A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

Renewable Energy ‘Doubled’?

President Barack Obama has been claiming that the United States has “doubled our use of renewable energy.” Not true. Wind and solar have doubled, but total renewable energy consumption is up by about one quarter from 2008 to 2011. Plus, since wind and solar started at such a low level, a doubling may not be as impressive to voters as it sounds.
The largest category of renewable energy is biomass, such as ethanol that is blended in gasoline.

Romney’s Economic Exaggerations

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney claims that his plan would balance the federal budget in eight to 10 years. But so far, he has not made public the details on how he would be able to do that, and one neutral budget expert calls it “an unrealistic goal.”
Also, Romney and running mate Paul Ryan exaggerate when they say “five different studies” prove that all of the stated goals of Romney’s revenue-neutral tax plan could be accomplished without raising taxes on middle-income taxpayers.

Crossroads Ad Craps Out

Is President Barack Obama down on Vegas? A new ad, running in Nevada, from a pro-Romney group employs a shortened quote from Obama that makes it seem as if he was telling people not to visit and spend money in the tourism hub. Not exactly.
Making a point about belt-tightening in tough times, Obama told a crowd in New Hampshire in 2010, “You don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Sept. 4-10

This week, readers sent us a few comments about our fact-checks of the Democratic and Republican conventions. We also received several thank you notes.
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.

Romney Gets It Backward

Mitt Romney claims the Obama administration issued an “apology for American values” after U.S. embassies were attacked. Not true. Romney refers to a statement issued before mobs attacked either in Egypt or Libya, and faults U.S. diplomats for failing to condemn actions that hadn’t yet happened.
Furthermore, the word “sorry” or “apologize” doesn’t appear in the statement. Under the headline, “U.S. Embassy Condemns Religious Incitement,” the embassy in Cairo said, “Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy.”

GM’s Government Sales

Q: Did the government buy 79 percent of all vehicles sold by General Motors in June?
A: No, that viral rumor is false. All fleet customers combined — including rental car companies and state and local governments — accounted for less than one-third of GM’s June sales.

Bill Clinton: Give Me a Break

A new Romney ad would have viewers believe that former President Bill Clinton was commenting on President Obama’s handling of the economy when he said, “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.” That’s false. Clinton’s 2008 comment was aimed at Obama’s portrayal of Hillary Clinton as supporting Iraq war policies.
The ad comes on the heels of Clinton’s rousing endorsement of Obama during the Democratic National Convention, a speech more people considered to be the highlight of the Democratic convention than Obama’s own speech.

FactChecking Obama and Biden

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a rousing double-header, Democratic delegates heard Barack Obama and Joe Biden both accept renomination on their convention’s final night. And we heard some facts being spun.

President Obama boasted that his plan would cut the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years, citing “independent experts.” But one such analyst called a key element of the plan a “gimmick.”
Vice President Biden quoted GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney as saying “it’s not worth moving heaven and earth” to catch Osama bin Laden.