A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Misleading on Premiums

Both the Republican National Committee and the Obama administration are making misleading claims about health insurance premium costs. An RNC ad falsely implies that the federal health care law is responsible for all of the $1,300 average increase in family coverage premiums last year. But at the same time, the Obama administration makes the misleading claim that families “could save up to $2,300” on health care costs per year in the future by buying insurance through exchanges called for by the law.

How Many Would Repeal ‘Obamacare’?

Mitt Romney says “most Americans want to get rid of” President Obama’s two-year-old health care law. Is he right? That depends on which poll-taker is asking the question, and how it’s worded.
Romney made the assertion at a rally in Louisiana on March 23, marking the second anniversary of the president signing the law. He’s not alone — we’ve heard others make the same statement. But some polls show otherwise.
For example, a Bloomberg News national poll of 1,002 adults taken March 8 through March 11 asked the question this way: “Turning to the health care law passed last year,

Car + Ditch=Blame

We’ve already written about the 17-minute Obama campaign film. But did you notice how narrator Tom Hanks portrays the president as being above finger-pointing politics, claiming Obama “would not dwell in blame” for inheriting a huge economic mess? We did.
Hanks, “The Road We’ve Traveled”: Not since the days of Franklin Roosevelt had so much fallen on the shoulders of one president. And when he faced his country, who looked to him for answers, he would not dwell in blame or dreamy idealism.

Obama Wanted Higher Gasoline Prices?

Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have repeatedly lifted several quotes out of context to allege that President Barack Obama and his administration actually wanted to drive up the price of gasoline, and have succeeded.

Gingrich said Obama wants gasoline prices to get to the European levels of $9 or $10 a gallon, but that “he just wants it to be gradual.” But that’s not what Obama said. Rather, when asked in 2008 about then-$4 per gallon gasoline prices,

Bogus Oil Claims by Crossroads GPS

Crossroads GPS is accusing the Obama administration of “bad energy policies” causing “prices we can’t afford.” But the Republican-leaning group makes some false and exaggerated claims.

It says the president “limited development of American oil shale.” Actually, production of petroleum from shale formations is booming. What the administration slowed down were plans for experimental development of ways to produce oil by heating kerogen-rich rocks, something that is years away from becoming commercially feasible.
The ad claims Obama lobbied to “kill”

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of March 13-19

This week, readers sent us letters questioning a comparison of false statements made by Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, and our decision to write about a quote President Obama attributed to former President Rutherford B. Hayes.
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.

Romney Flubs Farmers Claim

Mitt Romney claims the Obama administration is telling farmers “what their 15-year-old sons and daughters can and can’t do on the family farm.” That’s not true. If anything, the Labor Department was considering telling farmers what their children can and cannot do on farms that others own or operate. And the department has since promised to weaken that language.
In an effort to strengthen child labor regulations, the Labor Department proposed controversial new language that would have allowed children under 16 to work only on farms owned or operated by their parents.

Obama ‘Road’ Film Takes Some Detours

An Obama campaign film, narrated by actor Tom Hanks, casts the president, not surprisingly, in the best light. But the 17-minute video lacks context and take liberties with some facts on health care and the auto bailout: The film says …

Santorum: English Before Statehood

Rick Santorum greatly overreached when he claimed that Congress required “English be the principal language and that it be taught and spoken universally” in several Southwest territories, Oklahoma and Hawaii as preconditions for them attaining statehood.
Congress did require in some cases that new states conduct government business in English, or that public schools teach in English. But those were the limits of the requirements. There were no requirements that English be the “principal language” or that it be “spoken universally.”