A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Romney’s ‘Gross’ Exaggeration on ‘Obamacare’

Mitt Romney falsely claims government will “constitute … almost 50 percent” of the U.S. economy when the new federal health care law takes full effect. But Romney gets to 50 percent by erroneously counting all health care spending — private and public — as “effectively under government control once Obamacare is fully implemented,” as his spokesman put it.
That’s nonsense — just as it was two years ago, when Rep. Michele Bachmann made a similar bogus claim.

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of May 1-7

This week, readers sent us letters congratulating us on our Webby wins for best politics website.
In the FactCheck Mailbag, we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.

‘The Life of Julia,’ Corrected

The Obama campaign depends on some false or dubious assumptions in its “Life of Julia” slide show. The infographic depicts a fictional woman whose life from age 3 to 67 is better under the president’s policies than under those of Republican Mitt Romney. But in reality …

Obama Criminalize Free Speech?

Q: Did President Obama secretly sign a law that makes it a crime to protest against him or ask him a question he doesn’t like?
A: No. He openly announced the signing of a bill overwhelmingly passed by Congress that slightly revises a 1971 law against trespassing into areas under Secret Service protection.

Spotlight On: Mark DiBiasio

Mark DiBiasio is a registered Republican in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, which means his mailbox is brimming with campaign mailers.
Ten Republicans are trying to win the May 8 primary this year. But one particular candidate, wealthy businessman and former state Sen. Robert Pittenger, is bombarding voters with glossy paper.
“I get half a dozen fliers from him in the same week – sometimes twice a day,” said DiBiasio, 55, an IT consultant who runs a local blog in the Charlotte suburbs.

Primary Piffle in North Carolina

In the final week of a hotly fought Republican primary in North Carolina, one congressional candidate accuses his rival — in a mailer sent to GOP voters — of being a “Big Money Donor” to Democrats. And he accuses another of breaking a tax pledge. But we find both claims by wealthy businessman and former state Sen. Robert Pittenger are off the mark.
In truth, financial adviser Dan Barry, the supposed “Big Money Donor,” contributed to 11 Republicans and only two Democrats in national races between 2003 and 2011.

White House Spins Women’s Health

Republicans are right: The White House is greatly exaggerating when it says that “women, in particular,” benefit from a prevention fund that the House GOP proposes to repeal. The truth is that the fund in question wasn’t set up specifically for women’s health programs, and we could find no concrete evidence that it has paid anything to gender-specific health programs so far.
For example, the fund has paid for programs to discourage tobacco use, encourage physical fitness,

Stimulus Money for Jobs Overseas?

An ad from the conservative Americans for Prosperity distorts the truth about stimulus money for “green jobs” going overseas. The ad, titled “Wasteful Spending,” introduces some new wrinkles to this well-used line of attack.
According to the ad, the stimulus included:

“$1.2 billion to a solar company that’s building a plant in Mexico.” Actually, the loans were to finance a solar ranch built and operated in California. It’s true that the company that got the loans also recently opened a solar-panel manufacturing plant in Mexico,

A New Front in the ‘War on Women’

Mitt Romney’s senior adviser Ed Gillespie distorted some economic facts on “Meet the Press” when he accused President Obama of creating a U.S. economy that is “hostile” to women.

Gillespie said the “number of single-mother families living in poverty” is now the highest “in recorded history.” But poverty statistics date only to 1959, and the poverty rate for single mothers — which is a better indicator than the total number — is still relatively low,