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Debate Live Fact Check Starts at 9 p.m.

Please join The Washington Post's Fact Checker -- and friends -- for a live truth squadding of tonight's presidential debate from Oxford, Miss., beginning at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Fact Checker Michael Dobbs will be joined by diplomatic reporters Glenn Kessler and Karen DeYoung, White House correspondent Michael Abramowitz, and campaign reporter Jonathan Weisman.

The Fact Check team will analyze statements by John McCain and Barack Obama for accuracy and exaggeration.

Readers are invited to flag errors and misleading claims by either of the candidates by contributing to the on-line discussion at The Fact Checker.

While foreign policy is the official topic for the 90-minute debate, questions about the economy and the bailout of Wall Street institutions are sure to come up. Let the Fact Checking commence!

(And if you're looking for more to read while you're waiting for the debate to kick off, check out the opinion section's Topic A, where you can find foreign affairs analysts and other experts giving their take on "The Debate We Want to Hear.")

By Web Politics Editor  |  September 26, 2008; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  Today at The Post  
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Next: Complete Footage: The First Presidential Debate


Dear Need4trth,

Your thesis was informative. Senator McCain has obvious flaws. Senator Obama clearly won this first debate. My concern is a phyrric Democratic victory. The ongoing Philadelphia lawsuit (Berg vs Obama 08-cv-4083) questions Obama's eligibility to become president. Why won't Obama simply provide a certified vault copy of his original birth certificate? We'd all submit our birth certificates as a condition for employment. Obama should show the court this specific legal identification that will make Mr. Berg go away. Senator Obama should meet this challenge head on! Hiding behind a motion for dismissal is cowardly. It implies guilt. I want to be proud of our next president; not ashamed that I was victimized by another well-marketed confidence game. -Concerned Democrat

Posted by: brownpride046 | September 27, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: thecannula | September 27, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Since Obama does not have any experience, he doesn't state facts, he states change he believes in.

We will see how it plays in Peoria!

Posted by: acarponzo | September 27, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

McCain is proven to be OUT OF TOUCH, and a mean nasty old man. From 'fact of matter"



Tonites debate was interesting, very interesting. It was to say the least a TRAVESTY AND THE MOST EGREGIOUS demonstration of childishness,disrespect of the American populace, Senator Obama, and Mr. Lehr the moderator by John McShame It speaks to the fact that Senator McCain is living with UNTREATED POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. All this bad behaviour coming from an Angry condescending FULL OF HIMSELF, prideful, unabashed, SHAMELESS LIAR and Warmonger who is 72 years old..

This is the reason that the so-called 'victory in Iraq' Senator McCain has taken on, an continues to support this occupation, no matter the cost of American Forces or Coalition members lives, no matter what the condition of our home front or our economy is. He is the one who is willing to destroy our existence and future in order to "CONTINUE A WAR' to victory. A war that exist only in his mind. He is a classic case of untreated PTSD. In McCain's trauma riddled mind the war in Iraq is the war in Vietnam. A war, that in reality has been ended for over 30 years. Iraq is McCain's Vietnam. I came to an understanding tonite that when McCain appears to humbly recount the desire for victory as he injects in conversations he has had with the troops, the adage "LET US WIN", He isn't speaking of the troops, he is speaking of himself. Senator McCain believes we failed in Vietnam by pulling out, when we did. He believes in his mind that if we'd only had a WAR CONTINUUM, we may have won.

A WAR CONTINUUM.....As McCain spoke about foreign policy it became a LECTURE and a small view into his true desired policy of A WAR CONTINUUM. He first leaked out bits and pieces in the past with statements like: Thursday, April 19, 2007

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- At a town hall meeting in South Carolina Wednesday, Arizona Sen. John McCain was asked if there is a plan to attack Iran. McCain began his answer by changing the words to a classic Beach Boys' song.

"You know that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran?" the Republican presidential candidate said. Then, he sang. "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran." and the infamous statement: During a town hall meeting in Derry, New Hampshire last night, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) told a crowd of roughly two hundred people that it “would be fine with” him if the U.S. military stayed in Iraq for “a hundred years“:

Q: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years — (cut off by McCain)

McCAIN: Make it a hundred.

