A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactChecking Dodgy British Claims

Every now and then, we like to check in on what our British cousin is up to, just to remind ourselves that Americans have no monopoly on political spin.
The FactCheck Blog is a project of a TV network, Channel 4 News, and it regularly skewers British politicians for false, misleading or exaggerated claims. It’s written by political correspondent Cathy Newman. The politicians’ names are different, but the issues and the malarkey will sound familiar.

The head of Britain’s biggest labor union claimed the United Kingdom’s budget deficit is "not high by either historical or contemporary standards.”

FactChecking the GOP Response

We fact-checked President Obama’s State of the Union address, but what about the Republican response speeches? We found two new claims that we haven’t covered before: In the official response …

FactChecking Obama’s Address

We found no outright false factual claims in Obama’s State of the Union address, but we did note some that were arguable, and some promises that may prove unrealistic. He called his Race to the Top initiative “the most meaningful reform of our public schools in …

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Jan. 18-24

This week, readers sent us comments about the health care law and a donation we received.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

Schumer Exaggerates Proposed Defense Cuts

Democratic Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York exaggerated Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ plan to cut military spending during an exchange with Bob Schieffer on “Face the Nation.”
Schumer criticized a group of conservative Republicans for proposing a bill to cut non-defense federal spending by $2.5 trillion through fiscal year 2021:

Schumer, Jan. 23: But for instance, they leave the military totally out. … But everyone knows there’s waste and inefficiency in the military budget. Defense Secretary Gates has proposed cutting a hundred fifty billion dollars out of it.

Job Loss, Health Care and Bankruptcy

Former Bush adviser Karen Hughes and Democratic Rep. James Clyburn both twisted facts to make partisan points on "Meet the Press."
Hughes claimed that the "vast majority" of recent job losses happened under President Obama, when in fact slightly more jobs were lost when her former boss George W. Bush was president.  And Clyburn claimed that inadequate health insurance is "the biggest cause" of personal bankruptcies, which isn’t quite true either. Health costs are a contributing factor to most bankruptcies,

Pawlenty’s Bailout Blarney

Once again we find that Tim Pawlenty has changed course on an issue that is something of a litmus test for Republican candidates. In this case, it’s government bailouts.
On Jan. 16, he condemned all such bailouts, saying: "I don’t think the government should bail out Wall Street or the mortgage industry or for that matter any other industry." But back in 2008, when the sub-prime lending crisis was gathering force, Pawlenty said that some entities were "too big,

Obamas Not Invited to Royal Wedding?

Q: Is it true the Obamas will not be invited to Prince William’s wedding for fear Michelle will upstage Kate Middleton?
A: No. The official guest list has not been released. A British newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying the Obamas are not on the list, but that "could change."

Pawlenty’s Political Climate Change

Likely GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty's views on cap and trade aren't what they used to be.
Pawlenty told "Fox News Sunday" on Jan. 16 that he "never did sign a bill relating to cap and trade" when he was governor of Minnesota, but that's not true. He also said: "I've opposed cap and trade." However, that's been the case only since 2009.
In fact, the bill he signed in 2007 specifically required a task force to "recommend how the state could adopt"

Giuliani and the Lessons of Fort Hood

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani went beyond the boundaries of what investigators have reported on Sunday when he said the suspect in the 2009 Fort Hood shootings indicated "a desire to participate in jihad" three years before the attack. It is still not clear what the Army knew – and when – about the political views of Maj. Nidal Hasan, or how it failed to identify him as a potential internal threat before the attack that killed 13 people and wounded dozens.