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FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Jan. 3-9


This week, readers sent us comments about Rep. Ron Paul and Iran, President Obama’s old campaign promises, and Rick Santorum’s lobbying past.

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.

 

Ron Paul’s Iran Stretch

I was very much saddened to read your article [“Paul, Santorum Stretch Truth on Iran,” Jan. 2]. Until now, I have viewed FactCheck.org as an excellent website that could be counted on to sift through propaganda and provide people with factual information, making it a very important and necessary utility for American democracy.

However, you have seriously weakened your credibility in my eyes with the statements made in “Paul, Santorum Stretch Truth on Iran.” In the article you state that “Rep. Ron Paul falsely claimed the International Atomic Energy Agency ‘did not find any evidence’ that Iran is ‘on the verge of a [nuclear] weapon,’ ” yet you provide absolutely no facts whatsoever to disprove his (100% accurate) claim. Or do you actually believe that becoming “increasingly concerned” about “activities related to the development of a [nuke]” can pass as evidence of the actual acquisition of such a weapon?

That sounds a lot like the “Saddam has WMDs” evidence used to start the Iraq War, and you should be ashamed for allowing your website to indulge in such warmongering propaganda and outright slander of an important presidential candidate, instead of performing its supposed function of CHECKING the FACTS.  It seems that we now need a website to fact-check the factcheckers; such a shame.

Darnell Walcott
Boulder, Colo.

 

Obama’s Broken Promise

I find that you are bending the truth more lately, or at least stubbornly refusing to go the extra distance at clarification [“Promises, Promises,” Jan. 4].

FactCheck.org: To be sure, the president did sign the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law in 2010, but it wasn’t enacted by “bringing Democrats and Republicans together.” The bill passed the Senate on Dec. 24, 2009, by a vote of 60-39, without any Republicans voting for it. And when the House passed its version of the bill almost three months later, by a vote of 219-212, it too garnered no support from Republicans. We won’t offer any opinion about whether one side is more to blame than the other for that, but it’s simply a fact that the president failed at “bringing Democrats and Republicans together.”

You won’t offer an opinion on which side is to blame for this??? After [Sen.] McConnell declared that the main goal was to keep Obama from being a two-term president???

Seriously, you guys are getting petty. You should have left this promise out of this, if you could not clarify WHY he did not keep that promise. God knows he spent 2 1/2 yrs trying, to the Democrats’ dismay.

Pam Bergren
East Hartford, Conn.

 

If It Walks Like a Lobbyist …

I had to smile at your statement that Rick Santorum was not “technically” a lobbyist, since he never registered as one [“Mangled Facts in Manchester,” Jan. 8]. If something looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck — in spite of the fact that it never was technically registered as a duck.

Jane Zajaczkowski
Parkman, Ohio

 

N.H. Debate Coverage

Please thank your staff for providing the fact-check analysis during/after the debate. I read it at your website. Your efforts are much appreciated in helping to make informed decisions.

Brad Engelmann
Helen Township, Minn.