Q: Is that … (cut off)

McCAIN: We’ve been in South Korea … we’ve been in Japan for 60 years. We’ve been in South Korea 50 years or so. That would be fine with me. As long as Americans …

You see Senator McCain really isn't concerned about the the SAFETY, PROTECTION, WELFARE nor PROSPERITY of our Nation. John McCain didn't mention the MIDDLE-CLASS once tonite. Not once. Why, We are not his concern. Economic concerns are not his, balancing our budget isn't his concern, diplomacy is not on his agenda, this is why he supports The Bush administrations FAILED POLICIES OF THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. Senator McCain isn't concerned about change or changing anything. No, Senator McCain is concerned solely with winning the war and crushing the shame of the defeat he felt and still feels about our strategy and failed war in Vietnam. I believe he lives this in his mind day in and day out. We can not AFFORD a president with such a Mental illness as this.

When McCain spoke tonite about war he linked nation after nation together, which we'd had war with or involvement. He mentioned failed American attempts at Colonizing, and all the many wars we've been involved in and then to add insult to injury, a look of PURE JOY crested his face. His desire is many more wars where we can use what he called "this new winning strategy", "THE SURGE". He mentioned using this strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. McCain when asked the question about our American standing in the world, in other words how our allies and even enemies see us, said, he'd skip that and went back on the his TIRADE about winning wars.

What constituency is he speaking too? What Ghost of soldiers from wars passed is he trying to sell this too?

I was offended, unimpressed, but not surprised. I was angered by his Blatant REBUSHAGAIN PARTY LIES. The Republican Party does not want to participate in the REAL conversation the American populace is engaged in. Senator Obama Pointedly and tactfully ripped the web of deception around the Iraq war and 'the surge" right out from underneathe the feet of the lying CHARLA TON extension of the RNC/GOP THE PUPPETTED MOUTHPIECE John McCain. When Obama stated "John You act like this war started in 2007 and not 2003.

For those of you who do not know it, the Iraq war (2nd Iraq war) started as this Wikipedia article states:

This article is about the war that began in 2003. For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation).
Iraq War
The Iraq War, also known as the Second Gulf War, the Occupation of Iraq,[32] or the War in Iraq, is an ongoing military campaign which began on March 20, 2003 with the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a multinational coalition composed of United States and United Kingdom troops supported by smaller contingents from Australia, Denmark, Poland and other nations.[33]

Prior to the war, U.S. officials asserted that Iraq's possession and pursuit of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) posed a serious and imminent threat to U.S. national security.[34][35] This assessment was supported by the U.K. intelligence services, but not by other countries such as France, Russia and Germany.[36][37][38] United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission weapon inspectors found no evidence of WMD, giving support to earlier criticism of poor intelligence on Iraqi WMDs.[39] After the invasion, the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group concluded that Iraq had ended its WMD programs in 1991 and had no active programs at the time of the invasion, but that they intended to resume production if the Iraq sanctions were lifted.[40] Although some degraded remnants of misplaced or abandoned chemical and biological weapons from before 1991 were found, they were not the weapons for which the coalition invaded.[41] The failure to find WMD in Iraq caused controversy, particularly in the United States.[42] Some U.S. officials also accused Saddam Hussein of harboring and supporting Al-Qaeda,[43] but no evidence of any collaborative relationship was found.[44][45] Other reasons for the invasion stated by U.S. officials included Iraq's alleged financial support for the families of Palestinian suicide bombers,[46] Iraqi government human rights abuses,[47] spreading democracy,[48] and Iraq's oil reserves,[49][50][51][52] although the latter was denied by other officials

Those are the facts. The surge was not the beginning of the War and Occupation of Iraq. Let no Republican Facist fool you.

ON THE ECONOMY JOHN MCCAIN AN THE RNC WERE NO MATCH FOR OBAMA, JUST DIRTY TRICKSMcCain adjudicated for the same failed policies of the last 8 years and that's no CHANGE, that's not even pocket change. McCain waxed weakly, deceptively, often using lies from his propaganda ad campaign as distractions and diversions from the dealings of the fact that he is one of the main components in the dereuglation mess.

McCain’s comment on Monday that the “fundamentals of the economy are strong” was a gift for Democrats. Throughout the week, the Obama campaign has been able to seize on McCain’s foible by painting the Republican nominee as “simply out of touch” with the brick-and-mortar economy on Main Street. And this is not McCain’s only weakness at the moment on the economic front.

We are now learning that McCain has a long and distinguished track record in Congress as a staunch advocate of deregulation which will likely further damage his credibility with voters. Given his well documented history as a pro-deregulation lawmaker, it is hard to see how McCain will be able to convince blue-collar voters in Ohio, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania that he is the right person to address the current financial crisis on Wall Street. Below is a summary of citations documenting his long history as a pro-deregulation lawmaker in the Senate.

