A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Santorum-boosting PAC Slams Romney, Obama

Two new TV ads from a pro-Rick Santorum super PAC attack Mitt Romney and President Obama on Republican hot button issues: debt, taxes and oil. But the ads mislead on several fronts. One ad states that Romney supported …

Truth-Twisting Tweets

In tweets to her followers, Nevada Rep. Shelley Berkley claims her Republican opponent for U.S. Senate voted to “kill Medicare” and to “effectively ban contraception.” Both statements are untrue.
Sen. Dean Heller supported failed Republican legislation that would have substantially changed Medicare — in 2022 — to a program that subsidizes private insurance plans for seniors. But the entitlement would not have ended. Heller also voted for the so-called “Blunt amendment,” which would have allowed an employer to deny coverage of specific items or services contrary to the employer’s religious beliefs or moral convictions.

Health Care Costs Didn’t Double

Several readers asked us about Republican comments and news reports saying that a new Congressional Budget Office report had found that the federal health care law would cost double the original estimate. But that’s not what CBO’s report said. Instead, the report shows that the gross yearly costs of the new health care law are likely to be 8.6 percent higher than originally estimated.
Let’s start with the truth. In a March 13 report, the CBO gave updated estimates for the cost of insurance coverage provisions of the law for the 2012-2021 period.

Obama’s Fake Hayes Quote

President Obama unjustly criticized a dead Republican president — Rutherford B. Hayes — by putting words in Hayes’ mouth that he never uttered.
Obama, speaking about his energy policies at Prince George’s Community College in Largo, Md., said:
Obama, March 15: There always have been folks who are the naysayers and don’t believe in the future, and don’t believe in trying to do things differently. One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone,

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of March 6-12

This week, readers sent us more letters about Democrats’ claims that Republicans want to “end Medicare,” and the difference between “lies” and “whoppers.”
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: Foggy on FactCheck

Mitt Romney is a little unclear on the facts when it comes to FactCheck.org — and what we and other fact-checkers have said about Rick Santorum.
In the same CNN interview in which he made a somewhat premature claim that Santorum was at the “desperate end” of his campaign (just before returns came in showing Santorum had won and Romney had come in third in both the Alabama and Mississippi primaries), he said:
Romney, March 13: Well,

Tea Party’s Targets

Tea party-aligned FreedomWorks for America has launched campaigns against several Republicans whom it deems too moderate, including Senate veterans Orrin Hatch and Richard Lugar. But some of the group’s claims miss the mark. A TV ad targeting Hatch …

Santorum’s Science

Rick Santorum calls global warming a “hoax.” If he were a scientist, he would be in a small minority.
“The dangers of carbon dioxide? Tell that to a plant, how dangerous carbon dioxide is,” Santorum said at the Gulf Coast Energy Summit in Biloxi, Miss., on March 12. He made similar comments in early February in Colorado Springs, Colo., saying that global warming was a “hoax” and that “man-made global warming” and proposed remedies were “bogus.”

Spotlight On: Jeanie Fusaro

When Jeanie Fusaro received a constituent mailer from her congressman about what’s going on in Washington, she thought: “They think we’re stupid because we’re seniors. They didn’t think we’d do our homework.”
Fusaro, 66, was particularly skeptical of the letter’s statement that reports “predict higher unemployment for the next two years.”
“That automatically incites people,” Fusaro said.
The unemployment claim was one of several misleading statements we found in the mailer Fusaro sent to Spin Detectors.