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"He Lied" About Bill Ayers?
October 10, 2008
McCain cranks out some false and misleading attacks on Obama's connection to a 1960s radical.
In a TV ad, McCain says Obama "lied" about his association with William Ayers, a former bomb-setting, anti-war radical from the 1960s and '70s. We find McCain's claim to be groundless. New details have recently come to light, but nothing Obama said previously has been shown to be false.
In a Web ad and in repeated attacks from the stump, McCain describes the two as associates, and Palin claims they "pal around" together. But so far as is known, their relationship was never very close. An Obama spokesman says they last saw each other in a chance encounter on the street more than a year ago.
McCain says in an Internet ad that the two "ran a radical 'education' foundation" in Chicago. But the supposedly "radical" group was supported by a Republican governor and included on its board prominent local civic leaders, including one former Nixon administration official who has given $1,500 to McCain's campaign this year. Education Week says the group's work "reflected mainstream thinking" among school reformers. The group was the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, started by a $49 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation, which was established by the publisher Walter Annenberg, a prominent Republican whose widow, Leonore, is a contributor to the McCain campaign.
(FactCheck.org, which is nonpartisan, also receives funding from the Annenberg Foundation. But we are in no way connected to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, which finished its work long before we came into being in late 2003.)
For full details, please read on to our Analysis section.