John McCain: The Deregulator

I don’t think anyone who wants to increase the burden of government regulation and higher taxes has any real understanding of economics and the economy and what is needed in order to ensure the future of this country.”
– John McCain [McCain Town Hall in Inez, Kentucky, 4/23/08]

McCain Is An Avid Supporter Of Lax Rules For Financial Institutions
McCain Supported A Banking Bill Because It Eliminated “The Tremendous Regulatory Burden Imposed On Financial Institutions.” While speaking in favor of bank deregulation on the floor of the senate, John McCain said, “This legislation takes a small but important step toward eliminating the tremendous regulatory burden imposed on financial institutions… One principal reason banks are unable to make loans is the bewildering array of statutory and regulatory restrictions and paperwork requirements imposed by Congress and the regulatory agencies. While a case can certainly be made that every law and regulation is intended to serve a laudable purpose, the aggregate effect of the rapidly increasing regulatory burden imposed on banks is to cause them to devote substantial time, energy and money to compliance rather than meeting the credit needs of the community.” [Congressional Record, 11/19/93; emphasis added]

McCain Supported A Bill To “Takes A Small Step Forward Toward Eliminating Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens Imposed On Banks.” While speaking in favor of bank deregulation on the floor of the senate, John McCain said, “While a case can certainly be made that every law and regulation is intended to serve a laudable purpose, the aggregate effect of the rapidly increasing regulatory burden imposed on banks is to cause them to devote substantial time, energy and money to compliance rather than meeting the credit needs of the community … This bill recognizes this fact, and takes a small step forward toward eliminating unnecessary regulatory burdens imposed on banks.” [Congressional Record, 11/19/93; emphasis added]

McCain Said The Best Thing Government Can Do For Business Is “Stay Out Of Its Way.” While speaking about the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act on the floor on the Senate in 2000, John McCain said, “I am convinced that the best thing government can often do to advance the fortunes of the private sector is to stay out of its way. I support this bill because it makes progress toward that end, by improving companies’ flexibility to hire the talent they need, while providing for the regulatory framework and new educational opportunities to protect and promote American workers.” [Congressional Record, 10/3/00; emphasis added]

In 1999, McCain Supported Phil Gramm’s Banking Deregulation Bill. In 1999, John McCain voted for passage of the Senate version of a bill that would eliminate current barriers erected by the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act and other laws that impede affiliations between banking, securities, insurance and other firms. The bill also would exempt small, non-urban banks from the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), revise the Federal Home Loan Bank system and require that owners of automated teller machines (ATMs) provide notice on the ATM and on-screen of any charges imposed for the use of the terminal. The bill passed 54-44. [S. 900, Vote #105, 5/6/99]

McCain Missed The Vote For Final Passage Because He Was Campaigning In New Hampshire. John McCain missed the final vote on Phil Gramm’s banking deregulation bill because he was campaigning in New Hampshire. [NPR, “Morning Edition,” 11/5/99; S. 900, Vote #354, 11/4/99]

McCain Has Based His 2008 Campaign On Promoting Less Regulation
McCain: “I Don’t Think Anyone Who Wants To Increase The Burden Of Government Regulation And Higher Taxes Has Any Real Understanding Of Economics.” During a McCain Town Hall in Inez, Kentucky, John McCain said, “When we come out of this recession and we will because I believe that the fundamentals of our economy are good … Sen. Clinton wants the government to make the decisions for you on your health care, I want the families to make the decisions on their health care. I don’t think anyone who wants to increase the burden of government regulation and higher taxes has any real understanding of economics and the economy and what is needed in order to ensure the future of this country.” [McCain Town Hall in Inez, Kentucky, 4/23/08; emphasis added]

McCain: “I Understand Why The AFL-CIO And Maybe Other Unions May Oppose My Free Market, Less Regulation, Right To Work.” During an appearance on Fox’s “Special Report with Brit Hume,” John McCain said, “I understand why the AFL-CIO and maybe other unions may oppose my free market less regulation right to work. I think we have honest differences of opinion. I respect those labor unions, but I’m sure that those differences are very intense and very real.” [Fox News,” Special Report with Brit Hume,” 3/12/08]

McCain: “Let’s Reduce Regulation.” While speaking about the economy in St. Louis, Missouri, John McCain said, “I’m asked all the time are we in a recession or not in a recession. And I don’t know the answer to that because it’s kind of a technical term… I do not believe we should raise your taxes. I think it would be the worst thing we could do. And that means to me I think the tax cuts need to be made permanent. When you’ve got a bad economy, the worst thing you can do is increase people’s tax burden. Let’s reduce it. Let’s reduce regulation.” [CNN, “Ballot Bowl, 3/15/08]

