A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

More Pipeline Piffle (And An Alaskan Absurdity)

The misleading assault on the president’s energy policies continues.

A conservative group’s TV ad claims “we will all pay more at the pump” because the administration “blocked” the Keystone XL pipeline.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell claims that the pipeline “could have brought 700,000 barrels of oil to the market each day.”
The TV ad also claims that Obama “opposed exploring for energy in Alaska,” which is only half true.

All those claims are false or misleading.

Biden’s Manufactured Jobs Claims

Declaring “manufacturing is back,” Vice President Joe Biden gave a rosy — but not entirely accurate or complete — picture of U.S. manufacturing at a March 28 campaign stop in Iowa.

Biden overstated — by 1.1 million — the number of manufacturing jobs lost before President Obama took office. He said the U.S. lost 5.8 million manufacturing jobs “during the 2000s, before we came in.” But that figure includes 2009 — Obama’s first year in office.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of March 20-26

This week, readers sent us letters about science “myths” and comments that Energy Secretary Steven Chu made about higher gasoline prices in 2008.
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.

Pro-Life Super PAC

Pro-Life Super PAC is a political action committee that supports candidates with “a strong pro-life record.”

Spotlight On: John Totten

John Totten said he often looks out for his friends and family by emailing them FactCheck.org articles.
When he came across a conservative group’s TV ad about North Carolina’s budget battle, Totten thought of a cousin who lives in that state and uploaded the video to Spin Detectors.
We found that Americans for Prosperity omitted some important information in its ad attacking the Democratic governor and praising the Republican-controlled state legislature. For example, the ad says the legislature added state funding for “2,000 more teachers” and that its budget “adds teachers.” But the legislature’s increased funding didn’t make up for the loss of federal money and discretionary state funds that local districts use to hire teachers.

Inflated Claims in North Carolina Budget Battle

A conservative group omits some important details in a TV ad attacking North Carolina’s lame-duck Democratic governor and praising the Republican-controlled state General Assembly during a partisan budget battle.

The ad says the legislature added state funding for “2,000 more teachers” and that its budget “adds teachers.” But the legislature’s increased funding didn’t make up for the loss of federal money and discretionary state funds that local districts use to hire teachers. The state had a net loss of about 900 teachers overall.

Does Santorum Care About Unemployment?

A new ad from the pro-Mitt Romney super PAC Restore Our Future plays a game of gotcha politics. It grabs a comment from Rick Santorum — “I don’t care what the unemployment rate’s going to be” — out of context to frame an attack on the former senator’s record on economic issues.
In context, Santorum was making the point that the election was about something bigger — more “foundational” — than just the economy, that it was about less government intrusion into the private sector.

Alaskan Island Giveaway?

Q: Is President Obama giving away several Alaskan islands to Russia?
A: No. The U.S. has never claimed ownership of the islands identified in viral emails and websites. They lie far closer to the coast of Siberia than to Alaska.

Does House Budget Plan Cut Taxes or Not?

Rep. Paul Ryan says the House Republican budget plan does not cut taxes. White House senior adviser David Plouffe says not only does it cut taxes, but it “showers huge additional tax cuts on the wealthy.” Who’s right? It depends on the details of the final plan, but a nonpartisan analysis shows Ryan’s plan likely would reduce taxes for high-income taxpayers.
The does-too/does-not virtual debate between Ryan and Plouffe played out March 25 across a few of the Sunday morning talk shows.