A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Obama White House ‘Full of Wall Street Executives’?

A conservative group exaggerates the number of “Wall Street executives” in the Obama White House. In a major TV ad buy, the American Future Fund lists 27 people it claims are part of “Obama’s Wall Street Inner Circle.” But the ad is either flat wrong or greatly exaggerated in more than half of those cases. Among the most laughable examples we found of “Wall Street executives” in Obama’s “inner circle”:

A “White House fellow,” class of 2009-2010,

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Feb. 21-27

This week, readers sent us comments questioning whether the health care law will kill jobs.
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.

The ‘Bailout’ Santorum Denies

Rick Santorum says, “I didn’t vote for a steel bailout.” But in fact, the former Pennsylvania senator voted in 1999 for the Emergency Steel Loan Guarantee Program, which was dubbed a “bailout” by multiple news organizations at the time.
The loan guarantee program Santorum supported was much smaller than the auto bailouts he has regularly criticized on the campaign trail. Only three steelmakers ever tapped the program, and all money has been repaid. But it did underwrite more than $400 million in loans,

College Kills Faith?

Rick Santorum is off base when he criticizes college as a place where young people lose their “faith commitment.” In fact, the percentage of those with weakened religious affiliations is higher for those who don’t go to college.
Santorum also twists Obama’s words when he accuses him of snobbery for pushing a college education. In fact, the president also urged vocational training.
On Feb. 26, ABC’s “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos asked Santorum why he called President Obama “a snob”

Santorum’s Twisted Take on JFK & Religion

Rick Santorum misrepresented what John F. Kennedy said in 1960 about church-state separation. According to Santorum, Kennedy said that religious people could “have no role in the public square” and “should not be permitted . . . to influence public policy.” But Kennedy didn’t say those things. He said he wouldn’t take orders from the Vatican if elected president.
On ABC’s “This Week,” the former Pennsylvania senator said Feb. 26 that Kennedy’s embrace of an “absolute”

PAC Strains ‘Abortion’ Facts

An anti-abortion group is making the shocking claim that Mitt Romney “enforced a law which required Catholic hospitals to provide abortions.” To call this a stretch is putting it mildly. What Romney enforced — after first vetoing the legislation — was a requirement that hospitals provide rape victims with the morning-after pill, a drug that is designed to stop pregnancy from occurring if taken within a few days of unprotected intercourse. He didn’t tell Catholic hospitals that they had to perform abortions.

Spotlight On: Hugh Haines

Hugh “Spike” Haines said his math background can explain why he gets so angry during the political debates and television ads.
“Things don’t add up,” the 74-year-old said. “I was a math major. And the thing that disturbs me is the lack of facts.”
Haines, who said he’s a registered Republican, recently cast his mathematical gaze on statements made by Republican Congressman Dan Lungren of California, whose congressional district is just outside Haines’ hometown of Sacramento.

Cloudy Contraception Costs

Is the Obama administration correct when it claims its contraception mandate will be “cost neutral” for insurance companies? Or are the critics right when they say Catholic institutions will pay a hidden cost in the form of higher premiums when their insurers are required to give “free” contraceptives …

Did ‘Elite Media’ Ignore ‘Infanticide’?

Newt Gingrich was wrong when he accused the “elite media” of failing to ask Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign about his votes “in favor of infanticide.” In fact, there were reams of mainstream media reports about Obama’s votes as an Illinois state senator on the “born alive” legislation to which Gingrich refers.
Gingrich made his accusation during the Feb. 22 Arizona debate, trying to turn the tables on debate moderator John King’s question about the birth-control issue.