Mccain’s Newest Ad: Reprising a (Debunked) Lie

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John McCain doesn’t seem to care about how he finishes the race—with integrity or without. In recent days, he keeps claiming that Barack Obama is an untrustworthy pol who will say anything to get elected. But let’s look at the newest McCain ad, Here’s the narration:

Iran. Radical Islamic government. Known sponsors of terrorism. Developing nuclear capabilities to generate power, but threatening to eliminate Israel. Obama says Iran is a “tiny” country, “doesn’t pose a serious threat.” Terrorism, destroying Israel, those aren’t “serious threats?” Obama—dangerously unprepared to be President.

This is about as dishonest an ad as the McCain campaign has produced. In fact, it’s a repeat of an ad the campaign tried in August. When that earlier ad was released, Factcheck.org explained why it was fraudulent. Obama, it noted, had in May said this:

Strong countries and strong presidents talk to their adversaries. That’s what Kennedy did with Khrushchev. That’s what Reagan did with Gorbachev. That’s what Nixon did with Mao. I mean think about it. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela—these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us.

Obama’s reference to Iran as “tiny” was entirely in the context of comparing it—and any threat it poses—to the old Evil Empire. Given that the Soviet Union had thousands of nuclear warheads aimed at the United States and Iran now has none, it is beyond debate that the Soviet threat was more harrowing and immediate than the Iranian threat of today. Obama obviously did not say that Iran presented no threat at all.

This ad is—let’s be frank—a lie. It’s certainly not the only deliberate misrepresentation hurled by the McCain camp. But the revival of this phony attack shows that the candidate whose supporters hold up placards declaring “Honor” cares little about real honor as the race draws to a close.

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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