A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Overspiced Louisiana Gumbo

Summary
The Louisiana Democratic Party is serving up a hard-to-stomach mix of exaggeration, mischaracterization and falsehood against Republican candidate Bobby Jindal, who’s running for governor in a contest that could be decided in October.
We found these items floating in the stew:

One ad falsely claims Jindal "supported raising the Medicare eligibility age." The proposal actually came from former Democratic Sen. John Breaux, not Jindal.
The same ad claims Jindal, a member of the House of Representatives,

We have company!

Summary
We’re often asked if there are other sites like ours, trying in a nonpartisan way to help voters sort out fact from fiction. Now, there is.
The St. Petersburg Times of Florida and Congressional Quarterly of Washington, D.C.  announced a new Web site called PolitiFact.com. The official launch date is Tuesday, Sept. 4th, but the site has been available to the public for several days.
The new site does something we don’t. It offers a "truth-o-meter"

Clinton Wrong on Cancer Stat

Summary
Sen. Hillary Clinton used the wrong statistic in talking about cervical cancer today. She said that 500,000 women die from the disease worldwide each year. Actually, 250,000 do.
Analysis

The Lance Armstrong Foundation hosted a presidential forum on cancer issues for the Democratic candidates Aug. 27 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Four of the candidates participated – Sen. Hillary Clinton, former Sen. John Edwards, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Rep.

Liberal Lobby Lacks Context

A liberal coalition calling itself Americans Against Escalation in Iraq is running a TV ad that says the U.S. will be in Iraq for a decade to come and that the military draft will be reinstated. But the ad supports those conclusions by twisting the words of two senior generals.

Richardson’s Job Boast

Summary

Democratic presidential contender Bill Richardson boasts of creating 80,000 jobs since becoming governor of New Mexico. Not yet, he hasn’t. The state has gained fewer than 76,000 payroll jobs since he took office, and official figures showed a mere 68,100 gain when he first started making his inflated boast last year. He bases his claim on a definition of “jobs” that includes unpaid workers in family businesses and freelancers who don’t draw a paycheck.

The Immigration Showdown

Summary

In recent weeks, Republican presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney have sparred over their immigration records and policies. We find some problems with what both of them have been saying.

Giuliani released a radio ad in which he says of persons applying for citizenship, "we should make certain that they can read English, write English and speak English." Actually, those already are requirements for citizenship.
Giuliani’s ad also said illegal immigrants convicted of crimes in the U.S.

What is a Civil Union?

Summary

When politicians say they support civil unions but not marriage for people of the same sex, what do they mean? We find three main differences between civil unions and marriage as it’s traditionally viewed:

The right to federal benefits. States that allow some type of same-sex union are able to grant only state rights. The Defense of Marriage Act passed in 1996 prohibits same-sex couples from receiving federal marriage rights and benefits.
Portability.

AFL-CIO Democratic Forum

Summary

Seven Democratic presidential candidates appeared Aug. 7 in a nationally televised forum at Chicago’s Soldier Field, sponsored by the AFL-CIO. Once again, we found some claims that were wrong and others that were questionable.

Sen. Joseph Biden said none of the others "has a better labor record than me." Actually, they all have better AFL-CIO "lifetime" ratings than Biden.
Sen. Barack Obama attempted to revise his own earlier remarks about invading Pakistan, claiming: "I did not say that we would immediately go in unilaterally.

Sunday Morning Missteps

Summary

The Republican presidential candidates debated – and sounded some more false notes:

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney falsely claimed U.S. job growth had been nearly 17 times faster than Europe’s. Actually, European Union employment grew faster than that of the U.S. last year. Romney’s source for the information told FactCheck.org that he himself would no longer use the figures.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani accused Democratic candidates of "appeasement" toward Islamic terrorists.