McCain: “We Need To Return To The Reagan Years… We Need Less Regulation.” As shown on PBS’s “Washington Week,” John McCain said, “We need to return to the Reagan years. We need to have fiscal conservatism. We need less government. We need less regulation. We need to end of spending spree which has eroded our base of Republican support.” [PBS, “Washington Week,” 1/25/08]

McCain Promised To “Give Them Lower Taxes, Less Regulation, Less Government In Their Lives.” As shown on CNN’s “CNN Newsroom,” John McCain said, “We’ve got to do the other things necessary to encourage business and give them lower taxes, less regulation, less government in their lives, and that means a simpler, fairer — tax code. The tax code in America is broken and it needs to be fixed.” [CNN, “CNN Newsroom,” 2/14/08]

To Fix the Economy, McCain Would “We’ve Got To Take Specific Actions, Keep Their Taxes Low, Less Regulation.” As shown on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” John McCain said, “That our economy is in terrible shape, that we’ve got to take specific actions, keep their taxes low, less regulation, get - start exploring and exploiting offshore oil deposits.” [ABC, “Good Morning America,” 7/2/08]

McCain Said The Difference Between Obama & Himself Would Be “More Regulation Or Less Regulation.” During a media availability in Phoenix, Arizona, John McCain said, “I think the important thing is that there will be stark differences between either Senator [Clinton] or Senator Obama and me because they are liberal Democrats and I’m a conservative Republican… whether we pursue the present strategy in Iraq or whether we — or whether we set a date for withdrawal, which will mean Al Qaida wins; whether we have more regulation or less regulation.” [McCain Media Availability via CQ Transcriptions, 3/3/08; emphasis added]

McCain: “Less Government, Lower Taxes, Less Regulation, Safer America Is What I Can Give America.” During an appearance on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” John McCain said, “I can make a case that a less government, lower taxes, less regulation, safer America is what I can give America. But I don’t underestimate the size of the challenge.” [CBS, “60 Minutes,” 3/9/08]

McCain Is Long-Time Supporter Of Deregulation
McCain: “I Am A Deregulator. I Believe In Deregulation.” While speaking about the cable and satellite television during an appearance on CNN’s “On the Money,” John McCain said, “I am a deregulator. I believe in deregulation.” [CNN, “In the Money,” 7/13/03]


So now that we've gotten a small peek into the LYING MIND OF POLITICAL MANIPULATOR, once again we must remember the conversation the nation is engaing the candidates in today is definately not the republicans foretay. Our economy is suffering from the last 8 years of borrowing from China in the trillions, borrowing from Japan in the untold billions, waging a War and Occupation based on a mistake. Speaking of which John McCain is determined to keep your children and their childrens children, in debt and 'COMMITTED TO A MISTAKE". We AK no bones about it here at "Fact of the Matter".

Don't believe the pun dents, don't believe the Republican owned CORPORATE MEDIAS talking points, even if the press as they will probably deceitfully try, and give this debate to McCain. MCCAIN WAS NEVER REALLY EVEN IN THE REAL CONVERSATION THAT WAS THE DEBATE....HE WAS AUDITIONING FOR A DECEPTIVE PROPAGANDA AD. Not with us, the Nation, not even on the same page.

As far as the conversation of the debate was about The Economy, The war and Occupation in Iraq, (Our ultimate, to date, mistake),The middle-class, and money of the tune of 10 billion dollars a month we shell out to that mistake, and of course FOREIGN POLICY, John McCain is completely OUT OF TOUCH...HE IS LIVING IN HIS untreated PTSD SICKENED MIND THE ASSUMPTION OF THE UTTER DEFEAT AND LOST OF a war that ended over 30 years ago.


Yet, he dishonored himself yet, again as he stood for a LIE and tried to deceive the American populace with his MENTAL DELUSIONS


Posted by: need4trth | September 27, 2008 2:34 AM | Report abuse

McCain came off contemptuous and angry. McCain appeared to be annoyed and inconvenienced by the whole debate. I suppose he considers the presidency to be his birthright that he scoffs anyone who even questions him. He kept making snarky and irrelevant marks. I was really surprised that McCain would not even look at Obama.

On the other hand, Obama came off in command, well-informed, and congenial—in other words, Obama looked Presidential. And McCain looked angry, repetitive, and non-presidential.

