Several conservative commentators claim America is ideologically a "center-right" country, citing as evidence general election exit polls showing that 22 percent of respondents identify themselves as "liberal," 44 percent as "moderate" and 34 percent as "conservative." But political scientists dispute the reliability of voters' identification with political ideologies, and other polling has found that a strong majority favored the more progressive position on a number of issues.
Several media figures have claimed that President-elect Barack Obama won the election because he ran as a conservative and that notwithstanding Obama's victory, the United States is a conservative country. However, a poll conducted November 4-5 showed strong support for the progressive positions that Obama has articulated on the issues, rebutting the claim that the United States is a conservative country.
Karl Rove falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama's statement that "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" "was a deliberate slap at Governor [Sarah] Palin." In fact, Obama did not mention or refer to Palin in the comments immediately preceding his "lipstick" comment. Rove also falsely asserted, "The only time this word has intruded in recent months in the campaign was in her [Palin's] you know, self-deprecating remark at the convention"; in fact, McCain himself used the phrase "putting lipstick on a pig" in a public appearance on May 2.
In his Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove falsely asserted that, in contrast with Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. Barack Obama has "ratchet[ed] up his requests [for earmarks] each year he's been in the Senate." In fact, Obama has reportedly requested no earmarks in 2008, while Palin has reportedly requested at least $197 million in earmarks in 2008, which, according to The Seattle Times, amounts to "more, per person, than any other state." Indeed, on a per-capita basis, Palin has requested more than 10 times the amount of earmarks per year than Obama has.
Purporting to describe the response by Sen. Barack Obama's campaign to Sen. John McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate, a Fox News graphic stated: "Obama Campaign Disses Palin for Small Town Origins." In fact, the Obama campaign challenged Palin's experience, not her "small town origins."
During an interview with Sen. John McCain, Katie Couric did not challenge McCain's false claim that Sen. Joe Biden "said you had to break Iraq up into three different countries" as part of his Iraq plan. On America's Election HQ, Karl Rove falsely asserted that Biden's proposal for Iraq involved "unilaterally splitting up a sovereign nation," a statement that Chris Wallace echoed. In fact, Biden introduced a "five-point plan" to "[m]aintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis breathing room in their own regions." Further, Biden has made clear that he was not proposing that his plan be imposed on Iraq "unilaterally."
In a Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove claimed that "[Sen. John McCain] opposes tax increases and [Sen. Barack] Obama favors them." In fact, Obama has proposed cutting taxes for low- and middle-income families, and McCain's own chief economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, has reportedly said that it is inaccurate to say that "Barack Obama raises taxes." Moreover, McCain himself recently suggested he would be open to raising Social Security payroll taxes.
Karl Rove falsely asserted in his Wall Street Journal column that Sen. Barack Obama has "flip-flop[ped]" on his Iraq policy with regards to leaving a residual U.S. force in Iraq and its mission. In fact, Obama has not "changed" or "shifted" his position on the existence and purpose of residual U.S. forces in Iraq.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Karl Rove stated that an ad for Barack Obama "says he was raised with 'values straight from the Kansas heartland,' though he grew up in Hawaii." But Obama does not suggest in the ad that he was raised in Kansas; rather, he explicitly notes his mother and grandparents "grew up" there. Rove also asserted that Obama claims in the ad "to have passed three bills, but fails to mention that two were in the Illinois state Senate." However, Obama does not suggest that the bills referenced in the ad were passed by the U.S. Senate, and the ad displays the years in which the bills were passed.
In a Wall Street Journal column, Karl Rove wrote, "After Rev. [Jeremiah] Wright repeated his anti-American slurs at the National Press Club, Mr. Obama said their relationship was forever changed -- but not because of what he'd said about America. Instead, Mr. Obama complained, 'I don't think he showed much concern for me.' " However, Rove cropped Obama's quote, excluding his next statement: "[M]ore importantly, I don't think he showed much concern for what we are trying to do in this campaign and what we're trying to do for the American people and with the American people."
During a discussion of Scott McClellan's new book on Hannity & Colmes, Karl Rove said that McClellan's "questions to me were: Did I leak Valerie Plame's name? And the answer is no. In fact, we know today that the name of Valerie Plame was leaked to Robert Novak by Richard Armitage, the number two guy at the State Department, and not by me." In fact, Novak identified both Rove and Armitage as the sources for his column that revealed Plame's employment with the CIA. And former Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper named Rove as his source who identified former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife as a CIA agent.
On Hannity & Colmes, discussing issues that purportedly "have totally changed the narrative on Senator [Barack] Obama," Sean Hannity repeated a falsehood that he has promoted numerous times before, that Obama would advocate "possibly invading an ally, Pakistan."
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity asserted that Sen. Barack Obama said he would "maybe invade an ally like Pakistan." In fact, during an August 2007 speech, Obama did not say he would "invade an ally like Pakistan"; rather, Obama stated: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will."
On Special Report, Juan Williams cited Sen. John McCain's record on immigration as evidence of a willingness to "work across party lines," without noting that McCain has said he no longer supports his own bipartisan bill. Williams then claimed that Sen. Barack Obama "doesn't have a record" of "working across party lines." In fact, Obama has co-sponsored bills with Republican Sens. Tom Coburn and Richard Lugar that have been signed into law.
On The O'Reilly Factor, Karl Rove misrepresented Sen. Barack Obama's explanation for not wearing an American flag lapel pin, falsely asserting that Obama's comments amounted to saying, "If you wear a flag lapel pin, you're not a true patriot." In fact, Obama said he stopped wearing a pin because it had become "a substitute for, I think, true patriotism"; he did not say, as Rove claimed, that the wearer was "not a true patriot."