A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Flipping Through DNC Playbook on Romney

The Democratic National Committee casts Mitt Romney as an untrustworthy flip-flopper in a lengthy Web video, but pads a long list of examples with some falsehoods and distortions. It’s true that Romney has changed or modified his position on some major issues — including abortion, a federal assault weapons ban and Reaganomics, as the DNC says. But the video strains the truth …

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Nov. 22-28

This week, readers had plenty to say about our analysis of Mitt Romney’s first television ad of the 2012 presidential campaign.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the email we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

Pre-Thanksgiving Leftovers

The latest GOP debate was thin on memorable moments or major factual bloopers, but we do have some leftover claims to dispute before we shut down for the Thanksgiving holiday. We wouldn’t want anybody’s turkey dinner to be spoiled by worries that terrorists have come over the border with Mexico, for example. We also found misstatements about an oil pipeline, presidential contacts with Iran and cuts to the defense budget.
The two-hour debate was held in Washington,

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Nov. 15-21

This week, a reader offered an explanation for why we often find ourselves writing about the same false claims over and over again.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the email we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

Romney’s Ad ‘Deceitful & Dishonest’?

The Obama campaign is in a lather over Mitt Romney’s first TV spot, calling it “a deceitful and dishonest attack” because of an edited quote from 2008. That’s a matter of opinion. We find a far more consequential issue is the ad’s exaggerated claim that the new health care law is “killing jobs.” The truth is that the law’s effect on employment is expected to be slight, and the law’s main requirements on employers don’t become effective until 2014.

GOP’s Phantom Job Losses

Ooops!
Republicans — eager to show that President Obama’s oil and gas drilling policies “cost jobs” — have been using a number they now admit was more than three times too high. Even after they corrected their error (after we pointed it out), they started using a figure that is based on industry-sponsored studies, uses dubious assumptions and doesn’t apply to any jobs that currently exist.
It’s just the latest example of how both sides tend to use grossly exaggerated claims about jobs when debating their pet policies.

‘Government-Run’ Nonsense

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce puts a new twist on a tired old falsehood about “government-run health care” in one of its new ads attacking Democratic lawmakers. We noted other dubious claims as well.
An ad against Sen. Jon Tester in Montana accuses him of favoring “government-run health care” — for seniors. This is an amusing and nonsensical claim, given that Medicare is a “government-run” health insurance program for those over age 65 —

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Nov. 8-14

This week, a reader complimented the accuracy of our work.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the email we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

Junkie Math

All sides agree that the federal government borrows too much, so why exaggerate? In the latest example, a national TV ad shows an actor portraying a drug addict and claiming that the U.S. is borrowing 41 cents of every dollar spent, which isn’t true.
As shown in this chart, which we’ve produced from the most recent official figures from the Congressional Budget Office, the true figure was 36.1 cents of every dollar for fiscal year 2011,