Posted by: JJames081 | September 27, 2008 1:09 AM | Report abuse

Just concluded the debate.

Obama had the high ground on many issues and I find that he did not fully capitalize on it.

Example: answer on Russia. He didn't note that international outrage and opposition to our invasion of Iraq on false pretenses gave Russia permission to act as the agressor in Georgia and leaves us too weak to respond. Instead he changed the subject to energy policy.

Was all over the map with useless data - like Hillary Clinton. He couldn't simplify as well as John McCain who also succeeded in making his experience a strength in foreign policy and government.

Obama's answers did not control the debate or focus my attention on his American vision.

Also - strategy of running against Bush didn't stick. He needs to go after McCain
("I hate Bush" didn't work the last time either. McCain's message tonight is that we on the left really need to get over Bush.)

I didn't expect much from McCain so I got more than I expected.

I was not entirely gratified by Obama.

Hate to post it but this election deserves my best effort at honest judgment.

Posted by: JohnQuimby | September 26, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

If foreign policy is McCain's strong point and Obama's weakest point then McCain is in for a rough time until Nov. 4th.

Posted by: DixieWrecked | September 26, 2008 11:31 PM | Report abuse

A bad week for McCain , just got a whole lot worse. Lets see , we have Rick Davis , McCain dropping like a rock in the polls. Then he pulls this political stunt of supposedly suspending his Campaign and claims he has to run back to Washington to save the world. But he failed to mention that he is not part of the committees that were dealing with the bail out , and therefor wouldn't have any input anyway. Then the congressional leaders come out and make statements about not needing McCain or wanting him. McCain shows up in Washington and screws up the entire frame work of the agreement. A very Conservative Republican comes out in MSM calling for Palin to step down for the good of the Republican Party because she is way out of her league , which once again points towards McCain's very poor judgment. Then McCain flip flops again , and decides he better show up for the Debate. Then McCain GETS SPANKED , AND LOSES THE DEBATE.


Did i miss anything ???????

Posted by: cakemanjb | September 26, 2008 11:09 PM | Report abuse

I saw nothing new here and cannot give either of them a win. This was at best a draw. Both were a little lax as far as Truth in what they were saying.

Posted by: lylepink | September 26, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Who won the presidential debate at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss.?


Posted by: usadblake | September 26, 2008 10:05 PM | Report abuse

McCain just said that Obama voted to raise taxes on those making $42,000--is this truth or fiction?

Posted by: amwg | September 26, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I hope they ask McCain about Charles Keating and Phil Gramm.

McCain knows all about bailing out rich bankers and screwing over middle class and poor people, he's been doing it for years:

McCain - Founding Member of the Keating Five:

McCain was one of the "Keating Five," congressmen investigated on ethics charges for strenuously helping convicted racketeer Charles Keating after he gave them large campaign contributions and vacation trips.
Charles Keating was convicted of racketeering and fraud in both state and federal court after his Lincoln Savings & Loan collapsed, costing the taxpayers $3.4 billion. His convictions were overturned on technicalities; for example, the federal conviction was overturned because jurors had heard about his state conviction, and his state charges because Judge Lance Ito (yes, that judge) screwed up jury instructions. Neither court cleared him, and he faces new trials in both courts.)

Though he was not convicted of anything, McCain intervened on behalf of Charles Keating after Keating gave McCain at least $112,00 in contributions. In the mid-1980s, McCain made at least 9 trips on Keating's airplanes, and 3 of those were to Keating's luxurious retreat in the Bahamas. McCain's wife and father-in-law also were the largest investors (at $350,000) in a Keating shopping center; the Phoenix New Times called it a "sweetheart deal."

Here's some more straight-talk, my friends:

Posted by: DrainYou | September 26, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

"You mean "The Fact Check team will analyze statements by John McCain for accuracy and exaggeration, while making any excuse they can for Barack Obama"?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | September 26, 2008 7:15 PM "
Grow up Mark, they print negative stories about Obama and Biden too, it's just that lately McCain and Palin have been giving the press a lot of fodder.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 26, 2008 7:44 PM | Report abuse

McCain has had such a bad week that by the law of averages he should kick Obama's butt tonight and even up the race.

I hope not but one of his gambles has to pay off sometime.

Posted by: JRM2 | September 26, 2008 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Seems a tall task to pick through the exaggerations and lies tonight.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | September 26, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

You mean "The Fact Check team will analyze statements by John McCain for accuracy and exaggeration, while making any excuse they can for Barack Obama"?

Posted by: MarkInAustin | September 26, 2008 7:15 PM | Report abuse

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