A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Fall Preview: Obama vs. Romney (and Ryan)

President Obama says Mitt Romney has embraced a budget that could throw hundreds of thousands of children out of Head Start classrooms, eliminate air traffic control services in some places, and “ultimately end Medicare as we know it.” Romney says that’s just “rhetorical excess” and …

Spotlight On: Charles Bertram

When Charles Bertram received a letter from Mitt Romney asking him for money, the Floridian was amused. Bertram is a Democrat — and has been since the late 1970s.
“There was a line in there or something about liberals that just galled me,” the 60-year-old said.
Bertram uploaded the letter to the Spin Detectors website. We found several of the letter’s claims to be false, including Romney’s claim that the rates of unemployment, foreclosures and bankruptcies are “soaring”

Romney Fundraising Pitch Skews Stats

In a March fundraising letter to Floridians, Mitt Romney skews economic statistics under President Barack Obama. Among the letter’s claims:

Romney says the numbers for unemployment, bankruptcies and foreclosures are “soaring.” That’s simply not true. They all started rising sharply under Bush, continued to rise for a time under Obama, but then peaked and are currently declining.

Romney claims Obama stood over “the greatest job loss in modern American history.” But more jobs were lost under his predecessor.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of March 27-April 2

This week, readers sent us comments about a dispute over ownership of islands near Russia and Alaska, and the need for more letters in the FactCheck Mailbag.
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.

Obama Eats His Words

President Obama is being forced to modify his absurdly wrong claim that it would be “unprecedented” for the Supreme Court to strike down the new health care law.
He made that statement April 2 in a news conference:
Obama, April 2: Ultimately, I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.
As any number of others were quick to point out,

Deja Vu: The Latest Attacks from Santorum

The latest TV spot from Rick Santorum’s campaign recycles a veritable “Best Of” list of misleading claims about Mitt Romney’s record and positions.
Regular readers of FactCheck.org may recognize some claims as ones we have tagged as misleading, repeatedly. The ad says Romney’s health care law “included $50 abortions and killed thousands of jobs.” It says Romney supported “job-killing cap and trade.” And it asks viewers to believe that Romney “stuck taxpayers with a 1 billion dollar shortfall”

McConnell Misreads Oil Report

Mitch McConnell incorrectly claimed that oil production is “up 96 percent on state-owned land and private land,” which isn’t close to being true. Production rose 11 percent on those lands in fiscal year 2011, the period to which McConnell alluded. Even over the last five fiscal years, the rise has been 15 percent — not even one-sixth as large as he claimed.
The Senate Republican Leader’s flub occurred on CNN’s “State of the Union” April 1.

Santorum’s Exaggerations

Why do politicians often exaggerate, when the truth would serve just as well?
Rick Santorum had us asking that question of ourselves again when he made several puffed-up claims on “Fox News Sunday.”

Arguing that a come-from-behind win is still possible in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Santorum said Kansas had been “down almost 20 points in the first half” before beating Ohio State the night before in an NCAA Final Four basketball game.