Swift Boat Watch: Citizens for Open and Responsive Government

See all Swift Boat Watch entries here .

Who They Are: Citizens for Open and Responsive Government

Purpose: To combat what they see as unfair attacks on candidates or unacceptable campaign activity. The group has opposed state-level Republican candidates in the past, but in this presidential election they support McCain.

Director: Carlton Saffa

Funding: Small individual donations.

Cost of the Ad: Prefer not to release.

Where It Ran: Colorado, Sept. 22-26

Related Groups: None

Claims: John McCain cannot use a keyboard or computer because of war injuries sustained in Vietnam. This is in response to the Obama campaign’s ” Still ” ad, which mocks McCain’s inability to use a computer or send an e-mail. The spot also quotes Joe Biden calling the initial Obama ad “terrible.”


Accuracy: The claim that McCain cannot use a computer because of his war injuries isn’t entirely true. In an interview with the New York Times , McCain said he is learning how to use a computer, which suggests he can use one, at least to a limited extent. (Plus, many people physically worse-off than McCain manage to use computers.) Biden did call the ad “terrible,” but later issued a follow-up statement saying that he had been reacting to press accounts without actually seeing the ad.


Background: Saffa says CORG decided to film the ad because it felt the issue was being ignored by the mainstream media. Lt. Col. Mike Fairhead, the veteran in the video, was also injured in the Vietnam War.


Swift Boat Rating:

Using a veteran who also sustained war injuries is a bit melodramatic. Does he even know McCain? Obama’s ad did mock John McCain’s inability to use a computer, but it didn’t mock his disabilities. The ad was using his computer illiteracy, along with other examples, to argue that McCain is out of touch with Americans.