A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Romney Wrong on Deficits, Auto Bailout

Mitt Romney wrongly claimed deficits “multiplied … by a factor of four or five” under President Barack Obama. He also incorrectly stated that auto companies have repaid only a "small" share of the government bailout money.
The deficit was already running at $1.2 trillion when Obama took office, and it grew to more than $1.4 trillion during his administration — an increase of far less than 400 percent to 500 percent. As for the auto bailout money,

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of May 31-June 6

This week, readers sent us comments about the Republicans' Medicare proposal, gasoline prices, energy-efficient light bulbs, Mitt Romney and political ads in New York.
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.

FactChecking Santorum

Next up in our occasional look at past misstatements by presidential candidates: Rick Santorum. The former Pennsylvania senator announced his candidacy today. We have checked just a few claims from Santorum, who served in the Senate from 1995 to 2007.

He wrongly claimed in March that "one in three pregnancies end in abortion" in the United States when saying that abortion was to blame for funding problems for Social Security and Medicare. Santorum said on a radio talk show: "The reason Social Security is in big trouble is we don’t have enough workers to support the retirees.

Palin’s Twist on Paul Revere

Sarah Palin's much-ridiculed story of Paul Revere isn't entirely wrong, but it's badly twisted. Revere didn't ring bells or fire shots, and he was riding to warn two fellow rebels that the British were coming to arrest them, not to warn the British "that they weren't going to be taking away our arms."
That's what the former Alaska governor said in an offhand remark, caught by a TV camera at a June 2 stop in Boston:

Palin,

Chrysler Paid in Full?

Taxpayer beware: You have to read the fine print to know what the president means when he says Chrysler has paid back "every dime" of loans it received "during my watch." The company got $12.5 billion in bailout funds under the Bush and Obama administrations, but — despite what the president said — isn't expected to pay about $1.3 billion of it.

President Barack Obama visited a Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio, on June 3 to discuss the recent announcement that the Chrysler Group LLC repaid $5.1 billion in outstanding loans.

Romney’s ‘Rhetorical’ Misery Index

The "Obama misery index" that Mitt Romney says is at a record doesn't really exist, except as political talk.
That's what we discovered, to our surprise, when we contacted his spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, to ask exactly how Romney calculates his index, and to find out what number Romney currently assigns to it. "It is a rhetorical reference," Fehrnstrom told us, and not an actual economic index.
It's rhetoric that the former Massachusetts governor has been using since at least March 8,

FactChecking Romney

We are periodically taking a look at past claims from the 2012 presidential candidates, and today it's Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor is set to announce in New Hampshire that he'll seek the Republican nomination for the second time. Here's a recap of some of our fact-checking of Romney during the last campaign and since:

Most recently, we found Romney misrepresenting the federal health care law and the overhaul he signed into law in Massachusetts.

Palin Whoppers on Debt, Oil Imports

Sarah Palin made two wildly inaccurate claims on the debt accumulated under President Obama and oil imports. She wrongly said that the debt had grown more under Obama than "all those other presidents combined." She also was way off when she claimed that the U.S. is going to spend "$8 billion a day" on oil imports this year and next year to make up for declining oil production in the Gulf of Mexico. The actual amount is less than $20 million a day.