Never mind merely unflattering attacks; Jonathan Alter addresses the issue of outright falsehoods, as measured by an impartial fact-checking organization, in the two presidential campaigns, and finds the McCain camp has issued many more. The "smear gap" belies John McCain's vision of himself as an honor-first kind of guy, he writes in Newsweek, and contradicts McCain’s own message of “America first.”
McCain’s long record of public service entitles him to run on his love of country, and to criticize Barack Obama as “a self-regarding celebrity.” But a campaign based on false claims “is no longer putting his country first,” Alter writes. "If he were, he would recognize that the interests of the nation require a relatively truthful campaign. To fulfill his image of himself, McCain should stop lying about his opponent."