A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Pro-Romney Super PAC Twists Obama’s Words

A pro-Romney TV ad shows President Obama saying, “we tried our plan and it worked.” That twists his words way out of context. He was referring to his proposal to cut the deficit using both tax increases and spending cuts, like President Clinton. Obama wasn’t talking about past job creation efforts, as the ad would have viewers believe.
Restore Our Future, a super PAC founded by former Mitt Romney campaign staffers, went up with its new ad on Aug.

Romney Hijacks Credibility

A new Mitt Romney campaign ad passes off opinions of a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush as though they were from a newspaper’s reporters or editors. It’s a political trick used by both sides: hijacking a news organization’s credibility.
In this example, the Romney ad attacks President Obama’s mandate requiring employers to provide health insurance that includes free contraception. It attributes to the San Antonio Express-News the words: “Obama’s Insurance Decision Declares War on Religion.”
But the newspaper didn’t say that in any editorial or news article.

Obama’s ‘Boss’ Baloney

The Obama campaign strikes another low blow with a TV spot accusing Mitt Romney of “personally” approving a notoriously abusive tax-avoidance scheme and suggesting he may have paid “zero” tax. That’s badly misleading.
It wasn’t Romney who was avoiding taxes, it was Marriott Corp. And there’s no evidence to support the ad’s speculation that Romney himself paid no income tax, or that he did something illegal.
The ad opens with an unsupported insinuation that Romney isn’t releasing more federal income tax returns because some would show he didn’t pay any income tax in those years.

Gutting Welfare-to-Work?

The Romney campaign says the Obama administration has adopted “a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements.” But FactCheck.org Deputy Director Eugene Kiely tells WCBS radio that the administration’s plan does no such thing.
Read more about the president’s welfare changes in our Aug. 9 article, “Does Obama’s Plan ‘Gut Welfare Reform?‘”

Spotlight On: Michael James

Michael James said he had to pull over his car when he heard Rush Limbaugh in a radio ad endorsing Missouri’s lieutenant governor.
Limbaugh claimed his old friend Peter Kinder “banned taxpayer-funded travel for politicians” when he led the state Senate.
“It sounded outrageous,” James said. “Obviously politicians have to travel. And they don’t do that with their own money if it’s official state business.”
James uploaded the ad to Spin Detectors. We found Limbaugh’s claim went too far.

Rush’s Ruse in Missouri

In a campaign-funded radio ad to Missouri voters, Rush Limbaugh claimed the state’s lieutenant governor “banned taxpayer-funded travel for politicians” when he led the state Senate. Not really.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, who is Limbaugh’s friend, spearheaded a moratorium on paying travel expenses for state senators, not all “politicians.” The ban affected only out-of-state travel and failed to affect taxpayer-funded travel within Missouri, which is a far greater cost.
Furthermore, the ban expired after one year.

Does Obama’s Plan ‘Gut Welfare Reform’?

A Mitt Romney TV ad claims the Obama administration has adopted “a plan to gut welfare reform by dropping work requirements.” The plan does neither of those things.

Work requirements are not simply being “dropped.” States may now change the requirements — revising, adding or eliminating them — as part of a federally approved state-specific plan to increase job placement.
And it won’t “gut” the 1996 law to ease the requirement. Benefits still won’t be paid beyond an allotted time,

Is Romney to Blame for Cancer Death?

A grieving widower in a new pro-Obama TV spot says his wife contracted cancer and died “a short time after” Mitt Romney closed the steel plant that employed him and left “my family” without health coverage. That’s not quite so.
We find this ad from Priorities USA Action to be misleading on several counts.

Steelworker Joe Soptic’s wife, Ranae, died in 2006 — five years after the plant closed.
She didn’t lose coverage when the plant closed.

Could Kansans ‘Opt-Out’ of ‘Obamacare’?

A conservative group wrongly claimed that a failed state proposal would have given Kansans the right to “opt-out” of the federal health care law’s mandate to have health insurance. But the measure would have been meaningless. Federal law is the “supreme Law of the Land,” according to the U.S. Constitution.
For more on the mailers, which attacked moderate Republican state lawmakers and praised conservative members of the party, see our Aug. 3 story “Mailers Mislead on ‘Obamacare’ Opt-Out Amendment.”