Nonpartisan Group Labels Barack Obama’s Stem Cell Research Ads Misleading

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 1, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Nonpartisan Group Labels Barack Obama’s Stem Cell Research Ads Misleading

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 1
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — The misinformation and misleading nature of Barack Obama’s ads on stem cell research was too much for one leading nonpartisan institute. The FactCheck web site run by the University of Pennsylvania, which reviews political ads and debates, says Obama’s ads are inaccurate. has profiled the Obama radio ads and how they wrongly indicated McCain is against stem cell research and ignored the success of adult stem cells. We have also covered McCain’s response in his own radio ads.

FactCheck agrees and says, "An Obama-Biden radio ad hammers McCain for being opposed to stem cell research. Not true."

"Meanwhile two spots from the McCain-Palin campaign, together with the Republican National Committee, describe McCain’s support for the research; they’re largely accurate," FactCheck says.

"By saying that ‘John McCain has stood in the way – he’s opposed stem cell research,’ the Obama ad seriously misstates the view that McCain has held on this issue since 2001," the analysis continues.

FactCheck indicated it had no trouble with the initial McCain ad on the subject, but Obama’s struck it as inaccurate.

"McCain has been known for supporting federally funded stem cell research since 2001, so his first ad didn’t ring any alarm bells with us," it said. "Obama’s ad did set sirens off, however."

As has reported, and FactCheck confirmed, the Obama campaign cited as its source for McCain’s supposed opposition to stem cell research news articles showing him meeting with pro-life advocates to discuss the problems associated with the use of embryonic stem cells.

None of those news articles the Obama camp cited indicate McCain opposes stem cell research and FactCheck said it added up to a weak argument.

"We’d say that the Obama campaign’s arguments add up to pretty weak tea, but that would be a slight to the popular and storied beverage," it said.

FactCheck cites the McCain ads for minor points, namely that McCain’s position is different from the Republican Party and his running mate, pro-life Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. But it concludes that Obama’s misleading ads are significantly worse.

"In this set of ads, the misimpressions created by the Obama-Biden ad are far worse than the passing blip in the McCain-Palin/RNC spots," the nonpartisan analysis says. "The Democrats’ ad should be shelved in a closet and hauled out only if McCain really does change his position on stem cell funding. So far, that’s not the case."

Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.