ProCon.org lists a few common rumors about Barack Obama and John McCain and provides a corresponding rebuttal made by their respective campaigns and other sources.
Barack Obama is a Muslim.
"Barack Obama is a committed Christian. He was sworn into the Senate on his family Bible. He has regularly attended church with his wife and daughters for years." "The Truth About Barack's Faith," Barack Obama's official candidate website (accessed Oct. 29, 2008)
John McCain is ineligible to be US President because he was born in Panama.
"Though born abroad, he is considered a natural-born U.S. citizen. John McCain's father was an admiral in the U.S. Navy who was stationed in Panama in 1936, when McCain was born.
Section 1, Article II of the U.S. Constitution states:
Article II: 'No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.'
But McCain is a natural-born citizen, even though he was not born within this country's borders, since his parents were citizens at the time of his birth. As a congressional act [An Act to Establish a Uniform Rule of Naturalization] stated in 1790:
Congress: 'And the children of citizens of the United States, that may be born beyond sea, or out of the limits of the United States, shall be considered as natural born citizens.'" "How Can Panamanian-born McCain Be Elected President?" FactCheck.org, Feb. 25, 2008
Click here for a PDF ( 35 KB) of Robinson v. Bowen, a Sep. 16, 2008 US District Court ruling that John McCain is a "natural born citizen."
Barack Obama does not have a US birth certificate or the one the Obama campaign produced is fake.
"In June , the Obama campaign released a digitally scanned image of his birth certificate to quell speculative charges that he might not be a natural-born citizen. But the image prompted more blog-based skepticism about the document's authenticity...
We beg to differ. FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false...Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said." "The Truth About Obama's Birth Certificate," FactCheck.org, Aug. 26, 2008
Click here to see a PDF ( 51 KB) copy of Barack Obama's US birth certificate.
John McCain wants to wage a 100-year war in Iraq.
"Take a look at what McCain actually said in Derry, N.H., back in January . Cutting off a questioner who talked about the Bush administration's willingness to keep troops in Iraq for 50 years, McCain said 'Make it a hundred.' He then mentioned that U.S. troops had been in Germany for 60 years and in Korea for 50 years, and added, 'That's fine with me as long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed'...
Whether the war in Iraq is actually winnable is a separate question. But there is a difference between fighting a war and occupying a country. World War II lasted for nearly six years (3 1/2 years in the case of the U.S.), but there is still a significant U.S. troop presence in Germany." "McCain's '100-Year War," voices.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker (accessed Oct. 30, 2008)
Barack Obama requested $3 million in congressional earmarks for an overhead projector.
"...[T]he Web site of Obama's Senate office shows Obama asked for $3-million for the Adler Planetarium. According to Obama's office, the equipment had begun to fail and deprived people of a learning experience.
'The projection equipment in this theater is 40 years old, and is no longer supported with parts or service by the manufacturer,' his office said in a June 21, 2007, announcement...
The projector at Adler that would be replaced is 2 1/2 tons, 18 feet in diameter and elevates from 12 to 20 feet. It's used to display 7,000 stars and planets that are visible, said Mark Webb, director of theaters at Adler...
'The characterization of it as an overhead projector is not very accurate,' said Webb, who has been at the planetarium more than 25 years.
While the museum has not settled on a specific replacement, the $3-million would help cover most of the cost of a new system of projectors. It will be computerized with light sources that would display all the visible stars plus the deep space stars and planets. It would have hard drives and software to transfer megabytes of data, he said. The projector system is part of a $10-million theater upgrade at Adler, the first U.S. location with a planetarium." "Obama Sought the Money, But It's No Mere Projector," PolitiFact.com (accessed Oct. 30, 2008)
John McCain does not know how to use a computer.
"In January 2008, Yahoo! News asked McCain whether he used a Mac or PC, and McCain said, 'Neither. I am an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all of the assistance that I can get.' But two months ago [July 2008] in an interview with The New York Times, McCain said:
NY Times: What websites if any do you look at regularly?
McCain: Brooke and Mark [McCain advisors Brooke Buchanan and Mark Salter] show me Drudge, obviously, everybody watches, for better or for worse, Drudge. Sometimes I look at Politico. Sometimes RealPolitics, sometimes...
NY Times: But do you go on line for yourself?
McCain: They go on for me. I am learning to get online myself, and I will have that down fairly soon, getting on myself. I don't expect to be a great communicator, I don't expect to set up my own blog, but I am becoming computer literate to the point where I can get the information that I need..." "Is McCain Unable to Use a Computer Because of War Injuries?" FactCheck.org, Sep. 17, 2008
Barack Obama's wife Michelle Obama used the word "whitey" and made other demeaning statements towards White people on a video tape known as the 'Whitey Tape'
"On May 30th, Rush Limbaugh gave specific details about a video tape supposedly showing Michelle Obama using a tasteless racial slur, something an accomplished professional and loving mother like Michelle would never say. Proven sleazemeister Roger Stone went on Fox News two days later to make a similar claim.
