A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Obama Gets Caught Up in Red Tape

President Barack Obama incorrectly claimed his administration has undertaken an "unprecedented" review of burdensome regulations. In fact, every president since at least Jimmy Carter has done similar reviews, including one under Bill Clinton that resulted in the elimination of more than 16,000 pages of federal regulations.
Obama made his claim during his hour-long press conference on June 29:

Obama, June 29: But what I have done — and this is unprecedented, by the way, no administration has done this before —

Dueling Economic Ads

A conservative group's ad makes the rise in unemployment under President Obama appear worse than it actually is. And in a counter-attack ad, a liberal group offers its spin on GOP economic plans.
Crossroads GPS, which spent heavily in the midterm elections to defeat Democrats, is spending $5 million to air its latest ad in 10 states and on national cable channels. It says it will spend a total of $20 million on similar messages in the next two months.

Pelosi’s True Spin

Nancy Pelosi accurately — but misleadingly — said more private jobs were created last year than under Bush. Her statement was true. But it's also true that there were still 2,065,000 fewer private jobs in May than there were when Obama took office
At last year's pace of job creation, it would take until February 2017 just to regain the jobs lost since the high point reached under the previous administration. And it would still take until 2015 to regain all those jobs even under the faster pace of job growth during the last 15 months.

Bachmann’s Waterloo

Rep. Michele Bachmann officially joined the presidential campaign trail, but made a flurry of false and misleading claims along the way. The Minnesota Republican appeared on two …

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of June 21-27

This week, readers sent us compliments about FactCheck.org and comments on a chain e-mail making claims about President Obama.
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.

Deficit Arithmetic: Cut Everything 34% Now?

Without an increase in the debt ceiling, could Washington avoid default simply by cutting spending? That's what two leading Republicans, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sen. Jim DeMint, urged over the weekend. What they didn't say is that this would require instant cuts of at least 34 percent in everything but interest payments. And the cuts would be far deeper if Congress exempted popular programs for the elderly, or for defense.
Minnesota Rep. Bachmann, appearing on CBS'

Huntsman, Lincoln and Hallmark

Jon Huntsman wrongly paraphrased Abraham Lincoln as saying: "[W]e are a great country because we are a good country." Lincoln assuredly never said that.
The expression is similar to a common political bromide that Ronald Reagan and others have attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville. But de Tocqueville didn't write those words, either.
Former Utah Gov. Huntsman made the slip-up at the announcement of his presidential candidacy in Liberty Park, N.J.

Huntsman, June 21: Our political debates today are corrosive and not reflective of the belief that Abe Lincoln espoused back in his day,

Huntsman’s $1 Trillion Mistake

Jon Huntsman was off by $1 trillion or more when he claimed that Social Security, Medicare and interest payments would consume "every dollar of federal revenue" within 10 years. A spokesman says Huntsman meant to include Medicaid in that list, but even that wouldn't make the claim accurate.
In his June 21 speech announcing that he is running for the Republican presidential nomination, the former ambassador said:

Huntsman, June 21: We must make hard decisions that are necessary to avert disaster.

Durbin’s Debt Problem

Sen. Dick Durbin incorrectly claimed that the U.S. borrows money "primarily from China" to fund the federal government. China owns about 8 percent of the total U.S. debt.
The Illinois Democrat made the claim during a June 19 interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Durbin, June 19: Keep in mind, for every dollar we spend in Washington, we borrow 40 cents, primarily from China, our major competitor in the world.

Durbin is largely correct that the U.S.