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A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Ron Paul Ad Invokes Reagan, Imprecisely

Ron Paul wrongly suggests Ronald Reagan reluctantly agreed to a "debt ceiling compromise" in 1987. There was no disagreement over raising the debt ceiling. In fact, Reagan said he had "no objection whatsoever" to raising the debt ceiling. Reagan opposed the main provision of the legislation that threatened to impose deep spending cuts, including to the military, if the president and Congress did not reduce the deficit by a certain amount.
Paul, the populist Texas congressman who is running for the Republican presidential nomination,

Crossroads Targets Dems for Budget Woes

The conservative group Crossroads GPS has launched a $7 million ad campaign targeting President Obama, five Democratic senators and 10 representatives. A lot of the content in the ads …

Obama’s Untrue Anecdote

President Obama's much-told story about his mother's fight to get cancer coverage was untrue, according to a recently published book. And the White House isn't disputing the author's account.
The New York Times reports that Janny Scott, in her biography, “A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother,” writes that Stanley Ann Dunham's health insurance provider did, in fact, cover most of the medical expenses related to her uterine and ovarian cancer.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of July 5-11

This week, readers sent us an idea about teaching fact-checking in schools, and comments about Rep. Bachmann's claims and the FactCheck Quiz.
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.

Pawlenty, Taxes and Budget Crises

Tim Pawlenty misled readers in an op-ed by saying he solved Minnesota's budget crisis in 2005 without raising taxes. Pawlenty's 75-cents-per-pack cigarette tax — which he called a "health impact fee" — helped forge a budget deal and end a nine-day partial government shutdown. 
In a July 12 op-ed piece for the Des Moines Register, the former Minnesota governor and current Republican candidate for president criticized Democrats for proposing to raise taxes to solve budget problems in Minnesota and Washington,

Cheney Ad ‘Hasty’ with Quotes

Liz Cheney's group quotes U.S. military leaders out of context to attack President Obama's Afghanistan policy.
Keep America Safe, which is headed by the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is airing a TV ad that uses brief video clips of congressional testimony given by Gen. David Petraeus and Adm. Mike Mullen to support its claim that Obama's plan to reduce troop levels in Afghanistan will put U.S. soldiers at greater risk. It's true that both military leaders recommended maintaining higher troop levels.

Twists and Turns on the Debt

Sen. Mitch McConnell and Rep. Xavier Becerra made misstatements about the debt ceiling debate and Social Security. McConnell, R-Ky., was incorrect when he claimed that "nobody is talking about not raising the debt ceiling." In fact, Rep. Michele Bachmann said she would not vote to raise the debt limit in her first presidential ad that began airing on Friday.
Becerra, D-Calif., repeated a false Democratic talking point when he claimed that "Social Security hasn't contributed 1 cent to …

Sessions Wrong on Bush Tax Cuts

Sen. Jeff Sessions wrongly claimed that federal revenues "went up every single year" after the Bush tax cuts were "put in." Actually, federal revenues declined for three straight years after the first tax cut was signed in 2001.
The Alabama Republican made his statement on "Face the Nation."

Sessions, July 10: The revenue went up every single year after those tax cuts were put in. The revenue is down now because of the low economy.

The first tax cut —

The Traveling President

Q: Is President Obama flying on Air Force One more than other presidents did? Is he being accompanied by more people on international trips?
A: Two chain e-mails suggesting that the president’s travel habits are more excessive than his predecessors are off base.