What did Michelle actually say on that video? Nothing — there is no video. The entire thing was completely fabricated by people like Limbaugh and Stone who want to take Michelle and Barack down. In fact, neither Michelle nor Barack has ever said anything remotely like the stuff Limbaugh, Stone, and the rest made up for their fantasy tape.
This is the worst, most hateful kind of smear there is. Make sure your friends and family know who is behind it." "The Truth About a Non-Existent Michelle Tape," Barack Obama's official candidate website (accessed Nov. 3, 2008)
John McCain called his wife Cindy the "C-word" during an exchange on the campaign trail in 1992
"Perhaps the most widely-circulated and persistent anti-McCain story asserts that, in 1992, he directed a particularly taboo slur at his wife, Cindy. The story made it into publications from Vanity Fair to Huffington Post, but — to the frustration of Obama partisans — it has never been reported as fact.
The story has its origin in a book, 'The Real McCain,' by Cliff Schecter, a Democratic political consultant. He cites as sources three Arizona reporters who heard the exchange on the campaign trail in 1992, all of them quoted anonymously. Schecter, in an interview, suggested that news outlets refused to deal with the story because of their reluctance to use the crude anatomical term — a notion that was satirized in a YouTube comedy that has been seen by 600,000 people .
There is, however, another, more basic problem: Reporters have been unable to replicate Schecter's sourcing. 'They're all very scared,' Schecter said of his sources. And in the absence of confirmation, a story told by an opposing-party operative, without backup, isn't likely to make the mainstream — no matter what word it uses." "Cover This! Inside Nastiest '08 Rumors," AOL News, (accessed Nov. 3, 2008)
Barack Obama is related to Kenyan prime minister and former opposition leader Raila Odinga
"He [Jerome Corsi] recently took a trip to Kenya to publicize some of the more bizarre and easily disproven lies in his book [The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality], but he got himself in some trouble with the local authorities and was deported. As soon as he got back, he was out peddling a completely fake, manufactured email allegedly from Barack to Raila Odinga. The email is so obviously made up, it’s been openly mocked.
There’s more to the smears behind Corsi’s latest stunt. He apparently started with an email attack that earned a 'pants on fire' rating from PolitiFact for truthfulness. The email claimed familial, financial, and political ties between Barack Obama and Kenyan politician, Raila Odinga, so all Corsi had to do when he 'wrote' his book was commit it to paper. Everything in the email was debunked months before the book came out, but Corsi went with his illegitimate smears anyway.
The truth is Raila Odinga claimed to be related to Barack during a politically dangerous moment for himself, and no Kenya experts believe his claim. Having made that unsupported boast, even Odinga himself says he never received money from Obama, as the original smear email and Corsi’s pathetic rehash would have us believe."
"Smear-master Corsi Peddles More Lies About Barack and Raila Odinga," Barack Obama's official candidate website (accessed Nov. 3, 2008)
John McCain crashed five military aircraft and was responsible for the 1967 disaster on the US Forrestal
"McCain did lose two Navy aircraft while piloting them. One crash was found to be be McCain's fault, the other due to an engine failure of undetermined cause. A third was destroyed on the deck of the carrier USS Forrestal when a missile fired accidentally from another plane hit either the plane next to McCain's or, less likely, his own aircraft, triggering a disastrous fire that killed 134 sailors and nearly killed McCain. A fourth plane was lost when he was shot down over North Vietnam on a bombing mission over Hanoi.
A fifth alleged 'crash' turns out to be a misinterpretation of a flight accident that did not result in the loss of the aircraft. McCain admitted to causing that incident through 'daredevil clowning' but returned safely... None of these incidents prevented McCain from winning regular promotions and being assigned additional flight duty. The Navy praised his 'aggressiveness and skillful airmanship' when awarding him the Navy Commendation Medal for an attack Oct. 18, 1967, on a shipyard in Haiphong, North Vietnam, prior to his capture. The Navy also commended his 'superb airmanship' in awarding him the Distinguished Flying Cross for a bombing attack on a Hanoi power plant Oct. 26, 1967. His plane was hit by a surface-to-air missile on that mission, but he 'continued his bomb delivery pass and released his bombs over the target' before being forced to eject, according to the official citation." "Did McCain Crash Five Planes? Did He Cause the 1967 Forrestal Fire?," Factcheck.org, Sep. 5, 2008