The Washington Post

McCain versus McCain on lying

(Charles Dharapak/AP)

“I have never called an opponent of mine a liar. That's just sort of a line that you don't usually cross.”

--Sen. John McCain, Jan. 5, 2012, speaking about Newt Gingrich’s complaint about Mitt Romney


When we saw this quote by John McCain, we were a bit surprised because we remember this Associated Press article from the 2008 campaign.


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Republican John McCain is calling Democratic rival Barack Obama a liar.

The GOP presidential candidate told a campaign rally: "Sen. Obama has accused me of opposing regulation to avert this crisis. I guess he believes if a lie is big enough and repeated often enough it will be believed."

In some of the harshest language yet, McCain said the campaign comes down to a simple question: Who is the real Barack Obama?

McCain drew the loudest cheers when he said the Democrat has written two memoirs but "he's not exactly an open book."

Trailing in the polls, McCain and his advisers say they will hammer that theme as the campaign heads toward the Nov. 4 election.


Here’s a video of the McCain’s speech.

 When we asked McCain spokesman Brian Rogers for comment, he replied: “There’s a clear and obvious difference between name-calling (which Senator McCain was referring to this morning) and defending against false attacks.”

 Gingrich was defending himself against what he views as false attacks by Romney supporters, but we will leave this question to readers: Is this a distinction without a difference?

(About our rating scale)

Check out our candidate Pinocchio Tracker

Follow The Fact Checker on Twitter and friend us on Facebook .

Track each presidential candidate's campaign ads .

Glenn Kessler has reported on domestic and foreign policy for more than three decades. He would like your help in keeping an eye on public figures. Send him statements to fact check by emailing him, tweeting at him, or sending him a message on Facebook.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.