A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

‘You Didn’t Build That,’ Uncut and Unedited

Mitt Romney and his allies have attacked President Barack Obama — often out of context — for saying, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

American Crossroads posted a 60-second Web video called “Build” that shows small-business owners reacting to Obama’s “you didn’t build that” comment.
The Romney campaign replays Obama saying “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that” five times in a 15-second video as part of a “petition”

Twisting Health Care Taxes

Republicans are twisting the facts on taxes in the Affordable Care Act, grossly overstating the impact on families or lower-income earners.
In what has become a Republican talking point, several GOP lawmakers have wrongly claimed that a Congressional Budget Office report said that 75 percent of the federal health care law’s taxes would be paid by those earning less than $120,000 a year. That’s not what the CBO said. It found that 76 percent of those who would pay the penalty for not having insurance in 2016 would earn under $120,000.

Spotlight On: Burton ‘Bud’ Gotshall

Burton “Bud” Gotshall knew the Republican primary race in his Florida congressional district was going to get ugly. The proof arrived in his mailbox this week.
Gotshall received a campaign mailer from veteran Rep. John Mica, who is running against freshman Rep. Sandy Adams because of congressional redistricting. Mica has been in Congress for 20 years. Adams is aligned with the tea party and has the support of Sarah Palin.
Mica’s mailer accuses Adams of being someone President Barack Obama “counted on”

Florida Primary Flier Frames Republican

In a primary battle between two House Republicans, a Florida congressman claims in a campaign mailer that his opponent was someone President Barack Obama “counted on” to “approve” stimulus spending. Not really. The mailer’s target, Sandy Adams, is a freshman congresswoman who arrived in Washington nearly two years after the stimulus passed into law.
The flier’s evidence — in fine print — is Adams’ record in the Florida legislature. As a state representative, she voted to approve two state budgets,

Whoppers of 2012, Early Edition

Thomas Hobbes’ oft-cited phrase from 1651, “nasty, brutish and short,” does not describe the 2012 presidential campaign — unfortunately. The contest so far has been nasty all right, and disregard for the truth has been brutish on both sides, in our judgment. But alas, it won’t be over until Nov …

Romney and the Tax Return Precedent

Mitt Romney says he is following the “precedent” set by John McCain in releasing just two years of tax returns. That’s accurate. But McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee, bucked the trend of other recent presidential candidates.
In more than three decades, no other nominees for either party have released fewer than five years’ worth of returns. Romney’s own father released a dozen years’ worth when he ran for the GOP nomination in 1968.
Romney has been under mounting public pressure to release tax returns —

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of July 10-16

This week, readers sent us both positive and negative reviews of the website.
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.

If You Like Your Plan …

After the Supreme Court’s ruling on the federal health care law, President Obama repeated his claim that for Americans “who already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.” But Obama can’t make that promise for everyone. At least a few million workers won’t keep their current plans.
Read more about Romney’s and President Obama’s false and misleading claims made after the high court’s ruling in our June 28 article, “Romney, Obama Uphold Health Care Falsehoods.”

Spotlight On: Jim Watson

Jim Watson was immediately skeptical of American Commitment’s attack ad, which he saw on Facebook.
The ad’s narrator claimed Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, voted to increase electricity costs while displaying the text, “Ohio: Electric Bills Will Skyrocket.”

“Like all political ads, the extreme language (skyrocket) and the improbable idea that anyone would actually vote for electric rates to go up, was too much to resist,” Watson wrote to us in an email. “I knew it was an attack ad,