WASHINGTON - Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain stretched the facts in accusing each other of kowtowing to the oil industry and sprinkled other dubious assertions across the landscape of public policy in their first presidential debate.
McCain's plan to cut the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent across the board so as to spur job creation was boiled down by Obama into a $4 billion tax break for Big Oil, as if no other companies or workers would benefit.
McCain similarly cut corners with context when he accused Obama of voting for huge subsidies for the oil industry. Obama voted to strip away those subsidies and, when that failed, backed broad energy legislation that contained them.
So it went during 90 minutes of debate, a reality warp at times.