A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Bogus Bipartisan Claims

In a mailer to constituents, a Republican congressman claims 27 “bipartisan bills” have passed the House but “hit a brick wall” in the Democratic-controlled Senate. But most of the bills are not very “bipartisan.” A majority of House Democrats voted against all but five of the 27 proposals, sometimes overwhelmingly. One of these “bipartisan bills” had the support of only four Democrats, and another had the support of just eight.
The mailer — sent out by Georgia Rep.

Wrestling with the Truth on Santorum’s Lobbying

The Mitt Romney campaign lifts a Rick Santorum quote out of context to level a charge that Santorum is being untruthful about his lobbying history.
The Romney campaign claims to have caught Santorum being “at odds with the facts” when he told CNN, “I was not a lobbyist.” The Romney camp points to press reports that say Santorum was a lobbyist in Pennsylvania in the late 1980s. However, Santorum’s statement to CNN came in response to a question about his post-Senate career.

Axelrod’s Hazy Memory of 2008

David Axelrod’s zeal to help President Obama win reelection has clouded his memory. In depicting the 2012 GOP primary as unusually nasty and harmful to the party’s eventual nominee, Obama’s senior campaign adviser falsely claimed “we mentioned Hillary Clinton twice in our advertising” during the 2008 campaign. With little effort, we found 10 such ads — five times what Axelrod claimed.
In a March 6 interview with NBC’s Brian Williams, Axelrod expressed shock at this year’s GOP primary nastiness and recalled with fondness (and fallacy) the gentleness of the 2008 Democratic nominating process.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Feb. 28-March 5

This week, one reader asked if we track which political party “lies” most often, and another defended our efforts to find unbiased sources.
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.

Democrats’ ‘End Medicare’ Whopper, Again

Can the “Lie of the Year” still be used to defeat Republicans? Democrats hope so, and a super PAC is using an Iowa congressional race to retest the claim that House Republicans voted to “end Medicare.” But we find the Iowa ads to be little improved from last year, when …

Obama’s ‘Smidgen’ of Truth on Energy Efficiency

President Obama criticized “the other side” for failing to provide “a smidgen of an idea” for energy efficiency. But it turns out, there is only a smidgen of truth to the president’s criticism.
The president was speaking in New York at a March 1 fundraising event when he brought up his energy policies — which have come under attack by Republicans of late because of rising gasoline prices. Obama said: “You don’t hear just a smidgen of an idea from the other side about how we might want to enhance energy efficiency,

Democrat-on-Democrat Attacks in Ohio

Ohioans are getting a healthy dose of misinformation in a nasty congressional primary in Ohio, which pits incumbent Democrats Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich against each other. Only one can survive the March 6 vote.
Though Kaptur and Kucinich — both 65 and pro-union liberals — were longtime political allies, that changed with a Republican remapping of zones that put them in the same congressional district.
Kaptur has dominated the TV air wars with ads the Kucinich camp calls “dishonest,”