I lost count of how many lies McCain told during last night’s town hall, but thankfully, the Obama campaign was tallying them up. Just a few:

SMALL BUSINESS TAXES. McCain said Obama’s plan “will increase taxes on 50% of small business revenue,” when the Washington Post found similar attacks “untrue,” and studies show 97% of small business owners wouldn’t see higher taxes under Obama’s plan. Factcheck.org said the attack used “a false and preposterously inflated figure.”

MCCAIN WILL MAKE HEALTH CARE AFFORDABLE AND AVAILABLE. McCain said “We can do them all at once,” talking about affordability and availability of health care, but he failed to mention that experts say his plan may require some to pay more or get less coverage, that millions would lose their employer-based coverage, and that even he has admitted that his plan will raise taxes on some.

HEALTH COVERAGE FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. McCain said his health care plan would let people cross state lines to get plans, suggesting it would improve care and not telling Americans that it would weaken patient protections and does nothing to require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. McCain’s plan would create a situation the GOP chair of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners said would cause a “race to the bottom.”

HIGHER HEALTH CARE COSTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. McCain attacked Obama’s health care plan, suggesting that Obama will fine small businesses and make health care more expensive for them. ABC pointed out that he was “omitting key details about Obama’s plan to mitigate costs” for health care for small businesses. McCain also omitted his record of voting repeatedly against tax credits for small businesses to help with health care costs and that the majority of members of the National Federation of Independent Businesses oppose his plan.

94 VOTES FOR HIGHER TAXES…AGAIN. McCain once again repeated the attack that Obama voted 94 times for higher taxes, calling it “his record.” This attack has been debunked by the Associated Press, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, CNN, the New York Times and FactCheck.org, among others.

BTW, no time was wasted getting an ad up about McCain and his health care “plan.” See it below the fold.  The new 30 second TV ad is called “Taketh”:

ANNC: John McCain on health care…

JM SYNCH: I want to give every American a 5,000 dollar refundable tax credit.

ANNC: Here’s the truth:

BO SYNCH: He says that he’s going to give you a 5,000 dollar tax credit. What he doesn’t tell you is that he’s going to tax your employer based health care benefits, for the first time ever…so what one hand giveth, the other hand taketh away.

ANNCR: John McCain… instead of fixing health care, he wants to tax it.

BO VO: I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message.

It was tiresome to listen to McCain lie so boldly about so many things, as if the man could distance himself from his own record in Washington. Also, folks in the chat room last night were getting “virtually drunk” with the beer icon, throwing back one every time he said “my friends” (19).

If you think about this debate from the POV of the undecided voter (it’s hard to believe there are any left at this point, given the gulf in policy positions of the two), McCain looked tired, stiff, pissy, out of touch. He ambled around the stage the whole evening, cracking jokes so lame that they passed by unnoticed by people. And the whole “that one” nonsense had to make people out there wonder if the man is simply unbalanced and incapable of tact when under the gun.

When a young black man asked a question about the economy, McCain’s rude, crude meter went off the charts (in his rambling response, couldn’t even remember the man’s name).

MCCAIN: Well, thank you, Oliver, and that’s an excellent question, because as you just described it, bailout, when I believe that it’s rescue, because — because of the greed and excess in Washington and Wall Street, Main Street was paying a very heavy price, and we know that.

I left my campaign and suspended it to go back to Washington to make sure that there were additional protections for the taxpayer in the form of good oversight, in the form of taxpayers being the first to be paid back when our economy recovers — and it will recover — and a number of other measures.

But you know, one of the real catalysts, really the match that lit this fire was Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I’ll bet you, you may never even have heard of them before this crisis.

…So this rescue package means that we will stabilize markets, we will shore up these institutions. But it’s not enough. That’s why we’re going to have to go out into the housing market and we’re going to have to buy up these bad loans and we’re going to have to stabilize home values, and that way, Americans, like Alan, can realize the American dream and stay in their home.

But Fannie and Freddie were the catalysts, the match that started this forest fire. There were some of us — there were some of us that stood up against it. There were others who took a hike.

And heaven forbid if you were watching CSPAN, which didn’t cut away after the town hall was over. While Barack and Michelle Obama were mingling and talking to audience members for a good long time, John and Cindy McCain immediately high-tailed it out of the venue once traditional news channels moved on to the talking heads. McCain was apparently not willing to glad hand and make the sale to those voters who attended. He only reinforced his nasty reputation. Great move!

This was a disaster for the angry man.  

Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding