A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Nov. 29-Dec. 5

This week, readers sent us more comments about Mitt Romney’s first television ad. We were also slammed for not writing about more statements from President Obama.
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.

Bachmann’s Bad Economics

Michele Bachmann wrongly claims there is “not one shred of evidence that lowering the payroll tax rate created jobs.” Actually, the economy has gained more than 1.4 million jobs in the 11 months since the payroll tax holiday began.
That’s 84 percent more jobs than were added in the same period a year earlier. The unemployment rate has fallen from 9.4 percent in December 2010, just before the payroll tax was reduced temporarily, to 8.6 percent in November.

Gingrich On Climate Change

Newt Gingrich went too far when he claimed that “I’ve never favored cap-and-trade.”
It’s true he’s never favored the approach taken by Democrats, but he said in 2007 that he would “strongly support” cap-and-trade if combined with “a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions.”
Furthermore, Gingrich said in House testimony in 2009 that he still might support a cap-and-trade system covering “the 2,000 most polluting places,” if packaged with incentives for nuclear power and “green coal,”

Whole Truth About the Cain ‘Lie Detector’

A so-called lie detector featured in a new ad supporting Herman Cain uses voice-stress technology that is no more reliable than “flipping a coin,” according to one university study by a criminal-justice researcher. Two other academics called it “charlatanry.” The ad says that “one of the foremost lie detector experts in America” found that Cain was being truthful when he said he did not do anything improper, and that one of his accusers was not. But the science behind that claim has gotten mixed reviews,

The Gingrich Divorce Myth

Q: Did Newt Gingrich ask his former wife to sign divorce papers on her deathbed?
A: No. Jackie Battley is still alive, and the couple was already in divorce proceedings at the time of the 1980 hospital visit. But she was recovering from surgery to remove a tumor, and the former House speaker admits that they “got into an argument.”