Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fact Checking the WP's Fact Checker on the VP Debate

(Why do I bother?) I've put the two most egregious errors from the Washington Post's Fact "Check" of the VP Debate in italics below:


Sen. Joseph Biden asserted that Sen. John McCain opposed the comprehensive nuclear test ban and that virtually every other Republican supported it. That is false. President Clinton never submitted the test ban for formal ratification because it faced overwhelming Republican opposition in a GOP-controlled Senate.
Umm, no. This account from the Arms Control Association explains that Clinton submitted the treaty for ratification in 1997, and it was rejected on October 13, 1999. Here is McCain's press release from the day before announcing that he would vote against the treaty.

Biden said that McCain said he would not "sit down with the government of Spain." This is an overstatement. Biden is referring a recent interview McCain gave to a radio station, in which McCain did not appear to recognize the name of the Spanish prime minister.

"I'm willing to meet with any leader who is dedicated to the same principles and philosophy that we are for human rights, democracy and freedom and I will stand up to those who are not," McCain said, in comments that riled the Spanish government.
In fact, McCain adviser Randy Scheunemann insisted that McCain knew exactly he was talking about, saying
In this week's interview, Senator McCain did not rule in or rule out a White House meeting with President Zapatero, a NATO ally. If elected, he will meet with a wide range of allies in a wide variety of venues but is not going to spell out scheduling and meeting location specifics in advance. He also is not going to make reckless promises to meet America's adversaries. It's called keeping youtr options open, unlike Senator Obama who has publically committed to meeting some of the world's worst dictators unconditionally in his first year in office.

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