Presidential campaign ad rhetoric stretches the truth
(CBS News) It's the campaign rhetoric at home that has a lot of American's shaking their heads. The advertising from both campaigns is overwhelmingly negative. And, very often, they're just plain wrong, based on half truths or lies.
"It's a scary time to be a woman," the narrator in a President Barack Obama ad explains.
The television spot from the Obama campaign implies that a Romney presidency would be bad for women.
"Romney supports overturning Roe versus Wade," the narrator continues.
It's true that Romney opposes abortion. He has said he was "consistent" as a governor on his pro-life stance. But, it's a claim that Romney wants to outlaw abortion even in the case of rape and incest that has earned the Obama campaign a blistering "pants on fire" rating by Politifact, an organization which tracks misleading political claims.
"Romney backed a bill that outlaws all abortion, even in the cases of rape and incest," the narrator in the ad clearly states.
In 2008, Romney did back a constitutional amendment that would ban all abortions, but some versions of that proposed legislation included exemptions for rape and incest. However, Romney has repeatedly said he believes in exceptions for "rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother."
It's far from the first presidential campaign ad to stretch the truth this cycle. Just last week, the Romney campaign took President Obama's comments about government's role in building infrastructure out of context, implying he belittled the private sector.
"If you've got a business, you didn't build that! Somebody else made that happen!" Mr. Obama says on a Romney ad.
But what Mr. Obama really said -- minus the editing -- had a significantly different meaning:
"Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen," Mr. Obama had said at a campaign event.
The Obama campaign contends that its ad about abortion is factual because Romney has expressed support for a variety of proposed legislation from different states that would outlaw all abortions, no exceptions. It's likely the campaign decided to resurrect this issue because while Obama leads among women in the polls, Romney has been gaining lately.
- Nancy Cordes
Nancy Cordes is CBS News' congressional correspondent.Follow on Twitter »
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