A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Gingrich Makes a Mess with Janitors Claim

Newt Gingrich got it wrong when he claimed “an entry-level janitor gets paid twice as much as an entry-level teacher” in New York City.
An entry-level “cleaner” is the closest thing to Gingrich’s description of an “entry-level janitor,” and someone in that position is paid substantially less than an entry-level teacher. Some may be surprised to learn that “custodial engineers” are better paid than teachers. But they are supervisors (not entry-level janitors), and even they are not paid twice as much.

Crossroads GPS Twists Facts in Senate Ads

Crossroads GPS distorts the facts in TV ads that attack two Democratic Senate candidates for their roles in the Wall Street bailout and the federal health care law: The well-heeled conservative group says Elizabeth Warren was appointed to oversee how tax dollars were spent for bank bailouts …

Suspect Claims from Obama’s ’60 Minutes’ Interview

President Barack Obama made a couple of questionable claims during a recent interview with Steve Kroft of CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

Obama said that “John McCain’s former economist” said that the stimulus “created or saved 3 millions jobs.” Mark Zandi did say that the stimulus created about that many jobs, but the registered Democrat was one of many advisers to McCain, not his chief economist.
Obama also said “the majority of Republicans” believe there should be “a balanced approach to deficit reduction,

Soft on Anti-Semitism?

GOP presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney claim that the U.S. ambassador to Belgium “justified” and “downplayed” anti-Semitism and blamed it on “Israel’s actions toward the Palestinians.” We find that to be a one-sided interpretation of what was actually said.
Others may view Ambassador Howard Gutman’s remarks differently than the Republican candidates when seen in full context. Gutman — who is Jewish and whose father survived the Holocaust — said, for example, that the “hatred”

More Baloney at ABC/Yahoo! Debate

False and misleading claims were flying again at the latest Republican presidential candidates’ debate in Iowa. Romney falsely claimed that no president before Obama had cut Medicare, and that Obama favored pre-1967 borders for Israel. Gingrich said he opposed cap-and-trade, even though …

Unproven Jobs Claim in Pro-Romney Ad

A pro-Romney TV spot running heavily in Iowa touts an unproven claim that the candidate “helped create thousands of jobs” as CEO of an investment firm. When we asked the super PAC sponsoring the ad for proof of its claim, a spokeswoman said: “We aren’t supplying that information.” And so far, neither is the Romney campaign.
The ad from super PAC Restore Our Future also rehashes Mitt Romney’s claim that he didn’t raise taxes in Massachusetts when he was governor,

Debate Watch

The six Republican presidential candidates who are set to meet and debate again on Dec. 10 have all made some claims that don’t line up with the facts. Will they repeat this shopworn spin, or have they tired of these talking points? Here’s what to watch and listen for when they gather in Des Moines for the latest debate — sponsored by ABC News, Yahoo! News, the Des Moines Register, local WOI-TV and the Republican Party of Iowa:

Gingrich: Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has boasted several times that he “helped balance the federal budget for four straight years.” But he was in Congress for only two of those years.

Ron Pelosi’s Connection to Tonopah Solar Energy

Q: Did the Energy Department give a loan to an energy company connected to Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law?
A: Yes. The loan was awarded to Tonopah Solar Energy for a project in Nevada. Ron Pelosi was then a board member with a subsidiary of Pacific Corporate Group, an investment partner in Tonopah’s parent company.

Newt’s Erroneous Ethics Alibi

Newt Gingrich falsely claimed the House ethics panel that voted to reprimand him in 1997 was “a very partisan political committee.” He was also off base when he said the inquiry was “a Pelosi-driven effort.”
In fact, the House Committee on Ethics is the only House panel evenly divided by party. And Pelosi was a relatively junior House member and not in a leadership position at the time. It’s true she was one of four members on the subcommittee that conducted the investigation,