10 edition of CNN Election Center failed to do so, despite having aired McCain's falsehood.

During the July 9 edition of Election Center, Brown also uncritically aired McCain's false suggestion that Obama opposed designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, as Media Matters further documented. However, neither Brown nor anyone else noted on the July 10 edition of Election Center that Obama co-sponsored a bill in 2007 that would have designated the group as such, even though the Political Ticker post noted that fact. As with his false claim that he "voted to condemn" the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, McCain's assertion that Obama "refused to vote" on an amendment that would have designated the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization referred to the Kyl-Lieberman amendment. However, Obama said he would have voted against that amendment because it "states that our military presence in Iraq should be used to counter Iran," not because the resolution expressed the sense of the Senate that "the United States should designate Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization."

The July 10 Political Ticker post, in its entirety:

It turns out that John McCain made an off-the-mark error when he launched at Barack Obama this week over Iran's missile tests.

In a statement criticizing Obama's positions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the organization claiming credit for the missile launches, McCain wrote, "This is the same organization that I voted to condemn as a terrorist organization when an amendment was on the floor of the United States Senate. Senator Obama refused to vote."

The problem with the critique? McCain also missed that vote on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment on September 26, 2007. Records show that Obama was in New Hampshire and McCain was in New York instead of being in the Senate chamber for the vote in question.

The McCain campaign admits the error but points to their candidate's tough stance against the country President Bush once grouped into the "axis of evil."

"Its time to make the Iranians understand that this kind of violation of international treaties, this kind of threat, threatening of their neighbors, continued military activity is not without cost," McCain said on Wednesday.

Despite Obama's voting absence, his campaign is touting legislation he sponsored in March 2007 (S. 970) which also would have designated the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization. Obama's legislation never had a vote in the Senate.

* While the Political Ticker entry states that it was posted on July 11 at "08:38 AM ET," the first comments on the post were made at 6 p.m. ET on July 10. Additionally, a Google search shows that the entry was originally posted at 5:30 p.m. ET and that the time stamp was later updated to 8:38 a.m. ET on July 11.

From a Google search, performed at 11:05 a.m. ET on July 11:

According to a separate Google search performed at 11:05 a.m. ET on July 11, both the July 10 and July 11 posts contained the language: "The McCain campaign admits the error."

** Media Matters examined transcripts posted on CNN.com as of 3:55 p.m. ET on July 11. Media Matters also searched transcripts available in the Nexis database as of 3:45 p.m. ET on July 11, using the following search terms: publication (CNN) AND revolutionary guard! w/50 McCain OR Obama.

Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Kyra Phillips, Campbell Brown
Show/Publication
CNN Newsroom, CNN Election Center
Stories/Interests
Barack Obama, 2008 Elections
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